Secularism Has Been Reinvented!

Avishek Sahu
March 21, 2017

Saba Naqvi writes in a TOI editorial that ‘There is actually precious little that the Indian secular state has given the Muslim community except to ensure that they live for eternity in the museum of stereotypes’. That is true; very true indeed; but that’s because the concept of the Indian secular state was created to give the Muslim community very little and fob off the consequence on the eternally repressed Hindutva narrative. Reality consists of layers, and it takes effort and energy to unravel them. The layer that the Indian subcontinent presides in consists of a chasm created by the European concept of Indian secular state specifically designed to serve European interests. The sustenance of this chasm has been the raison d’être of Europe-backed political interests and Hindutva was a convenient foil for them to play two sides. A secular state doesn’t consist of external powers presiding over two conflicting forces. A secular state consists of two conflicting forces coming together to counter foreign powers. This coming together could have various manifestations. It could come together with the minority force calling the shots: a ghastly idea considering history has always persuaded the majority to swallow its pride; or it could come together with the majority force calling the shots, and in the process, assuage its long-hurt pride, thereby permitting it to look out for the greater populace that covers a significant surface area of its underpinnings. Hurt pride can only look out for itself; pride revived creates a protective aura that goes way beyond the bailiwick of the subject. So, what the two competing forces have to figure out is whose pride needs to be revived first, because if there is a race on the matter of ‘first beneficiary of the indigenous halo’, in comes the money from the alps to divvy up your wares again, playing you against each other like fools, and keeping you both from claiming what’s yours, rightfully yours, by virtue of being a piece of the same glorious swathe of earth!

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