A Secular Agenda

PDF EBook by Arun Shourie

EBook Description

'A Secular Agenda' contains 37 essays divided into 7 sections and two appendices. A Secular Agenda PDF EBook All essays are brilliant researched and argued.
The opening section deals with the question of India as 'One Nation'. This section combines historical perspective with global history to produce a magnificent essay. It is one of the best that I have read. The second section deals with 'matters of religion', specifically the articles 25, 26, 29 and 30 of the constitution. This section explores how these articles contain vaguely defined terms and how it has been exploited by various 'minority institutions' across India.
The third section deals with 'Common Civil Code' and contains 8 essays. The first essay of this section starts with the history of the Shariat law. The author points out that its origins are in the 1937 act titled 'The Muslim Personal Law Application Act'. The next essays are based on the debates which were held on this act and notes of the officers of the Punjab Govt. The proponents of the act argued about the unity of the Shariat and contradicted themselves two years later through another act. This section also highlights the fear of its critics who didn't want to criticize the bill in public. The last 2 essays of this section argues about the Uniform Civil Code and why it will be an important step in the right direction for the country. This section contains one of my favorite quotes from the book,"A law is not a Hindu law because it is derived from Hindu literature, culture, traditions etc. but because it applies to Hindus."
The fourth section deals with article 370. These essays begin with the history of this article and destroys the myth that 'it's a commitment to the people of the valley'. The author gives illustrations of the power that this article has provided to the state government which in any other state of the country are unimaginable.
The fifth section of the book deals with the problem of infiltration from Bangladesh to the North- PDFEastern states of the country. This section shows that the Home Ministry was aware of this problem and yet did nothing to solve this. Large sections of the infiltrators were treated as a captive vote bank and were in majority in 56 constituencies (according to a note prepared by the Home Ministry). Those people who tried to highlight this problem were treated badly by the government especially the Assamese Students movements. The appendix two at the end of this section contains extracts from a report prepared by the General Secretaries of five North-Eastern states which call the efforts of their own party as 'half-hearted'. This section also talks about how different countries react differently to refugees and infiltrators from other countries depending upon their ethnicity, religion, relations between the two countries etc. This is the longest section in the book making up for more than one-fourth of the book and is the most depressing of all.
The book ends with two short sections on Hindu Muslim relations and the arguments presented by the so called 'seculars' in the media. In the former, the author argues that more direct communication between the two communities is the right way to go, not through the leaders. He argues that instead of setting a final target, we must focus on the path. The last section deals with the coverage of the post Bombay bombings highlighting the skewed version of the reality invented by the 'seculars' in the English press. The last essay of the book deals with Swami Vivekananda and how he has been misquoted by the communists to suit their agenda.
Every section in the book is very detailed and will require an essay of its own for the fully dealing with its contents. Furthermore, the fact that this book was written in 1993 is just a testament to the author's brilliant understanding of the problems of India.
Recommended to everyone who is interested in going to the core of the issues mentioned in the book and not just want to scratch at the surface of the problems. Like this book? Read online this: Section, Christianity and Secular Reason.

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