secular in thought

How far are we, the people, secular in thought, word and deed? When we look around us and examine the working of various non-government institutions, the various political parties, especially national parties, which are supposed to be have thrown their membership open to all communities, we find that the spirit of secularism is being flouted day after day. We are not completely secular in our approach and attitudes. There are cases where admissions to educational institutions are decided on a basis that is anything but secular. If we review closely the working of our political parties, we shall find that candidates for elections are often chosen on communal considerations—Hindu candidates for constituencies having a predominantly Hindu electorate, Muslim candidates for areas where the majority of the voters are Muslims, and so on. There are exceptions here and there but, by and large, the observation made above is well founded. The voting in elections is often on communal lines; Hindus voting for Hindu candidates, Muslims for Muslim candidates and Sikhs for Sikh contestants. Political parties are not formed on a religious basis, but how is it that there are some distinctly communal parties in this secular country?

Again, how is it that in the selection of Ministers of various ranks, adequate representation is generally assured to members of various communities and even castes? There are “vote banks” in the rural areas where the caste factor plays a dominant role in determining the decisions of the village Sarpanches and leaders of the various clans, (and even sub-castes) in directing their followers to exercise their franchise for a particular candidate. Jats and non-Jats, Brahmins and non-Brahmins, Scheduled Castes and non-Scheduled Castes—these considerations, undeniably sectarian and narrow, determine their actions.