ANOMALIES OF SECULARISM
An understanding of the Hindu view of Christianity and Islam also exposes the anomalies of Secularism of the Indian variety. Secularism was the means adopted by the people and rulers of Europe to achieve pluralism and freedom of thought by fighting the exclusivist ideology of Christianity and its institutions.
The United States became secular through the passage of the First Amendment to its Constitution which forbids the encroachment of religion on the affairs of the State. By this radical measure the United States ensured complete separation of religion and the State - which is what Secularism really means.
But in India, unfortunately, Secularism has become a historical and semantic anomaly. The word �secularism� has been distorted and misapplied to achieve the exact opposite of its real meaning and spirit. While Europe and America have used Secularism to protect their pluralistic societies against theocratic institutions, in India �Secularism� has been used as a means for suppressing pluralism inherent in the Hindu tradition and sheltering exclusivist ideologies.
The Pagan past of Europe and the rest of the non-Christian, non-Islamic world is akin to Hinduism. So we think this is the time for Hindus to assert the ideological kinship and form a global chain to combat exclusivism and form pluralistic societies based on individualism, humanism, rationalism and science. This means liberating the people from the clutches of the Missionaries and Mullahs throughout the world.
And the beginning is to be made here in India by converting Hindus by accident of birth to Hindus by conviction: neither science nor reason could have any objection to that conversion.
A new thinking on religious questions is coming to the fore in most countries of the world. There is also a growing awareness that their present religions, Christianity and Islam, were imposed on them and that they themselves belonged to a different religious tradition. Ralph Borsodi, an American educationist and social thinker, observes in his The Challenge of Asia that �everywhere in the world, except in Asia Minor, the three great semitic religions - Christianity, Judaism and Islam are intruders�, that �indigenous Europe is pagan,� and that �in Europe, Christianity is a superimposition, in Asia, Islam is.�THE INDIAN SCENE
A significant outcome of the last general election is that Hindus have decided to assert themselves through the voting pattern. The election result conveyed the unmistakable message that the so-called �minority� votes are not the arbiter, and that the Hindu votes also matter if they are rightly placed. All recent elections point in the same direction.
The Congress performance was poor not because it was losing the confidence of Muslims but because it was losing the confidence of the Hindus. After the Congress debacle in Gujarat in the last election, only Chhabildas Mehta, ex-Chief Minister, tried to alert his party to this reality but he was ridiculed by the �secular� ideologues. They were unwilling to sacrifice their pet theories despite the facts exploding them.
Other parties going out of their way to woo the Muslim votes have also suffered the same fate as that of the Congress. The Janata Dal is almost wiped out. It is now only a small party made up of still smaller groups.
Hindus have woken to the fact that their support is taken for granted and the Congress and other parties are pursuing anti-Hindu policies. Earlier the Hindus had assumed that the Congress was a Hindu party because most of its leaders were Hindus by birth. But in the Congress party, there were two kinds of Hindus - those who were ashamed to be known as Hindus and those who had regard for Hindu ideals. But Jawaharlal Nehru, a Hindu by accident of birth, systematically eliminated the influence of the pro-Hindu leaders in the Congress and adopted policies which negated Hinduism. And now the Rashtreeya Swayamsevak Sangh and its Parivar seem to think more like Nehru and less like Hindus by conviction.
Anti-Hindu elements in various parties like leftists and Muslims are working for weakening and ultimately the destruction of Hindu society: The so-called intelligentsia in the universities and the media are their tools.
The immediate task for the Hindus is to identify and isolate these Hindus by accident of birth who work for and with enemies of the Hindu society, calling themselves secularists. But this has to be done primarily through a Hindu cultural-spiritual renaissance.THE HINDU-HINDU PROBLEM
So basically, it is not a Hindu-Muslim problem but a Hindu-by-accident versus Hindu-by-conviction problem.
Eradication of Nehruvian Secularism should be the main target. The secularists, who are mostly the anti-Hindu Hindus should be told that the count-down of their �hundred crimes of Shishupala� stands completed, and that there will be no more exemption from punishment for their offences. For they are the enemy within, playing the role of the Trojan Horse.
Hindus can rest assured that Hinduism is neither outdated nor is it against science and technology. Hinduism respects the humanistic approach to problems. All these basic insights of Hinduism promote modernism at its best - a rationally enlightened scientific outlook promoting a humane and open society.
Therefore, the forthcoming ideological battle can be aptly described in terms of Sir Kari Popper�s famous book - THE OPEN SOCIETY AND ITS ENEMIES.Footnotes:
The writer is a student of philosophy, and has made his living as a journalist. He has worked in the Organiser and the UNI.