India Today: Independent! Secular?

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Here comes the Independence Day, once again, when, for a while, people will flock together with the same nationalist spirit. Once again, people of all colors will unite below the same National Flag. Different color of different religions in India, a Secular country, divided by chance, united by choice. But the said Secularism, is it really active in our country? India achieved independence from the Britishers, who colonized us, but then even after 68 years, aren’t we slaves of our religious hate, (especially created by persons who call themselves people’s voice). Are we secular?

Few days ago, a youth from my vicinity, posted on a social site, condemning the hanging of Yakub Memon. (Everyone has the right to express his/her opinion, no doubt, this wasn’t objectionable.) His post expressed his dissatisfaction about being a respectful citizen, and that he was feeling dejected, and that the country does not belong to him(or his community). The result was a heated reaction. He immediately took it down and updated another where he specifically showed his love for his motherland, his respect for his country. The person happens to be a Muslim. With protest erupting around, many Muslim brothers are mislead into believing that they are being treated unfairly.Also there has been incidences where people from highly followed organisations have made anti-secular statements.
The preamble to our Honourable Indian Constitution reads, “WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC…” Now taking that into consideration, nobody can call any religion in India as superior or inferior. All stands equal. I challenge if anybody says that India is a Hindu nation. No, it is not. Nobody should dare say it. A secular nation, like ours can never solely belong to a particular community. No Religion can claim this country to be theirs. It’s not your, but our, we the people.

A motherland never counts on religion, race, gender, caste etc. My fellow countrymen, we are born equal, our religion can never undermine us, nor can it upgrade us. Every religion teaches humanity, love and compassion. No religion teaches to kill, but to save. Sadly, almost every community is cursed with some anti-social elements, whose words and sometimes actions, harm communal harmony. We all are blessed by God with the power of wisdom; we all are wise enough to judge the right and wrong. Violence is never a solution. It will never be. Which riot killed an accused? Which riot claimed lives of those who caused them? The culprits misguide us, we get on the roads against our own people, people who have been through the same system, we fight each other, we kill each other, the culprits sitting in their abodes enjoy the show. No blast killed any criminal, nor a terrorist, bombs and bullets never see ages, they never feel innocent heartbeats. Some selfish people, a stain on secularism, will play blame game; they will create hatred, hate speeches. Please don’t let such words offend you. If you sometimes feel dejected, we are humbly sorry, if we sometimes feel so, you be. Be wise friends, if we believe in our Almighty, he didn’t bind us in one place without a reason; He didn’t bind us to fight each other or kill each other, but to love. We all can live like a family, my dear citizens, not by chance, but by choice. We can, if we want.

In a secular country like India, if a religious community feels dejected, it’s not their fault, it’s ours. We as the citizen of a secular state have failed our duties towards our nation to bind people together by all the principles upon which the nation was built upon at the midnight of 15th of August, 68 years ago.

After the partition, some of our Muslim brothers chose to live in India, some others were obliged to live due to circumstances, I as a citizen of a secular nation and on the behalf of my duties as one, want to tell all my brothers, this land is no host to you, neither is this nation, NO its not! It’s your own country, you too are the host of this nation, you too are the respected citizens of India, Your India, and as good as it is others. We, the concerned citizens of India, love brotherhood, we love unity, we want to nurture the religion -humanity, and we don’t care what your religion, race, caste or gender is, we know that we all are humans. We may be divided by religions, but are United by Humanity, United in INDIA.
My brothers, let not the evils of our society, disintegrate our country’s unity. We have numerous examples of our religious unity. The best one being our great martyrs and freedom fighters Ashfaqulla Khan and Ram Prasad Bismil, their religion never was a barrier for their friendship, nor for their love for the motherland. When we have so many inspiring tales, why cannot we become one?
Today, on our 68th Independence Day, let us vow not to fall prey to the evil words which lead us against our brothers. For any community, be it Muslim, Hindus, Sikh, Christians, Jains, Buddhists and all others who constitute India, if someone ever tries to insult you, hurt your religious sentiments, please remember, if they are total 20, we are at least 20 crore Indians, who love humanity, who love peace and who will never discriminate on religions to stand up for you.

Former UP governor Aziz Qureshi recently said that Hindus and Muslims were two threads in the fabric of Hindustan and drawing out any thread will unravel the entire country. We really need people with mentality like him, it’s really appreciable. And never the least, most appreciable are the Great Brave soldier of the Indian Army, who while following their own religion, also worship a common God, the motherland. Such is their devotion that they have been laying down their entire lives for the service and safety of the nation and the people. Neither Allah, nor Ram, nor Waheguru nor Jesus and not any God, nor any religion teach us hatred, every religion teaches you the same thing, Humanity. Come, let us acquire it.
Finally, while celebrating the 68th independence day, let’s not forget our real life heroes, not only the freedom fighters, but the soldiers who have been keeping this freedom secured and alive, ready to protect the country at any cost. A grateful nation pays you and your spirits, respect, and salutes you and your unmatched patriotism, the celebration belongs to you.

Today, our Independence day should not pass like any other common day. In the 68 years of Independence, we have lost more people in communal riots than in any other cause. This needs a full stop. May that day never come when once again India will become a slave, not of colonialism, but Communalism! Come, let us take a step forward on the way for the unity of our country. And then, as a Great Indian said, “We are Indians, firstly and lastly.” so lets be Indians.

Happy Independence Day!

DISCLAIMER: The article is a work for general interest and does not mean to accuse, demean or defame any religion, religious identity or organization. The article is purely a personal point of view of the author. Reader’s opinions are most welcome.

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