India needs alternate polity of cultural plurality: Vajpeyi

GOANEWS DESK, MARGAO | 02 September 2013

Ashok Vajpeyi in Margao (Photo: Arvind Tengse)

India needs to create alternate polity by going to the roots of our culture of plurality, says Ashok Vajpeyi, a noted Hindi poet and literary-cultural critic.


He spoke at length at Gomant Vidya Niketan in Margao on ‘Secular and Sacred’.

Secularism needs to be combined with principles of sacredness when the word sacred is today under jeopardy, said Vajpeyi.

Politics has today hijacked our lives and we need to marginalise this politics by creating a new political thought of plurality, he said.

Vajpeyi also reminded the gathering that India, which the British left with 300 princely states, was unified not by politics but our rich culture of plurality.

“Plurality is the only guarantee of our secular and sacred fabric”, he said.

The Indian society is getting succumbed to fragmented identities under the guise of religions and the sacred has shrunk to hatred.

“Some of these elements glorifying religious identities and live on the so called hurt 24×7”, opined Vajpeyi.

The real foundation of the sacred identity of our courty is laid down by poet saints like Kabir or Mahatma Gandhi, who crossed the boundaries of religious identities and embrassed all religious cultures as Indian culture.


“The real sacred place in India is the Prarthana Sabha (place of Gandhi’s morning prayers) of Seva Gram, which has neither a particular religion nor a particular God,” said the poet.

He also cited a living example of 92-year old painter Syed Haider Raza, who does not follow any particular religion but visits all the temples, churches and masjids for his weekly prayers in Delhi.

Hindustanti classical music is yet another rich sacred tradition of plurality we need to follow, he felt.

The false religiosity has led to commercialisation of religion, mass hysteria and narrow identity formation; the real threat to secular and sacred fabric of India, said Vajpeyi.

Spirituality is abondoned and deserted by religions, who don’t care about openness but intolerane and violence, he opined.

“Religions have to live within the ambit of democracy by upholding the best scripture of the world – Constitution of India”, said Vajpeyi.


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