ONLY “CERTIFIED SECULAR CITIZENS” SHALL BE ENTITLED TO VOTE IN SECULAR INDIA
1. INTRODUCTION—INDIA IS A SECULAR STATE
1.1. India is a SECULAR, sovereign democratic Republic. Though the preamble of the Constitution did not include the expression “secular” when it was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on 29th November 1949, this word was explicitly added in the 42nd amendment of the constitution in 1976, during the infamous Emergency Period, when the democratic rights of the citizens were suspended by the then Union Government. But the word was not defined at that time also.
1.2. But the expression of the people of India solemnly resolving to protect the Liberty of thought, expression, belief , faith and worship of all implied that, unlike Pakistan, which seceded on the sole basis of religion and thus was born in sin, India, from the beginning remained perhaps as the only multi religious secular democracy in the whole world.
1.3. The Supreme Court has also upheld , rejecting its own earlier judgments, that the Preamble was an integral part of the Constitution in the Kesavananda Bharathi case in 1973 and subsequently again in the Union of India v LIC case in 1995.
2. WHAT HAPPENED AFTER THE ADOPTION OF THE CONSTITUTION
2.1. The Preamble thus cast an inalienable obligation on the Union and the State Governments to promote secularism in all possible ways, especially after a part of India went away from it on religious grounds, with the connivance of the British and the consent of the Congress “stalwarts”.
2.1.1. This obligation meant that—
(a) The Union and State Governments would protect the rights of the majority religion even though India chose not to be a theocratic Hindu State after partition.
(b) They will also protect the rights of faith and worship of the citizens practicing the minority religious faiths;
(c) The Union and the State Governments would proactively encourage, through planned programmes, inter religious harmony and fraternity;
2.1.2. But in practice, the Governments fulfilled their obligations stated in 2.1.1.(a) but failed miserably in discharging their obligation under what is said in 2.1.1.(c) above, which was essential to forge and sustain inter faith harmony.
2.2. Being a secular nation, naturally, the individual candidates, the political parties and its candidates, and those acting on their behalf, were prohibited by the Constitution itself and strengthened by the laws on elections and other criminal laws enacted using the power derived from the Constitution from soliciting votes on the basis of anyone’s religious affiliation.
2.3. However, these provisions have been complied with only in the breach, with all the political parties barring one or two, resorting openly to vote bank politics with the so called religious minorities.
2.4. Political Parties based on Religion, like the Muslim League, Kerala Congress etc were allowed to be formed and function safely.
2.5. With all these undesirable happenings, the Indian society today stands extremely polarized on religious grounds, so far as the religious minorities are concerned.
3. WHAT SHALL WE DO NOW TO MAKE INDIANS TRULY SECULAR?
3.1. The first step would be to define the expression “Secular” and include it in the Constitution.
3.2. I would like to define the word “Secular Indian Citizen” as follows:
3.2.1. Secular Person means,
(i) One who genuinely believes that God is Unitary and respects the right of all religions to practice their methods and ways of worship;
(ii) One who does not solicit conversion of others into his religion;
(iii) One who does not support, directly or indirectly, or overtly or covertly, the efforts of other individuals or organizations, in soliciting or forcing or bringing about conversion through fair or foul means.
(iv)Purely voluntary conversions must be sanctioned only through a legal verification process, with an application to the prescribed authority, supported by an affidavit, witnessed by two eminent citizens belonging to the faith of the individual wanting to convert. A compulsory waiting period of one year also should be made mandatory.
3.3. VOTING RIGHTS [NON OBSTANTE ARTICLE]
3.3.1. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any Article, India being a secular Republic, only certified Secular Indian Citizens shall be entitled to vote in elections to the Local Bodies, the State Assemblies, and to the Lok sabha, the Rajya Sabha and in the Presidential election.
3.2.2. THE CERTIFICATION PROCEDURE
(i) Anyone wanting to be certified as a “Secular Indian Citizen” shall apply to the prescribed authority along with his Aadhar Card, in the prescribed Form, supported by a registered Affidavit on a stamp paper. This Affidavit, inter alia must declare using the prescribed wordings that the citizen condemns the atrocities committed by all the past invaders [give names here] and foreign rulers of India.
(ii) The prescribed authority shall conduct its own enquiries, call him or her for a personal hearing.
(iii) Police verification of his or her secular credentials shall be done in the prescribed manner.
(iv) The Prescribed Authority shall, if it is satisfied as to the bonafides and secular credintials of the applicant, grant him a Certificate as a “Secular Indian Citizen”, in the prescribed format, which shall be valid for a period of three years from the date of its issue, subject to the conditions set out in such certificate.
(v) The prescribed authority may also reject the application giving the reasons for the same, which decision shall be appelable only to a special bench constituted in the Supreme Court.
(vi)The Central Government shall allot sufficient man power to complete this process within a period of three months from the date of receipt of a valid application.
(vii)This Certificate shall be linked electronically with the citizen’s Voter ID Card and Aadhar Number.
4. AMEND THE CONSTITUTION
4.1. Articles 25 to 30 shall be suitably amended to align it with the ethos of a secular citizen.
4.2. The right of the so called minorities to run their educational and other institutions must be taken away.
4.3. All religious education must be mainstreamed and aligned with the CBEC Syllabus also, apart from the religious teachings.
4.4. All religious prayer premises and religious educational institutions should be subject to surveillance using high tech CCTV devices to monitor whether any anti secular propaganda is being carried out there and, if so, their license must be cancelled forth with and the persons indulging in it charge sheeted as a cognizable offence, tried and convicted with rigorous imprisonment for three years through separate fast track Courts.
5. ENACT STRICT ANTI CONERSION LAW AS A CENTRAL ACT
5.1. If necessary, please amend the Constitution to take in this power to the Centre.
5.2. Make soliciting conversion a cognizable offence punishable on conviction [through Fast Track Courts] with two years of rigorous imprisonment.
5.3. Make involuntary conversion not involving fraud [this term to be defined] also a cognizable offence punishable with three years of rigorous imprisonment.
5.4. Make conversion secured through fraud a cognizable non bailable offence punishable with seven years of rigorous imprisonment.
6.1. Secularism is a precious national HERITAGE of Bharat Vasis, which has to be protected at all costs so that we become a model State for others to emulate.
6.2. Bharat will remain secular only when the secular citizens constitute 90% of the total population; otherwise, it will be converted into a theocratic state by non-secular citizens, if they constitute even 30% of the population, or, in whichever districts they happen to be the majority.
6.3. Of course, there is a price for it which is eminently worthy of being borne by we the citizens.
6.4. Simultaneously, launch a worldwide campaign to get the Theocratic States expelled from the UN.
6.5. Also campaign for imposition of severe sanctions by the UNSC on theocratic States refusing to transform themselves into secular democracies