India got its name from Indus valley civilisation (3300 – 1300 BC), probably one of the well known and developed civilisations. Based on the historical facts available on internet, we find that the people of Indus valley preached 3 religions – Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. To support the argument, archaeologists have unearthed artefacts such as stone portraits of mother goddess (see pic), a father god who we consider as synonymous to Lord Shiva acting as a progenitor of the race. Further evidences pertaining to worshipping of Pipal or Acasia tree by the locals to guard them against evil forces. They followed the ritual of criminating the dead along with some offerings and last but not the least, the Great Bath of Mohenjo-Daro can be thought of as a sacred tank which we find today in various temples and sacred places of worship where people take bath and purify their soul and body.
On the contrary, the first evidence of Islam in India can be traced back to 7th century AD. Cheraman Juma Masjid in Kerala is thought to be the first mosque in India, built in 629 AD by Malik lbn Dinar. Islam arrived in North India in the 12th century via the Turkic invasions and has since become a part of India's religious and cultural heritage. We have heard about mass conversions of Hindus to adopt Islam by Muslim rulers. Comparing 2011 and 1951 census data, Hindus have dwindled to 79.8% from 84.1% and Muslims have gone up to 14.23% from 9.8%.
We call our country as Bharat and Hindustan. The root word of Hindustan is ‘Hindu’ and ‘Bharat’ is also a word from Devanagri. So technically our country is of Hindu origin and Muslims are our guest or mehman as they landed on our motherland much later. Despite this fact we have treated them with great honour by offering them citizenship, fundamental rights and even subsidies in the name of minority quota. Even after giving them such luxuries, when we hear certain news about ‘intolerance’, ‘award vaapsi’ ‘we want freedom’, the blood of patriotic and nationalist citizen boils at 500 ℃. Why cannot we live at peace with each other? Who do you blame for this ongoing ‘Anti-India ‘campaign across various Indian universities? Why is #ISIS finding its roots so easily in India? All these thoughts traverse in the back of my mind and keep asking the same question time and again, “Are we really secular”?
The dictionary meaning of Secular is - not connected with religious or spiritual matters or of clergy) not subject to or bound by religious rule; not belonging to or living in a monastic or other order. By this definition it is clear that our country cannot be secular in any way. We have people from different faiths and religions and are engaged in a constant hate war with each other to prove the worthiness of each religion. We have witnessed lot of intolerance debate recently. My viewpoint on this issue is that one should remain tolerant only when his/her belief is not shaken. Once that point of reached, Newton’s 3rd law applies and you are authorized to reply back in a wise manner. Getting physical is not a solution but holds “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind” to be true.
It is high time we realize that there are certain black sheep amongst us who are playing cheap politics to continue burning the fire for their vested interests. But as they say, “.No one can escape Karma. Karma comes back and comes back strongly because Karma is a Bitch”.
Lastly I want to quote Bhagvadgita, chapter 4, verse 11,
All who in whatever way surrender unto me, I reward them accordingly. All mankind follows my path, O Arjuna, in all respects.
On the contrary taking a cue from Holy Quran,
Clearly, both religious scriptures promote love and brotherhood but there is a catch. Both preach their own path. I would leave it unto you to decide what is right and wrong. I have chosen my religion and it is ~ Humanity.