The debate about the meanings of secularism and pseudo secularism are enduring in India. But for a moment, if we pause and have a look, Pseudo Secularism is appeasement of some particular opinion or a group for immediate social and political gains. If we go to a very crude meaning, Pseudo means false. And Secularism means a concept wherein the Government or other entities should exist separately from religion and/or religious beliefs. Every person has a right to preach, practice and propagate any religion of his/her choice.

Pseudo Secularism is said to be a hall mark of the internal politics of India. It is a position of practicing implied non-secular trends in the face of a pledged secularism. The term is used by groups who perceive a double standard revealed within the established secular governing policy towards culturally different groups. Pseudo secularism started from the Khilafat Movement in 1917. It is believed that Mahatma Gandhi first used this concept when Muslims were fighting against the British for their war against Turkey. But during the recent times, the term has gained greater practitioners and admirers.

Today, this term is often used and misused in murky politics to suit the interests of the main players. In India, the Left and the Centrist parties call themselves as ‘Guardians of Secularism’ and hence the Right wing parties are ‘Communal.’ While the Rightists believe their rivals are ‘Pseudo Secular’ and believe in the ‘Anti-Hindu’ ideology.

One common trait of the debate between secularism and pseudo secularism is that they both are for vote-bank politics. In the rush to earn votes and power, the politicians conveniently shift their stands, even if that means hurting the religious sentiments of one religious group or the other. Clarity, both in thought and action is inevitable to save the unity and integrity of our nation.

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