Wednesday, April 4, 2012
What does the future hold for Secularism? Can it thrive against the pull of Christianity in Christian societies and can it constrain non-Christian societies perpetually?
There are four social laboratories we can study to understand Secularism's relevance and its future.
Europe: The European nations kept their Christian characteristics to this day despite their secular constitutions. These societies fund and support Christian proselytization around the world with active support from their secular governments under the banner of Human Rights and Non-Governmental organizations.
USA: America is even worse when it comes to maintaining its secular credentials where some of the state governments still hold ban on abortions and female contraceptives. Christian laws and worldview are held supreme in the guise of democracy by the Christian majority in USA. With the help of its European brothers this Christian majority nation actively provides governmental support to its Christian religious organizations and crusades under the banner of multi-national organizations.
Turkey: Turkish society kept its secular façade as long as there was hope of it joining the European Union. But once this dream is shattered the Turkish society did not have any obligation to respect the hegemony of Christian west and started to represent its national character. In just a decade Turkey severed its secular (Christianity without Church) shackles and started participating in the regional Islamic politics. We can expect to see Turkey making visible and important display of its Islamic ambitions.
That brings us back to India.
India: While the national leadership never fulfilled the promises of secularism to its Hindu majority, the past decade has seen overt infringement of national interests and majority Hindu interests by the Christian and Muslim minority groups under the protection of the so-called secular forces. The Government of India crushed any and every movement by Indic-origin insurgencies (the manner in which the Khalistan movement was crushed) while making endless compromises when it comes to Christian insurgencies in the North East or Islamic insurgencies in Kashmir and rest of India (Indian Mujaheddin and SIMI).
Besides paying the Haj subsidy for the Muslims and Jerusalem subsidy to the Christians (by Government of Andhra Pradesh) the current political dispensation of India also allows minority religious intervention in key national interest areas.
It is a well-known and well recorded fact how Indian Muslim civil and religious organizations influence various political decisions of the state using their vote-bank politics. They were able to influence the well-seated (400 MPs out of 540 MPs) Rajiv Gandhi government to amend the Constitution so they can subvert a Supreme Court ruling in Shah Bano case as far as 1986 and how they resisted the Uniform Civil Code bill since 1947.
The Christian minority of India did no less to destroy the national unity since independence. They continue with their forced religious conversions without any forbearance, often using the international organizations like Human Rights and NGO groups to subvert any attempts of the states to control their indiscriminate proselytization practices. Most recent examples are the Christian missionary and NGO movement to subvert the Kudankulam Atomic Power Project with funds from American and European NGOs and the Catholic Archbishop Mar George Alencherry, who tried to influence the Catholic ministers of Kerala government in the case of Kerala fishermen murder by Italian merchant ship sailors at the behest of Pope.
Sooner than later the Indian Hindu majority will realize that the international community and external controlled religious groups are not following the rules they forced upon it under the guise of Secularism.
When that realization dawns it will not take much time for the Indian Hindu majority to break the shackles of Secularism and assert its Hindu identity and ethos as Turkish Muslim majority has demonstrated.