The ‘Secular’ Myth?
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”.