Secularism – Explained

Secularism – Explained


Religion is viewed as solely a private matter in secularism, which is the separation of religion from the political, economic, social, and cultural aspects of life. The most common definition of secularism is the exclusion of religion from public life and the state, but the term can also apply to a similar mindset that works to lessen or eradicate religion's influence in any public setting. A person who does not base their moral principles on any religion is considered secular. His values are the outcome of his logical and scientific thinking. 


•    India has a long and rich history of secular traditions. Indian culture is the consequence of the blending of numerous spiritual traditions and social movements.
•    The birth of the four Vedas, as well as various Purana and Upanishad interpretations, evince Hinduism's religious diversity.
•    Ruler Ashoka was the first great emperor to vow that the state would not persecute any religious sect in the third century B.C.
•    In his 12th Rock Edict, Ashoka called for the growth of a spirit of high regard for everyone in addition to the tolerance of all religious sects.
•    Even after Buddhism, Jainism, and later Islam and Christianity arrived on Indian Territory and began to coexist, the fight for religious tolerance and toleration of multiple religions persisted.
•    In mediaeval India, the Sufi and Bhakti movements emphasized love and peace to unite members of many communities.
•    Despite the British government's divide and rule strategy, the Indian liberation movement reinforced and broadened the secularist ethos. 
Secularism – Explained


•    The Vedic concept of 'Dharma nirapekshata,' which denotes the state's neutrality towards religion, is related to the term ‘secularism,' which is used to describe its practice.
•    The secularism paradigm, sometimes known as the separation of church and state, is the one that Western countries have opted to adopt.
•    In India, secularism is associated with the concept of "Sarva Dharma Sambhava," which denotes "equal regard for all religions" (literally, "the destination of all religions' courses is the same, but the pathways themselves may be different.
•    The prevailing philosophy of Indian culture is embodied by "positive secularism," as it was accepted and promoted by individuals like Swami Vivekananda and Mahatma Gandhi.
•    In India, there is no recognized state religion. Depending on a person's faith, certain personal laws, including marriage, divorce, inheritance, and alimony, differ.
•    Instead of being a goal in and of itself, Indian secularism is a strategy for managing religious plurality and ensuring the harmonious coexistence of various religions.


Several provisions of the constitution explicitly include all of the key concepts of secularism:
•    The word "secular" was added to the preamble of the constitution by the 42nd Amendment Act of 1976, which also stated that India is a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic.
•    It highlights that India is a secular nation under its constitution without an official religion. And that rather than promoting or favoring any one religion, the state must accept and embrace all of them.
•    Article 15 broadens the definition of secularism by prohibiting discrimination on the basis of religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth, while Article 14 ensures that everyone has equality before the law and equal protection under the law.
•    According to Article 16 (1), no discrimination would be practiced on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, descent, place of birth, or residence. It also affirms that all citizens will have equal access to public employment opportunities.
•    Everyone has the right to "freedom of conscience," which includes the freedom to profess, practice, and propagate religion, according to Article 25 of the Constitution.
•    Every religious group or individual has the freedom to set up and maintain religious and charitable institutions as well as to manage their own religious affairs, as stated in Article 26.
•    Article 27 states that no citizen may be compelled to pay taxes in order to support or maintain any organization, including a religion.
•    Article 28 permits the teaching of religion in educational institutions controlled by different religious groups.
•    According to Articles 29 and 30, minorities have rights in terms of culture and education.
•    All people must uphold unity and a sense of fraternal brotherhood, as well as maintain and preserve the rich history of our composite culture, according to Article 51A, or Fundamental Duties.


•    Over time, India developed its own unique definition of secularism, which is very different from the corresponding western concept in the following ways:
•    The "State" and "Religion" each have their own spheres of influence, and neither the state nor the religion may meddle in the affairs of the other, according to the western concept of secularism.
•    As a result, the full separation of religion and government is required under the western concept of secularism.
•    The 'wall of separation' between religion and the state does not exist in India, nevertheless, either in terms of the law or in actuality.
•    In India, the state and religion both have the legal right and frequent practice of interfering in and influencing one other's internal affairs.
•    Or to put it another way, Indian secularism does not demand that religion be totally excluded from government activities.
•    The Western paradigm holds that the state cannot subsidize religiously affiliated educational institutions financially.
•    On the other side, the Indian model has embraced a positive strategy for involvement.
•    All religious minorities in India are allowed to establish and run their own educational institutions, with possible government support.
•    In the Western philosophy, the state stays out of religious affairs until religion is compliant with the law.


•    Despite the Indian Constitution's declaration that the state is religiously neutral, religion plays a significant role in our society.
•    Indian secularism has come under attack from the blending of religion and politics, or from the mobilization of votes based on fundamental identities like religion, caste, and race.
•    The communalization of social space, the spread of myths and stereotypes about minorities, the assault on rational ideals, and the employment of divisive ideological propaganda and politics are all characteristics of communal politics.
•    Inter-religious conflict results from the competitive politicization of one religious organization and the subsequent politicization of other religious organizations.
•    One manifestation of communalism is riots inside communities. The secular fabric of India has recently been under significant threat from communalism.
•    The construction of an Islamic state based on sharia law is advocated by Islamic fundamentalism or revivalism, which is directly opposed to the ideas of a secular and democratic state.
Secularism – Explained


Hijab Ban & Indian Positive Secularism Concept

•    The state must make sure that a person's ability to declare and practice her faith without impinging on her other rights is protected.
•    Several times, the right to practice one's religion has been questioned, this time, the controversy focused on prohibiting students from enrolling in colleges in Karnataka.
•    It was argued before the Karnataka High Court since the state has declared that no one may exhibit their religious identity in public and because the constitutional courts there have backed the ban on wearing a hijab in public areas.

To Remove "Socialism" and "Secularism" From the Constitution's Preamble

•    The Rajya Sabha member Dr. Subramanian Swamy filed a writ petition asking the Supreme Court to strike the words "Socialism" and "Secularism" from the Constitution's Preamble.
•    The petitioners claim that socialist or secular ideas were never intended to be a part of democratic governance by the founding fathers of the Constitution.
•    The inclusion of these phrases was reportedly opposed by Dr. B. R. Ambedkar because the Constitution cannot forcibly take away someone's freedom of choice in order to impose political philosophy on them.

Ayodhya Decision

•    Even while the SC has always supported and fostered secularism, its Ayodhya judgment raises questions in that regard.
•    According to the Supreme Court's decision, even if a majority group breaks the law and destroys or damages a place of worship belonging to a minority population, it may be rewarded, and the state may eventually fall apart.
•    The most terrifying thing is this. In such situations, the disadvantaged minority population's discouragement and unhappiness could have major long-term effects. 


We have learned through the history of civilizations and the dreadful things that have happened to humanity as a result of social problems that secularism is necessary to defeat religious peculiarities. Secularism is crucial for minimizing the influence of the dominant religion and the use of political power motivated by religion. Additionally, it serves to safeguard people's privacy rights, including their freedom to practice other religions, change their own religion, or to interpret religious doctrine as they see fit. 
Assuring equality and freedom inside and between religions, as well as recognizing religion's universality and diversity, are essential. Terms like "Unity in Diversity" and "melting pot" of multiculturalism will be used to compliment India if we manage to reach an unbroken state of harmony.

Any suggestions or correction in this article - please click here ([email protected])

Related Posts: