Except for pleasure reading, mythology doesn't attract me. I am not a sailor threatened by Scylla and Charybdis. I am most certainly not a prehistoric ghost but a living human being of 21st century.

Unlike most of my Sharia-loving, Jihad-promoting, hate-mongering, vitriol-spewing and logic-shunning compatriots and coreligionists, I have also tried to 'vaccinate' myself against blind conservatism and self-righteousness by periodic doses of self-prescribed 'thinking' – a process which took more than three years to be immunized against all sorts of dogmatism and blind faith (at least to the degree of preponderance).

If you think three years are less, then I can imagine the ordeal and agony you are going through right now. But If you think three years are way too many for a 'vaccination' course, you are either gifted with prospering circumstances or then yet to receive any of the injections. Most probably, you are unaware of the degree to which children and teenagers in this country have been indoctrinated (brainwashed) by various agents and factors – the textbooks taught at schools being one of them.

Now that your head has started aching and you are almost giving up on reading this, let me come up clear. Scylla and Charybdis were monsters in the Greek mythology. Scylla – a six-headed sea monster and Charybdis – a whirlpool, so positioned on the opposite sides of the Strait of Messina. Passing through the strait while at the same time avoiding them both was a feat next to impossible. That is what the myths say.

Now how it relates to my situation? Recently I have been in a dilemma- caught between two extremes or groups subscribing to two extremes. One extreme being the vociferous religious extremists (extremist doesn't have to be necessarily armed) and the other extreme being the lot who misconstrue secularism as specifically an anti-religion affair. Respectively, the Scylla and Charybdis I have been talking about since the start.

I believe in Secularism i.e separation of State and Church (mosque) which gives enough of a reason for the sacerdotals to bash me and I am fine with that. The reason is that secularism underscores equality before the law. It considers everybody equal in the eyes of the state regardless of his/her religion, color, caste, creed etc. It underlines tolerance and peaceful coexistence.

It is the not the negation of religion but provides for the individual freedom which also includes religious freedom for all (believers and non-believers) as long as one's own set of beliefs is not shoved down the throats of others or hinders the proper functioning of the state. With that being sad, I am not at all concerned with the animosity of the anti-secularism brigade. Perhaps they aren't that flexible (as of yet) to swallow it and understandably so.

On the flipside, I find it simply ridiculous when the proponents of secularism (at least a section of them) target peoples' individual freedom (most specifically religious freedom) and back their argument by saying it is not secular to allow people to perform their religious rites in a secular society and country.

My God! That is the last thing that we want to hear. Primarily we want secularism in order to live our own personal lives as we think fit and let others live theirs the way they think fit. Curtailing others' freedom or targeting them for not being in line with our own understanding is anything but secular.

I am sailing far away from the six-headed monsters of religious extremism but I don't want to be swallowed and engulfed by the whirlpool either. The world and its people need to be safeguarded from being bitten by fundamentalists and extremists of all sorts and biting back won't help in that regard. We have to think better. We have to act better.