Ever since regaining independence, back in 1947, Bharat has never been a secular country; secular would imply the country has kept the state and religion apart. Separation of state and religion is the basis for a secular state!! That never happened with all the minority appeasement that has happened over the past 70+ years. Temples being controlled by governments and the revenues being utilized by governments does not adhere to the very basic philosophy of secularism. And yet, without properly knowing or understanding this word, we freely use it. In fact, back in 1976, the then prime minister Indira Gandhi, signed Article #42 that tried to make Bharat secular, but what has transpired since has belied the very principles of secularism! Before you jump up to castigate me, please understand that Bharat has been a pluralistic country with multiple religions, supposedly, flourishing.

Mrs Gandhi, with her socialist leaning, probably wanted to dissociate the government from religion. Fair enough but then putting the temples in the hands of greedy politicians was exactly the opposite of what she wanted to achieve. Now, with all the new politicians (and political parties), nobody wants to give up control of the revenues from the temples! One guy was caught on TV saying, “ government does not want all temples, just the cash rich ones”!!! The chief minister of Andhra, allegedly a Christian, has placed his uncle on the board of directors for the cash rich TTD. Would someone tell him to do the same to the Jama Masjid, the various mosques or churches that are sprouting up in the state?

Temples in the southern states have been cash rich! It is shocking that the state of Kerala, run by supposedly communists, have looted millions from recently found gold(many hundreds of tonnes). And yet, when you talk to the common Hindu, the standard answer given is “what can we do?” Huh, say what? People voted them to power and now ask, what they can do!!!

Whether the MP from Hyderabad likes it, or not, the reality is Bharat still has a majority of Hindus populating the country. They may be dormant and apathetic (read as pathetic), but they still live in the country. To dismiss them as inconsequential and to appease the minorities is a dangerous move and has been proven by the recent, so called, nationalistic Hindutva wave. So when did nationalism become a thing to abhor? We see nationalists around the world and yet, we seem to placate them while we castigate local nationalists! Nationalism has wrongly been interpreted as having to do with religion! Nothing could be further from the truth! Placing one’s country and its interests above everyone else is what nationalism is about! Priyanka Chopra, who is an actress of repute, seems to be one of the people who see the wrong definition! One can debate on whether, or not, this was done intentionally since script writers usually research prior to writing! In any case, she has made her millions although, she has lost QUITE a few fans in India!

Finally, rather than focus on its own economic issues, Pakistan seems hell bent on bringing issues within India to the international stage. Can one of the incorruptible Indian politicians, rare to find but do exist, bring the plight of the Balochs and other states within Pakistan, that don’t want to be a part of that country, to the attention of the international media? Granted, New York Times and it’s sister publications will choose to ignore this, as will CNN and MSNBC, but there are other media outlets that will gladly run these narratives. Let’s start from there, what do you say?

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