Most controversial words secularism has a very straight meaning according to our constitution but the idea and the meaning of this word is always thrown in the game of politics for earning favours. Indian culture has always been example of diversity and is represented as ,’ unity in diversity’ throughout the world. But the word secularism was introduced into Indian constitution by 42nd amendment in 1976, And from that point of time secularism and culture are used as rival to each other, just like divide and rule policy only to earn political favours. Huge amount of debates have been failed in discussing about the challenges created by secularism in way of our culture.
According to me there is urgent need to understand the basic meaning of the two words and there role and impact in each others life.
Indian culture is dynamic in nature, it does not only include religion but languages, cuisine, dress, geographical area etc. culture is a set of belief of the people residing in certain areas. There are certain aspect of culture which can change with time like way of living in ancient time was different if compared to today. So, there is nothing wrong if we say that the Indian culture is a mixed culture[i].
Secularism is not new to us it has always been a core value of our mixed Indian culture. If we look back we have welcomed Parsi community and given a permanent home to them in India, we have studied about the collective fight against the Britishers. All community member stood together for the independence of our country so these event show us that we have always respected each others religion and there was unity[ii].
The word secularism which is in our constitution only means, separation of state from religion that means state has no religion, state respect all religion.
Article 25 to 28 of Indian constitution deals with freedom of religion( freedom of promoting ones religion, freedom to manage religion, freedom from taxation of a religion, freedom of attending religious instruction) without hurting others religious sentiments and not against unity of the India[iii].
The noble aim of secularism was not to hurt the sentiment of people in favouring one religion out of huge cultural diversity. Culture is vast areas and secularism talks about one part of that areas with the noble aim to protect each and every religion.
The fact that secularism has welcomed the western culture in India cannot be ignored because western culture has made a deep influence and spot in the land of Indian culture. If we look in todays society it will be seen that Indian culture is going to be packed in history book soon because western culture has become new normal. According to me only bad thing about secularism is dumping of Indian culture and customs which are valid in the eyes of law.
We are main cause behind locking our culture in history books. Apart from religion there are many areas of our culture which is being ignored by us. Best example I can quote regarding this ,is a movie scene in which person from small town who don’t know English….etc cannot be topper? We all have freedom of choice, but being part of this country which has vast diversity its our duty to protect our culture. That culture which define us. One thing should be made clear in our minds that protecting our culture which is valid in the eyes of law is not a crime or it dose not mean forcing anybody to stop following western culture. Few month back team of lawpanch has done few surveys on the topic is protecting our culture means forcing to stop following western culture. Most of the answers were NO. This answer was expected from the peoples because there is nothing wrong in promoting and protecting our culture which is valid. Only thing which need to be cleared is that meaning of both the words secularism and culture is different we can say culture is nation and secularism is one policy made for the protection of one part of culture. The political games are distorting the pure aim of secularism. Major role in trapping the Indian culture is everyone living in society including me. We are free to do any think so let move one step forward and start to think about our culture which not only include religion but also languages, outfits, cuisine, geographical areas, and our biodiversity. Remember we are always defined by our nation and nation also includes our culture.
[iii] The Constitution of India, Universal Bare Act
By – NIdhi Kumari