by V.K. Tripathi
11 May 2016
Secularism implies freedom from prejudice. Prejudice hurts in multiple ways. It degrades your soul. It visits humiliation, discrimination, ghettoization and massive riots upon innocent people, It gives false sense of patriotism and religiosity to the affluent and accentuates exploitation. It brings sectarian organizations at the helm and cripples democracy and freedom. We keep the vital goals of secularism in front of us.
1. Cultural Renaissance: That is the promotion of culture of liberation based on truth, compassion, labour and self inquiry
2. Objectivity and Sensitivity in Education: History must focus on masses. Icons, rituals and discourses in schools/ colleges must reflect cultural diversity, Minority institutions be given govt grants at par with other institutions. 10% teachers and students in every minority institution be from the majority community and vice versa. Option of Urdu, along with Sanskrit, be available in all schools from class VI. The language of books b simple and mixed, as spoken in the area. One subject at all levels be hand skills or technical. Preference be given to children coming from handicraft and artisan background in technical education.
3. Sovereignty of Nations: It must be the basis of our foreign policy as well as public discourse. If there is attack on the sovereignty of any nation, we must raise our voice. Border clashes should not be blown out of proportion to arouse passions; educational and economic cooperation with neighboring nations be encouraged.
4. People Centric Security Policy: In last 300 years, attacks on sovereignty and security of nations in the world have not been on borders but on markets, farms, mines, towns and villages by the affluent nations. All major wars have been imposed by the imperialist, fascist and neo-imperialist powers. Communal pogroms have also been their creation. After independence in our country sectarian, terrorist and state violence has killed many times more people than those killed in wars at the borders. Our prime concern be the security of masses.
Sectarian Violence and Terrorism are One. – this must be the dictum of the state as well as civil society. There should be adequate representation of all communities in police, administration and army. In the name of terrorism, innocents must not be kept under detention for years without running the cases. Working Classes, irrespective of their religion, must never be misconstrued as burden on the nation. Even those with un-established nationality must be treated in accordance with rule of law. In the garb of a minuscule doubtful cases, an entire community, due to its language and religion, must not be branded as foreigner (Bangladeshi). The nationalism of hatred is treachery.
5) Political Empowerment: To have adequate representation of all communities in Panchayats, Assemblies and Parliament, political parties must enrol minorities in their ranks and run campaigns on basic issues. Demarcation of election areas must not be done in a way that minority votes become ineffective.
6) Economic empowerment: Capital, space, and other facilities be provided to artisans to run their independent enterprises. Joint ventures in which half the members are minorities or dalits be encouraged.