Source: Outlookindia.com

“India, that is Bharat…” When framers of our Constitution used those words in that sequence in its very first article, they were conscious of certain facts: One, India is just a new name of our country Bharat that is homeland of our millennia-old civilisation that gave birth to four major religions – Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism – which primarily informed our ancient civilisational ethos and culture; Two, the Indian State is the inheritor and trustee of our ancient civilisation; Three, the Preambular exhortation of ‘unity and integrity of the Nation” has civilisational connotation as deep civilisational ties bound us spatially and inter-generationally spanning across yugas. Thus they were cognizant of India as a Civilisational Nation whose unity and integrity was primarily informed by Sanatana Dharma aeons before they assembled to frame the Constitution. Therefore, the moral obligation of the Constitution was largely to nurture our ancient civilisation and its values with a view to reintegrate our Nation and its people, for, bereft of those there will be no India in India as mere geographical lumps alone do not make a nation.

Even though Hindus are about a billion population there is no Hindu State in the world. India being the only country with Hindu majority (except smaller Nepal) and the only homeland for adherents of Indic religions (except Buddhists) it goes without saying that it has civilizational responsibility towards adherents of Indic religions. It’s an unfortunate reality that Hindus (which includes Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs as per Explanation-II of article 25) suffer religious persecution in some countries. They naturally look up to India for succor and refuge as they (except Buddhists) have nowhere else to go. But those who escaped to India have long been suffering for want of Indian citizenship – an essential for a dignified living.

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