Every value, concept, construct, ideology, language or even faith, no matter how universal or universalist it may be or claims to be, necessarily goes through a process of nativisation. That is the nature of things because human beings are prone to viewing and processing the world through the prism of their worldview which, in turn, is the product of conscious and subconscious conditioning and experience. Concepts such as secularism, constitutionalism, democracy and republicanism are no exceptions to this phenomenon of nativisation, which is why the definitions and practice of these values vary from continent to continent, country to country and sometimes even region to region within the same political unit depending on the extent of diversity that unit is blessed with — depending on where one stands on diversity — by geography and history. Naturally, diverse sensibilities lead to diverse and often divergent reactions to the same act or incident.
One such case in point is the torrent of conflicting reactions to the Prime Minister-elect Narendra Modi’s act of bowing down before the Constitution on Saturday at the NDA’s first parliamentary meet after its historic victory in the finally concluded excruciatingly long elections to Lok Sabha.