Is Secularism a threat to Traditions of India?

Ram Puniyani
March 18, 2021

India got independence from British colonial rule on 15th August 1947 after a long struggle which was inclusive and had plural dimensions. Foundation of Indian Constitution is Liberty, Equality, Fraternity and Justice. The values of secularism are deeply ingrained all through and particularly in Articles 14, 19, 22, and 25. It gives us freedom of religion, to practice, preach and propagate the same.

Not all Indians were for such plural values which respect diversity. The communal streams immediately attacked the constitution saying it does not reflect the glorious contribution of Indian past, the values given in holy tomes like Manu Smriti. Communal stream was critical of Constitution and did not accept the tricolor as our national flag. Nearly seven decades down the line those opposing Indian Constitution and its values are rearing their heads from last few decades. There are top leaders like the Prime minster Narendra Modi who on one side claim to be Hindu nationalists and on the other level for electoral purpose claim that “We are secular not because the word was added in our Constitution. Secularism is in our blood. We believe in Sarva Pantha Sambhava.”

There is yet another types of leaders like Yogi Adityanath, the Chief Minister of UP who detest this ideology out and out. Recently he stated that secularism was the “biggest threat” to the traditions of India getting recognition on the global stage.” At an earlier occasion he had stated that “The word "secular" is "the biggest lie", and suggested that the people who propagated it should apologize to the nation, a reference to the Congress party.”

Adityanath who has taken the oath on Indian Constitution has no qualms in denigrating one of its core values. He himself is the Mahant (Chief Priest) of Gorakhnath Math. He is saffron clad like few others in his party.

Let us see how secularism is a threat to traditions of India. India is inherently plural with rich diversity in religious traditions, languages, ethnicities, food habits, dressing pattern, ways of worship etc. In a way the Hindu religion, in whose pretext he is taking secularism to the task itself is so diverse; from the Brahmanical traditions of hierarchy to the Bhakti tradition talking of equality; there is a wide range. Has this diversity hampered the path to recognition of India on the global stage?

The rich contributions of India are recognized all over the World. The contributions of philosophers like Buddha are appreciated in large parts of the World, more particularly South East Asia. During freedom movement Mahatma Gandhi rose like a colossus and based on Indian tradition he propagated non Violence and Satyagriha (invocation to truth). These were the contribution which inspired many a great leaders in the World including Martin Luther King (Jr) and Nelson Mandela who followed his path to take their goals towards fruition. Indian philosophy influenced the global thinking in multiple ways.

Even global culture is diverse and learns from each other, the astronomical and mathematical contributions from India made their place in the global knowledge systems. Further the First Prime minster of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, gave the unique concept of ‘non alignment’, which was picked up by large sections of the World and many nations joined this unique movement at the peak of its success.

Contrary to what Adityanath is stating; it is precisely due to the secular path which we followed that we could achieve miraculous progress in first 5-6 decades of our republic in the areas of industrialization, education, irrigation, atomic and space research among others. As such we seem to have stagnated during last cople of decades as the path of secularism has been denigrated and mocked at. Lately the communal party is gloating that in last elections no body dared to utter this word!

There is also criticism that the introduction of this word in 1976 during emergency was uncalled for and so should be done away with. As such the whole constitution is seeped with the values of secularism. While at one level secularism says that state has no religion, Indian model of secularism respects all religions without being guided by it. Secularism is unique in another way that it respects those communities which are in minority and provides for affirmative, protective clauses for them. These are currently is being labeled as ‘appeasement of minorities’ and is being made a rallying point for electoral mobilization of majority community.

While Adityanath is lamenting against secular plural diverse values and propagates for Hindu Nation, the ideology of the ruling party, he is not alone in that. At the moment multiple articulations are being put forward. One Anant Kumar Hegde the Union minster bluntly stated that BJP is in power as it wants to change the constitution. One earlier Sarsanghchalak K. Sudarshan also put is forward by saying that Indian Constitution is based on Western values and so not suitable for our country. We should bring a Constitution based on Indian Holy books!

Religious nationalists all over the world abhor the secular-plural values they limit their power to impose their own values on society, to create a value system of hierarchy, the overt expression of which comes in the books like Manusmriti. The pre modern structural hierarchies of class, caste and gender are their ideal, be it the Talibans, Muslim Brotherhood (Egypt based communal organization) or those indulging in politics in the name of Buddhism in Sri Lanka and Myanmar.

The plight of Pakistan, where communal forces had been dominant, is there for all of us to see. Neither it could remain united as Islamic nation nor could it make headways in areas of science, education, health and industrialization.

The communal mindset needs to be overcome to focus on the progress of society in the areas of education, health, employment and nutrition rather than celebrating religious festivals at the expense of the state or taking up issues related to temple-mosque and put to margins the issues of marginalized sections of society.

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coastaldigest.com news network
April 4,2021

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Mangaluru, Apr 4: A 12-year-old boy, who had gone missing last night, was found dead last night near KC Road under the limits of Ullal police station in Mangaluru taluk.

The deceased has been identified as Mohammed Aakif, son of Mohammed Haneef, a resident of K C Road. Aakif was the second among five children of his parents. 

After returning home from Madrasa, Aakif had he had gone at 8.40 p.m. with a mobile phone used by the family. However, he never returned. 

Worried family members began to search for Aakif everywhere and also lodged a missing complaint at Ullal police station. His body was a couple of kilo meters away.

Sources said that the body, which was lying on a ground behind Falah School at K C Nagar, was noticed by a local person at around 6 a.m. today.

It is suspected that he was murdered after a fight with a few local boys. The investigation is underway. 

Teenager arrested for killing 12-yr-old boy after fight over online game

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Siraj
 - 
Sunday, 4 Apr 2021

The police must break the legs of the local boys and put them behind bars for entire life for silly fight does anyone kills , this is very very sad -it is very difficult to loose a child -the pain is beyond anything , may allah give patience to the family for loosing such a small kid very sad news

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News Network
April 12,2021

Bengaluru: Karnataka may see a peak in Covid-19 cases by May first week and slowdown by May-end, said Health and Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar after holding a meeting with the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC).

He cautioned, “We must be vigilant till the end of May. If there is a surge in cases, our health infrastructure will be overburdened. TAC experts have suggested that we should be vigilant along borders and thoroughly test incoming travellers from high caseload states. TAC has been directed to come up with a report which will be submitted to Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa.

Further measures will be taken after discussions with the Chief Minister.” He pointed out that suggestions that will impact economic activities will not be considered. “But experts suggested that we should curb large gatherings and crowds which lead to a spread in infections,”  he said. 

With the increase in cases, private hospitals have extended their support to the government, he said. “We were among the first in the country to start tele-ICU and private hospitals too used it. We need to further strengthen the system.”  The state has received 72 lakh doses of vaccine. Around 61 lakh doses have been administered, of which 53 per cent were to women beneficiaries. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has lauded Karnataka’s efforts in containing the second wave, he added.

“Prime Minister Modi spoke to CM Yediyurappa and lauded the state’s efforts. He suggested that we should focus on micro-containment zones. We will take measures accordingly. I will make surprise visits to hospitals and vaccination centres. Irregularities and improper facilities won’t be tolerated. If people are aware and cooperate, there is no need for a lockdown or measures to curb economic activities,” he added. 

Karnataka on Sunday logged a massive 10,250 Covid cases in a single day. Once again, Bengaluru Urban district saw the most positives at 7,584 cases. This spike has also pushed up the state’s single-day positivity rate to 7.72%. While 40 deaths were added to the toll, 2,638 patients recovered during the day.

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Agencies
April 3,2021

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Back in October, Harold Hamm predicted a win by Joe Biden in the US election would “strange and starve oil and gas.” Instead, he’s made a killing.

With shares of his Continental Resources Inc. more than doubling in the past six months, Hamm’s personal fortune has jumped this year by $3.3 billion to $8.4 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Sure, Biden won in November and is now promoting policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But crude prices have surged in recent months amid supply cuts and increased demand for natural gas to renewables as economies emerge from the Covid-19 crisis. Hamm, 75, who supported Donald Trump in the election, is one of the biggest gainers among energy billionaires.

Energy tycoons from the US to Russia and India have also boosted their fortunes. Their combined net worth climbed about $51 billion in the first quarter — or roughly 10 per cent — the fastest rate of any group in the Bloomberg index.

Positive Outlook

Leonid Mikhelson, 65, co-owner of the largest non-state-owned natural-gas provider in Russia, has added $3.8 billion in 2021, threatening to take over the top spot among the nation’s richest. India’s Gautam Adani has gained $23.3 billion this year — the most of anyone in the world.

The outlook for energy companies like Continental Resources -- which struggled last year -- has turned more positive, with Hamm’s shale-oil producer even expected to return to profitability.

At their meeting this week, OPEC+ members expressed confidence about the economic recovery and agreed to gradually increase oil production in the coming months. In February, JPMorgan Chase & Co. talked about a new supercycle for commodities, echoing similar comments from banks including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Oil has climbed 66 per cent in the past six months, and some bulls predict prices could once again top $100 a barrel by the end of next year.

“Higher oil prices translate directly into higher profits and increase these companies’ returns to their shareholders,” said Ryan Dusek, director at Opportune, a commodity risk-advisory group in Houston.

Still, the increasing focus on eco-friendly measures is threatening oil producers in the longer term. Biden wants to make the US electricity grid carbon-free by 2035, while China and the European Union aim to be carbon neutral by 2060 and 2050, respectively.

Green Ambitions

That’s why some companies have been boosting their green ambitions. Adani, who spent two decades building an empire centered around coal, has plans to increase his firm’s renewable-energy capacity almost eightfold by 2025 and has gotten backing from big players including French oil giant Total SE. Mikhelson’s Novatek PJSC, whose Yamal LNG plant in Russia’s Arctic has been operating above capacity, wants to clean up its output even as it more than triples production by the end of the decade.

Even with the recent energy gains, technology remains the main creator of wealth globally, with the wealthiest entrepreneurs in that industry adding $87.6 billion so far this year. Larry Page and Sergey Brin, co-founders of Google parent Alphabet Inc., and Su Hua of Chinese video service Kuaishou Technology are among the top gainers after Adani.

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