timesofindia.indiatimes.com: India’s ambitious experiment with freedom of religion has failed. Our insipid brand of secularism, based on states’ active engagement amid stated religious neutrality, has led to the appeasement of a few, but empowers none and brings injustice for all. Instead of uniting our society, it has fomented fragmentation and alienation among our diverse religious communities.
The Hindu majority has now risen against years of over-accommodation of the Muslim minority. This puts the country at risk of losing its tolerant and pluralistic democracy. India today desperately needs a new definition of secularism, one based on freedom of religion, equality before law, and separation of religion and state.
All of these requirements are essential for secularism to work in any country. Indian secularism fails because it allows governments to grant religious freedoms, but not to treat religions equally. The biggest failure in this regard began in the early years of the republic, when the government codified Hindu social customs into law but allowed Muslims to continue practising Sharia law. For seven decades, the requirement of a uniform civil code has remained a Directive Principle in India’s Constitution.