Ambassador: Yutang. You see he's a very great admirer of India.
Prabhupāda: And that's a fact. But our Indian government is not very serious about it.
Ambassador: No, we have a difficulty, Your Eminence. You have got a problem in India because we have got this multi-religious society. So we have to be careful. But individuals can do it for the...
Ambassador: Because we have got to be... We should not be misunderstood. As a government, we should not take too strong a policy about any particular religion, even though it is the religion of the majority of the people.
Prabhupāda: No, no, no. It is the duty of the government... Secular state means neutral to any kind of religion. But it is the duty of government to see that people are religious. Not that "Because government is secular, let the people go to hell."
Ambassador: No, that's true.
Prabhupāda: Yes. If you are Muslim, and..., it is my duty as government to see that you are actually acting as a Muslim. If you are a Hindu, it is the government's duty to see that you are acting as a Hindu. If you are a Christian, it is the government's duty... You cannot give up religion. Dharmena hīnāḥ paśubhiḥ samānāḥ (Hitopadeśa).
If people become irreligious in the name of secularism, then they are simply animals. So it is the government duty to see that the citizens are not becoming animals. He may profess a type of religion. That doesn't matter. But he must be religious. That is secular state. Not that secular state means government is callous: "Let the people become cats and dogs, without religion. Government doesn't care." That is not good government. What do you think?
Ambassador: I think, Your Eminence, there's a lot in what you say, but, you know, politics is the art of the possible.
Prabhupāda: No. No, politics means to see that people are advanced, citizens are advanced, not that they are degraded.
Ambassador: Your Eminence, I agree, but I think the duty of the government primarily is to provide conditions in which gifted people, spiritual people like you, leaders like you, can function. More than that, if the government does, it might probably even corrupt the religious... I don't know. Like an umpire in a game, you know, or something. Provide the conditions, provide the conditions for free speech. Not like Moscow, you know, where it is...