Secularism is a philosophy that proposes equality for every human, irrespective of caste, religion or region. But, in today’s world, secularism has come to mean something totally different. Today, it is equated with the philosophy that fights for the interests of minority and only minority, without even bothering to verify if those interests run in conflict with the other communities’ interest.
India is diverse in varied ways. It has a big landscape that sees 4 seasons. The people in the country follow many religions, practice different culture and speak different languages. Yet, the country is united by many festivals, beliefs, underlying ethos and our history. The main unifying agents in this diversity are the media, government and the people having influence on masses.
Our country has been exploited several times in the past. Today, when we are free as a country, we still get exploited by people who vie for power and money. It is often the case that the politicians today on the name of secularism dole out benefits to the minority community. It would have been good if the real interest was the benefit of a community without any bias. But, in today’s India if a political party takes a stand for the community in majority, the party is labelled as against the idea of secularism.
Secularism doesn’t mean that the minority community should get the benefit. It is the idea that propagates the betterment of the country by treating every community equally. There has to be a balance. If a government starts playing vote bank politics and starts oppressing its people in the name of secularism, the day is not far when revolts in the society start surfacing.
The media in today’s world has gone short sighted. They are mostly concerned about their TRP rating and have forgotten their duties to the society. It is because of media reporting that the word secularism has taken a different connotation. In today’s world, secularism implies that any benefit done to the community in majority is against the principle of secularism and a crime on the minority community.
It is the responsibility of the media and government to look after the interest of the society at large. They can’t be irresponsible to exploit the communities for their short term gain. Oppression in any form is not good for long term survival for any political system. The political systems that tried to oppress a community to benefit another have been brought to an end. The secularism in our society has become a tool for oppressing communities in majority. The concoction that is brewing is not good for long term survival of our country. We need to seriously redefine the word “secularism” for the benefit of the country.