Saturday, August 13, 2011

Secularism Vs Religious Fanatism - Part II

by Col LK Anand Retd
I am sure it would also be a majority view of the Indians to follow the tradition of tolerance which we have followed for ages. However to be secular we must now look at the entire aspect in a totally different perspective. Isn't time ripe now to do away with the organisations which have caused and have been causing immense damage to the nation through provocative speeches and sermons and hurting religious sentiments of the masses and inciting them to spread public violence.
It would be in our larger interest of the society that no sacred/religious places be ever allowed to get desecrated by vested interests. Let these be VHP or RSS or Bajrang Dal or Shiv Sena, Ram Sena or Muslim league or any other. To prevent or to crush ruthlessly any unilateral actions and hostilities perpetrated by these groups is the responsibility of the State Governments, and their shutting their eyes and ears to such activities can be considered as their gross weakness or their tacit approval for continuing such unlawful activities. Can such inefficiency be accepted by the population?
Hasn’t time come now to ban public gatherings which manifest and arouse feelings and sentiments for or against any particular religion. Would it not be ideal, if all the citizens follow up their religious teachings and rituals only in the religious places like temples, masjids, gurdwaras, churches and so on or at home and not on the streets. There should be no permission for advocating or propagating any religious sermons and lectures in congregations at public places to arouse hatred amongst other religions. Any such incidents must be treated as anti national and the violators must be strictly dealt with in the strictest manner under the law of the land. There is obviously no place in the society for religious fanatics and their wings must be clipped at every possible opportunity.

Each and every child must be given basic knowledge on the teachings of every religion in the school during formative years and should be brought up under an environment of love and tolerance towards each and every religion. It would be better to avoid institutions which deliberately insist on spreading teachings of a particular religion, which could bias the young minds and unnecessarily create hatred towards other religions.

The political parties which do not subscribe to secularism in their manifestoes should not be recognised by the election commission and certainly the parties whose names include words like Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Jain, Sikh and so on must be banned instantly. Any political party not following the principal of secularism at any stage after it has been recognised or elected to any assembly or parliament should be instantly disqualified by the Election Commission.

A time has now come in this country to act and act ruthlessly against religious fanaticism at each and every level. It is not left for the Prime Minister or his any other colleagues to shed crocodile tears on such happenings or to give clean chits to the defaulters. There is also a strong case for some of the defaulting political parties to keep away from the trends of vote bank politics in the name of religions or the minorities.

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