Home News Reports In an article defending 'secularism', Shashi Tharoor inadvertently highlights facets of appeasement politics

In an article defending ‘secularism’, Shashi Tharoor inadvertently highlights facets of appeasement politics

Shashi Tharoor is a classic example of Indian liberal who fails to admit the deficiencies of ‘secularism’ as practised by political parties which are opposed to ‘communalism’. In an article titled ‘Secularism is just a word, but opposition will resist BJP bid to drop it from Constitution’, Shashi Tharoor explores constituent assembly debates about secularism. While admitting that the nature of the constitution doesn’t change without the word, he fears that its removal will adversely impact pluralism and religious freedom in India.

While arguing the matter, Tharoor inadvertently admits that the aspects of ‘secularism’ that irritate the Hindus of India. He writes (emphasis added) :

Under the Indian version of secularism, the government’s financial largesse is extended to the Muslim waqf boards, Buddhist monasteries, and certain Christian religious institutions; and under a 1951 religious and charitable endowment law, state governments are empowered to take over, own and operate Hindu temples, collect revenue from offerings, and redistribute that revenue towards such purposes as it deems fit, including any non-temple-related ones.

- Ad - - article resumes -

The Hindutva brigade does not like this, and it is determined to do away with it as a significant step towards its project of transforming India into a Hindu state, or at least a state with a distinctively Hindu identity. To hear their point of view is to take in a host of factors — the uncritical acceptance by the Indian establishment of regressive practices among the Muslim community while demanding progressive behaviour from Hindus, the support for minority education while denying such aid to Hindus, the promotion of ‘family planning’ among Hindus but not among Muslims, the cultivation of ‘vote banks’ led by conservative Muslim leaders but the disparagement of their Hindu equivalents, and so on.

If the state is truly secular why would it want to take away the revenues of Hindu temples and redistribute it for other purposes? In fact, the state should withdraw from controlling temple affairs entirely. Secondly, he indirectly highlights his party’s failure to weed out regressive practices in Islam which include triple talaq, nikah halala and polygamy. He also fails to admit that lack of family planning among Muslims is one of the key reasons for their poverty. Instead of highlighting the problems and solving them he goes on to say that Muslims are under-represented in police forces and over-represented in prisons. He writes (emphasis added)

The result is a widespread denunciation of the “appeasement” of Muslims, which seems bizarre when one looks at the statistical evidence of Muslim socio-economic backwardness and the prevalence of discrimination in such areas as housing and employment. Muslims are under-represented in the nation’s police forces and over-represented in its prisons. Yet Hindutva leaders have successfully stoked a perception that government benefits are skewed towards minorities, and thus justified their campaign for Hindu self-assertiveness.

The reason for this situation is again, highlighted by Tharoor in his own article. Instead of bringing Muslims to the mainstream by providing good schools which teach Math, Science, English and prepare them for jobs, secular politicians funded Madrassas.

The Indian system has created incentives for various religious denominations to start and operate ‘minority schools’ and colleges with substantial government funding, impart religious education, and be exempt from various regulations and stipulations the Indian government imposes on non-minority institutions. (Indeed, while government schools and colleges may not impart religious instruction, religious sects and charities affiliated to minority communities may open their own schools and receive state financial assistance even as they impart religious indoctrination).

Providing religious education does not lead the Muslim youth towards jobs in police forces or industry. If the secular politicians had the interests of the community in their mind they would have spent money on improving government schools. Now, when the fallacy has been pointed out ‘secular brigade’ hides behind intolerance and secularism.

Tharoor’s version of secularism not only discriminates between Hindus and Muslims but also between goats and bulls. Jallikattu is somehow cruel, Bakrid is not. Though unrelated to his article this example demonstrates the thought process of India’s secular bandwagon.

Goats v/s Bulls

This kind of double standards is a part and parcel of ‘secular’ discourse.  His article turns out to be an exercise in defending the worst aspects of secularism that has found root in Indian establishment. The need of the hour is to correct the mistakes of ‘secularists’ in Indian politics. The corrections required do not require any constitutional amendment but a change in the implementation of its provisions at the ground level.

Help Opindia Reach Every Indian. Share This Post
We need your support to survive in the media industry. Please consider paying us for the content we produce:

To know more about these payments, please click here.

Big Story

Ever since India abolished Article 370 from its constitution, Pakistani politicians including Pakistan PM Imran Khan are having a hard time digesting the fact that India has decidedly altered the status quo in Jammu and Kashmir.

2019 World Cup Is Here!

Catch the latest on Cricket World Cup as it unfolds, special coverage by Opindia

To Advertise on Opindia.com Click here

Parody country Pakistan’s ex-minister Rehman Malik exposes his low IQ, falls for a parody account who fools him like a pro

Ever since India abolished Article 370 from its constitution, Pakistani politicians including Pakistan PM Imran Khan are having a hard time digesting the fact that India has decidedly altered the status quo in Jammu and Kashmir.

Pakistan takes a cue from Congress yet again, asks ‘what happened to Rafale investigation’

In case Chaudhry missed out, the first Rafale jet is expected to be delivered next month.

Congress mouthpiece’s obituary on Arun Jaitley is the worst in recent memory and an absolute disgrace

The entire National Herald obituary is made up of thoughtless remarks.
Pakistani Army's official spokesperson now begs attention from Shah Rukh Khan

Frustrated Pakistani Army now wants Shah Rukh Khan to pay attention to them

Major General Asif Ghafoor, the official spokesperson of the Pakistani armed forces, who thinks it is his patriotic and religious duty to be a Twitter troll, has now directed his ranting towards Shah Rukh Khan and his upcoming Netflix series.

McDonald’s India admits to discriminating against non-Muslims, buys only Halal meat for its restaurants

Halal is the Islamic method of slaughter which cannot be carried out by non-Muslims.

Here is how these 7 opinion pieces in 4 days reveal newspaper The Hindu’s legendary level of meltdown and arrogance

Let’s take a look at the opinion pieces published by The Hindu in their print edition, in this week

India Today journalist plays victim after being accosted by security personnel for video recording at Defence airport in Srinagar

Journalist Mausami Singh from India Today went berserk when a security personnel informed her shooting videos on Srinagar airport is prohibited

NDTV’s Interim CEO Suparna Singh resigns with immediate effect

NDTV interim CEO Suparna Singh, whose appointment as CEO was not approved by I&B ministry, has stepped down
Pakistanis and some 'peaceful' Indians unite to celebrate the death of former Union Minister Arun Jaitley

Pakistani degenerates unite to express their glee on the demise of BJP stalwart Arun Jaitley

As soon as the news of Jaitley’s demise was announced, a bunch of depraved Pakistanis, who are still finding it difficult to stomach India’s move to abrogate Article 370, were quick to rejoice.
'Liberals' expressing joy at the demise of Arun Jaitley

Some ‘liberals’ celebrate Arun Jaitley’s death, call him fascist, claim he had ‘blood on his hands’

Some 'liberals' are celebrating and expressing joy at the demise of BJP leader and former Union Minister Arun Jaitley.
Subscribe to Day's Top Stories
[newsletter_form type="minimal"]
- Advertisment -

Latest articles

Connect with us

Help Opindia Reach Every Indian. Share This Post