How to Fix India’s Broken Secularism

[L-R] Sadanand Dhume and Kumar Ketkar

MUMBAI, 25 May 2017- Asia Society India Centre welcomed Sadanand Dhume, Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, and Kumar Ketkar, Journalist to speak about religious polarization and the future of secularism in India.

When the audience was asked whether they felt India’s secularism is in jeopardy, more than 60% of the hands in the room went up. Dhume started his remarks by saying he is more concerned about secularism since the appointment Yogi Adityanath, Chief Minister of Uttar this year. Dhume claims BJP floored Yogi Adityanath political career which allowed him to rise at a very young age. “We are at a crucial point in Indian history where we need to start looking at hard truths about secularism,” states Dhume.

He proclaims the problem of Indian secularism is caused by Indian rights; citizens feel it is impolite to speak about larger political change. Since September 11th, 2011 terrorism has been on people’s radar, it occupies a great deal of mind space for the average individual. The concept of secularism in India needs to be updated. It can’t be about special rights, it must be about equal rights for everyone- all people should be handled with the same set of laws.

Dhume left us with the questions, is the BJP an economically friendly government? Did India make a mistake in 1948 by encouraging state planning instead of advocating for a free market?

Reported by: Maneka Chotirmall, Programme Assistant, Asia Society India Centre

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