On secularism

The reports, “Delhi polls, NRIs forced Modi U-turn on faith”, “Modi ‘refused’ to speak out on conversions, church attacks,” (both Feb.19), and “Won’t tolerate violence against any religion,” (Feb.18), are disturbing. When certain inimical forces raised their heads to almost subvert secularism, the very basic trait of our democracy, the Prime Minister should have stepped in immediately to take pre-emptive measures; the matter would not have come to such a pass. It is also surprising that Mr. Modi did not pay heed to sane voices from the minorities, and even the advice from “good friend” Barack Obama. That the Prime Minister has been jolted out of his slumber only by the election results does not portend well for our country. Is everything linked to grabbing power?

Vijaya Krishna Pillai G., Mannar, Kerala

That Mr. Modi has said he “will not tolerate violence against any religion”, cannot be taken at face value. Mr. Modi is the most powerful Indian ever since the day he won the Lok Sabha election and virtually nothing can happen in India without his approval. Therefore, it is naive to think that increasing attacks on the minorities, verbal and otherwise, were without his tacit consent. This is precisely why he chose to remain silent, till now. With the myth of his invincibility in winning elections exposed by the Delhi election results, he had to change his tactics; hence, the new concern.

Israel K. Mani, Wellington, Nilgiris

The commitment to repair the secular fabric of the country should start from the top (“Editorial, Feb.19). The Prime Minister should not take a generalist bird’s eye-view of the situation but focus on trouble spots and incidents instead and immediately assuage the feelings of those affected. He should not only restrain his party members from spreading communal ill-will but also purge such elements from his Cabinet and the party. It is the utterances of a few “seers-turned-politicians” that are causing all the damage.

P.S.S. Murthy, Hyderabad

India is a secular country not only because the Indian Constitution says so but because the trait is also ingrained in Indian citizens. Secularism is the very nature and lifeblood of this country, and evidence for this can be found throughout the history and philosophy of India which has accommodated a diversity of opinions, thoughts and faiths. Real Hindutva lies in respecting diversity and in serving others.

Sarang R. Patil, Solapur, Maharashtra

In a society where different communities with different faiths converge, there is a compelling need to have a glue to bind them all in our nation. As a dissenting voice, I would like to say that some minority religions lure the gullible to convert even by attributing their woes to the religion they practise. This psychological warfare should stop.

S. Purushothaman, Kovilpatti, Tamil Nadu

The BJP government must ask itself how much of the common person’s aspirations have since been fulfilled or have yet to be met, such as women’s safety and empowerment, solutions to labour issues, a social security net for the elderly, reducing inflation and the removal of social injustices, besides measures to boost infrastructure and investment.

Venkatesh N. Muttur, Hubballi, Karnataka

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Printable version | Jul 27, 2021 5:53:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/on-secularism/article6913538.ece

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