Pluralism: The power of India

Introduction: Being a secular state India is a multicultural country. Cultural and Linguistic diversity is the strength of India. Being a pluralistic state, Indian has a great feeling of nationality and to generate or maintain this kind of feeling, the nature of our constitution is secular. The reason of secularism can be analyze from the pre-independent India. We know very well that the policy of British people was ‘divide and rule' and therefore India was very much divided not only on the basis of religion but caste, creed and so on. To unite Indian for development of India, concept of secularism and equality was adopted by constitution makers. Now a day's equality is there but for some extent secularism is fails to get its object.

Let's see something about secularism. Secularism: Secularism is the basic structure of Indian Constitution and therefore it is constitutional obligation of government to maintain it. But it is, of course, unfortunate part of the India that instead of protecting from the religious crisis, different political parties are trying to divide India in the name of religion, caste, reservation, beef, cow slaughter and all. This is of course not the division rather polarization. And polarization is very much harmful for India. In general parlance secularism means separation between State and religion, i.e., the temporal power should keep its hands off from religious world. Means being separate from religion state will go for development and betterment of citizen only. Prophet Mohammad (PUBH) directed that don't interfere in the practice of other religion and it is responsibility King to treat equally.

Mr. Mahatma Gandhi was a big supporter of secularism. The best example of his use of a religious symbol was his interpretation of independence as Ram Rajya. Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Azad promoted the concept of nationalism and secularism among Indian. Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad mentioned that India is a secular democratic state where every citizen whether he is Hindu, Muslim or Sikh has equal rights and privileges. (Hindustan Times 29 Jan, 1949)

In Kesavananda Bharti v. State of Kerala (AIR 1973 SC 1461) it was the meaning of secularism in India is, therefore, equal respect to all religions. The secular nature of India is one of the basic structures of the Constitution. Thus by the above discussion we can say that secularism is a concept which creates the nationalism among the people irrespective of the religion. Pluralism: Pluralism is a concept consists of multicultural society. South Asia has been hailed as a region of significant diversity and pluralism for a long time. However, over the last decades, it has also been a hotbed of multiple forms of intolerance, such as religious, ethnic, linguistic chauvinisms and intolerance often manifested in sporadic as well as organized forms of violence.

The violence in Gujarat in 2002, for instance, has brought home the concerns about the ease with which mobilization could be done for genocidal politics. As we know that there are so many sects, caste and group of people are living in India and they have different languages with different culture and we'll have to consider that. If we'll disturb their customs and culture then it will hurt severely to our constitution which will directly affect our whole political as well as social system.

E.g. Babari Mosque demolition case and brutal treatment in Delhi with Sikhs etc are the question mark over the secularism i.e. basic structure of Constitution of India. Secularism is very much connected with pluralism and proportionally affects pluralism. Because secularism separate religion from state and it increase pluralism and it balance the society which will help India to develop.

If we'll take example of India, we can sight period of 1990s in which on the basis of report of Madal Commission, V.P. Singh government passed reservation which polarized people in upper and backward irrespective of caste and all. But soon after this instance political scenario changed and that scenario was called as 'Politics of Mandal and Kamandal'. In this very instance BJP government raised the issue of 'Ram Mandir' in Ayodhya, (U.P.). And later in Dec, 1992 Babari mosque was demolished by Car Sevaks. This was the instance which directly hurt the asset of India i.e. secularism and India moved toward monolithically India from pluralistic India. By this particular instance I want to make it very clear that plural character of country is the existence of all the religion and culture. Pluralism is of two types: one is Religious pluralism and second one is Cultural pluralism. Religious pluralism means existence of many religions together while Cultural pluralism means existence of many cultures together.

In my opinion we must unite India rather polarize because polarization will always misbalance India which will directly and indirectly affect the common people rather than these politicians and capitalists. We can take another recent example of Bihar election because the vote is for a pluralistic vision of India, for an idea of Bihar i.e. both inclusive and progressive. BJP always seems to be under the compulsion to cater to its core constituency of hard-line Hindutva elements, although it cannot possibly extend its base without presenting itself as the agent of economic agenda. Sooner or later, the core will have to yield to the pressures from the crust. Else, not only will the Grand Alliance's success will be replicated by other players in other States but, more crucially, India will suffer severe damage to it its social and democratic fabric. (The Hindu, Nov 09, 2015 P.10) Professor Krishnamurthi (JNU, New Delhi) criticised the view of Mr. Modi to make India strong, during election campaign and said that if India will be strong then it will become monolith and will lose its real character of pluralism, diversity.

This will destroy the purpose of Constitution which is Democracy and other aspects also. Former President Pranab Mukherjee said that multiplicity is India's collective strength which must be preserved at all cost. His remark coincides with protests from writers, scientists and eminent personalities demanding that Narendra Modi government take seriously the threats to the country's secular fabric.

He further said at Vigyan Bhawan on Oct-31, 2015 'India is a country of 1.3 billion people...speaking 122 languages and 1600 dialects and professing seven faiths. He further said 'our pluralistic character has stood the test of time. Our ancient civilization has over the centuries accommodated our diversities.' Former President has been consistent in raising his concerns over diversities and pluralism. On this Independence (2015) Mr. Mukherjee said 'Our democracy is creative because it is plural, but diversity must be nourished with tolerance and patience.

Vested interests cheap away at social harmony, in an attempt to erode many centuries of secularism.' (The Hindu, Nov 01, 2015, p.01&12) Pluralism is one of the essential ingredients of Indian democracy given by constitution. This covers all the people who live in our country irrespective of their caste, creed, race, higher, lower etc. Constitution consist some social, religious and cultural rights in Art 25 to Art 30 irrespective of any caste creed etc by special mentioning minorities. So we can say that Constitution itself support pluralism and cultural and linguistic diversity.

Role of the Pluralism knowledge programme: While the existing interventions do attempt to challenge the forces of intolerance and communal politics, the fact that intolerance is not on decline, and more crucially the faith in the neutral secular state has been dented significantly with the recent failures in adequately responding to riots, makes it imperative to critically reflect on the experiences so far. The Promoting Pluralism Knowledge Programme aims to enhance our understanding in this field and subsequently translate that knowledge into new strategies.

Two themes the research will focus on two themes: Human Rights, Pluralism and the Rethinking of the State Faith and Diversity

Conclusion: At last we can say that cultural, religious pluralism and linguistic diversities are the strength of India which strengthens the Constitution also. If this feature will collapse then the base or basic structure of the Constitution will collapse. Polarization of the nation weakens these features. And government is also silent in regard with these issues. One side one political leader says that remove police I'll show you and on the other hand another political leader says that yes have you seen what happened when policed was remove from Gujarat, Mujaffarnagar and all. And ultimately who bears the loss? All the innocent people who work hard to get one time food while all the persons who do these things come to see and to does politics. Therefore my contention is that all the people must think over it and act accordingly because we the people of India are government of India. Government will have to do what we would like to do.

So it's our moral and social responsibility to educate the people and especially youths to unite India rather polarize India. Then only 'Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikaas' would be possible.

 

M.S. Husain 
on 21 January 2019
Published in Constitutional Law
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