How socially secure is India? Is it a crime to be part of a minority in this Republic? Or are there perks to being one? All these questions baffle not just scholars, but people from a variety of professions. It is understandable that Hindus dominate the geography of India but everyone knows Bharat is home to Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, and Jains as well. It houses individuals from sub-classes of diverse religions − whether males, females, or from any other gender.
Being the largest democracy − and on top of that a multi-secular society − intent of this country should be to provide respite to all. There may be disputes every now and then but the motto should not change. In fact, it cannot change. Irrespective of cultural, gender, or religious differences, all institutions − whether private or government − must educate and hire people for overall development of our country. Thus, it all comes down to how social security of an individual par religion, caste, gender, or ethnicity is maintained.
And this ‘how’ is worthwhile to ask.
In contemporary India, as in Hindustan, repeatedly criticising one’s integrity and faith is a huge blow to secularism. We have examples of Muslim lynching, cow protection force, love jihad squad, and many others. Adding to this, is the Citizenship Amendment Act. With such policies, people − who just yesterday were equal citizens − were forced to experience partition-like situations.
It clearly implied the country’s rulers deem this nation fit for just one religion. They uphold the virtue of the majority in opposition to all others. By keeping minorities ceaselessly oppressed, and making sure minorities remain minorities, what this secular State did was shred democracy to smithereens. This is a huge deterrent to the collaboration that is India.
What also started to emerge with time is blatant disregard of female counterparts in various office or business setups. Though disparity was prevalent before industrialisation − and to state the truth, even more than what it is today − yet what’s baffling is that, after being provided equal rights on paper, the act is subsequently lost in practical life.
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It exemplifies cowardice and treachery from one’s own country, from this Bharat of ours. This can’t be called a democracy. Rather a skeleton of a democratic setup inside which sentiments are torn and hatred is brewed. Petitions signed and agreed by a couple of thousand people cannot dismantle this establishment. It can’t prevent the spread of this terrible anti-minority epidemic.
India has been crowned a conglomerate of varied cultures, rituals, traditions, religions, and societies. And it had carried this status for a long time. However, now due to these recurrent situations, this status is plunging rapidly. Responsible individuals, both citizens and administrators, have to consider that a country progresses only by true commitment towards its inhabitants. All of them. Without any discrimination or unfair denomination.
Leaders have to unite and work to abolish this association that conjures favoritism amongst its creed. Everyone must recognise that these unethical issues, about any religion or race or gender, are bent upon segregating the Indian society. Because it is people, as a whole soulful mix, who help carve a niche for any nation in this competitive world.
On the other hand, what macho-patriarchs should reconsider is that women, too, act as a stronghold to uplift a nation. They have abilities and responsibilities like every other man. They are not less, nor more important than men but have equal standing, in all respects.
A country is recognised by its people and people by their unity. A famous quote proclaims,
“Unity in diversity may seem an old fashioned quote to use today, but all that’s happening right now and everything this country might face in the future, people may require a little old fashion.”
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After all, when the dust settles around issues that divide a country, people will surely recognise who worked more for this Bharat to be ‘great again’.
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I’m all for secularism however we can’t have only Hindus follow it. Muslims too need to be open to criticism of their religion whether they live in India or France or Saudi Arabia. It is getting harder and harder daily for a liberal like me to defend against implementation of things such as love jihad laws when clearly Muslims in this country have shown so little regard and respect to non-muslims everywhere they are in majority. Name one nation which has Muslim majority and where apostasy is allowed and it gives equal rights to non-muslims?
I am glad you made your opinion known.
I agree all majoritarian religions must take care of the rights of their minorities. But am not talking about Saudi Arabia, or any other Muslim dominated nation for that matter. Being an Indian, born and brought up in India, with a passport that clearly mentions my identity, I have a right to know why am I not regarded as one. I am not a Muslim from Dubai, so I don’t know their rules. What I’ve read and known since childhood is the Constitution of India. That’s why I wrote this piece.
Also what I clearly mentioned at the start is that India is home to a conglomerate of religions, Muslims being the majority among these little minorities. India, Bharat, or Hindustan, was a nation incomparable to the eastern or western world. And I believe it’s the only country to house such a multi-cultural society. That is what made it great.
But disregarding rights and freedom of these little minorities directed shards of this close-knit fabric, India is formed of, unreasonably towards just one religious entity. It’s not about what all Hindus should do but what a certain branch of radicals do and nobody raises their voice against it.
You might not find my perspective convincing enough but when you live in a war zone, paying war indemnity day in and out, when your identity is unrecognised by law, when your boss is biased against you because of your gender or religion, only then can you truly understand why we need someone from power, be it a majority or a chair, to look out for us.
I agree other minorities in various countries of the world suffer as well but Indian Muslims shouldn’t have to, as much as we do, considering Bharat is our homeland and not a country we immigrated to.
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