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Staggering secularism

Staggering secularism

Prime Minister Modi’s slogan ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’ coined by the PM himself, was aimed at inclusive development focusing on the common man with promises towards bringing balance and stability in the nation.

Modi stressed that the government was for the poor people committed to do everything for them. But every step of the BJP government reveal intolerance, hatred and negligence towards the minority communities who are already wary of the hardcore fascist government right from day it came to power. The BJP government is striving hard to accomplish their fascist agendas and transforming the country into a Hindu nation suppressing the interests of the minorities. The latest episode inviting controversy concerns conducting official conferences and programs on the sacred days for people belonging to other religions. These auspicious occasions are treated as holidays in the country and the people belonging to different faiths are allowed to practice their own rituals and customs as per the constitution. Due to the country’s vast diversity, these holy days are given equal significance and consideration. According to Pandit Nehru, secularism ends all anxieties regarding the existence of minorities. He said that it was the duty as well as primary responsibility of the majority community to pay heed to the minorities and their wants.

Sitting Supreme Court Judge Justice Kurian Joseph has sent a letter to PM Modi and a written objection to the Chief Justice of India expressing his ‘shock’ over the scheduling of the three-day long judges conference on Good Friday and Easter. He was invited by the Prime Minister’s office to the joint conference of judges and chief ministers but declined the invitation. He brought it to the notice of Prime Minister that such events should be avoided on a day of religious observance as they were of immense significance for the people of the country in terms of belief, faith and propagation of religion. Justice Joseph in his letter expressing his anguish saying that secularism was ‘being tinkered with’, requested Modi to “benevolently show equal importance and respect to the sacred days of all religions which are also declared as National holidays” while scheduling events. He said that the various religions and cultural festivals have contributed to the ‘vibrancy of our rich pluralistic culture and ethos’ and that the world ‘jealously looks at the beauty of the secular image, communal harmony and cultural integrity of our great Nation’.

The CJI, in response stressed upon the need to attain a balance between the needs of the institution and family commitments. The statements of former Chief Justice of India V.N. Khare, assumes relevance in this context. He said that Justice Joseph’s letter reflected the apprehensions of religious minorities. The Supreme Court, during a court verdict in February, has expressed concern over how long India would remain a secular country citing the growing influence of religion on social issues. The government is for the people of the country and no authority can sustain without their support and faith in the governance. Existence of India depends on the unity of these diverse cultures and their peaceful coexistence. But the present government is using the law and the judiciary to mock the secularist culture in the country. India, in the current scenario, should ‘safeguard her credentials’ and be a model for the world nations to follow.

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