It is often thought of that secularism in India is brought by Gandhi, Nehru and other Congress leaders to India. However, from the ancient times, secularism as a unifying agent has been prevalent in this country. In ancient times, there was no presence of other religions in India. But Indian society was still divisible into castes, tribes, and ethnicity like probably no other during that time. The caste division has found its mention in great India epics such as Ramayana and Mahabharata. Although, there was occasional strife among the castes, peaceful coexistence prevailed.
During the latter part of the ancient age, Hinduism and Buddhism coexisted peacefully, except the a time during Gupta empire in 3rd century AD, when Hinduism was reinstated forcefully by Chandra Gupta II from largely Buddhist India that existed for past 800 years from the time of Ashoka.
There are opinions that the Muslim rulers in the medieval age tried to convert Islam forcefully! It is nothing further from the truth. India, during that time, has been the only Muslim ruled kingdom with non-Muslim majority population. It still remained such till date!
If Muslims ruled India for 800 years, so did Buddhism for identical number of centuries – but the so-called protectors of Hinduism today don’t talk about that!
As it is known, during the Muslim rules, the Hindus and Muslims used to coexist peacefully and in harmony. There has not been a recorded evidence of forced conversion by almost any Muslim rulers.
This phenomenon has been formalized and legalized into our constitution in 1949 and this is not a new a concept being imported and implemented by Nehru and Gandhi. Therefore, the effort of achieving secularism is the acceptance of all religions by all the people of the nation and living in harmony.
This will prevent the discrimination by one religion on the other as equal rights are given to all. The freedom to practice one’s religion without any hindrance or opposition is another constitutional right that Indian constitution provides to all.
Thus, the secularism is something that has been the feature of India ever since. Any attempt to break that tradition will be met with doom as this is something which is inbred in minds and souls of every Indian. In fact, suffice is to say that the kind confrontations and religious riots that has taken place in last 100 years cannot find a match in the entire history prior! Thus, whether it is BJP in power or Congress, they will carry with them the essence secularism that has being part of India for last 5000 years!