India has been a multi-religious society for many millenia, well before the advent of Christianity and Islam, the world's two large monotheistic religions. Both these religions have had a very bloody past trying to convert people from other faiths/ beliefs in to what they felt was the right faith/ belief. Luckily all these bloody battles are behind us in this modern world. Conversion to their belief/ faith is still important for these two religions, but fortunately wars and conquest are not part of the process any more, and it would hopefully continue to be so in the future too.
Even though the division of India took place on religious lines, India opted to be become a 'Sovereign Democratic Republic' under the Constitution that was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on 26 November 1949, and came in to effect on 26 January 1950; a day that is now celebrated with great zeal and fanfare as the Republic day. In 1976 two words, viz. Socialist and Secular, were added to the preamble to the Constitution, thus making India a Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic Republic. It is important to understand the interpretation of secular in the Indian context, as it is at variance with the definition of secular. Most democratic countries have their own version of secularism that is practiced, based on the local conditions and needs of the citizens. Let us try and understand Indian secularism.
To unify the country under one law and to provide an equal opportunity for justice, liberty, equality, and fraternity to all its citizens, the founding fathers toyed with the idea of a uniform civil code (UCC) to be applied to all, irrespective of the religion. This was considered as interference in to the personal affairs of the citizens and was thus dropped from being added in to the Constitution at that stage. Similarly, since India represented the Hindu majority areas, the slaughter of cows was also considered, but deferred.
The trauma of the partition of the country on religious lines must have prompted the founding fathers to exercise caution at the time, but the idea was not dropped. The idea of UCC was included as a Directive Principle, as Article 44 of the Constitution, which directed the government to "endeavour to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India."
Similarly, a Directive Principle, under Article 48 of the Constitution of India mandated the state to prohibit the slaughter of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle.
They succeeded in passing four Hindu code bills in 1955–56: the Hindu Marriage Act, Hindu Succession Act, Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, and Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act. (Wikipedia)
No government has so far done any thing to restore the Pandits back to their homes. No Muslim organisations in the country have openly condemned these condemnable acts of making people refugees in their own country.
Modern India, young India, irrespective of beliefs/ caste/ region wants to progress, to move forward in life, and wants to feel proud of being Indian; Indians are no longer content to lookup to 'mai-baap' governments for doles, but want governments that will facilitate their entrepreneurial energies.
There is a talk of a maha gathbandhan (grand coalition) to stop PM Modi and with it the BJP's steep ascent. A national coalition of anti-BJP parties would be a disaster, as they have no clear national agenda, except self interest and self preservation. Their coming together may achieve victory in the polls but would be disastrous for the nation, because once they come to power, they would all pull in every which way, much like the Janta Party in the 70s.
The Congress cannot fault the BJP on their stand. The Congress should not try to find fault with what the BJP is saying; they should not try to divide the communities by mouthing half truths; this has stopped working in this information age, where social media has replaced traditional media, which could be controlled/ manipulated. Instead the Congress should start to connect with the people of this land, understand their concerns, and work to lift the nation to greater heights, within the bounds of our Constitution. The Constitution has been very well drafted by our founding fathers and is one of the unifying symbols of our widely diverse population. The Constitution was agreed upon at a time when we emerged as a nation that had been divided on the basis of religion, with the Hindu majority areas being part of India.
Why did the Congress not move forward on the two directive principles of our Constitution - that of UCC and ban on cow slaughter, even though Congress had been in power in the Centre, and in the states too, for a large part of our independent existence as a nation.
Every other democracy has a UCC, except India. It is also mandated by our Constitution under the Directive principles. In addition, many Muslim countries have also reformed their personal laws. Why not India?
Let us all support our brilliant Constitution, in letter and spirit.