Justice Katju speaks up on secularism and communalism in India

Today the truth is that most Hindus in India are communal, and so are most Muslims. Why is that so? There are two main reasons for the lack of growth of genuine secularism among the masses in India:

1. Secularism is mainly a product of industrialization, and because industrialization in India has been weak and only partial, the industrial culture and secular consciousness has not spread widely among the masses.

Even the political parties in India claiming to be secular are only interested in the Muslim vote bank, not because of genuine commitment to secularism.

2. There has been very little intellectual growth in India and intellectual leadership is almost totally absent, unlike in Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries, when great intellectuals like Voltaire, Rousseau, the French Encyclopedists, etc provided intellectual leadership to the people by attacking feudalism and the feudal culture, customs and thinking.

Which among our so called ‘intellectuals’ is consistently doing so in India? Today there seems to be an intellectual vacuum in India.

Among writers, where are the Sharad Chandra, Premchand, Kazi Nazrul Islam, Subramaniaa Bharathi, Faiz, Manto, etc ?

In their desire to make money, our so called ‘intellectuals’ have largely prostituted themselves, and forgotten their duty to he country.

On the other hand, the deepening economic crisis in India, the alarming level of unemployment, skyrocketing food prices, etc would have ordinarily united all Indians against the anti-people Establishment. But to prevent that, our rulers seem to have decided to fan the communal fire so as to to divide the people.

The incidents in Muzaffarnagar, Ballabhgarh, etc hate speeches of Sadhvi Pragya, Adityanaath, Giriraj Singh etc, the lynching of Ikhlaque, the false propaganda about Kairana, etc, and our almost entirely sold out Indian media’s virulent campaign against the ‘evil’ Pakistanis, all point in one direction.

There is tremendous alienation among Muslims in India. They are often discriminated against in getting jobs, they find it difficult to get a house on rent, etc.

Efforts are made by powerful vested interests to paint them all as terrorists and bomb throwers, just as Hitler blamed the Jews for the economic crisis in Germany, when the truth is that the vast majority among them are peace loving,.

Whenever a terrorist incident happens in India, Muslims are blamed as a matter of course and arrested and chargesheeted. False evidence is often manufactured against them, and many have to spend long years in jail until they are ultimately found innocent by the Court.

An example of this was the boy Amir, who was 17 when arrested, and released after spending 14 years in jail when the Court found him innocent. Many other such examples can be given. Many are still rotting in jail.

The country is headed for very bad times, and I fear that the communal fire will spread in India, causing its reactive incidents in neighbouring countries

[Courtesy: This article is reproduced from Justice Markandey Katjuā€™s Facebook profile.]

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