Prime Minister Modi’s Participation in Ayodhyaevent Violates the Secular Principles or not?

BY KHYATI RELAN


Abstract

“The believers are nothing but brothers, so make settlement between your brothers”. The sayings by Allah in holy book Quran means unity gives power, strength and courage to the particular community and then it becomes difficult for the outsiders to crush the united community. India is the secular community consisting of diverse religions, beliefs and culture. Trust is the most important factor in shaping the unity of the country. The presence of Prime Minister Modi in the Bhoomi Pujan of Ram Mandir serves as a “modern symbol of Indian Culture” where every culture will be promoted and given equal importance.


Introduction

God has many names and so claimed to have different religions, but all prayed to the same Holy One. This saying by Mahatma Gandhi laid down the foundation of secularism in India. Secularism does not lack respect for Hinduism but respect and equal treatment for all. Secularism was added in the preamble of the Indian constitution through the 42nd Amendment. This was the foundation stone of unity in diversity in India. Not only this, but it was also ensured that the government will perform all the functions considering the country as a whole. Prime Minister Modi focuses mainly on delivering impartial justice to individuals rather than a particular community. He went the extra mile to shed the image of BJP as anti-secular. The government left no stone unturned for the development of minority section in the society. Prime Minister Modi by attending Bhoomi Pujan laid down the foundation of dharma, honesty, bravery, unity harmony, patience and brotherhood in India.


Prime Minister’s Presence in Ayodhya Bhumi Pujan

Resolution of Ayodhya dispute marked the end to an era of contentious political polarization and inaugurates a new phase of pluralism, secularism and harmony in India. Modi described the Ram temple as a “modern symbol of our culture”. India’s tradition, cultural history and the faith in religion collectively constitute the spirit of secularism. Unlike multiculturism, secularism of India is based on an unabated process of enculturation, free from the idea of discreteness. The construction of Ram temple reaffirms the commitment and credence in Ramrajya which was based on social justice, impartiality and brotherhood. India is known for the cultural and spiritual heritage which includes Vedas, Upanishads, Mahabharata or icons like Ram, Mahavir, Buddha or Nanak. Ram Mandir will act as an inspiration for the youth and upcoming generations about eternal faith, austerity and sacrifice.


Hindutva or Hinduism?

Many critics sneer that Hindutva is being promoted by Prime Minister Modi in the name of Hinduism.[1] Pseudo-secular parties are befooling people by saying that the Presence of Modi in Bhoomi Pujan has hijacked the democracy and secularism in India [2] . Prime Minister Modi’s always promoted positive secularism; he addressed the religious congregation of Dawoodi Bohras, who are a sect among Shia Muslims, where the annual gathering was done to honour Prophet Mohammad and the martyrdom of his grandson Imam Husayn [3] . His presence in Dawoodi Bohras has completely blurred the lines of Hindutva. He always considered India as a whole and this is the best example to enunciate the “Sabka Vishwas and Sabka Sath” slogan coined by PM Modi after re-elections. In fact, the Muslims have abided by the rule of law and accepted the SC verdict in the spirit of closure. The problem arises when the facts of the development done by the Prime Minister for the minority religion are manipulated by antinationalist. As per the records of previous eight years, Ministry of Minority Affairs assures that the specialization of the minority in arts/ crafts are preserved especially traditional skills, arts & crafts of the minority communities so that they could earn their living independently not only this the schemes like USTTAD[4] aims to preserve the heritage of traditional arts and crafts of minority communities and establish linkages of traditional skills with the global market. Beti Bachao Beti Padhao and other skill development schemes are benefiting more than six lakh minorities in India without any discrimination. Bridge course for minority community school dropper was introduced so that girls can get proper education not only this last year 5crore scholarships were announced for Muslims including 50% girl students[5] . Progress Panchayat in Muslim dominated areas modernization of Madrassas and much more. The government had also taken initiative by launching Nai Manzil schemes[6] to benefit the minority youth. Islamophobic is the wrong word used for Prime Minister of India, as they have launched many schemes for the minorities and it proves that the government is trying to strengthen the base of India[7] .


Pseudo Secular Politics

Naysayers will always look at everything through a political prism and will always try to adopt a divide and rule policy which earlier also marked as the destruction of India[8] . Just to achieve the political goals, politicians spread hatred in the mind of people in the name of Hindu- Muslim. Riots on Citizenship Amendment Bill were the biggest example of a political agenda[9] . Fake news and rumours are gaining momentum through social media platforms. Communal discord and hatred are increasing day by day and political agenda to either project minority orthodoxies and false majoritarianism is somewhere responsible for that. Indians are caught between hate and violence springing from politics and social media. Due to which people forget about the unique identity of democratic and secular India.


Conclusion

5th August has marked the freedom of Ram Janma Bhoomi from the chain of “destruction and renaissance”[10].India is always known for its communal harmony, peace and prosperity and has always been characterized by courteous co-existence, brotherhood, and religious tolerance. It has always supported secular values in the face of striking, ethnic, linguistic and religious diversity. Now, we have an opportunity to realise the strength of togetherness and shared values beyond the realm of binaries. There is the need to create Ramrajya in India where the rights and emotions of the whole country can be preserved. There is the need to reach out to the weakest and most vulnerable section of the society, there is a need to resolve the issues related to jobless youth, there is a need to develop Jammu and Kashmir. This can only be done if all citizen of India will join hands and will try to make India a better place to live. Also, people should be aware of the conspiracies done by the political parties for spreading hatred in the country, so that minorities can't be used as a political weapon to weaken the unity of the country. India is a democratic country where everyone has the right to speech and assembles peacefully if any dispute arises. One riot due to misleading information can incur damages worth 20000 crore (approx) and this could have been used for the development of the country. We should not allow other countries to take undue advantage of internal disturbance in the country. We should always remember this whenever Prime Minister Modi gives the speech he always talks about 130 crores Indian which automatically includes all minority. But it should be ensured that all the schemes made actually benefits the minority section of India and many more steps should be taken by the government especially after CAA riots and removal of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir (Muslim majority state) to develop the trust among the Indian citizens[11]. PM Modi should make sure that all the rights of Muslim should be preserved also as other Muslim minorities from other countries especially Bangladesh Pakistan Afghanistan should be provided with Indian citizenship in order to regain the trust of Muslim community in India. Abrogation in Jammu and Kashmir must be proved beneficial for the citizens of Jammu, Ladakh and Kashmir. Likewise, Lord Ram is the symbol of victory over the evil, India should also try to eradicate pseudo political agendas which hamper the unity of India. Religious pluralism is the essential identity of India it could act as a ray of sunshine for developing India.



FOOTNOTES

1What Hindustan trolls can learn from Gandhi, The Times of India, (August 16, 2020, 6:00AM) , https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/blogs/Swaminomics/what-hindutva-trolls-can-learn-from-gandhi/


2 Swapan Dasgupta, Ram Mandir doesn’t negate Constitution, it links antiquity to present, The Economic Times (August 09, 2020, 10:16 AM), https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/view-ram-mandirdoesnt-negate-constitution-it-links-antiquity-topresent/articleshow/77441865.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst.


3 Prime Minister Narendra Modi became the first PM to address the religious congregation of Dawoodi Bohra community, DNA, (Sep 14, 2018, 05:45 PM), https://www.dnaindia.com/india/photo-gallery-who-are-dawoodibohras-5-points-to-understand-this-muslim-community-in-india-2663140


4 USTTAD Scheme, 2018, https://www.indiafilings.com/learn/usttadscheme/#:~:text=The%20scheme%20aims%20at%20capacity,of%20traditional%20craftsmen%20and%20artisans.& text=Under%20USTTAD%2C%20the%20Skill%20Development,practised%20by%20the%20minority%20commun ity.


5 Modi government announces scholarships for 5 crore minority students in next 5 years ,India Today, (June 11, 2019 7:58PM), https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/modi-government-announces-scholarships-to-5-crore-minoritystudents-in-next-5-years-1546833-2019-06-11


6 Pradhan Mantri Nai Manzil Yojana 2015. 7 Smriti Kak Ramachandran, , New Delhi Secularism, harmony not political fashion but passion for us’: Minister Naqvi on OIC statement, Hindustan Times, (April 21, 2020 3:05PM), https://www.hindustantimes.com/indianews/secularism-harmony-not-political-fashion-but-passion-for-us-minister-naqvi-on-oic-statement/storyknrKwrOyZQWeJjzVTvFZGO.html 8 Mukul, Muslim development: Time for Modi Government to walk the talk, One India, (June 30, 2014,7:04PM), https://www.oneindia.com/feature/muslim-development-time-modi-government-walk-the-talk-1474744.html 9 Anti-Hindu slogans' and misleading images surface as fake news abounds amid anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests across India, Firstpost. ( December 16, 2019 7:59PM), https://www.firstpost.com/india/anti-hindu-slogansand-misleading-images-surface-as-fake-news-abounds-amid-anti-citizenship-amendment-act-protests-across-india7789201.html

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