There are three angles to this Secularism question in the context of this election.
The first dimension of Secularism is religious dimension and it influence on definition and vision of India’s identity. Secularism gives equal say to all three major systems Hinduism, Christianity and Islam in defining and pursuing Indian Interests. This means Indian Christians with their minuscule 3% population and Indian Muslims with their 15% population will get equal vote in defining Indian Interests same as the Hindus that make 80% of the nation. Another aspect of this equation is the disproportional international power links Christianity and Islam bring in to bear upon India. This is where definition of Indian Interests gets hijacked by Christian and Islamic interests leaving 80% of Indians high and dry in protecting their native civilization.
The second dimension is economic and civic infrastructure. Secularism, by definition, gives into the sway of more organized and disruptive faith systems. One type of these forces is what we have seen in Kudankulam protests. This anti-nuclear agitation was aimed at partnerships with Russia (alone), were majorly funded by Western Christian organizations and were conducted by internal Evangelical organizations. Another type of these forces is what India has seen in JK terror attacks and 11/26 Mumbai attacks. In both cases the national economic and civic infrastructure was held hostage by religiously motivated group while secularism failed to resolve these challenges in the national interests.
On one side of this debate stands BJP. This party recognizes the incorrect application of Abrahamic social issues on Indian society and wants to remove this aberration. This party promises to provide equal socio-economic opportunities to all Indians with its ‘equal opportunities for all, appeasement to none’ position. This political stand automatically removes the external handles (and their influence) on India’s internal social, economic and religious debates.
Notes: This piece was written as part of another post on this blog: The Fight - 2014 Elections in April 2014.