Developing Secular India. . .

Recently the Prime Minister said that 15% of our country’s resources should be exclusively kept reserved for minorities. He talked about reserving certain per cent of our development budget and providing them with many other facilities. Every now and then our government at the centre keeps on talking about the poor living conditions of minorities and the level of their under development. It is good that the government is concerned about the poor and want to provide them with facilities for their betterment and upliftment. So now for the minorities to prosper this is the new mantra formulated by our intelligent polity in power.

India is a secular country and our constitution says that no action of the state should be on religious guidelines. But Aren’t these special privileges communal in nature? So is it not what the government is planning to do should be called as communal budgeting? However it appears when the government talks about minorities in our country, then constitution and other things does not really matters.

No doubt that taking steps, which are for the favour of one particular religion is against the spirit of secularism. The self proclaimed secularists have done it many times in past and they will do it now. There is nothing new in it, and the questions right now in front of us are not should it be done or not? But will it prove to be beneficial to any one or not? It is not about communal budgeting or minority budgeting, but about who and which minorities?

To begin with, this whole concept of minorities which is prevalent in our country, for over six decades now is a little flawed. Who is a minority? Our constitution not clearly defines as to who all comes under this perspective. Going by what we hear on daily basis, then the people belonging to religion other than Hinduism falls in this category. But how can a person be a minority in his/her own country? Every citizen of India is equal, and enjoys equal rights. Then how can on the bases of religion somebody be called minority or majority, that too in a secular country where religion is secondary? Essentially in a country like ours, a person who is not Indian or for that matter not an Indian citizen by birth can fall under this category, but not someone who is an integral part of the country from the very beginning. If these people are as much Indian as the rest of country’s population, then why do we label them as something else? Why we our self make them feel as if they are different from the rest of the country’s population? Why we divide our own country in the name of religion, if we want to be secular?

Secondly when we plan development, then it should be inclusive and not specific. It is a common practice in our country, to talk about development issues on the bases of caste and religion. Why we have a tendency to work for a particular group and tend to forget about the others? Even if it is meant for some exclusive part of the society, in that case we should ascertain that it reaches to the person in most need of it. If we really want to do good to anyone, then a huge chunk of the population is still living below poverty line. This is the most backward, uneducated and starving to death group of our country. The people of this group do not belong to any particular religion. These people do not even talk about minority status or special privileges, because only thing which they want is basic humane living conditions.

Moreover if we plan to do good for society, even if it is for a small part of it, then it is our duty to make sure that we are moving on the correct path. Whenever there is something wrong, those with the power to make it right has the responsibility to make it right and this responsibility does not finishes with just allocation of funds or reservation of jobs or seats in institutes. It is not even a step in the right direction forget about being the solution.

India is booming in every sector. In every field we are showing the world a new dimension. In this new millennium, we are holding the torch of development. Every day we are surprising the world with new achievements and every moment we are reaching for new heights. So it is time that we start waking up to a new dawn, a dawn which takes us away from all the petty difference of caste and religion. A dawn not just for a particular part or section of the country, but for the whole nation as one. Let us talk about a new beginning, a beginning which has the potential to take us to heights which have never been achieved. And from where we all can proudly declare in one voice that we all are Indians and just Indians, neither Hindu nor Muslim. No forward or backward classes, and no majority or minority. Let us stop dividing Bharat by different means and ways.

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