I start a new thread as a reaction to MADHUKAR KULKARNI's claim, that India were a secular coutnry.

I consider a country as secular, when

  • there are no laws or rules based on or influenced by religious and similarly irrational beliefs.
  • there are laws and rules protecting people from being harmed by behavior caused by religious and similarly irrational beliefs.   These rules are enforced.
  • no tax payer's money or publicly owned property is used in favor of religious and similarly irrational beliefs.


The number of secular citizens does not make a country secular.

I am not sure, if there is any fully secular country on earth.

Germany is not a secular country.  As an example, shops are closed on Sundays by law for religious reasons.

India is not a secular country.
- Cows causing traffic chaos are not removed, because they are considered as sacred.
- Astrology is taught in universities.
- People are allowed to bathe in the sewage water of the river Ganges and spread diseases, because the bath in the water is an expression of a religious.

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Replies to This Discussion

What prejudices does she or I have?  The fact that we know that the Ganges River is polluted?  Considering I have not made a comment about India at all, just how you seem to defend it zealously, what prejudices do you think I have?

Susan Stanko

I do not understand why you can't see what is obvious. If Maruli wanted to start a discussion, she could have done so without involving my name or without making any remarks about India. If you read her original post, it clearly looks like saying "Look, this what is India and still Madhukr is saying it is secular". She had no business doing this, yet she has done this. This shows prejudice. If you do not see something that is so open, what else can I say about you?

How dare she mention that this stems from a discussion with you.  How dare she have an opinion about India.  You have not shown any evidence to dispute what she is saying.  All you have done is name-call because you do not like what is being said.  Now tell me again, how is this prejudice?  Give us a reason why what she says isn't true?

You didn't only name call, I don't know why I said that,  but you didn't give any evidence that what she says is wrong.  I think the only point you even tried to give evidence for is Astrology being taught at universities.

Susan Stanko

You have so many things to say but you do not note that she should not have mentioned my name and be specific about India. I have asked a question 'Why she can not start a new post on secularism without mentioning both. Is secularism inclusive of Madhukar Kulkarni? You sidestep such important questions.

Did you actually read what I wrote or did you not understand it?  This discussion started as a response TO YOU and YOUR CLAIM that India is a secular country.  How is that inclusive?  She used your response as a segue to talking about secularism.

Susan Stanko

I am asking you the same question. Why she could not start a general discussion on secularism and what reason she had to specially include others? My name should not have been used in this context is what I am saying repeatedly. Susan, you are unwilling to see my view point. What and How can I explain you? Maruli knew very well that the way she is using my name is very uncomplimentary. She is not a small kid not to understand this.

Not sure if I should be throwing in my 2 cents, Madhukar, as you seem kinda overly sensitive about all this, but I'm pretty sure you're the only one who sees this whole thing as an attack on your country or yourself personally.

Me personally, I welcome criticism of my country (even on myself), for it is the only way one can change things to the better. She never name called. She brought up things she saw as facts. If they're not facts, bring up points to contradict them...don't take them personally. And if you do see them as facts too, but don't think it's a major issue than say so. It's like if someone told me they wouldn't want to live where I do, because it gets down to 40 below zero and exposed flesh can freeze solid in under a minute, I'd say, "yes it's true, but I don't mind. I still love where I live!"

So relax...

Thanks to everybody, who has been talking on my behalf.   I did and do not like this to get antagonistic.   So with a bit of regret I will censor myself and not mention India again.   Christianity does damage to people, so does Islam and many people on AN agree.  But the subtle and indirect damage done by the beliefs of Hinduism certainly would also deserve a thread.   But it is impossible to talk about Hinduism without talking about India.  

India is clearly NOT a secular country.  Religion has many privileges above the law.  The Ganges River is extremely polluted and is continually ranked as one of the top polluted rivers of the world.  If it were happening in most European countries then the law would step in and prevent people from bathing in it, but because of religious privilege, the practises continue.  If you want verification then just type in "Ganges River pollution" into Google and be ready to be shocked.

Secularism is the separation of Religion from State.  In practise, of course, things are more complicated because people who are part of the state will be influenced by religion.  However, in legal terms, ALL people, with or without faith, should be treated equally before the state law.  Religion should not have privileges above the law and no state money should be given to religion.

I dream of the day when that becomes true;)

Richard Francis

India is clearly NOT a secular country.

Don't load your definitions on secularism and India.

John D

Thanks John. I accept what you say. 

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