20 May 2022 10:39 AM
JUSTICE RAJINDAR SACHAR | 24 NOVEMBER, 2017
May I remind Adityanath that he took the oath of office on the Constitution of India
NEW DELHI: The shocking statement by Yogi Adityanath, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, namely “I believe that the word “Secular” is the biggest lie since Independence”, should result in his immediate dismissal.
Would some advisers of Adityanath enlighten him that the Preamble to our Constitution specifically states that India is a Secular, Socialist State. Would his advisors also enlighten him that the Supreme Court has held that “Secularism” is the basic feature of our Constitution and any state government which fails in upholding this basic feature has no right to continue –in fact in Bommais Case, the Supreme Court upheld the dismissal of nine State governments on this score alone.
May I also remind Yogi Adityanath and his colleagues that as per Article 75(4) of the Constitution of India they took oath before entering their offices which requires them to swear in the name of God that they will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India as by law established.
The oath covers the protection of Secularism as mentioned in the Preamble to the Constitution as existing at the time of taking oath. Anyone suggesting to the contrary would be taking the ludicrous stand that the oath would not oblige the Ministers to follow the mandate of over 100 amendments to the Constitution made since the original Constitution of 1950.
No Yogi Sahib, unless you accept Secularism as a part of your government as per Bommais case by Supreme Court, the central government. is under legal obligation to dismiss the U.P. Government.
I hope Yogi Ji would certainly accept that there is no greater exponent of Hinduism than Swami Vivekananda. This is what he said: “therefore, I am firmly persuaded that without the help of practical Islam, theories of Vedantism, however fine and wonderful they may be, are entirely valueless to the vast mass of mankind which ought to be taught that religions are but the varied expression of THE RELIGION, which is Oneness, so that each may choose the path that suits him best.
For our own motheriand a junction of the two great systems, Hinduism and Islam, the Vedanta brain and Islam body is the only hope.
I see in my mind’s eye the future perfect India rising out of this chaos and strife, glorious and invincible, with Vedanta brain and Islam body.”
Secularism does not signify Anti-Religion. Secularism signifies giving equal dignity and respect to all religions. Of course it goes without saying that the Indian State has no religion of its own, nor for that matter can any religion claim superiority over another religion as by resorting to the false premise that any religion in the Country is indigenous while others are foreign. This is heresy not permitted by our Constitution, which gives equal reverence to all the religions practiced by the various communities of India.
Thus inclusive development in India and for that matter in any country alone is the path to prosperity. It is an undeniable truth and needs to be irrevocably accepted by all in India, namely that minorities, Muslims and Christians are not outsiders. They are an integral part of India.
Let me quote what Swami Vivekanand one of the greatest spiritual personality of India has to say of the intimate connection between the spirit of Islam and Hinduism thus. He told Hindus not to talk of the superiority of one religion over another. Even toleration of other faiths was not right; it smacked of blasphemy. He pointed out that his guru, Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa, had accepted all religions as true. Swami Vivekanand in fact profusely praised Islam and in a letter to his friend Mohammed Sarfraz Hussain (June 10, 1898) without any hesitation wrote “therefore I am firmly persuaded that without the help of practical Islam, theories of vedantism, however fine and wonderful they may be are entirely valueless to the vast mass of mankind. For our own motherland a junction of the two great systems Hinduism and Islam – Vedanta brain and Islam body - is the only hope……. the future perfect India.”
Thus inclusive development in the country alone is the path to prosperity. It is an undeniable truth and needs to be irrevocably accepted by all in the country that minorities, Muslims and Christians are not outsiders. They are an integral part of India. There can be no real progress which does not include minorities, Muslims and Christians as equal stakeholders.
I cannot put it better than what Sir Sayyed Ahmed Khan, one of the greatest leader of our country had to say over a century back. Gandhiji repeated it in 1921, and also in another prayer meeting at Rajghat on March 24, 1947 thus; “In the words of Sir Sayyed Ahmed Khan……I would say that Hindus and Muslims are the two eyes of mother India just as the trouble in one eye affects the other too, similarly the whole of India suffer when either Hindu or Muslim suffer.”
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad’s clarion call emphasizes that composite culture is the bed rock of Indian Secularism pervading our country. He said thus;
“Just as a Hindu can say with pride that he is an Indian and follows Hinduism, so also we can say with equal pride that we are Indians and follow Islam. I shall enlarge this orbit still further. The Indian Christian is equally entitled to say with pride that he is an Indian and is following a religion of India, namely Christianity.
If there are any Hindus amongst us who desire to bring back the Hindu life of a thousand years ago and more, they dream, and such dreams are vain fantasies. So also if there are any Muslims who wish to revive their past civilization and culture, which they brought a thousand years ago from Iran and Central Asia, they dream also and the sooner they wake up the better. These are unnatural fancies which cannot take root in the soil of reality. I am one of those who believe that revival may be a necessity in a religion but in social matters it is a denial of progress.”
“I am proud to be a Muslim. Everything bears the stamp of our joint endeavour. Our languages were different, but we grew to use a common language. Our manners and customs were different, but they produced a new synthesis……. No fantasy or artificial scheming to separate and divide can break this unity – Islam has now as great a claim on the soil of India as Hinduism, and that is true of Christianity too”.
(Justice Rajindar Sachar is former Chief Justice of the High Court of Delhi. He was also Chairperson of the Prime Minister’s High Level Committee on the Status of Muslims)
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