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Secular Boomerang!
By T R Jawahar


It is heartening to know that secularism can fire both ways. If not handled with care, it can blow up in the face of even its expert proponents, like a bomb in the making. Of course, such occasions are rare in this very tolerant' country, given the one-sided secular-sermons that the people are customarily and consistently subjected to, but a wonder has indeed happened.

The Madras High Court while ruling that the closure of schools and colleges run by minorities in the State for a day is not clothed with legal sanction', has also dropped a few pearls of secular wisdom that the inveterate secularists can do well to pick. After declaring that the Court knows no religion, the learned Judge goes on to say: No student who is studying in minority institutions, regardless of religion, shall be involved in this kind of protest and we hope that they shall not be dragged into any kind of controversies, religious or political, and be spared only for the purpose of developmental activities like education, sports, etc. so that they grow up as healthy secular students'. Note the catch phrases: ...knows no religion' and ...secular students'. These are normally hurled by the secularists and of course, the minorities to hound and humble the Hindus. Now the very same verbal weapons have felled these habitual deployers who had appropriated them so long for their sole use. And they cannot complain because it is the court which has put them in place, not the communal Hindus. As they sow, so do they reap!

The secular boomerang has struck at them with greater force than they had unleashed it with. The Court had wanted to know from the defendent secularists why at all the schools run by them have to be closed when there were several other ways of expressing their protest, particularly when the ordinance was applicable only to conversions through force, allurement or fraudulent means. The Judge also queried if he had the jurisdiction to test the veracity of the ordinance or annul it in the absence of any Supreme Court judgment sanctioning it and then advised the defendents to shun other modes to express the protest and wait as a writ challenging the ordinance itself has been filed for specific relief. Of course, the last word is yet to be said with the case having been posted for further hearing to January, 2003, but do not the Courts observations echo a familiar pang in every parents, nay, every, citizens heart?

The Christian community leaders and their secular sponsors were obviously suffering from a high degree of presumptuousness - that they can get away with anything. This in turn has been wrought by decades of over-indulgence to them, their whims and their religion, by everybody who is somebody, both in politics and society. So, any step to rectify anomalies, balance the scales or check their activities is met with stiff resistance and dubbed as an anti-minority atrocity which has to be shunned forcefully and shelved forthwith! Sure, but if the anti-minority syndrome itself could be so potent, then what if some move is deemed anti-majority? By the same token and proportion, should not the earth beneath the nation shake? But in India that is Bharath, not a leaf will ruffle! Because we are secular and tolerant, while as pet, adamant children, the minorities have to be pampered, fed, nourished and nurtured so that they are healthy enough and emboldened adequately to keep asking for more. Now can anyone be satiated by appeasement? On the contrary, it can only increase the appetite, particularly if the hungry ones know the giver to be a sucker who can be milked dry. Little wonder that, having secured hefty aids and grants from the money of the tax payers, a majority of whom are secular Hindus and so sinners, and then thriving on the fees paid by students, a majority of whom are again off-springs of those wretched sheep, the Christian managements still had the temerity to order closure of the schools.

But for once their bluff has been called with the State government making it clear that if they went ahead with the closure of the schools run by them, (and not wholly funded by them, mind you), then the aid would be cut forthwith. Very few people know that most of the so-called Christian-run institutions are heavily aided by government doles. These educational institutions and even those which are self-financed, rely heavily on secular students for sustenance, charging them fees that are in no way less than the market rates. At best, they can be deemed custodians of public money, secular money at that, vested with them for imparting knowledge and at worst can be classified as enterprising entrepreneurs engaged in the business of education, their holy attire notwithstanding. That is, there is very little of service involved for their acts are akin to paying one with ones own coin and all this lofty talk of the missionaries great service to the cause of education is one of the longest surviving lies. And by resorting to the closure, they have only reinforced the common suspicions about their motives, a self-indictment that is more eloquent than a thousand judicial verdicts. If secularism and service are their avowed motives as they claim, why should they seek to drag the secular students and even their teachers into a protest that they have no stake or interest in? But more basic is the question why a law banning only forcible conversions should be any business of Bishops and managements who are solely engaged in voluntary service with no religious strings attached?

Rendering of Saraswathi Vandhana was deemed a blashpemy in this secular country, but day in and day out lakhs of students, majority of them Hindus, studying in the thousands of schools that have downed shutters today, are made to begin their day with an invocation to the Holy Father and Holy-whateverelse. And this happens in educational institutions that are funded out of the money of their parent whose purse it exits either as tax or fees. And these donors do not even know that and instead have all along been led to believe by the past masters of propoganda that they, the parents and students, are at the receiving end of benign charity. And now comes the ultimate insult, that the robed religionists masquerading as educationists will not hesitate to hold society to ransom if they are not allowed to have their secular way. Indeed, it should be a revelation for many on the extent to which public funds has been diverted as grants and doles to promote this sort of perverse secularism. The State government should press ahead with its warning to withdraw the grants, now that the Christian institutions have carried on with their closure threat. Let the gauntlet be thrown back at them. We should never pay a blackmailer, for it is not in him to say stop!  



Copyright 2001 - All Rights Reserved.

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