"Indian secularism is different" (ENG)

"Indian secularism is different" (ENG)
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well you know for a lot of people particularly those who cultural nationalists Indian secularism was different from secularism since other part of the world the first thing about it was that it was not anti religious the second thing about it was that it viewed the state in in a positive role positive in the sense that it was to promote and benefit all religions more or less equally now that became the official not the official but one version which a lot of people tried to propagate as the Indian model of secularism the terms that were used were are still used sarva dharma sam bhava which is equal respect for all religions treating all religions in the same respectful way but that's a very misleading idea and it's not in my views not the truth about Indian secularism in in Sector ISM has a very interesting way of looking at religion first of all it embodies and the idea of critical respect the main motivation here is that if you find things that you really care about acquiring certain characteristics which are found by several people as bad or as I would even say filthy then precisely because you care for those things you need to intervene and remove that filter from from those things that you deeply care about now the deeply caring about this is something which is expressed through this notion of respect you so the Indian state is meant to respect religions and all religions equally but this idea that caring for something implies that when it is when its health is not very good you shall do something about it and restore it to its health good health then that idea entails that that you will intervene in it to change it but changing it presupposes that you are able to notice what's wrong and noticing what routes wrong further presupposes that you have a slightly distant critical attitude towards your religion and and the state can do it not just the interesting thing about the state which is something which is shared by everybody and which belongs to everybody is that it cannot identify itself with any one religion it must be seen to belong to all religious groups and so it's attitudes of critique and respect or critical respect should apply equally to all religious groups now so Hindus may have the same attitude of critical respect towards Hinduism and Muslims may have and should have the same attitude of critical respect towards Islam and so us Christian Christians and others but a state cannot have this attitude with respect to just one religion it has to be critical of all and respectful for all at the same time and I think that is an idea which is very different from the model that you find in France say where the state has a has an attitude only of suspicion sometimes even hostility or disrespect towards religion one religion it doesn't have many you know it doesn't contend with many religions unless reach and until recently didn't have to in its own territory but also that it is there is no no real explicit attitude of respect towards that religion namely Catholicism I mean it's implicit but it's not an explicit that's what marks it as nice and nice ET and so it's not that because it is it's not disrespect towards religion but it's also not like the American model where you respect and you respect all the denominations of one religion but respect means that you cannot do anything in relation to them you leave them alone that's what that's that's how you respect religions by allowing them to be how people within that religion wish it to be so that even if there are some despicable features in it the state must not get into it so the state must neither help nor hinder religions it should just keep out of them that's the kind of model of that's a self understanding that they that are very prominent and I would say the dominant conception of secularism contains now Indian as I said it's different from both of these and the other thing which has to be remembered is that it's possible that in India of what in the West is called atheism both the orthodoxy there was hardly anybody for a more than a thousand years there was hardly anybody who believed in God there were lots of traditions that not only did not believe in God but did not even believe in God's the Buddha is the change and they were dominant traditions the Chara Vox I mean even I would say the Upanishads the idea of the Atman and the Brahman being identical is a kind of in a way it's talking about a supreme self which is both outside and inside you and which is one the way very different from theistic notions so I think if you take all of and the Vedas also add you know they're very as I explained kind of enchanted secular world in the Vedas so I would say that theism was heresy and atheism was if you're putting it in in contemporary language atheism was the orthodoxy and the religions therefore include all philosophical views which do not believe in God or which do not believe in God's and and and so equal respect for all religions would mean respecting all of this as well because that's the orthodoxy now that's not how a lot of people think of it today but it would entail by you know it's it's something which seems to jump to seem to jump to the jump to the I I mean it's it's obvious that that must have been the case and that is the case today even today nobody I think belief in God or belief in a particular God is not seen to be absolutely critical certainly has no no even the worst people will not say that this a belief in God a belief in this God is is is necessary for your membership in the Hindu nation that's not you nobody would say that as a matter of fact I mean some people would who believe in the Hindu and the theory of Hindu nationalism they openly say that they are not it they not wreak their atheistic so I think it would include in the Western sense equal respect or critical respect to all religions includes not only all all religions but also necessarily what in the West would not be called religion but will be called secular routings it's sort of it so it's critical respect to all the philosophical outlook that there are those that believe in God and gods and those who do not believe in God and God's all have to be given equal and critical respect that I think is a particularly that that's a very interesting and distinctive Indian secularism

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