Ban Religion from Secular space? Identity Politics: Right or Wrong?


james kottoor

“Indian liberals who want Muslims to stop wearing their identity at protests are being hypocritical. By using religious symbolism, Muslims are reclaiming their space and the freedoms guaranteed to all Indians under the Constitution” are the opposing vews of Nafis Haider, below in today.

The double standards of India liberals are evident from the fact that some of them promote Hinduism, even as they claim to merely be espousing longstanding cultural practices. When minorities do the same thing, though, their representations of identity are categorised as communal.

“To suggest that the protests against the citizenship initiatives would be tainted unless Muslims keep their religion inside their homes is in itself discriminatory. The claim by some Indian liberals that our fight against the citizenship initiatives must be based on a single identity as Indians is a little confused. How can we safeguard a Constitution that speaks for religious freedom while discarding our own religious freedom? 

Nehru’s Secularism?

Nehru stated, for him secularism meant protecting every religion. Asking a minority community to hide its identity and repose their hopes only on the Constitution is paradoxical. Is it not a fact that one specific community in India has been targetted by the citizenship policies? India is a land of multiculturalism and those who argue for freedoms to be limited themselves betray the idea of Indian secularism. 

Muslims are not the perpetrators but the victim of identity politics practiced by the Sangh Parivar and Modi government in particular. By using religious symbolism, Muslims are reclaiming their space and the freedoms guaranteed to all Indians under the Constitution. 

Gandhi’s Religious exhibition?

They are demanding that other communities should also adhere to Gandhi’s idea of India where Gita, Quran and Bible were recited on the same platform. It is time for other communities to show their solidarity with Muslims and reassure the community that we need not feel alienated in our own homeland.” Nafis Haider studies Political Science at Aligarh Muslim, Jn.25/20

Identity politics is torn between constitutional  gurantees and individual religious freedoms blocking the possibility to public protest without exhibiting the identies of participants shouting out Hindu, Muslim or Christin, but only as one human. Not  posstilbe?

Muslims are right since they are reacting also to Modi’s comment, ‘they can be spotted by their clothes’ and the Modi parivar parading their identity with lotus and saffron color all the time. But they are wrong since  all the rest of the protesting crowd are highlighting “I am one Human”  the common cause of brotherhood of all Indians irrespective of their religious differences! 

Jesus’ Human Identity?

So what is essential to achieve unity, common cause and PEACE on earth to all men of good will? Jesus paraded the banner SON OF MAN to bind together all human race, not any divisive religion or his racial identity, a Jew! What then do you think is compelling banner to demonstrate now,  at all our protest meets? Think it over and react.

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1 Response

  1. Abraham says:

    Actually, i would hope that men and women of every religion realize that religion is something very much accidental, not at all a characteristic to define one' s identity. To day I may be a christian, tomorrow i can be a Muslim. But basically I am a human being. My identity is in no way dependent on my religion. 

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