14 May, 2021

A Secularism Gone To The Moths

Communal ideology and prejudice are easy to spot; it’s harder to confront the crisis of our hollowed-out Indian secularism

Illustration by Sorit
A Secularism Gone To The Moths
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

There will be no mercy. Thirty-two human beings who happened to be Muslims were butchered in Assam last week. The blood has flown but the rhetoric has not stopped. In Assam, there are critical details of ethnicity, tribalism, high levels of militarisation, a particular history of migration and a politics that is—at its simplest—articulated and perceived as violence by those who see themselves as the original inhabitants of the lands against Muslim settlers. Communal antipathy offers a static reading of the problem. When the story is amplified elsewhere, it is perceived as Hindus putting in place Muslims who were multiplying so fast....

A cold, calculated round of bloodletting that involved children being shot dead should have been a sobering moment for India, since presumably we are human beings before we split into Hindu and Muslim. Yet a day later, the nation’s PM-in-waiting travelled to another state that borders Bangladesh and has a large Muslim population. In West Bengal, Narendra Modi declared that worshippers of Durga are welcome to Hindustan and...

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