The demand for a happy and authentic life compels both atheists and believers (of all the religions ) to understand the peculiarities of the times in which we live. Such self-understanding includes a phenomenological and hermetic confrontation with a certain novelty of the epoch. This essay on Secularism and Democracy digs deep into the concept of Secularism in everyday life.
Essay on Secularism
Essay on Secularism Introduction: Speaking of secularism Gandhi ji once said do not expect India of my dreams to develop one religion, i.e., to be wholly Hindu or wholly Christian or wholly Mussalman, but I want it to be wholly tolerant, with its religions working side by side with with one another. During the freedom struggle leaders like Gandhi ji. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Nehru and many others were deeply committed to the ideal of secularism which emerged as the most dominant principle and got enshrined into the Indian constitution. Generally speaking secularism is a political concept in which people of all religions, irrespective of caste or creed enjoy equal rights. There is no religion of the state and people have a fundamental right to practice the religion of their choice.
This ideology is nothing new for us for it is embedded in our cultural ethos, that makes us tolerant, magnanimous and respective to all religions. This is for the country has been the birthplace of many religions like Sikhism. Jainism, and Buddhism and of course Hinduism. People over centuries expect for the last two centuries, when foreign rulers vitiated this harmony, by their much-maligned policy of ide and rule.
Peace resigned in the country while there was strife in Europe as countries fought with one another to prove the superiority of their religion or race. This caused untold destruction and miseries to the people. The bigotry, practices patronized by the state- led to internecine, quarrels and strife. People, who did not prescribe to the religion of the state were considered second-class citizens, a practice stilt followed by some countries. However in course of time enlightenment dawned on people making them realise that all religion lead to but one God. This brought forth the idea of secularism that we see today. People Megan to understand that difference in religion was compatible with the loyalty towards the state. People °wine, alliance to different religions, could also be loyal to their country and religion was something very personal and distinct from politics. Since everyone in such a system enjoys equal right, there is no cause for strife and people could happily coexist.
The founders of our constitution very wisely laid out the foundation of a truly democratic and secular republic that symbolises the philosophy of ‘unity in diversity’. It reflects our rich cultural heritage and complements all religion and customs to work towards country’s growth and prosperity.
However in recent times secularism has become a much used and abused word. In the battle of ballots, each political party vies to prove that it is more secular than the other, However, compulsion of party politics bring out small differences, which are blown out of proportion, to appease vote banks. Sectarian leaders raise such contentious issues to divide people so that they garner position of power for themselves. By electing such people, we have nobody but ourselves to blame. To be truly secular we should be nationalistic in outlook, rather than be guided by narrow minded and selfish motivated leaders.
Essay on Secularism Conclusion: Talking of secularism Mahatma Gandhi had said: “I swear by my religion, I will die for it. But it is my personal affair. The State has nothing to do with it. The State would look after your secular welfare, health, communications, foreign relations, currency and so on, but not your or my religion. That is everybody’s personal concern.” Indeed secularism is the only path by which a large and diverse country like India can progress. In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “We must indeed hang together or, most assuredly we shall all hang separately”. The true success of secularism would be when we regard ourselves first as Indians and then as Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims.