New York: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday (local time) said that secularism is not under threat in India and that it is promoted by the ethos of the society.
“I don’t accept that secularism is under threat in India,” the External Affairs Minister said during a conference at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) here.
“At the end of the day,” he added, “secularism was not promoted by the law or by a constitutional belief. Instead, it was promoted by the ethos of the society.”
“So if the ethos of the society was not secular then no constitutional provision would have ensured it. And I don’t think that the ethos of the society has ever changed. I think the ethos of the country, especially the Hindu ethos has remained much secular and pluralistic,” Jaishankar added.
The changes that India has been witnessing since its independence nearly 70 years ago are the direct results of the democratisation of the country, the minister said in response to a question regarding the erosion of constitutional commitment to a secular state and the rise of a politicised Hindu nationalism in India.
The changes that have taken place in India actually demonstrate the successes of the democracy in the country and what it has meant in terms of the consequences on the ground, Jaishankar said.
“I don’t agree with what you say exactly. I would rather like to put it differently,” the minister stressed.