Answer by Balaji Viswanathan:
Indians often get confused by the meaning of secularism. Secularism applies to the government and it means that the religion & government will be kept distinct. That's it.
If an individual wants to stay out of religion, he/she is agnostic or atheistic. It makes little sense to label a person as secular or non-secular, given that we already have specific terms for this. If you are asking whether Modi is an atheist, the answer is an outright no. In fact, the majority of our Constitution framers were not atheists.
What are examples of secularism?
- Police & courts will not be run by church, temples or mosques.
- The courts will not use Manu Dharma, Bible or Koran as the main legal system.
Modi's government is secular. At least, I have not heard of the Commerce Ministry and Defense ministry taken over by a bunch of monks or the Supreme Court using Sharia to decide a case or the education/HRD ministry banning the teaching of Darwin's theory.
It makes a very practical sense to separate religion from government to keep the sanity of both. Religion mixed with power corrupts everything on its way in no time. In fact, as a religious person I would not want them mixed & keep things secular. That's how many orthodox Hindus & minority religious members who helped write our Constitution thought about. Do you want the temples and saints to play power politics?
Unfortunately, our media have equated all kinds of anti-Hinduism or even atheism as secularism. Any organized activity related to religion [even if it means to eradicate it] would not count as secular.