True Secularism?

Today, many nations in the world are secular countries.

Secularism is a form of governance that is not affiliated with any particular religion.

Essentially it means that religion should not interfere with any of the government affairs. Yet, I question, are countries really secular in the true sense of the word today – especially in countries that follow the reservation system?

In India, there is a controversy going on, when the Government wants to enforce reservation for a particular sect of people – the SC/ST [Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe] and OBCs [Other Backward Castes].

50% of the total seats in prestigious educational institutions have to be reserved for people coming under this category – demands the Government. Caste/religion should not play any part in judging if people deserve seats in these premium institutions, or for that matter, any educational institutions. The single most important factor should be MERIT! It’s not the fault of anyone to be born into a higher caste/lower caste, a major religion or a minority!

For a country that has adopted secularism, any practice still based on religion/caste, isn’t it against the very tenet that they have adopted?

It’s not just India’s case here. There has been many criticisms against other countries that still have ties to the Church. [Read the article on Secularism @ Wikipedia].

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8 Replies to “True Secularism?”

  1. ” It’s not the fault of anyone to be born into a higher caste/lower caste, a major religion or a minority!”

    EGGJACKTLY!

    And that is the main point – beyond even the “merit” arguement.
    The main point is that the government perpetuates and discriminates against people just because they happen to be born and brought up in a certain background.

    And here’s the worst thing :

    Everyone talks about having the economic status as a criterion amongst others, but in a country where the official head of state can get a warrant issued against him in a false case(happened in Guj against Kalam), how difficult is it to get a single income certificate?

    Not beyond the means and money of the folks who covet it.

  2. Oh, and I dont believe its needed to be a “secular” country. All we need to do is treat citizens equally. And India is that unique moronic case where the majority get the boot.

  3. I agree with you on the economic status inclusion as a factor. It’s very easy to forge. Forget that, in India today, even when you fill online forms, when you fill in details for your school etc, I have seen parents and other people fill in false details.

    Highly immoral, hell yeah! Why? God only knows. We are still stuck into the belief that the Government is exhorting money from us. But, if you are honest and indeed take only the legal ways of tax exemptions, why do you have to lie at other places?

    Nope, it will be a terrible thing to do, unless of course, they have the backing to enforce it strictly, which is a distant dream in this country right now.

    There’s a very interesting point that one of my friend’s dad had told me.

    India has all the backing, the setup of a country that can take the world by storm. They have excellent policies. They have excellent leadership. They are the world’s largest Democracy. Yet, why isn’t it in one of the top nations in the world? Why, because all these policies end after just being one. They become nothing but ink on paper

    I think he was right on the money. We need to enforce what we promise/say/define in the sessions of Parliament that happens! What happens to the Executive eh?

    Oh, and I dont believe its needed to be a “secular” country. All we need to do is treat citizens equally. And India is that unique moronic case where the majority get the boot.

    Hahaha!! True dude, true! And I think it’s up to us also to take the initiative and do something about it!

    Why don’t we start something like the Blank Noise Project against the whole reservation system? It might be a silent scream, but it will be a scream nonetheless. We can give it a shot anyway. What say you? Interested? We could probably even name it something that could catch the eye and get it started amongst Indian bloggers.

  4. Ahem

    I dont like the militancy and obduracy of the BNP. But, I suppose you’re suggesting a milder kind of activism – sure, count me in.

  5. Sure that is nice to listen to; Lets go and vote against a brigandage that does not count much i
    on merit but is just another excuse to create a vote bank and blah blah. If that’s so i would like you to try this. Someday try working for ur own education,day and night sweating on a beggar’s facility, a child’s body still that has to work for his/her own living,with no govt provided means of education(that’s the case in rural remote places if you dont know),where a mere chance to land a seat in a good institution would be like a dream come true, that’s
    when you understand the real purpose of reservation. Sitting in a cosy City and surounded with comfort that you take for granted(Tv,electricity,food,education,medical facilities)you would never ofcourse understand how hard it is for people who never had anything(the basic facilities) in their life to get a chance to be a par with others when the others already had all the necessities to make it easier. If keeping reservation for a deserving student was a crime and a sin i guess you ought to think over it again. Not everybody is born in the best situations.

    The problem should be with the ill usage of reservation not the real cause of it.

  6. Hi Une!

    Please note that people haven’t exactly been against reservation in India for the past 50 odd years. It’s just that when they are taking the notch to the next level that the whole thing went outta proportion!

    So far, people have been only but supportive of the issue you are talking about. We aren’t trying to curb out reservation. We aren’t trying to curb out rights. We are trying to help the backward people come forward. Instead of reservations, we are asking them to concentrate on proper education. We are asking them to provide power to homes so that “everyone” can study!!

    on merit but is just another excuse to create a vote bank and blah blah. If that’s so i would like you to try this. Someday try working for ur own education,day and night sweating on a beggar’s facility, a child’s body still that has to work for his/her own living,with no govt provided means of education(that’s the case in rural remote places if you dont know),where a mere chance to land a seat in a good institution would be like a dream come true, that’s when you understand the real purpose of reservation.

    To clarify and state your case, why does that child have to work for his/her own living in the first place? Why doesn’t the Government provide no means of education in the first place? Fine, agreed, so is the corrective action to provide reservation in the higher education institutions?

    That’s where the Government, at least according to me is playing a ploy. Correcting their wrongdoings in the higher education institutions is a taint to the institution’s image, which is coming up in the global scenario! I agree there are awesome students in these institutions. I am also NOT saying that the reservation students are all bad. What I am trying to say is that the playing ground is NOT made level by making reservations. Providing a central system of education which is homogenous across the nation might do that, not reservations.

    Getting into these higher education institutions is not a child’s play. People toil day and night, maybe in cozy environments, maybe in streetlights, but finally it’s up2 them to harness all their knowledge, wit and skill to come through the exams and the interviews. Reservations just completely spoil the landscape. A dent or a mountain, depending on which way you look at it!!

    To question your claim – What is the real purpose of reservation? Can you enlighten me on that if you are sure that I don’t exactly understand it?

    Sitting in a cosy City and surounded with comfort that you take for granted(Tv,electricity,food,education,medical facilities)you would never ofcourse understand how hard it is for people who never had anything(the basic facilities) in their life to get a chance to be a par with others when the others already had all the necessities to make it easier. If keeping reservation for a deserving student was a crime and a sin i guess you ought to think over it again. Not everybody is born in the best situations.

    The problem should be with the ill usage of reservation not the real cause of it.

    Life isn’t fair. You are talking about reservations. It isn’t the child’s fault that he/she is born into a rich/poor family. What matters _is_ indeed MERIT. I am sure you know of tons of people who have had the best training and coaching in air-conditioned environments with their convent school education background, probably even foreign education, who haven’t made it to these institutions. You would also know of ordinary people just doing their bit of hardwork and making it to these institutions.

    At the same time, you are forgetting some of these “ordinary” people, who are probably in the lower middle class or even lower class families, who are competent to get into these institutions, but have to forego their seats for reservation, which is blatantly misused mind you! What do you have to say about that?

    What do you have to say about the millions of people who haven’t spoken a word so far about reservation, but are pointing out that the reservation of 50% seats is a blatant misuse of the act?

    So, how to get rid of the awkwardness of the situation? There are many ways. There are not going to be any losers if India and its system become better. There is only something to gain! So, I have nothing against it. But keep it in check and with corruption reigning supreme, I don’t think so!

    Another example. Even the people from these so called castes agree that they don’t exactly need reservation. Why should they be treated in a special way? There should be no racism, even according to them. So, take a chill pill and analyse the situation properly! I am sure even you’ll find that the root cause of reservation has a big role to play to how this situation has come up in the first place!

    And thanks for a viewpoint from the other side. It really did help me take a look and hold my stance :-)!

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