Sunday, May 01, 2005

BANGLADESH: Secularism - A misnomer or a misplaced conception?

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Modern dictionaries however define secularism as something which relates to the worldly or the temporal. On the other hand, the Merriam-Webster Online dictionary defines Secularism as : "indifference to or rejection or exclusion of religion or religious consideration [from the worldly affair]. It is however immaterial whether one likes a particular definition or not and to what extent; since everyone has the right to agree, differ or disagree with a certain concept; a specific definition or even an idea that he or she may come across or which is commonly in use or has been accepted even by the majority. And certainly I am no exception. However, what surprises me most is the remarkable similarity in the thoughts of our 'secularists' [I certainly would not call them 'so-called'], and the above definition of Webster-in fact their avowed stand of religious abhorrence-speople who consider themselves as the only puritans and progressive elements on the earth, with rest of us being nothing better than the trash! In fact, the point that I wish to bring home today is : 'Secularists' in our country are perhaps no better than the religious bigots whom we find hovering around for a suitable berth. If the religious bigots are one point of radicalism, then the secularists are the other point no doubt.

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