Since time immemorial, India has never celebrated Christmas in an atmosphere of fear. But 2017 was different. Months before Christmas, people from the Christian community were attacked in one pretext or another. Starting from Satna in Madhya Pradesh to Pratapgarh in Rajasthan and even in Aligarh, just two hours train ride from capital Delhi, people from to Christian community were attacked. People from other regions were told not to celebrate Christmas as it is nothing but a western concept. Numerous right-wing organisations issued threats to those who celebrate Christmas with traditional spirit and sense of brotherhood, love and peace.
In their hurry to prove themselves as the loyal soldiers of an old and respected religion, the perpetrators forgot the fact that the religion they belong to has survived thousands of years of existence because of its tolerant nature. One cannot forget this fact for quite some time now these people are attacking not only the Christians, but also people belonging to other religions – sometimes in the name of cow protection, sometimes in the name of love jihad and on other occasions to save their religion from external influences. This is quite opposite to the basic values of India. For centuries, India is known as the country of mutual coexistence. This is why even the invaders became Indians after witnessing the love, affection and warmth of Indian people. Unity in diversity is what the Indian people are practicing since long.
But today it seems that the basic value of India is no longer in existence. On a number of occasions in this space, we have raised questions over the silence of our rulers regarding the attack on the very foundation of India. No one, not even a child will believe that everything was happening without the knowledge of our rulers. Rather, enough circumstantial evidences are there to prove that the attackers are getting the patronage from some high and mighty ones. Otherwise, why no arrest has been made to prevent attacks in the name of religion? Why the right wing organisations spreading hatred are not being banned? Inaction by the rulers raises enough suspicion that all these are happening as part of a sinister design to be in power by polarising the society. The suspicion is not baseless as those attackers are well known to the rulers.
But let us say it bluntly that those who are hurting the essence of India are actually playing with fire. Those who had criticised the secular concept, should keep in mind secular ideals of India will never die. We can only hope that they study the history of India carefully before making any comments on secularism. The history shows that Indians have always defeated the forces which attacked secularism. So, despite all the attacks, we find no reason to believe that the hooligans, who are attacking people belonging to other religion, will achieve any kind of success. All they will achieve is bad name for India. India and its people will always protect its secular credentials and plurality at any cost.