When the nation’s Apex Court says, #secularism is not aloofness from religion, it misses both the tree and the forest because it is following the muddled up wheel-ruts to the meaning of the word.
Historically developed in Christian world, which saw a centuries long war between the Papal Authority and the local chief or king, SECULARISM was indeed coined to enforce an aloofness of the State from religion.
It is another matter that it also led, especially in modern decades, to atheism — a totally religion neutral personal belief system — voluntarily embraced by hundreds of millions in the same Christian world.
In India, SecuralisM as an ideology was championed mostly by communist ideologues drawing inspiration from Russia and China. It spawned left aligned artists, scientists, commited avant garde niche, people movements and criminal antinationalists, maoists, and people who advocated fence squat openness, doughting thomases, and a whole bunch of disaffected materialists content with fime food, good wine ang long empty speeches.
Alongside, secularism was political espoused for vote bank formation through minority appeasement, fanning spurious fears and hardening minority identities that led to social rife, incidental and convenient opportunism, and rank anti mainstream.
That is where we are.
That is from where the Supreme Court could have used the opportunity to clarify and simplify jarring, politically much-milked issues like :
— State Haj subsidy,
— RTE and Hindu Temple Endowment Act that discriminates between mainstream and minority institutions,
— constricted public freedom in major minority dominated areas within the Republic,
— state administration policies that look away from festive rioting by particular vote bank communities, as it happens in WBengal, Kerala, Bihar, UP and UK.
Your Lordships !
It is the State administration, public policies, and its implementation on the ground on every inch of nation’s territory, which needs to be religion neutral, or be “aloof” as you express.
The people, especially in our spiritually suffused country, must be allowed full freedom to practice their ways, their colouful and beautifully pagan tradtions, and their ancient overwhelmingly fulfilling body of life perspectives, thought or philosophies, and deeply evolutionary inner world practices.
It should be the State’s duty to ensure that through both affirmative and negating actions, real-time.