The ‘Sec­u­lar’ Myth?

India Today - - UPFRONT -

Con­trary to our self-im­age as a na­tion of near un­par­al­leled tol­er­ance, In­dia, ac­cord­ing to a re­port re­leased ear­lier this month by the Wash­ing­ton, DC-based Pew Re­search Cen­ter, ranks be­hind only Syria, Nige­ria and Iraq as hav­ing the most “so­cial hos­til­i­ties in­volv­ing re­li­gion”. Though re­cently re­leased, the study uses data from 2015. On its web­site, the Pew Cen­ter noted the re­stric­tions some states im­posed on re­li­gious con­ver­sion and cow slaugh­ter, but ar­gued that “In­dia had an even higher level of so­cial hos­til­i­ties in­volv­ing re­li­gion, which are per­pe­trated by in­di­vid­u­als or groups in so­ci­ety rather than the govern­ment”. Pak­istan, in­ci­den­tally, ranked 10th, six places be­hind In­dia. Shashi Tha­roor was among those who tweeted his dis­be­lief, claim­ing the Pew re­port “dis­cred­its it­self”.

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