Is secularism dead? An Andhra Pradesh CaseSheet
Samavedam Shanmukha Sarma
19 February, 2009
The message was loud and clear, “To realize our dream of making every house a Christian home in the state, we have to vote for a particular party”. Thus spoke Pamphlets, during last elections in Andhra Pradesh. They were silently distributed at many places to certain communities.
Developing into a Christian State :
Four and half years past, their vision had come true.. Today, Andhra Pradesh is a developing state, yes, certainly developing into a Christian State . It is good, if Christians prosper, but it is atrocious, if the so called development is at the cost of demoting Hindus-by decoying them through power traps and other means; demeaning Hindu sentiments and making every effort to, “Convert” them by augmenting the communal numbers of “their” so called community alone. Can you call this as, “Development”?
Why do our intellectuals and countrymen become blind to this blatant and brazen “crossing” of the State – throwing aside its secular vigor? Is this not the height of fanatical arrogance?
Came Christmas 2007 !, Whole world had sliced down its Christmas budget because of economic slowdown , yet in Andhra Pradesh , huge advertisements appeared on behalf the government-detailing millions and millions of funds ,being spent for the betterment, progress and prosperity of Christian community alone. It is an unabashed campaign stuffed with haughtiness and conceit. The surpluses showered therein shall certainly make the Santa Claus awestruck. Please do not forget views of Franois Gautier, (the renowned columnist Indian express), how in this country important positions of important institutions are being “Christened” with their people.
Are they not building cemetery to the secularism in this country, by their shameless acts? Or is it our fault that we are not realizing that we are being ruled by communal forces? Have we become impotent and indifferent to their open declarations? Or are we tolerating and accumulating all Insults? What is happening?
In the name and disguise of “minority protection”, their dreams are being realized by working for the welfare of “their” people through “their” government. Is this situation acceptable to democracy, if it becomes for “their” people and by “their” people, when all people voted for them to come to power.
Christianized governance is making a demonic dance in the entire state of Andhra Pradesh, insulting Hindu sentiments and values.
Rulers’ Hypocrisy and Their Evangelic Relatives:
By making political visits to the Hindu Temples and thus troubling the thousands of ardent Hindu devotees during their visits and simultaneously grabbing every opportunity to adore their shining bald heads with Muslim caps – these imposters and hypocrites are making a mockery of secularism, when their cajolers and cronies including intellectuals waste no time in singing welcome songs to them and are offering a grand red carpet reception with ritualistic pompousness.
During December 2007, even the gleeful posters of a preacher – “ruler’s” most near and dear relative, aided by political funds and support, adored every nook and corner of the State, calling a clarion Christian call. Hindu name with a brother prefix, wishing a Christmas greeting, aiming for conversion, a face that had even wiped away the Jesus Christ photograph in these posters and banners became ubiquitous in their presence, through out the state displaying the rulers’ superciliousness and their disdain for secular values.
In some cities, the radius of its spread is up to ten kilometers; on every electric pole and on every tree, the message was displayed blatantly as “Jesus the only savior” (without Jesus Christ’s Photo). What does this mean? What should be tolerance level for other religious faiths of state for this kind of propaganda?
Why, are we not reacting ?, Why are we not protesting, to this crystal clear message from the rulers of Andhra Pradesh, that it is their “CE”- Christian era and others are just subjects and have to fall in line with them.
Majority Community’s Funds being diverted for Christian Subsidies :
It is Majority community’s exchequer that is being used to dole out subsidies to the Christian minority and allocate funds to build churches. Millions and millions of rupees are being spent from government treasury and even bonanzas and packages are being promised for this so called “Nobel – Gobel cause”, by tempting and ensnaring gullible people into conversion trap. The politics of religious number game is multiplying at the speed of light in Andhra Pradesh.
The Government subsidies to this particular religious community are something like adding fuel to the burning fire. Earlier missionaries spent only foreign funds for conversion. Today the government fund at their disposal is making their task easier.
Why people are not realizing that offering special incentives to a single religious community alone by the government tantamount to religious fundamentalism?. Is it ruler’s dad’s property to give out doles like this?
Government of Andhra Pradesh is spending millions of rupees and is sending Christians to visit Jerusalem . Have we vanquished Poverty to offer such communal sops? The government advertisements project it as a bold initiative being taken in the country for the first time. God save us, which country in the world can really take this drastically daring step? What moral right this government has to call it self as a secular government, if it is communalizing the state in the name of minority pampering.
In spite of having a Hindu name and caste suffix, the rulers continue to practice Christian Faith and Doctrines, none to question them. Shall the Jesus Christ, the personification of truth, pardon them? Our leaders like Swami Vivekananda, Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Ambedkar had univocally condemned the religious conversions and had foretold that they are dangerous to nation’s peace and progress.
According to certain biblical texts, Jesus Christ had even warned his disciples not to go towards east and not to resort to religious conversions. Though it is evident that is a clear ploy of westerners to rule India through religion, yet the majority community of this land are becoming mute spectators and stooges in their gambit.
If the government pronounces that, it is their solemn duty to safeguard Christian’s property, what else can be said about this brazen utterance? Is it not the secular government’s duty to protect every Indian’s property, not just the Christian properties? Then what intentions prompt the government to make such appalling statements?
Jerusalem Trip Bonanzas:
Is any government worth its name in any foreign country, is offering to its minority community, the tax payers’ money, to visit their holy land situated in other countries? Why then does the government encourage this communal tourism to foreign countries? Are the churches in this country are becoming less holy and attractive? What message goes to the Christian converts living in this country? Is it not silently telling them that their religious roots do lie not in this country but in the foreign lands?
Hindu religious places are situated in this country and it implies that this country belongs to Hindus. This remains to be the eternal truth, in spite of painting the land with many pseudo secular colours.
Does this government offer any sops to Hindu pilgrimages? Which government in this country is offering subsidies to Hindus for their pilgrimage to “Manasasarovar”, situated in China ? Leave aside these subsidies and grants, during Hindu festivals, the state owned Transport Corporation hikes the bus ticket charges to holy places situated in the state of Andhra Pradesh-special buses with special fares and poor Hindus pay them all.
This kind of discrimination by the government only confirms their hidden agenda to frustrate the majority community mindset and to lure them to claim minority status for sops.
Not a single political party in the state raises its voice against this injustice being meted out to the majority community. Vote bank politics make the opposition to offer more promises to the minorities and seek the vote shamelessly.
Where is Secularism Today ?
So it is crystal clear that majority community is at the receiving end of deprivation and discrimination. The more the parties try to lure minorities, all the more the majority community of this so called secular country is being denied of its basic rights.
Everyone in this country has equal rights and should live harmoniously with others. But our opposition is towards the policy of political parties which try to divide the majority and offer sops to minority for sake of holding the power.
We respect Jesus Christ and the holy Bible. Hindus are culturally tuned in their minds to accept Bible as a sacred text of Dharma Sastra. Living harmoniously with other religions is the very nature of Hindus. But this goodness is being viewed as its weakness and is being exploited for converting the whole Hindu community into Christianity. How long do these treacherous game plans have to be tolerated by the Hindus? Even the iota of the Humanistic principles cannot advocate this kind of exploitation for achieving numerical supremacy.
India is the land of Hindus for Eternity. The invaders of this country had established their respective religions by forcefully converting the people of this country by luring them with money and position and threatening them with sword. Yet the majority community had accepted the converted minority and is living peacefully with them, unlike many other countries. We all had become Indian citizens. We all had accepted secularism and secular values.
We cannot change our parents. Nobody wants to change his mother and father. Similarly about the religion one is born into. It is our righteousness rather ethical responsibility to adhere to the religious path in which we are born in.
In the countries like America and England , people of all religions are living together. There, we don’t find government offering special sops to minorities. Here at India , politicians create a fear complex about the safety of minorities only to plunder the votes of minorities. It is high time, that all the citizens representing all religious communities of this country should come forward and teach a befitting lesson to these power grabbers who divide the country on the communal lines in name of secularism. But, will that happen in this country? Poor citizens are getting trapped into sops being offered by the politicians and are not in a position to resist them and are in fact “parasite-ing” on them.
What is the Future of Tomorrow’s Hindu Minority ?
If the situation continues like this where shall Hindus migrate? How long should they tolerate and compromise? Hindu Temples were destroyed in the past, yet they tolerated every drastic act. Their mothers, sisters and wives were raped before their very eyes, yet they kept quiet. Their kith and kin’s heads were hacked and chopped, yet they uttered not a word. Their religion was suppressed in everyway, yet they endured. Hindus were not free citizens at that time, when these acrostics were heaped on them.
Today, being the citizens of Sovereign, Socialist, Secular and Democratic Republic, are we to accept and sit stoic to the same kind of treatment being meted by today’s rulers? Do our thick skinned bodies and our karmic mindsets, which blame everything on destiny and Kaliyuga’s pollution, make us live an enslaved life again?
Your future is at stake,. The day is not far away, when Hindus of this country become a minority. On that day, no separate ministries shall be carved out for minority welfare; no vote bank political sops and promises to make you grow; no special subsides; no special protection for your temples; every moment of your life shall become full with fear and threat from other religious bigots.
If you keep quiet today, your tomorrow is a big hell. If you tolerate these selfish politicians today, tomorrow our children shall be left with bleak and dreadful future.
Today’s Convert is Tomorrow’s Enemy:
In a village, the organizers of a Rama Temple lamented that “In the past, when we organize a procession of Lord’s Idols for Sri Rama Navami Celebrations, every house and every street used to participate in the festival. Today, we don’t see the same people turning up in the same streets. If we volunteer ourselves to their houses and inform them to come and receive the Prasad, they indifferently reply to us that they got converted and cannot take the Prasad.”
Yesterday’s devotees are today’s enemies. How to tackle this kind of situation? What should we do now? What can we do, expect cursing, crying and howling?
Christian festivals are celebrated in month of December all over the world. But in India , they happen with every throw of a cap- no timing and no logic. Very evangelistic preacher invents a new timing and a Christian festival is celebrated. These festivals are fabricated to be on par with Hindu festivals, be it Sankranti, Sivarathri or Navaratri. The invented Christian festivals happen at the proximity of famous Hindu temples in name of “Krupa Festival”, “Daya Festival”, ” Health Festivals “and grand conversions happen.
Now these programs have taken a new avatar, imitating horror serials like “Mystry after death”, “Death takes you to grave or hell”.
Conversions or religious propagation, what exactly is happening and what is the truth? There is a sea of difference between preaching religion and baiting conversions. All these days, the knife of conversion was smeared with words of honey like Love, Peace and Service. But today, we hear aggressive slogans like “yahovah shall fight”; “we want, economic, social and political rights”, being uttered by Christian fronts.
Hindus!, Arise!,Awake! :
How can one religion enjoy special status and special rights in a secular country? How far is it legal and ethical if one religion resolves that it should rule and subdue others in a democracy?
“This is Hindu country and Hindus alone should rule”. Have we ever heard such kind of words uttered in India ? Don’t we deserve a ruler who is above communal mindset? When shall we have a polity that gives equal status to every religious community without pampering minorities?
Whether, Christians or Muslims, they had enjoyed their hay days, during foreign rule in the past. They were never subjected to sorrow in their past. Why then, they require special status on the basis of religion today? Is idiocy and ignorance overpowering Hindus that they deter from answering the hypocritical zealots? Do they fear the terror mongers and their bosses in neighboring countries?
Religion is a matter of faith, it is a not a political ideology. Why is support required from the government to make a person follow his faith sincerely? Why then governments declare sops and subsidies based on the religion? What does it means if Government proclaims, that “Government supports all Christians in the state in every way”. Can the gesture of the government be interpreted as the open support to religious conversion that is happening at alarming levels for the past four years?
Recently, an opposition leader in the state was exhorting people to revolt against the rulers, as the government was grabbing the lands of poor and was distributing them to the most favored industrialists. Can Hindus take clue from it and revolt, applying the same logic to themselves?
No foreign country in world comes to your rescue, when matters go worse and your human rights become denied. Yet, even to a small discomfort to minorities in this country, the whole world becomes hyped with words of injustice being done to the minorities and human rights violation.
These are the heart burns expressed with concern, yet there can be certain political minds which give saffron coloring to the above words. This voice remains independent of political sides and tunes. This expression has nothing to do with any Political Parties and Parivars. As a true inheritor of this country’s Hindu heritage and legacy ,every letter of the every word , had evolved and shaped from the depths of the Heart, which is eternally soaked in Hindu dharma.