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The façade of Indian secularism: How the uncomfortable truth about realities of Sanatanis is hidden by Lutyens ecosystem

The neatly ordered world according to the Nehruvian idea of India is nothing more than brushing the rubbish under the carpet and pretending upon the cleanliness while ignoring the fact that someday the rubbish will overflow the bounds of the rug.

In Paddington, Westminster Borough in the heart of the City of London there is a street by the name of Leinster Gardens. Tall, ornate, mid-Victorian houses line one of the grandest, most opulent streets in all of England. Clean, orderly, prim and proper are a few of the adjectives that come to mind, Lutyens Delhi is one of the few locations that rival Leinster Gardens in that regard. 

However, a deception lies in the very heart of the street. The lie of Leinster Gardens, hidden in plain sight. Hardly ever noticed even by those who have inhabited the street for years. No doorknobs, no letterboxes, painted windows.

23 & 24 Leinster Gardens, the empty houses. Demolished years ago, to make way for the London Underground – vents for the old steam trains. Only the very front section of the house remains, nothing more than a façade.

A façade. 

The reason for the front end without anything in the back except for train tracks is a simple one. During the 1860s when the houses were knocked down to provide space to vent off fumes in an effort to reduce the smoke within the tunnels, a problem arose out of it.

The prim and proper Leinster Gardens turned into a sore sight, the smoke settled and congealed on the houses and the gap between the two houses showing the dirty underbelly of the city, destroying the look of the veritable paradise. Too much for the inhabitants of Leinster Gardens to bear. Hence the reason for the façade of 23 & 24 Leinster Gardens.

On the 28th of March, around 8 pm in the ancient Temple of Machhindranath atop the Malang Gad fort, Maharashtra on the auspicious day of Holi as the evening “Aarti” was taking place about fifty-sixty Muslim men forcibly entered the premises chanting “Allahu-Akbar” in hopes of disrupting the prayer ceremony, shoving around the devotees and creating ruckus in hopes of religious domination.

Reading about this incident it easy to count it as an instance of few bigots getting together and causing ruckus where there was a need for none. If the reader believes it so, this writer will not try to dissuade. The instance mentioned above nothing more than an insight to the writer’s mind as to how this particular piece came to being.

However, this piece is not written in hopes of bringing to light the various instances of Islamofascism over the Hindus but rather to address a much larger, pernicious point. Indian Secularism. 

Lawful Depredations  

The Preamble of the Constitution of India is a brief introductory statement that sets out guidelines, and present the principles of the Constitution, and indicate the source from which the document derives its authority, and meaning. The very same document proudly declares India to be a secular country and the Constitution, by the above definition, must strive for providing an environment where the goal can be achieved.

But it cannot be said that India is a secular country by the mere fact that the Preamble mentions it to be, the laws that are promulgated by the authority vested by the Constitution are what make it truly secular, in every sense of the word. Secularism, by definition, means the separation of religion and the State but this is not the kind followed in India.

Article 30 (Fundamental Right) allows for the establishment of Educational Institutions for religious and linguistic but only for minorities (meaning for everyone but the Hindus).

On the face of it appears to be benign at best, made so to ensure the minorities of the country have the constitutional protection for the continuance of their way of life. While operating under the assumption that the majority (i.e., Hindus) much larger in numbers than the others don’t need protection due to the sheer numbers professing the particular faith.

That, however, is just in theory. In practice it is a flawed concept at best, the legal blockade preventing Hindu Organisations from establishing institutions for providing religious education. Not being able to preserve their own way of life that has survived for thousands of years leading to the degeneration of the Hindu community as a whole.

Ever wonder why the Hindu youth today cannot recite, from memory, any verse of any Hindu scripture whereas the same does not hold true for Christian and Muslim youth? The above-mentioned provision of Indian Law is to blame.

Again, as mention above, it may appear to be benign. But it is not so.

Jawahar Lal Nehru, the very first Prime Minister’s idea of secularism meant providing for the Muslim majority state of Jammu and Kashmir special privileges and complete autonomy from the rest of the country under the assumption that they will have their way of life trampled under the Hindu majority country. While at the same time not providing for any special privileges to the minority of Hindus who resided in the same state.

Compound that with Nehru’s reaction at the reconstruction of the Somnath Temple asking Dr Rajendra Prasad not to attend as he feared it would lead to Hindu revivalism.

Nehru had earlier opposed its reconstruction hammer and tongs and may well have gotten away with it had it not been for Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel who went ahead irrespective of Nehru’s crusade against it.

The squint-eyed vision of Nehru would rear its ugly head again in 1955 when the King of Saudi Arabia would visit the country. The foreign dignitary’s visit lasted for seventeen days and visited various cities, one of them being Varanasi. A city of extreme religious importance to the Hindus, having the epithet of the city of temples owing to the numerous places of worship that call the city home.

Lo and behold, it was too much to bear for Nehru, who got every temple covered with curtains that fell on the route of the Saudi King’s cavalcade. Moreover, he also banned Aartis offered to the deities for that day. And as if adding insult to injury, he covered all the government buildings of the Holy city of Varanasi with banners of Kalima Tayyiba, one of the Five Pillars of Islam stating that “There is no God but Allah and Mohammed(sm.) is the messenger of Allah,”.

All of this was done to just to appease the Muslim King.

On a personal level, this writer has no qualms with Kalima Tayyiba being hung in any city. However, to do so to the extent it was done in a city considered to be the holiest for another religion reeks of hatred for that particular religion. Hinduphobia.

Another legal provision that sticks in the craw of the practising Hindus is the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Act (HRCE) Act, 1951 which allows for state governments to take over control of the temples and maintain complete control over them and their properties.

There are over 15 state governments which control only Hindu religious institutions, specifically temples—right from the appointment of administrators to mandatory collection of 13-18% service charge. This takes away the community’s right and resources to protect its interests. This is discriminatory as only the Hindu community suffers this kind of treatment. The actual process of taking over Hindu institutions such as temples began under Mughal Rule and continued under the British.

Post-Independence the Nehru Government brought in the HRCE in 1951 for continuing the policy of policing the Hindu institutions. On the contrary no such laws were promulgated to put control of any other religious demography. Moreover, this is not the only discriminatory and draconian practice, Hindu religious institutions also happen to be the only religious bodies that pay tax to the state governments.

The State governments collect 23.4 per cent tax on the income of the temples including endowment administration tax (15 per cent), audit fee (2 per cent) and common good fund (2 per cent). That apart, money is also taken away from the temples for the Archaka Welfare Fund and other purposes. This is in direct contravention of the Article 27(another Fundamental Right) which states that no person shall be compelled to pay any taxes, the proceeds of which are specifically appropriated in payment of expenses for the promotion or maintenance of any particular religion or religious denomination.

Not only is this against what the Constitution decrees to be inviolable but is also a call-back to the draconian practices of the Mughals- The payment of taxes for practising and propagating the Hindu Faith. The Hindu Community for a long time has been paying a modern-day variant of the Jazia and seem to be none the wiser for it.

Explaining the legal aspect of the issue J Sai Deepak, noted Supreme Court Lawyer said: “Trust is a legal entity. The gold or wealth offered to the deity is object of worship and reverence. In fact, even the gold monetisation scheme is a fraud as nobody has the right to surrender it to anyone under any scheme. Any scheme seeking to take over such objects of worship is in violation of Articles 25 and 26 of the Indian Constitution. In any case, the Constitution says that no one has the right to touch religious autonomy.”

Asked about the gold monetisation schemes, Deepak said these are largely the product of State control of temples. “Temples are coerced by the state governments to monetise their gold against their will. The root cause of this issue is state control of temples, which is unconstitutional and discriminatory. Any scheme which does not translate to the principal being returned in gold is a loss to the community,” he said.

This is in adverse comparison to the Muslims in India. In the aftermath of the violence of the demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992, in order to appease the Muslim community simmering with anger permeating through it, the Central Government of time allowed for certain privileges to be granted to the Sunni Waqf Board.

One of the privileges granted to the religious body was to allow for them to annex any non-government land within their ambit irrespective of ownership by simply passing an internal resolution and there is no legal provision that enables for it to be challenged in any Court of Law.

The decision of the Board is final and paramount. Therefore, the Waqf board can annex even the land your house is situated upon and gain its ownership and you won’t even have a legal recourse to correct the wrong initiated upon you. This has resulted in the Sunni Waqf Board in holding the most amount of land in India behind only the Railways and the Defence Forces.

This is in stark contrast to where recently the Odisha Government has started the process of selling 35,000 acres of land registered in the name of Lord Jagannath. On one hand the religious body of one community can annex any land it so wishes and on the other, another community cannot even maintain the lands that have been gifted to the Temple Trust by devotees as a mark of their faith.

However, the depredations do not end here. The HRCE allows for appointing various IAS officers as heads of the Trust Funds in the names of State Government and in typical “Secular” fashion (there are not enough double quotes I can put around the particular word), there have been numerous instances where non-Hindus have been appointed as heads of Trust Funds for Hindu Institutions.

If anyone reading this piece tries to defend in by saying this is Secularism, this writer dares for anyone to imagine a situation where Christian Churches and Islamic Mosques are being managed by governments and being headed by Hindus.

A question that must arise in the minds of people, Why this Government control? The answer goes back to the colonial era. Using their doctrine of Divide and Conquer, the English had begun to try and reduce the unity of the country to smithereens. The Hindus at that time constituted about 83 percent of the total population, therefore it began with the Hindus. Upon realising that the Mughals despite imposing harsh taxes, cruel practices and even outright killing for practice of Hindu faith had not been able to convert as Islamic Bigots had done in places like Persia and Egypt took a much more refined approach.

Temples back then, according to author Sanjeev Sanyal, were managed by local communities. They were centres of dance and art, and at the heart of a massive decentralised trade network. Every temple had charitable endowments, including property given to temples, for the benefit of the community. The benefits included rest-houses, pathshalas, gaushalas, and institutions for the advancement of education and feeding of the poor.

For all intents and purposes, a temple was the beating heart of the community at large. For the British agenda of colonisation and conversions to succeed, the temple organisation had to be weakened. So, temples were brought under government control mainly in south India because not too many temples in the north possessed such massive property or wealth.

The British introduced The Madras Regulation VII of 1817 to do this. The Nehru administration post-Independence had an opportunity to correct the historical wrong but rather chose to further the debilitating practice of reducing the Hindu community to small discombobulated factions.

The Ecosystem

Another pernicious aspect of this spurious secularism is the Left Liberal Ecosystem which has been fostered by the Congress over the years. The Cabal has been at work, papering over the gargantuan cracks, serving faecal matter and making it appear like crème brulee. Consisting of certain media personalities, NGOs, civil rights activities, lawyers and smorgasbord of other influential personalities.

The Cabal has been put to use to slowly chip away at the roots of Hindu society. Every festival, practice and custom has been put under the scanner and used to denigrate the Sanatani way of life. Let any festival come and so begins the propaganda. Like a pack of hyenas, the Ecosystem starts spreading misinformation.

So Mahashivratri becomes a day for wasting of milk, Holi wastes water, on Janmashtami the height of the handi suddenly endangers the participants, Durga Puja is racist. Durga Puja of all festivals is racist even though the eponymous goddess has different forms with varying skin colours. Last year Rakshabandhan was harmful to animals as the rakhis as they were made from leather. To any individual who has ever celebrated the festival knows that rakhis are never made from that particular material.

To anyone who has not paid particular attention to these machinations it appears to be benign, perhaps even misguided but never malicious, which let’s be honest is almost everyone who pays little attention to the political discourse. This is what the Ecosystem thrives upon. So every time a Munawar Faruqui is arrested along with his cohorts for insulting Hindu Gods only his name is pushed up in limelight to push the agenda of Islamophobia.

Faruqui was arrested along with four others and this writer can bet most individuals won’t be able name a single one of the others. One of those, post of the crash and burn of his comedic career has been forced to work as a labourer earning less than the minimum wage.

A particular journalist even recently made a video with Faruqui on YouTube pushing the agenda of Islamophobia while making no attempt to cover the riots in Bhainsa, Telangana where Muslims were the perpetrators and the State Government had imposed Section 144, not allowing the members of the Media to cover the situation.

This is in stark contrast with reaction of the same Ecosystem when the same was done in Hathras.

Same holds true for any form of Jihad, the Ecosystem bends over backwards in trying to distance Islam, its preaching in calling for the death of all non-believer’s and the result of the same preaching when hundreds lose their lives in a terror attack. Stating that the belligerents are misguided youths bastardising the teachings of Islam, cogent position to take. But the same logic is not espoused whenever a Aklakh or Tabrez is lynched. Then it becomes a matter of Saffron Terror.

Gone is the same logic and the understanding nature of not blaming the entire community for the actions of a few. If a Muslim person is lynched, for whatever reason it maybe, the entire Hindu community is made to feel ashamed of the years of tradition that it follows. Soliloquy upon soliloquy, Op-eds upon Op-eds and campaign upon campaign of extremism, polarisation and #notinmyname are bombarded in a synchronised blitzkrieg targeted at the core of Sanatan Dharma.

Such is the efficacy of malicious Ecosystem that even the Kashmiri Hindu Genocide has been brushed under the carpet with so great an effectiveness that most born after 1990, don’t even know the date of the event. And look at even the nomenclature, 19th of January 1990 is called the date of the exodus. The closest meaning of the word being departure, a genocide is now called a departure or migration.

Bear in mind, as the exhortations by the Muslims of the Valley for the Hindus to leave the land continued between two to three months they were being done from the minarets of mosques. Calls for Ralive, Tsaliv ya Galive (Leave, Convert or die) were being blared from loudspeakers reserved for Namaz, there was an even more malevolent part to it that most don’t even know about. Leave, Convert or Die and while you’re at it leave your women behind, now for what women had to be left behind is pretty obvious for even the most optimistic.

The ontological animus aimed at the Hindus of the Valley ignored to such an extent that even women’s right activists/NGOs/ PIL lawyers who find time to knock on the doors of the Supreme Court for allowing women entry into the Sabrimala Shrine have not found a single second to spare even after thirty-one years.

After women, on the fateful day, had their breasts cut off after being gang raped, one particular one was forced to eat rice soaked in the blood of her husband’s blood who had hid in a sack to save his skin. Utter and complete silence in most cases, when in recent times it became too much to ignore spoken with subterfuge, muddying up the truth.

One top journalist even reported that the anger stemmed from the Hindus minority holding power over the Muslim majority. Her exact words- “They may have been a minority but at that time they had monopolised government jobs, plum postings and other such social benefits. In fact, the sharp economic disparity between the Pandits and the poor Muslim Majority was one of the earliest reasons for popular discontent in the State.”

Giving it a colour of a class-based struggle leading to a brutal conclusion as if some communist regime, not an Islamist one, had taken over the valley. Ask anyone to pontificate upon the Kashmir and they will most probably term it as a political issue whereas the truth remains it is, unquestionably, a religious one.

Look at more recent times, in the past one year, the Hathras rape got the most traction out of the Ecosystem. It ticked all the boxes that makes the day of the Cabal- BJP ruled state, Upper caste male upon lower caste woman violence and a cover up. The whole Ecosystem descended with a vengeance upon the issue, throwing everything to one side, Hathras for some time became the media capital of the country. Every individual owing allegiance to Ecosystem banging the drum of Brahmanical Patriarchy.

While personally, this writer, agrees with coverage of the crime with the intensity it was done especially considering the alleged cover up, it was quite clear for anyone who has followed politics and observed the actions of the Cabal the intention was solely for the purpose of hurting BJP before the Bihar Elections right around the corner. If there is any doubt in anyone’s mind over the veracity of the claim, try unearthing the coverage of the rape post the final phase of the elections. Good luck, you shall be busy for quite some time.

The coverage in sharp deviation from the coverage of another rape that took place in Rajasthan around the same time. The difference being, Rajasthan is a Congress ruled state and the crime was committed by Muslim man against a Dalit woman. Exactly the opposite of the Hathras rape. Complete radio silence on the issue.

The façade 

Much the like the façade of Leinster Gardens, Indian Secularism has been, continues to hide the ugly truth too much for the ones living in a fool’s paradise to bear. The neatly ordered world that we as Indians have been living in is too far from the reality. The neatly ordered world according to the Nehruvian idea of India is nothing more than brushing the rubbish under the carpet and pretending upon the cleanliness while ignoring the fact that someday the rubbish will overflow the bounds of the rug.

In the end I will like to end with a reference to a famous book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Towards the end after Lord Voldemort’s resurrection and Harry Potter’s narrow escape. The eponymous hero tells of the impending danger which approaches the wizarding world. Cornelius Fudge, the minister for magic simply refuses to believe the harsh truth despite overwhelming evidence.

Citing that Albus Dumbledore was simply trying to start a panic that would destabilase everything they had worked for in the thirteen years before. In the end, the obstinacy of the politician cost the whole of the wizarding world.

Such is the current scenario in India. Whenever some individual sick of this one eyed secularism points out the colossal hypocrisy of the Ecosystem, the Cabal brands the person as a right wing bigot. Post 2014 right wing bigot has been replaced with Modi bhakt/Sanghi. The actions of the Ecosystem turns mere pointing out of the hypocrisy and reporting of facts into a perception of Hindutva terror and bigotry. Hark back to the social media reactions during the unrest in Jamia and JNU, Shaheen Bagh blockade, Delhi Riots and the so-called Farmer protest and you’ll catch my drift.

In the end the only hope and exhortation, of this writer, is for the readers to be like Dumbledore and not like Fudge. Do not ignore the writing on the wall. This is after all an existential and civilisational war brought upon our shores.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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Avid reader and Civil Services aspirant. Politically incorrect, highly political.

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