Friday, 30 October 2015
“Is Indian Secularism under a Serious Threat with the Return of Awards by Authors?” ―Professor M.S.Rao
“We need to give each other the space to grow, to be ourselves, to exercise our diversity. We need to give each other space so that we may both give and receive such beautiful things as ideas, openness, dignity, joy, healing, and inclusion.” — Max de Pree
After the advent of Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister of India, the fundamentalist and the right-wing forces have become very active and started making provocative statements against minorities and making irresponsible statements resulting in a climate of intolerance. The intellectuals, authors and artists are worried and concerned with the increasing intolerance across India. It all began with the murder of a rationalist, Mr.Kalburgi in August 2015 and the lynching of a Muslim under the suspicion of having consumed beef. Several authors and writers returned their awards including their Sahitya Akademi awards in protest. Some of the recipients of Padma awards also returned their awards, and the film makers are returning their awards. It is unprecedented in the history of India as never before so many intellectuals have returned their awards. It all indicates that the Indian democracy is at the crossroads again. Does it also indicate that the Indian secularism is under grave attack from fundamentalist forces?
It is a fact that India is a multi-cultural and pluralistic society where diversified cultures and communities live in fraternity and brotherhood. With the instigation of fundamentalist forces and their excessive interference into the government, the current scenario posed a serious threat to secularism. All right thinking citizens must condemn such attacks to strengthen secularism and save democracy.
There is an urgent need to put an end to the riot-politics in India. It is essential to focus on development, not on religion. All stakeholders including educators, intellectuals, civil rights organizations, democratic organizations, nonprofits, thought leaders, media and progressive minded people across the world must stress on secularism.
Indian democracy may not be successful but it survived several challenges and is the largest democracy in the world. Hence, let us celebrate diversity, respect all communities and save democracy to make India as a strong nation in the world. Jai Hind!
“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Professor M.S.Rao, India
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