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Theological fundamentalism, national security and common civil code
Reserve Bank of India has issued new Rs.5 and Rs.10 coins bearing image of Goddess Vaishno Devi to commemorate Shrine's silver jubilee. Indian Muslim clerics have raised red flag over it stating that it hurts their religious sentiments. On the other hand Muslim traders are seen selling calendars with pictures to various Hindu religious celebrities which don’t seem to hurt any body’s sentiments.

On earlier occasions too objections have been raised on minor issues like reciting national song Vande Matram in the parliament or teaching Surya Namaskar or Gita in schools. Kumar Vishwas, Taslimaa Nasreen, Dalit scholar Kanwal Bharti and various others have been booked from time to time for hurting Muslim sentiments.

In comparison sentiments of Muslims of Indonesia, the largest Islamic country is entirely different though both are followers of the same theology. Indonesian currency, 20,000 rupiah note is printed with Lord Ganesh picture and no one ever objected to it. Indonesian President presented a wooden carved statue of Goddess Saraswati, with Veena in hand, to President of USA during his official visit, and no one objected to it.

Hurt religious sentiments appear to be the handwork of fanatics interested to keep fundamentalism alive. A recent light hearted statement of a Muslim leader that Western Uttar Pradesh be declared as Muslim Pradesh indicates that Islamic community is in still pre-independence mode when fundamentalism was at its peak.

Hindu society has been polytheist and secular through ages. Current Islamic teaching creates violence and hatred toward Non-Muslims (Scholar Dr. Tawfik, We Muslims have to change).T he real spirit of secularism is all inclusiveness, religious pluralism and peaceful co-existence. Islamic personnel laws, divine laws granted to the community post independence has only aggravated fundamentalism.

Compromising fundamentalism injects intolerance and may lead to catastrophe of which  partition of1947 is classic example. Politics should attempt to unite citizens and negate divisive effect of religion.

To sustain secularism Indian Islamic community should take cue from their counterparts in Indonesia. Ancestors of both Indian and Indonesian Muslims were Hindus but Indonesian Muslims are still associated with their roots, Hinduism.

They all know Ramayana. Their national channel airs Ramayana once a week, their shopping mall is named Ramayana Plaza and its national airlines are called Garuda and domestic airlines as Jatayu.

Most of their ships are named after heroes of Mahabharata. Majority of Muslims have Hindu names like Wahyu (Vayu), Hendra(Indira), therefore names borrowed from middle east and Arab is not must.

Separate Islamic code is now threatening national security as is evident from home ministry's report that Muslim youths are becoming radicalised and youths from UP madarsas and of Andhra and Karnataka are being recruited for terrorist activities.

One NSA had confirmed that SIMI, a terrorist outfit has established about 800 cells pan India. No terrorist activity from foreign soil is possible in our country without active local support, which is readily available as confirmed by various Indian terrorists in police net.

India is pluralist society with multiple religions, languages, cultures; secularism is the only option to remain together. Theological tolerance is essential requirement for secularism to succeed. So long Muslims are encouraged to keep separate identity and divorced from their roots national security will always be threatened by religious bickering.

Political parties should junk vote bank politics and keep national interest uppermost. It is the most opportunistic time as the national election is due in few months. Common civil code should be the main election plank of truly secular party.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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