Post Mortem

No theocracy in democracy please!!!

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 1/14/2020 11:32:15 AM IST

 Many of you would be wondering what exactly the word Theocracy mean. The word Theocracy 

 is derived from the Greek (Theokratia) which means “the rule of God”. Etymologically derived from (theos), meaning “God”, and (krateo), meaning “to rule”. Thus the meaning of the word in Greek was “rule by God(s)” or human incarnation(s) of god(s). For the first time Flavius Josephus in his book named Against Apion, Book II, Chapter 17 introduces the very term Theocracy. 

 Josephus argued that while mankind had developed many forms of rule, most could be subsumed under the following three types: monarchy, oligarchy, and democracy. But the governance of the Jews, however, was unique. Josephus offered the term “theocracy” to describe its polity. Under Biblical time frame the theocratic polity denotes the governance of Moses until Saul’s election i.e. the rule of Monarchy.     

In the 21st century 7 countries follow Theocratic type of governance which are: Afghanistan, Iran, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Vatican City and Yemen. Very soon the largest democratic country named India would be seen clinging to the afore mentioned list. Why do I say so? Simple, looking at the present situation we can certainly say the government isn’t secular enough to bring everyone under the umbrella of peace and tranquility.  

India isn’t under the New Year hangover, in fact, social tension of 2019 has stretched into the year T2O, which calls for our attention and response to the crises for which we aren’t affected till yet but been threatened to face the consequences if voice out against the rulers of Make in India. The controversy surrounding the New Citizenship Act is regarding the definition of “Illegal Migrant” which became an act of discrimination to a particular religion and hence violated the fundamental Rights under Article 14 of the Indian Constitution. Now the question arises, is it the only reasons for such a big Halla ?, this Bill state that Indian citizenship will be provided to people from Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities, who have come from the three countries to India till December 31, 2014, so that they are not treated as illegal immigrants.   

Legal experts and Leaders of Opposition parties have argued vociferously that the new amendment violates the letter and spirit of the constitution. The legislation need to show a “rational nexus” between the subject and the object it seeks to achieve. Even if the classification is reasonable, any person who falls in that category has to be treated alike. If protecting the persecuted minorities is ostensibly the objective of the law, then the exclusion of some countries and using religion as a yardstick may fall foul of the test. Further, granting citizenship on the grounds of religion is seen to be against the secular nature of the Constitution which has been recognised as part of the basic structure that cannot be altered by Parliament. 

The new law is not extending to those persecuted in Myanmar (Rohingya Muslims) and Sri Lanka Tamils. One of the leaders who voiced for the CAB has repeatedly made statements that not a single Rohingya Muslim will be allowed in India. Further, by not allowing Shia and Ahmadiyya Muslims who face persecution in Pakistan, or the Hazras, Tajiks and Uzbeks who faced persecution by the Taliban in Afghanistan, the law is being seen as potentially violating Article 14. In Parliament, the leaders for CAB believe that Muslims can never be persecuted in Islamic countries. But unfortunately, The Second Constitutional Amendment in Pakistan declared the Ahmadiyyas to be “non-Muslims” and their penal code makes it criminal for Ahmadis to refer to themselves as Muslims, and places restrictions on the community including denying it the right to vote.

In 2016, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom recommended declaring Pakistan a tier-1 Country of Particular Concern for severe violations of religious freedom under the International Religious Freedom Act. In August 2019, the US, the UK and Canada expressed concerns about religious oppression in China and Pakistan in a meeting on safety of religious minorities in armed conflict.

The Theocracy envisioned by the present makers of modern Indian is topsy-turvy to that of Biblical era. Theocratic rule in Bible particularly in Old Testament accepted all aliens and foreigners among the God’s chosen people. The intention of God’s Sovereign rule wasn’t to subjugate any particular sects or caste but holistically uplifting all whether they are part of Israel community or not. Today the theocratic (single religious governance) agenda is not for the progressive development for all but creating division among all.  

In New Testament, Christ was the social revolutionary who spoke for the sinners but condemned the sin, who sat with outcast but casted out the parochial thinkers, He touched the lepers but hated the lepers of heart (hypocrites). But we the followers of Christ, the proud Nazranis are we really following the path of Christ or is that the Christ path only goes into and finish at the church gate? Does the threat of not getting ration from Centre hold us back from our moral responsibility? or, by isolating our state will it crush the zeal of brotherhood in us?. We are the followers of Christ who didn’t live for himself but for others.

By implementing CAB we are excluding and oppressing many and dragging multitudes to statelessness. We are heading towards making India a Single religious, linguistic and Caste country eventually. Making Indian a theocratic wasn’t the dream of our Constitution makers but today, survival of one of the religions is questioned and tomorrow many more will be, then linguistic hegemony will prevail and slowly only one Religious Aryan Race will rule this peninsular India. That’s what the outcome of modern theocracy is!

Let the slogan of Tata tea advertisement ring and remind us “Jaago Re India”

 Dn. Jerry Varghese, Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kerala

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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