Oh! Einstein. I can see that furious face as soon as some of you read the heading. "WTF!"
I know, many here, favour the idea of Nepal being a "Hindu State" and not secular. Well, it's understandable. Hindu is a pretty cool religion with lots of wisdom and philosophies and also quite flexible (apparently). I got it. But, there is something many of you have't got yet. Take a deep breath and read ahead. I have some awesome things to tell you about secularism and you surely will change your rant, unless you are those hardcore orthodox Hindus from VHP and Hanuman and all dal.
Let's begin with what really secularism is,
Secularism is the principle of the separation of government institutions and persons mandated to represent the state from religious institutions and religious dignitaries. One manifestation of secularism is asserting the right to be free from religious rule and teachings, or, in a state declared to be neutral on matters of belief, from the imposition by government of religion or religious practices upon its people. -- Wikipedia
Which means, when you are constitutionally secular nation, you cannot make any laws or acts based on any specific religious values and philosophies. For instance, Pakistan, being an Islamic state, can never make homosexuality legal if Quran has clearly stated homosexuality as a sin, nor U.S. could ever if it would not have been secular nation and Bible would condemn homosexuality.
Did you see the beauty of secularism? It gives government a freedom to do anything per the best interest of citizens of modern world without bowing down to Bible or Gita or Quran. Every religion has it's fundamental values -- some are good enough and some are total absurd. Government and lawmakers and judiciary would be forced to respect those religious values and norms if country would not be constitutionally secular. Got it?
So, here is the reasons why Nepal should not be a "Hindu Nation."
- Coz' We are modern nation and we need to be guided by principles of reasoning and science and research-proven facts and figures-driven concept and ideas and not vedas and puranas' or some Ram-Krishna-Ganesha Dal's ideologies.
- Also "Muluki Ayen" if you have ever heard, is the old laws of Nepal that was highly based on hindu ideologies and values, that had promoted patriarchy, sex and cast discriminatory institutions. Making Nepal "Hindu Nation" means continuity of such laws. "Why we cannot have hindu nation and rejects those laws?" If you think that way, you probably don't know how the laws and systems are built and functioned. There is always an ideological foundation based on which constitution and laws are built. You can't create a religious foundation and erect rational, reason-based science-based constitution and laws and acts.
- And also, Even if 80% are Hindus, 20% are non-hindus. Twenty may sounds small, but 20% of 2,00,00,000 is FOURTY LAKHS people. Is it justifiable to say, No BEEF coz it's hindu nation? Is it justifiable to say, listen Hindu Bhajan in national radio and TV, because it's Hindu nation? Is it justifiable to say, you can't just open a shop coz it's Hindu Jatra? Those Sherpas have been compromised enjoying their traditions to fullest coz it was Hindu Nation. Those muslims had been keeping quiet coz it's Hindu Nation. FOURTY LAKHS PEOPLE. That's not a small number. They all had been compromising (though, had been labelling as living in harmony.)
- Last but not the least, Religious Identity is Bullcrap. This is the most darling thing for many advocates "Hindu Nation Nepal". "HINDU IS OUR IDENTITY-- DO NOT TAKE IT. "
India is secular country. Where in the world, India having problem identifying itself as nation of Hindu people?? That's just very very lame and ignorance to say "Hindu Nation" is needed for our identity as hindu country. Without that label, we will still be identified as Hindu Nation for couple of hundred years at least.
Secondly, there are millions of things to create an identity of a country. Why era-old concept? Why not make this a "Science Nation?" Why not make it a "Land of Freedom?" Why not create an identity of "Peace Nation?" Religion is not the right label to create an identity of a nation in modern world.
Hinduism is going no where. Hinduism as a philosophy and wisdom and spirituality was there, it is there and it will be there. Secularism is not going to kill Hinduism. It's the science and modernity and rationalisation that may kill the traditional aspect of Hinduism but not Hinduism as a whole.
To those, who are fearing secularism will help Christianity to spread in Nepal -- Understand this, Christianity is another bullcrap and is highly abandoned from religious point of view by many modern youths and intellects across the globe; is only limited to wedding and Christmas fun. With the rise of media and Internet and modernisation, Christianity is not going to spread as it did in the past in Africa and Asia. Ya, they may succeed to convert some innocent illiterate villagers from remote Nepal, and if that bothers you, please go educate them and teach them about modern world and concept of science and reasoning, rather than saying make Nepal "Hindu State" to stop Christianity. That's just stupidity.
Long thing short, religion is one out of 100 of ways of living. I may be atheist and I don't want someone telling me how I should behave and what I should eat, just because Geeta or Bible or Quran said so. I maybe global youths, and I don't want to be asked to shut down my business for a day or 2, just because it's the religious festival happening.
When you are a citizen of "Hindu Nation," you are obliged to follow hindu norms even though if you want to follow global modern norms or your own religion's norms. A 40 Lakhs people may not want to follow but are forced to follow things that are dictated by doctrines simply because country is not secular.
We are the country that is getting it's constitution in the era of Internet and science and technologies in the 21st century. Let's not make it a constitution as if wrote in 15th century.
So, I say, Nepal should be made Secular Nation and not Hindu Nation.
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