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Shvoong Home>Arts & Humanities>SECULARISM Summary

SECULARISM

Book Summary   by:guddu     Original Author: GUDDU
ª
 
A SECULAR RETHINK




Can India


survive as a secular democratic country? It can
and it


must! With the country beset with political
turmoil,


violence, and polarization, the solutions, although


sometimes not apparent, can be found if will and
vision


permeate and overpower vested interests.
King

Ashoka,


who ascended the throne of Magadh in the year 273
B.C.,

had


a vision for the future. A vision that we would be

wise to


emulate. During his reign, diverse religious
sects,

such


as the Brahamas, Sramanas, Nirganthas, Ajivakas,
etc.,

bore


great hostility and sectarian rancor against one

another.


Ashoka's formula for peaceful coexistence, for the


elimination of mutual mistrust and hatred, and for


tolerance and concord consisted of several
fundamental


directives: These directives (as listed in'
Studies in


Ancient India' by Provatansu Maiti, 1969 edition)


are:

1. All sects must dwell at all places
so

that


they could know one another and develop tolerance
for

each


other.

2. All sects must observe restraint
of

speech


and purification of heart when they deal with each


other.

3. The exaltation of one's own
religion

and


condemnation of others' creed is not

permitted.

4.


Different sects should study of the scripture of
other


sects and develop concord among them.

5. All

people


must practice Ahimsa (non- violence) towards each
other

and


towards animals.

6. Ashoka renounced the
policy

of


conquest by sword and urged people to adopt the
policy

of


conquest by law. The US invasion of Iraq was

supposedly to


fight the menace of terrorism and to
destroy 'Weapons

of


Mass Destruction' (WMD) but the fact is that it was

only a


cover. The real intention was to dominate Middle
East


politics, as it is an oil rich area. After invasion
no

WMD


were found and instead of reducing terror it has

increased


many fold in Iraq. One cannot establish peace in
Iraq


without understanding the role of US interests in
the


Middle East.

CONFLICT
RESOLUTION

Conflict


resolution is an extremely challenging job. It
requires

not


only correct understanding of the causes of
conflict

but


also inexhaustible degree of patience. To deal with
the


conflicting parties great deal of objectivity and

patience


is needed. The nature of the conflict differs from
case

to


case. It is also necessary to understand that every


conflict is not necessarily violent. Non-violent

conflicts


could also play a positive and creative role in
many


cases.

But here we are mainly concerned with

violent


conflicts. Our aim should be to resolve the
conflict

and


bring reconciliation. To attempt to resolve the

conflict


one should acquaint oneself thoroughly with the
history

of


the conflict and its historical, political, social
and


economic roots, if any. One should also be very
clear

that


real resolution of the conflict could be brought
about

only


through a just solution what some people describe

as 'win-


win' situation. . First one has to strike at its
very

root i.e. the


education system. The communal forces in
perpetuating


colonial conflict are using our education system.
The


medieval history is being taught on a divisive
communal


basis. Our education system also lacks value base
and


without sound value base we cannot create healthy

mindset.

Critics want the German state to stop supporting


religious groups in this way.

In the United

States


the constitution explicity calls for the separation
of


church and state. However, the overwhelmingly
Christian


population allows for some lapses in this policy:
for


example, money bears the words "In God we trust",
and

the ge of Allegiance includes the phrase "under


God".




BHARATKUMAR H
OJHA
S.Y.BSc


(COMPUTER SCIENCE).
PUNE – 33.
Published: November 22, 2005   
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