Is India a secular state ?

In practice, India has been neither secular nor socialist. It has always functioned as an upper-caste Hindu stateArundhati Roy

By Bilal Ahmad Dar

The Constitution of India is based on the premise of secularism and unbiased principles. But the question is: Are these secular principles practiced in true sense of the term in our country at present? The obvious answer that echoes from the events and episodes have been happening around us from the last many years is: No with the capital ‘N’. The atmosphere that is hovering here and there does not sound secular in India these days.

India was once known for its communal harmony, tolerant social milieu, peace and prosperity. It has always been characterized by amicable co-existence, brotherhood, and religious tolerance. It has always supported secular values in the face of striking, ethnic, linguistic and religious diversity. But all these positive things and social pleasantries are showing a downward slope and regression from the last couple of years. Communal harmony, secularism and secure social atmosphere no longer characterize India these days. Casteism, bigotry, religious intolerance, and communal disharmony are the essential epithets that characterize our country at present. The Ganga-Jammuni Tahzeeb is no longer in its good health because of religious and communal intolerance.  India of the present times does not sound safe and secure for the religious minorities. A country loses its claim of secular nature when religious minorities are lynched in the broad day light. We hear about the lynching of Muslims and Christians on regular basis. Muslims are lynched for eating beef by cow vigilantes. Sometimes they are lynched for the so-called Love-Jihad. Christians are lynched for the false charges of converting people into Christianity. The first Christian who became the victim of Hindu fundamentalism was Graham Staines. Staines was an Australian Christian missionary. He was working in Odisha for poor people. He was caring for the people who had leprosy. In 2003, he along with his two sons was burnt alive in  car. Those who did this heinous act alleged that he had forcibly converted many Hindus into Christian faith. The Wadhwa Commission later found that there was no evidence of forced conversions.

Christians like Muslims are lynched on false charges and suspicions.  Recently, a- 14 year- old Christian boy, Samaru Madakami, was lynched mercilessly by a group of religious fanatics in Odisha. Dalits are also targeted on regular basis. These heinous acts committed by the Hindu fanatics tell us that India is no longer a secular country.  Had the country been the lover of the secular principles in the true sense of the term, there would have been the strict rules and laws for the perpetrators of these callous acts. Muslims and Christians are targeted for not chanting “Bharat Mata Ki Jai”.  Sometimes they are defined as anti-nationals. This is done to make them scapegoats.

The atrocities against the religious minorities do not bode well for the democratic and secular fabric of our country. We should maintain the secular structure of our country. This can be done by safeguarding the religious minorities. We should shun violence against the minorities. Every religion is sacred and pious. No religion advocates violence. People who use violence actually defame their religion. Where the people of every faith and religion are treated equally, where minorities feel safe and secure, there is secularism. Religious pluralism is the essential identity of any secular country. So, let’s be secular in the true sense of the term.

Postscript: The violence of inclusion and the violence of exclusion are precursors of a convulsion that could alter the foundations of India and rearrange its meaning and its place in the world. Arundhati Roy

Bilal Ahmad Dar is a Research Scholar at the Department of English, AMU. He can be mailed at:

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  1. India used to be a great nation of culture, arts, commerce and prosperous co-existence under Muslim rule. In less then 75 years of Hindu rule, India is now a corrupt, stagnant, intolerant shit hole run by RSS sanghi extremists and terrorists.

    • Some people have shit in their minds and they can’t think over and above a particular religion. Mr. Black you are the one with shitty mind, due to people like you muslims are lynched and defamed.

      • Wrong Ravi, I’ve only spoken facts. The shit is in your Hindu mentality which is criminal and corrupt to the core. Muslims are lynched because Hindus are dirty, intolerant violent fanatics with diseased hearts led by the mass murdering terrorist Modi and RSS cadre.

        • Your wrong facts are written by you so wrong you are, How easily you said that Hindus are criminal and corrupt, can I know your intellectual views on so called religiously rigorous and adamant Muslims. Those are bind to one book and have blind faith in it, even can’t see what wrongs are going on with their sisters and mothers. So better is that you don’t teach me about Hindus. If “Hindus are dirty, intolerant violent fanatics with diseased hearts led by the mass murdering terrorist Modi and RSS cadre” then my friend how you are still alive in this cruel world of Hindus.
          Last remark :- I know some works of India’s rulling party are against muslims but with your blind eyes your are not able to see the good works also done by this party because you have anti hindu anti BJP prejudice mindset, even you don’t have your own thinking, ppl like you always use to see in one direction with a negative mindset.

    • One more thing, you can see the condition of neighboring country Pakistan ruling by muslims and Muslim leaders how she is flourishing with terror groups.

      • Wrong again, Ravi. Last I checked terrorism was down 50% in Pakistan. Why do Hindus like you always try to change the subject? Because you are pathetic liars. Terrorism is flourishing in India under the terrorist Modi and RSS Sanghi terrorists. That’s why India is a shit hole. You support Hindu terrorism. And will be exposed for the gutter rats that you are.

  2. That’s the way of lying “last time I checked” when you checked, what is source nothing. Hindu like me correct the subjects not changed the subject. It is already exposed who is a pathetic liar. If terrorism is flourishing in india then why are you living here in india, go to your jinnah’s land Pakistan as you said terrorism is decreased their. Still you are here living in shit hole and if india is a shit hole then I think jnu is having most of the shit of india. If hindu were terrorist then you are not anymore living here in aligarh peacefully your condition may be some like those of Afganistani’s irani’s and beggar Pakistani muslims. I think know you better understand guttery pig. Last thing I am so happy that my muslims friends and my students are country lover and far better than you.

  3. you talk about how government is favoring hindus over muslims, but what’s your thought on the subsidies the Haj pilgrims receive, have you even got any fair idea?? do you know there are no such subsidies for Amarnath pilgrimage. you talk about absence of secularism in India but you remain silent over the fact government of India has direct control over many of the Hindu temples but mosques and other religious bodies are autonomous. Religious and Charitable Endowment Act allows state governments to take over temples and control their vast properties & assets. Bizarrely, the state government can use the money generated by a temple (donations, income from assets etc.) for purposes that have absolutely nothing to do with not just the temple, or other temples but even those which have nothing to do with Hindus or Hinduism! Interestingly, none of this applies to mosques, churches or gurudwaras. The government has no legal authority to take over the management of the non-hindu worship groups.
    So, if you write an article on such topics, cover every aspects, don’t be just hindu bashing, your whole article is biased. It doesn’t matter if we are completely secular think to what extent we are secular, I’ve got few muslim friends, they never feel that they are in danger or such. Don’t spread hate .

  4. The whole world is suffering from Islamist terrorism right now and no one can deny the fact. Muslim fascist is actually making things worse. Love jihad kind of thing is not acceptable. There is much news which actually revealed the truth of Jihadis. That aggressive propagation of religion is against the law. Moreover, your people do not agree with the constitution, you are superstitious and believe in sharia Laws. The correct definition of secularism is No interference in other religion, go with the majority. And way to Pakistan is still open.


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