5 Incidents That Represent India's SeculaRhythm
From Tanishq ad controversy to riots in Amravati, here are times when Indians stood up for secularism.
India's very fabric of existence is based on the values of democracy, socialism, and secularism. In a country where religion is so intrinsically linked with the lives of its citizens, the concept of secularism has been both crucial and controversial since Indian independence.
When India's Constitution was being drafted, our leaders decided to opt for a secularism that ensures a country with diverse religions, cultures and languages, equality to every religion in front of the law. It ensured that every individual is free to choose their religion and that no one can be discriminated against, based on their religion.
While we proudly celebrate India's 'unity in diversity,' and 'ganga-jamuni tehzeeb,' on the other hand, we can't ignore the constant attacks on India's secularism.
Since independence, there have been people who have been against the idea of a secular India. And these beliefs have often resulted in communal clashes, and rifts between religious communities.
However, the good news is that while some people may disagree with it, there have been times when Indians, irrespective of their religion, came together and stood up for secularism. Take a look:
1. Post Tanishq Ad Controversy, Interfaith Stories Flooded the Internet
Tanishq, an Indian jewellery brand, shared an advertisement celebrating India's diversity and oneness of people despite the differences. To give some context about the controversy, the ad attempted to show the love showered by a Muslim family on their Hindu daughter-in-law, by hosting a traditional baby shower ceremony for her.
This ad, however, did not sit well with a lot of people and it received major backlash, both online and offline, with people calling it 'Love Jihad,' and 'fake secularism.' In the end, the company had to withdraw the ad and issue an apology.
2. During the CAA-NRC Protests, Different Communities Came Together
The CAA- NRC protest in 2019 and 2020, were the defining moments of our unity as a country in recent history. During the protests, people from different religious communities came together, not just in India, but even across the world, and celebrated India's secularism.
Despite several attempts of creating animosity between different communities, citizens stood united in the spirit of nationalism.
3. Muslims Formed a Human Chain in Amravati To Protect a Temple During Riots
In 2021, after the violent communal attacks on the Muslim community in Tripura, the situation across the country was quite tensed. The aftermath of the incident led to even more clashes and riots. One such event took place at Maharashtra's Amravati where a violent mob was about to attack a 100-year-old Hindu temple when a few locals from the Muslim community formed a human chain to protect the temple.
The temple is located in a Muslim-dominated area and when the rioters approached the area, the locals of the area took it upon themselves to safeguard it and maintain harmony between the two communities.
4. During the Gurugram Namaz Row, Gurdwaras Offered Space to Muslims for Namaz
Gurugram became a hotspot for controversy and clashes against the Hindu and Muslim community. During 2021 and 2022, there were several incidents when the Muslim community was stopped from offering namaz in public spaces, which lead to disturbance in the area.
As negotiations between the two communities constantly failed, the Sikh community came forward and opened the doors of gurdwaras for Muslims to offer namaz.
5. A Muslim Woman Noor Jehan Delivers Her Baby at a Temple in Mumbai
In October 2015, Noor Jehan and her husband had to rush to the hospital for her delivery. While they were on their way to the hospital, her water broke and the cab driver refused to take them any further. It was just their luck that as soon as they stepped down, a few Hindu women outside a Ganesh temple spotted the couple and rushed to help Noor Jehan deliver the baby.
Needless to say that the couple was grateful and they decided to name their child Ganesh.
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