Book Review: Unmasking Indian Secularism by Hasan Suroor

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Book Title: Unmasking Indian Secularism: Why We Need a New Hindu-Muslim Deal            

Author: Hasan Suroor

Format: Kindle

Published By: Rupa Publications 

No. of pages: 208

Book Review

India is a casteless, creedless society. India is a secular country with its varied cultures, languages, and traditions. This was taught in schools a few decades back in the Civics subject. As I grew, the concept of caste and caste politics became more vivid. The mindset which has to grow and become broader started shrinking. Reading books and articles was a gateway to understanding how secularism works in our country.

The recent happenings in various states have questioned my rational mind. Is there any solution to achieve the real dream of India being secular, as the first prime minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, dreamt of? Then the stars aligned, and Rupa Publications brought this book.  

Unmasking Indian Secularism by Hasan Suroor
Unmasking Indian Secularism by Hasan Suroor Book Cover

Unmasking Indian Secularism: Why We Need a New Hindu-Muslim Deal by Hasan Suroor is a critical examination of India’s secular political history. It underlines the urgent need for a roadmap to restore communal harmony. The book is divided into six chapters. The first chapter explains how and why the major political parties in the past and at present exploit the minorities and turn them into a mere vote bank. A lot of fascinating topics are discussed in this chapter. The later chapters are as interesting and informative as the first. 

The recent Indian experiences of Indian secularism yet again prove it to be Islamophobic. And Brahmanism, in the name of liberalism, talks about India being a secular state, which is no less than a joke. This is a strong statement, but when a Muslim family head was beaten to death for consuming beef( true or not), when a young girl was raped and murdered (The Hathras incident), and a man was beaten to death for stealing mangoes to feed his children (Andhra Pradesh) and when a father-son duo was killed (Tamil Nadu), and the sole reason was their caste and religion, questions the very meaning of secularism! Both the state and the non-state machinery play a role in this context.

In this book overall, author Hasan Suroor tried to explain how secularism transitioned to sickularism and Indian-ness into majoritarianism. 

Pick it if

  • You like to explore more about Indian politics and governance.
  • You like reading diversifying topics in the non-fiction genre.

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