Understanding Secularism

Understanding Secularism

• Secularism Refers to Separation of Religion:
(i) The Indian Constitution allows individuals the freedom to live by their religious
beliefs and practices.
(ii) Indian adopted a strategy of separating the power of religion and the power of the
state.

• Why is it important to Separate Religion from the State:
(i) It prohibits the domination of one religion over another.
(ii) To protect the freedom of individuals to exit from their religion, embrace another
religion or have the freedom to interpret religious teachings differently.

• What is Indian Secularism:
(i) The Indian Constitution mandates that the Indian state be secular state.
(ii) One religious community does not dominate another in a secular state.
(iii) In a secular state, some members do not dominate other members of the same
religious community.
(iv) The state does not enforce any particular religion nor take away the religious freedom of individuals.
(v) The government schools can not promote any one religion.
(vi) In order to respect the sentiments of all religions and not interfere with religious
practices, the state makes certain expections for particular religious communities.
(vii) The Indian secularism works to prevent the domination.
(viii) In order to prevent this religion based exclusion and discriminationof lower castes, the Indian Constitution bans untouchability.
(ix) To ensure that laws relating to equal inheritance rights are respected, the state may have to intervene in the religion based ‘personal laws’ of communities.
(x) The intervention of the state can be in the form of support.
(xi) The first amendment of the US constitution prohibits the legislature from making laws “respecting an establishment of religion” or that prohibits the free exercise of religion.
(xii) The Indian state is secular and works in various ways to prevent religious domination.

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