The author with a doctorate in Soviet history, and who is also a columnist for Dainik Jagaran and Dainik Tribune, tries to prove through this book of his that it is a strange phenomenon in this country where the principle of secularism has been given the pride of place in the Constitution, where it is often repeated during political discussions and developments and where it is discussed innumerable number of times by influential writers and intellectuals as if it is a religious or the final word?but there is very little or no serious or comprehensive discussion on it. The principle of secularism or religious tolerance which is written down in the preface to the Indian Constitution and to which many wrongly refer as religious tolerance remains as vague as ever.
Another notable feature though it has a different position in the Constitution is the word ?socialism?. So long as the Soviet Union was one single unit, there used to be innumerable articles and discussions in praise and criticism of it. But no one takes the name of socialism now because of the disintegration of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, corroborating the failure of socialism.
Unfortunately secularism continues to be blindly worshipped in our country. What is the meaning of secularism; its historical development; its status in the European democratic and political systems; the views of Indian intelligentsia on it; its philosophical and lawful framework; the style and role of the secularism practiced in India in comparison to Europe; clear demarcation of its genuine identity; absence of its description in the main Constitution of India; the subsequent grant of the topmost slot to it in the Indian Constitution after three decades; failure to enunciate it clearly in the Constitution; giving secularism the pride of place not only in discussions but in all political administrative and educational activities?all these have seldom come up for an open discussion, says the author.
He tries to show through his book that after the September 11, 2001 attack by Muslim extremists and with widespread acquisition of military equipment, high caste politicians, editors, philosophers, historians and individualists living in safe and sophisticated areas of metro cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, etc. are not aware of the destruction that can be wrought by these fanatical Islamic fundamentalists. He says that most Hindus are living in a world of make-believe, far from the reality. He says that such Hindus who are living in an artificial world, blind to the realities. He is extremely critical of how easily without any qualms the Shankaracharya of Kanchi was insulted by being put behind bars and how the axis of Marxists, Nehruvians an missionaries is engaged in anti-Hindu, anti-national campaigns, without any strong voice being raised by others in objection. He fears that before long the Indian society would find itself on the crossroads of a Cold War and that the Indian society is yet to be aroused to the stark realities. ?M.G.
(Akshaya Prakashan, 208 M.G. House, 2 Community Centre, Wazirpur Industrial Area, Delhi-110052.)