Opinion: D. C. Nath (President, Patriot’s Forum) – How Secular Is Secular India?

DC Nath SmallPresident of Patriots Forum, D.C. Nath was superannuated in January, 1995, as the Special Director, Intelligence Bureau, D.C. Nath (IPS-1960) was associated with the International Institute of Security and Safety Management (IISSM), headquartered in New Delhi, for over 14 years, first as the Executive President & CEO and then as the President & Director General, between February, 1997 and March, 2011. The author of a highly acclaimed book, Intelligence Imperatives for India, Mr. Nath earned high plaudits from all around for two of his very significant presentations on: “Revisiting the Future of India” (2005, London) and “Lessons from India for the War On Terrorism” (2007, USA). He is the only one in the field, combining the experiences of a police officer with specialization in intelligence and strategic analysis and an industrial security expert par excellence. More Bio on D. C. Nath…

News Research & Analysis Files-

How secular is Secular India-Faizan << News analysis file 1


February 27, 2015

Dear Friends,


Subject: How Secular Is Secular India?


Let us reverse the process and first read:


· The Republic Day advertisement of original preamble and subsequent statement by the Shiv Sena have revived the secularism debate in India. The controversy gives us an opportunity to critically examine state of our so called secular polity. India was far more secular without word secular in our preamble as with every passing year it is becoming less and less secular after the formal declaration in 1976.

· We adopted secularism but our state is just overtly religion-neutral and equally promotes all religions. Some members in the Constituent Assembly indeed wanted to begin the preamble of the Constitution by invoking God with the phrase “in the name of God”. Finally the matter was put to vote and strangely God lost in religious India.

· Secularism is understood to be at the core of modernity. The narrative of secularisation is typically recounted as a story of progress and gradual emancipation from religion through the exercise of reason in the wake of the destructive and terrible sectarian wars that overtook Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries. The doctrine of secularism got institutionalised with the historic separation of Church and State by 19th century and eventually became a global norm through colonialism.


Of late:

· Serious concerns have been expressed about the rising importance/revival of religion in the public space in India. The failure of our experiment with secularism will be the greatest tragedy of the 21st century. The economic prosperity of post liberalised economy is bringing with it what may be called as ‘rush hour of Gods’ as we are helplessly observing the proliferation of new expressions of religiosity.


Some facts:

· The level of religiosity in the country has gone up at least by 30 per cent. One major indicator of rising religiosity is the unprecedented rise in pilgrimages. Pilgrimages today account for more than 50 per cent of all package tours. Minimum 200 to 300 million Indians of various religious persuasions go for pilgrimages to various holy places every year. Even the Supreme Court did not see any wrong if some small amount is spent by the government in giving subsidy to Indian Muslims going for the annual pilgrimage to Mecca.


So, it seems:

· Indian state has completely forgotten the true meaning of secularism and wants to have very close alliance with religions. No exact figures are available as to the exact amount of funds allocated every year by the various states of secular India.



· Secularism is truly based on the idea of distinct religious and worldly affairs, it indeed constitutes these two distinct spheres along the lines of the public and private distinction that has been so central to modernity, with religion being consigned to the “private” affair. Ideally, this clear cut differentiation should lead to eventual emancipation from, and therefore, the decline of religion. Will this happen at least at the level of state?


Friends, we have just gone through the salient points from a mail from Faizan Mustafa, with whom we had taken up strongly when he had recently written on “Secularism in America”?. Most of you would recall that.

We had, thereafter, some exchange of mails between us. Today’s piece “How Secular Is Secular India?” is attached. While one may not agree with every thing Faizan has said, and that is the core issue in any intelligent debate, we found the points we have taken out from his mail, are eminently appreciable. More such writings would be most welcome to continue the debate.

Well, Faizan, thank you so much!

Best regards



Your sevak,

D.C. Nath

(Former Spl. Director, IB)

(President, Patriots’ Forum)

Source: Patriot Forum

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