Ayodhya And Kashmir: Why 5 August Marks A Victory For Indian Secularism
The rebuilding of the temple at Ayodhya and the removal of the discriminatory special status to Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh was a reassertion of the civilisational secularism of India.
On this day, India decided to rebuild the temple at Ayodhya. On this day, the nation also removed the 'special status' that was given to Jammu and Kashmir.
Both are important events in the history of secularism in India.
Secularism as understood by the West has always been about the separation of the church and the state. The West was predominantly Christian with rival sects fighting for state support. State support for one always came with ruthless oppression of the other. Further, as Renaissance set in, the religious authority had to be sidelined to allow fresh thoughts and worldviews to emerge.
The West never had to actually deal with theo-diversity.
Western secularism could never develop dimensions to manage theo-diversity. Secularism in the West thus based itself on the distancing from the church.
For the West, non-Christian societies' conversion to the faith became an intermediary step towards becoming secular. Between a non-monotheistic culture and a non-Christian monopolistic culture, Western secularism would more often than not side with the non-Christian monopolistic element.
Hindu savants like Swami Vivekananda, Sri Aurobindo and Mahatma Gandhi instinctively realised the holistic and organic secular, as well as the democratic nature of Hindu culture, which they positioned as superior to the secular democracy of the West.
Most Hindus also realise this but without understanding the limitations of Western secularism and democracy. So often, Hindus are shocked at the hostility exhibited by the dominant sections of Western social-science academia, polity and media.
But more important and relevant to Ayodhya and Kashmir is the worldview of the Nehruvian elite of India.
Nehru was a confused mediocre intellectual who fancied himself as ‘the’ intellectual of India. With his flowery English and the power he wielded, he could position himself as ‘the’ intellectual that he fancied himself to be. He was, however, conflicted. He needed Gandhi for his political charisma and authority to flourish. But his own values differed from that of Gandhi.
He found himself in a position to oppose British imperialism through the agency of the ‘half-naked Hindu fakir’ even as he admired everything British. So, like others who have mediocre intelligence and fascination with everything West, he too gravitated towards flirting with Marxism.
Marxism in India, being a memetic variant of monopolistic faiths, has aligned itself with Islamism. In fact, Marxism provided the intellectual weapons for the latter, while Islamism provided the manpower to the former.
M N Roy one of the founding figures of Marxism in India, rationalised the atrocities and forced proselytising of the invading Islamist forces as a natural historic evolution. It was liberation from polytheism, and progress towards monotheism. The parallel can be seen in Karl Marx’s famous statement justifying British rule in India. To Marx, whatever her crimes in India, Britain was the agency of historical evolution bringing an advanced and liberating civilisation to India.
So, to the Westernised Indians and Western media, a temple demolished and mosque built at Ayodhya was a natural step in human evolution. For the Islamists, it was the predetermined theological course willed by their divine.
In the case of Jammu and Kashmir, the discriminatory special status, was, for the Western secularists, even better than the application of the secular Indian Constitution.
It should be noted here that the celebrated ‘Kashmiriyat’, unless one chooses to call pan-Islamism of the Taliban-ISIS kind as Kashmiriyat, is an integral and inseparable part of what is ‘Bhartiyata’ or Hinduness that permeates India. From Kashyapa Maharishi to Laleshwari, what defines Kashmiriyat resonates well with the rest of India. Hence the special status is meaningless in terms of the cultural uniqueness of Kashmir.
So, what is sacrosanct about the special status that discriminates against women, scheduled communities and gender minorities? Why are the Nehruvian secularists dead against scrapping of this apartheid like special status that predicated itself on the falsehood of separate Kashmiriyat? It is because this special status was actually a transitional state between Indian secularism and Kashmir becoming the ‘Nizam-e-Mustafa’.
The special status can tomorrow be demanded for every pocket with Islamist influence throughout India. Nehruvians along with Dravidianists, Marxists and other allies would support the demand. The special status to Kashmir could have been a prelude to the 'Nizam-e-Mustafa' spreading throughout India.
The rebuilding of the temple at Ayodhya reverses the dominant elite narrative. The scrapping of the discriminatory special status to Kashmir and taking into account the Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists who live in Jammu-Kashmir-Ladakh was also a reversal of a monopolistic theology’s challenge to Hindu majority India’s secular Constitution.
Both, the rebuilding of the temple at Ayodhya and the removal of the discriminatory special status to Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh is a reassertion of the civilisational secularism of Bharata Varsha, an ancient nation and a modern democracy.
This is a statement that is more momentous than the bringing down of the Berlin wall, and will rejuvenate ancient people throughout the world, from Australian aborigines to native American communities, to reassert their spiritual identity.
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