Kathmandu, July 25:

Advocates of humanism, leaders and social activists have stressed the need to embrace secularism in everyday life to promote social equality. They said declaring Nepal a secular state alone would not bring about equality.

Presenting a paper at a talk programme organised by Society for Humanism Nepal (SocH) in the capital today, vice-president of International Humanistic Youth Organisation, Uttam Niraula, warned that failure to institutionalise secularism during the transition could trigger violence in the long run.

Niraula said promoting one religion always meant discriminating against those following another religion. He also blamed Nepali kings of using religion as a tool to suppress people.

Citing examples that many wars had been fought in the name of religion, Prof Dr Prem Khatri said religions gave birth to fundamentalism, which incited people to kill others as well as themselves.

Constituent Assembly member Narahari Acharya said he would make efforts to embrace secularism by, for example, suggesting that the column, religion, be written off the census data collection sheet.

Another participant Janak Rai said the Nepal Army and academic curricula should be secularised.UML leader Shankar Pokharel said secularism had to be followed to put an end to social discrimination.

According to Khagendra Prasain, humanism was possible only when scientifically proven logics were used to justify human acts.