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India has to remain a secular country.
Satbir Singh Bedi | 24 Aug 2013

 
Some of my friends feel that the partition of the country had not been complete in the sense that all the population of the Muslims had not gone to Pakistan and had remained in India.  This, according to them is responsible for disturbance in their lives as they cannot celebrate Holi if Muharram also comes in those days in which Holi comes.  They also point to frequent Hindu-Muslim riots and feel that Hindus and Muslims cannot live together. However, when I point out that in that case, Kashmir being a Muslim majority State would go to Pakistan, they treat me as an anti national person.  Their argument is that the Maharaja of Kashmir has, as per the policy of the British rulers leaving India, had signed the letter of accession to India.
 
However, if their demand is conceded and India becomes a Hindu Rashtra, then the States of Kashmir, Punjab, Nagaland and some other States in the North Eastern Region having a majority of Muslim, Sikh and Christian population would have to go out of India because Hindus would be in minority in these States.  So, it is in India's national interest to remain secular.  We cannot afford to be a communal State like Pakistan or Bangladesh because of the demographic picture in the various states.  Some of my friends point out that according to our Constitution, Sikhs are part of the Hindus and the term "Hindu" covers "Sikh", "Jain" and "Bodhis".  However, my reply to them is that if they consider the matter too narrowly then Sikhs are also likely too are likely to consider it narrowly and in fact, some Sikhs do think that they are a separate nation and hence should be given a separate State for which they even have proposed the name of "Khalistan" .  Also then the movements in Nagaland, Assam etc. for so called  "independence" from India  would also intensify.  So, it is in our best interests to remain secular and work for a prosperous India by adjusting with religions other than our own.