A BJP election poster from 2004. Poster shows Pranab Mukherjee, Congress leader, and Biman Bose, CPI(M) leader, together at a meeting of Muslim clerics. Text reads Is this secularism?.

Since an amendment in 1976, the constitution of India describes the country as 'secular', and generally most mainstream political forces describe themselves as 'secular'. Its important to note that in the Indian context the term is mainly used as an opposite of 'communal', rather than describing the role of state-religion relations. The Hindu nationalist movement, who are frequently accused of being 'communal' by left-wing and pro-Congress forces, claim that their opponents are 'pseudo-Secularists'. The claim is that the opponents of the Hindu nationalist movement are not truly secularists since they, in the eyes of Hindu nationalists, favour minority communities (such as Indian Muslims or Indian Christians) at the expense of the interests majority Hindu community. Hindu Nationalists also assert that this form of discrimination is motivated by votebank politics where a political party seeks votes from those adherents of certain religions who are observed as voting collectively rather than individually. Hindu Nationalists also assert that political propaganda disseminated by the left-wing parties who practise pseudo-secularism often involve anti-Hindu defamations motivated by the desire to appease extremist elements of other religions.

Major issues raised by the Hindu nationalist movement are separate legal codes for various religious communities, such as the Shariat bill, and the Indian Government's subsidy of the travel of Indian Muslims to Saudi Arabia to visit Mecca (Hajj subsidy).

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