Secular India: An obituary

Published: May 19, 2014

Even as secular India breathed its last after Modi administered it a coup de grace, a new Hindu India was born. PHOTO: AFP

Dear Friends,

With a broken and shattered heart, I have to bring to your notice that the secular India we all loved and admired is no more. It was 67-years-old.

Just like secular India’s birth in 1947, its demise was also a tragic one. Verily, it came under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s car and got crushed on May 16, 2014.

As expected, Modi felt bad about the incident and expressed his regret by saying,

“I feel bad even when a puppy comes under the car. After all, I am also a human being.”

Even as I listened to Prime Minister Modi’s magnanimous and heartrending expression of regret, a large tear trickled down my cheek, for I loved our secular India from the bottom of my heart. I was proud to be an Indian because of our country’s secular and liberal character, for in it minorities felt safe and protected.

I am still reeling under the shock of its tragic loss; it will take some time for it to sink in that my secular India is no more, that it’s gone forever. Alas, I am at a loss of words to express my grief.

Nonetheless, even as secular India breathed its last after Modi administered it a coup de grâce, a new Hindu India was born. In Hindu India, minorities will be treated as second class citizens, dissent will be squelched, press will be muzzled and liberals will be hounded.

The funeral will take place on May 21, 2014 as Modi takes oath as the prime minister of Hindu India.

As for my love, my India, fare thee well. I have always loved you.

Sapan Kapoor

Sapan Kapoor

A history buff and India-based journalist, the author has worked with the Press Trust of India. He blogs at and tweets as @dRaconteur.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Ajay gupta

    The modi govt is yet to take oath& u have already written it off. Talk of pseudo secularism. Ask the minorities how safe they felt during congress regimes. The congress has ruled India for maximum time since imdependence, so logically, maximum riots have also taken place under their watch. Who opened the gates to the ram temple? Who was in power in 1992? Modi has won people’s mandate. What is disheartening is that slaughter of Muslims in 2002 has not had an impact on the electorate. If this is the way fwd, then we have to go along. Secularism worked when the nation was being built. Nehru’s idealism is long lost. Perhaps it’s hindutva’s turn. Let’s wait n c.Recommend

  • Al Mahound

    Sadly, Express Tribune has become ‘Congress Tribune’. RIP Objectivity !!!Recommend

  • Adpran

    Do Pakistani people know that this is a satirical article?Recommend

  • Raj NJ

    Instead of Indian flag will you please use some other symbol for RIP. Thanks.Recommend

  • kireet

    For your Information I think its better than the situation in Islamic Republic of Pakistan.Recommend

  • Malti Chaturvedi

    so when r u leaving communal india???Recommend

  • Alann

    I feel so sorry for your loss, Mr. Sapan Kapoor. Surely you may want to leave this dead land now for greener pastures like the ones in Pakistan? Or were you hoping Superstar Kamaal R Khan would take you with him to Dubai when he left India a couple days ago with Shoaib Akhtar?
    If you would like, I will be more than happy to book you a one-way flight to Pakistan – all expenses paid! We won’t miss you.Recommend

  • hp kumar

    Sapan Kapoor,you r insulting our democratic institution and people’s mandate.who r you to post such a derogatory comment about my country and our PM??Recommend

  • Supriya Arcot

    All I can suggest is ‘loosen’ up a bit. A lot of water has flown down the bridge since the last time. Give this new party some time. Lets start with a positive view. Fings crossed.Recommend

  • Concard

    Looks like ET has become a laughing stock. If you argue a case, put forward your point and back up with facts and good analogies not prejudiced statements. What this fellow is saying is people who have voted for Modi is somehow not secular. Can he recommend who else we should have voted for?Recommend

  • Swapna

    Mr.Sapan , you are invited to Funeral ceremony . I don’t understand which minorities are treated as 2nd class in India . Is it Sikhs ? Is it Christians ? Is it Jains or Parsis ? If you are talking about Muslims , then let us ask the world about it .Recommend

  • Hyderabadi

    I’m just here to troll the Author! ROFL..Recommend

  • AJ

    Seriously!!!! with all due respect if an Hindu ( and an INDIAN) has a problem with Modi ( Another Hindu Indian) why does he have to fly out on a one way trip to Pakistan ?????… This is your problem…you can say all good things on the face but in your heart you just hate Pakistan Why because we separated ???? why cant you just get over it now???? and “move on”
    There was not a single reference of Pakistan in this article and everyone just conveniently started using it in a bad context…btw I honestly haven’t met a single Indian who would say all this to my face :) apparently you like waging cyber comment wars …… understandable …. :) Safer this way ;)Recommend

  • jayant

    I take grave offense with the Pic that has been used……Recommend

  • Broken heart

    Sapan kapoor… LolRecommend

  • SM

    It always was a Hindu India – the cloak shrouding it has not been dropped. The Muslim League led by Jinnah knew that, hence the Pakistan demand.Recommend

  • Critical

    To Sapan Kapoor…

    I just have one word for youRecommend

  • abhi098

    when are you leaving to pakistan mr sapan kapoor?Recommend

  • anu

    india is secular because majority of hindus are secular,not because of hypocritical congress!!!!Recommend

  • bigrat devil

    Huh .. still trying to keep ur feet in blogging sites !! Just appeasement .. dats all.Recommend

  • abhi

    Please write some more till all your poison is poured out. Probably you will see the things in different perspective after that.Recommend

  • Syed Awais

    I am a Pakistani and I wholeheartedly agree with you. The picture indeed is in poor taste!Recommend

  • ashish

    please whine about Hindu India on a website of a secular country rather than on a Muslim PakistanRecommend

  • hozzur

    Now that secularism according to you is buried can we for change celebrate its burial and the reawakening of the nation to its true destiny. Its destiny was derailed by these secularists, the most abused word in India’s political dictionary!Recommend

  • Prashant

    The next time elections happen in india, I will have all the people of India consult with you before they vote. This is to ensure that you are given no chance to crib post elections. Seriously, this is becoming a joke. You are writing pathetic blogs without much research for more than six months with the sole purpose of giving flak to Modi and and you have become so very one dimensional that the moment I see your name, I know it would be about BJP and Modi. You are the only sane person in entire India and the rest are nuts. Recommend

  • bmniac

    Laughable.and puerile pas well as attention seeking piece. Many of Indian pseudo-intellectuals said that they would leave the country if Modi were to be elected. There is no sign of that.. Mr Dream(sapan) kapur seems to have nightmares in India;he can either put up with it and continue to weep. Or get out, if he could make a living elsewhere. One is not sure about Mod but he has a massive mandate in an open electioni. Yet He has repeatedly said that he will respect the constitution and function within it and for the moment Indians have to accept it. One should not underestimate the people though the previous Government has hollowed out the institutions.Recommend

  • SM

    Jinnah was right all along. It was a Hindu India cloaked in the shroud of secularism. It never was meant to be a secular India – only Hindu India. Gandhi injected religion into politics and our liberals buy into the propaganda that Jinnah did so. Recommend

  • Parvez

    What little I understand is that the Indian Constitution firmly protects the secular ideology . Now if what you imply does manage to raise its head…….then the courts are there being independent and effective, to uphold the constitution.
    This article seems quite off-the-cuff and suspiciously emotional.Recommend

  • Kaur

    Well ,get well soon mr. Kapoor .i know you would have been fainted after modi win.dont worry sare pseudo seculars ka yahi haal hai.good to see you in Islamic Republic of Pakistan .Recommend

  • Shihab

    I hate indians more than pakistan because indians use bangladeshi for their own benefit. They helped us during 1971 war for their own benefit.Recommend

  • peace for all

    let me tell you one thing PAKISTAN has got nothing to do with MODI or any such stuff.please get over this ‘Pakistan phobia’ through which your politician play trick on youRecommend

  • Anoop

    You must be supporting AAP!Recommend

  • np

    Sadly it is not. Please read all prior articles of this author. Not only does he lack objectivity, he frequently lies.Recommend

  • gp65

    @Author: Are you aware that many Muslims too voted for Modi led BJP? And who by the way are your secular models – ‘boys will be boys’ Mulayam? SOnai who went to Imam of Jama Masjid and sought vote on a religious basis?Recommend

  • Sandip

    The secular India that we all know, was born eons ago and continues to live hale and hearty to this day and will forever, Mr. Modi or Mr. Rajiv Gandhi (of the Sikh massacre fame) notwithstanding. The secular India that Mr. Kapoor refers to, was born on 1976- nay it arrived unplanned as a forced operation much before its delivery date. Unfortunately, that poor secular India could never overcome the poisonous dose given by the so called “secular parties” that mid-wifed its birth and continues to be used for their own selfish purpose by those very parties. It will probably continue in its moth eaten state for some more time till the genuinely secular India finishes it with another crushing mandate against the so called secular, but essentially useless, parties in the years to come. However the oxygen tap to the sick secular India of 1976 is in the hands of the new NDA government. It’s performance of what it preached will turn off that tap for good leading to the deliverance of that sick soul from the clutches of the “secular” parties. The non-performance of the NDA will curse that sick soul to some more years of abused life.Recommend

  • gp65

    I feel as disgusted as you perhaps are by the lack of objectivity and occassionally outright lies of this blogger.
    Having said that, why should he leave India? Giriraj came up with the idea that those who dislike Modi should leave India and not just BJP leaders like Rajnath Singh but Modi himself disassociated himself with such a statement and mindset.
    Anyway, his punishment is to live in a country which gave a massive mandate to a man he detests enough to repeatedly lie and rant about.Recommend

  • Faulitics

    Sapan Kapoor will obviously apply for political asylum in Pakistan which is known throughout the world for its wonderful secularism and Pakistan will graciously refuse the application because he does not belong to the “right” religion and the “right” sect in that religion.Recommend

  • Faulitics

    The Hindu indian is writing this article exclusively for a pakistan news outlet. So the assumption is that he thinks his Pakistani audience is secular than India. That will explain the “go to pakistan” sentiment of the posts.Recommend

  • Mohinder sandhu

    secularism do not come or go with the change of goverment,it is something that is ingrained into the majority indians.BJP vote is exclusively for development and to move the stagnated economy.The books that are taught to young kids or adults latter on do not DO NOT propagate against any religion.masjids mandirs or gurudawars at many many places are located side by side. It is the culture of INDIA that makes it secular not the govermentRecommend

  • Adam

    Its just plain disgusting to see people after Sapan. Its his point of view and even if you don’t agree, an educated person should have some level of tolerance. I assume everyone reading a sophisticated newspaper like Tribune has an above-average IQ level. So to all Indians, please stop joining the bandwagon of hounding any author who expresses a different point of view.
    Actually Sapan has a point and I agree with him. Is there mass xenophobia in India? Echoes of Germany pre-world war. Had there been Advani or Swaraj as prime minister of India, I wouldn’t have mind but Modi?? I am shocked to see him get 2/3 majority. At minimum this man turned a blind eye to unhumane killing of women, men and children. He was the a chief minister. In any other country (except for ofcourse the subcontinent) the CM would’ve resigned. Yet somehow this canny old criminal ends up being PM and people love him. What a shame!Recommend

  • Sam

    Sapan bai… dekh lena, ek din, yeh nafrat pyaar mein badal jayega !Recommend

  • jssidhoo

    It is not RIP secularism but RIP dynastyRecommend

  • jssidhoo

    A secularist desecrating the Indian flagRecommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    why didn’t you title the article “congress voter’s heartache”Recommend


    Rather than writing a requiem for Indian secularism, I would start composing my epitaph for these “Sicklurists”. Truly, the grand epitaph of all,

    Here lies the sicklurist-1975 to 2014

    Quite literally.Recommend


    The term SECULAR was added by Indira Gandhi, the PM of India in 1975 in Indian constitution after imposing an emergency (1975 to 1977) and suspending the very constitution and curbing the fundamental rights of all Indian citizens. Congress and caste-based parties are not secular in true sense. That is why they are known as pseudo-secularist.Recommend

  • Nandita.

    Sapan Kapoor :
    Kindly read Yaqoob Bangash’s brilliant oped “Modi Sarkar” in this very newspaper to understand why Modi won and why people voted for him.
    But ofcourse, Mr Bangash is a very intelligent man, not sure if his words will get through to people.
    I wasn’t a modi fan but I have no qualms in admitting that I was rooting for him and am relieved he will be the next prime minister. (If you read Mr Bangash’s piece you will know why even sceptics like me were in favour of Modi ) If there is anyone today who can take India forward, it is Narendra Modi. Too bad, you can’t see it.


  • نائلہ

    I respect your love for your country, but you are being ridiculous. I am very sure India is still alive and thriving, and I please get that RIP symbol off your own flag- its not any different to burning it!Recommend

  • Sane

    What secularism in India you are talking about. If there was any, then was dead on Aug 15, 1947. Whether it is Modi now and in past Indri, Rajiv, Vajpaee, Gujral or any other, when minorities were safe in India. All minorities suffered due to fanaticism of Hinduwata, whether Sikhs, Christians or Muslims. Nothing new shall be in India after Modi. However, now Muslims and other minorities shall accelerate their struggle to make a safer part in India by having a safe homeland for them; like Kashmiris struggle.Recommend

  • Sane

    Your PM was denied US visa on genocide of Musliams. He is first ever PM who has been labelled as ‘Darinda’ (beast).Recommend

  • Gabbar Singh

    it is secularism and tolerance of India which allows you to write such non sensical articles on foreign public web sites. If truly Modi is monster than I suggest you please run, since your picture here is enough for his goons to track u down.Recommend

  • Sid

    You are missing the leading characters “in” in your name. Please correct itRecommend

  • Nandita.

    India’s constitution protects all Indians and secularism is ingrained in most Indians. No individual and party can shake the strong foundation of India. And frankly, I do NOT think minorities will be persecuted under Modi rule. Gujarat has been riot free for so long with Modi in power. Surely, you know that? I believe in Modi’s promise of ushering in “acche din” and like most of India, I do believe economic development is his primary agenda. In short, I am optimistic of india’ s future.
    I don’t know what to believe about 2002 but the fact is that India needs Modi as a leader and he is the only one fit for the job.Recommend

  • Rakib

    There are Islamic countries that are not perfect; there are Secular ones that too aren’t. There is gap between precept & practitioners. And who told you Secularism means only safety of minorities? It only means State has no Religion. State has no Opinion on Religion hence doesn’t interfere with it. State is concerned with the Here and not with Hereafter. In the eyes of Laws of the State all citizens are equal. Law & Order is responsibility of State & Safety has to be assured to ALL citizens not only minorities though-if it claims to be a Welfare State too-weaker sections must get greater attention. a young State fails in its duties many times, even most of the times; but over time as cumulative experience grows lapses are less frequent. If Modi follows all this as PM, in spite of his lapse as CM he would be considered as upholder of Secular values of Indian Constitution. The Courts & an alert & highly critical Media & international attention will help him in that effort. Your criticism helps to dispel our laxity & hopefully my post would have assisted you in dispelling prejudice.Recommend

  • Anon

    I suggest this author to put glycerin in the eyes, if he cannot cry much. After all even over acting must look a bit real.Recommend

  • nitish

    who cares??we have enough to worry about ourselves..Gone r the days of 71..It is 21st century..wake up and smell the coffeeRecommend

  • vasan

    I have never seen a worse article than this. Without any proof of muslims being treated differently than what is meted out by the congress/or other regimes, wihtout considering the sikhs killed by the congress goons, this author has blogged and ET has published this nonsense. What a shameRecommend

  • vasan

    Hate everyone in the world. We care lessRecommend

  • Naila

    So you hate both Indians and Pakistanis? Wow thats alot of people to hate, good luck with that.Recommend

  • Naila

    I dont think anyone lets him write blogs in India anyway.Recommend

  • Gratgy

    So.. if someone helps you in your hour of need, regardless whether it helps them too, you hate them?

    Speaks volumes about your character. I guess you don’t get much help thesedaysRecommend

  • Kamran Hayder

    The only thing i liked in this blog is the one truth of the writer..” I am at a loss of words to express my grief” !!Recommend

  • Lalit

    my sympathies are you Mr Sapan Kapoor….i knew you were dreading this day…losing your employment. good luck for 2019…Recommend

  • sharabi

    Mr. Sapan Kapoor if you have any self respect remain in you , please migrate to FATA or Somalia.
    @ET If Mr. Sapan have rights to express such outrageous thoughts for a Leader of 1.27 B people than i have my right for the same.Recommend

  • Jehanzeb Mahar

    I disagree with you, though it sounds strange because I am a Pakistani and you being an Indian must be knowing India more than me. But what I strongly think that your write up is heavily influenced by the fact that you don’t like modi and/or BJP. People voted for BJP not because they wanted a hindu nationalist to become a prime minister but because they wanted change after two consecutive tenures of congress. I also don’t like modi because of his role in the Gujarat riots but I respect the will of Indian people; more so when media reports say that many muslims too shifted their loyalties from congress to BJP this time.Recommend

  • cloud9

    This is a clear violation of Flag code of India.Recommend

  • Abdul Malik

    I campaigned against Modi but now that he has received the people’s mandate, he will be the PM of India, not NDA. I feel all need to give him some time and see whether he can deliver on his promises. It is not fair to write off anyone without seeing their performance.Recommend

  • gp65

    i agree with you that asking him to go to Pakistan was not called for and i have written a comment elsewhere that states my position. The issue with this person however is that he has written many many blogs in ET discrediting India in general and Modi in particular. That too should be okay if criticism is factual. But this person frequently lies and misrepresents truth.
    People like Amir Khan who make shows like Satyamev Jayate are praised because the problems they write about are genuine and it is clear what the neeyat isi.e. to improve India by pointing oht the problems. Plus he has the courage to say what he has to in India.

    This person on the other has never been published in India(most of what he writes does not pass fact check tests anyway) and repeatedly comes to this site and lies which certainly makes one think that he cares more about being popular in Pakistan than the truth and certainly more than he cares about India. This particular blog should not be seen in isolation.Recommend

  • AmarAkbarAnthony

    Dude People of India never voted in majority for religion, by far congress or any other parties won mostly because of economic progress roti kapada aur Makhan or the mantras and still it is the those who voted based on religion or mostly minority and uneducated (those who cannot read your blog) Muslims in particular, However last 20 years education has improved and there are more voters in mainstream who are educated and voting for progress. Religion based politics is dead and no one even noticed itRecommend

  • Qaiser Habib

    Man::: Respect the mandate, it is democracy. I am a Pakistani and hoping that Modi & Nawaz will do something solid for the peace in the region.Recommend

  • Sridhar Kaushik

    The only obituary is to this author and his ilk. They can get a visa for Timbuktu if they like.
    Let us first define secularism. May be this author is not aware that secularism is a western concept which seeks to separate church from the state. What this means is: state will not have any say in the matters of religion which is personal.
    Did Congress ever practise secularism as per the above definition? Its secularism was “sucking up to the minorities”. Let me just give one eg. There is a law that allows churches, mosques to be run privately without govt interference. This is scrupulously practised even if some of these are not “functioning” or there are allegations of mismanagement. It is left to the local Wakf authorities in the matter of mosques for eg to sort out the problem. Govt never ever interferes.
    When it comes to a temple and there is alleged “misnamagement”, the govt (congress or its allies) happily take over the temple. No questions asked. This has happened in case of Padmanabha temple in kerala recently and in case of various temples in Tamil Nadu in the past.
    The mosque where millions of devout hindus think a Ram temple existed in the past has not been functioning as a mosque for past several years. It is run by a Shia moulvi who seems to have no problem quitting the premises as long as another land is made available. The whole thing is stalled by sunnis who take objection to hindus building a temple at the site! This is happening in a “hind” majority India.
    Congress has not been able to solve the issue as it continues to side with the minorities for “vote bank” politics. Another eg of shining secularism by the congress!
    I can go on but i will stop here.Recommend

  • priyanka

    please dont equate india to pakistan where hindus and christians are persecuted to death under false blasphemy cases and their temples and churches raided. Here muslims go to colleges/work with hindus and if you are so concerned about minorities in india why dont you live in pakistan where you would be blown up.Recommend