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Saurav Bhola

Designation – Pursuing bachelor’s


Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Punjab

Contact details : +919466672993 , +919781279015


Secularism is deeply ingrained in Indian culture and it has become a classic example of beat to
other culture across the globe for its unique secular dimensions. In India with several religions
and religious element is deeply embedded in the human psyche, and with two centuries of
foreign rule, the secular idea has taken shape in ways which have no parallels elsewhere.
Secularism is hotly debated and controversial concept which is susceptible to varied meanings1.

Professor(Dr.)Paramjit S. Jaswal , Professor(Dr.) G.I.S Sandhu , Dr. Manoj Kumar Sharma (2015) . Minorities and
Law in India. Rajiv Gandhi National university of Law.

The word ‘Secularism’ was coined by a British secularist . the concept of secularism came into existence. He explained the meaning of the word ‘secular’. All thing related to education. governance and also personal life are greatly influenced by this religion. Secondly when so many religious group came together as a social institution. He coined the term ‘secularism’ to describe his view of promoting a social order separate from religion. Secularism is considered as a part of Humanism because. Humanism says. a feeling of granting equal right of dignity and respect starts emerging. it is inspired by sense of justice which tries to prevent discrimination among the followers of different religious communities living together that means the ultimate aim of secularism is to prevent discrimination amongst various religious communities. that the human must do something for human dignity and human welfare. Christianity was at very well dominance.. co operator and newspaper editor named ‘George Jacob Holyoake’ in 1846. And by this. But before George Jacob Holyoake this concept of secularism was used by many philosophers like. without actively dismissing or criticizing religious belief. In middle age all activities were instructed by religion. human trust and human welfare as supreme. Theocratic State . Thomas Jefferson and John Locke. Similarly in West. This concept of Secularism came into existence as a response to certain changes in social organization like before Buddhism and Jainism there was Brahminical system which was very popular and respected religion. KINDS OF STATE : Lets now look at the kind of government or state we have as far as the religious attitude are concerned. concerned only with the worldly things and no relation to the Churches or religious rule. There are three Kind of States: 1. Voltare. SECULARISM AS A HUMANISM : Humanism is the philosophy which holds the human dignity . Epicurus. Atheistic State 2. Aurelius. is referred to as ‘Dharam Nirpekshata’ which means religious neutrality. having no connection with religion .Secularism in Hindi. And due to the increase of social institutions it was difficult for religion to control them.

religion fact. Theocratic State: Theocratic state is a pro. 3. Every citizen have right to profess their own choice of religion. Like India and USA both are secular state. This state is fully opposite of secularism. In this state none of its citizens are allowed to have different religion... Secular state: Secular state is neutral in all matter of religion. it says that God-Man relation is citizens individual conscience and Government has nothing to do with it. The mentality of secularism can be found around 4000 year ago at the time of Indus valley culture. There was a large population and different religions existed at that time. religious harmony and unity in diversity etc. it covers vast area and people of the region lived a high standard of living in either sphere of life. Secular State Atheistic State : Atheistic state is anti-religion state. For example : Mexican constitution of 1917 or some communist state like China . There was the population of cosmopolitan one. Cuba. Nepal etc. This state does not allow its citizen to profess any religion and if somebody goes against it then he/she will be punished and killed. Thus Indus valley civilization is considered as the cradle land of Indian Secularism as it provide us with the idea of secularism. Secularism in India: Secularism in India is not a recent task or any near independence task. There was no common belief or any one particular religion which dominated the other religion. For example in Pakistan . This state believe in both God-Man relation and Man- Man relation. that speaks of their secular mind and philosophy leading to the foundation of secularism in Indian soil. The different religion present during that period can give us the hint of their basic idea of equality of all religions. . This state follows the concepts of Secularism.material and spiritual. As regard to the Indus valley. This state doesn’t believe in God-Man relation . So it believes in Man to Man relation. Soviet Union .

Earlier there was no place for word ‘Secularism’ in our Indian constitution and then this word ‘secularism’ was added by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment enacted in 1976. The term ‘secular’ denotes threefold relationship between state . . IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this twenty-sixth day of November . economics and political: LIBERTY of thought . ‘the muffled steps of the past are felt in blood’. faith and worship EQUALITY of status and of opportunity: and to promote among them all FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unit and integrity of the Nation. an ideal principle but the vulnerable point in India is the deep religious sentiments prevailing among its different religious communities. India is home to diverse traditions. Present and future of secularism in historical perspective of India can be seen by some lines of Tagore. expression . having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic and to secure to all its citizens. The preamble to the Indian constitution signifies that India is a secular state. man and religion. India has from time immemorial.1949. religions and cultures as several cultures and religions have co-existed in India for centuries. The constitution of India declares India as a Sovereign. universalism and mutual respect for the religious practise of other religions .Prominent secular feature of Indian culture includes unity in diversity. brief . This can be inferred from the lines of the preamble which are as follows: WE THE PEOPLE OF INDIA . JUSTICE Social . Secularism is no doubt . Socialist. The concept of secularism is being inflicted in our Indian constitution. This mutual co-existence and mutual respect for the religious practices of other religions is inherent in Indian society. India being a pluralistic society. been the home of several religions. do HEREBY ADOPT . secularism is inherent in Indian culture. ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION. Democratic . It has been preached and practised in India from Ancient times.Republic.

Nothing in this article or in clause ( 2 ) of Article 29 shall prevent the State from making any special provision for the advancement of any socially and 2 Article 14 of The Indian Constitution. demonstrate that Indian Constitution provides strong secular edifice. bathing Ghats. caste. practice and propagate religion subject to limitations prescribed by the Constitution. sex. Therefore . race. The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion. sex or place of birth I. . Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any special provision for women and children IV.Preamble to the Constitution of India assures equality. caste. public restaurants. restriction or condition with regard to a. the use of wells. belief and worship. sex. The implication of secularism can be inferred from the various articles of Our Indian Constitution. race. No citizen shall. hotels and palaces of public entertainment. roads and places of public resort maintained wholly or partly out of State funds or dedicated to the use of the general public III. Article 26. Constitution guarantees fundamental rights to all irrespective of religious beliefs. caste. place of birth or any of them II. or b. the freedom to profess. all are entitled to right to equality. access to shops. tanks. sex or place of birth”2  Article 15 Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion. fundamental freedoms and right against exploitation. Article 25. right to life . caste. Article 27 and Article 28 . on grounds only of religion. be subject to any disability. Article 14 to 21 of the constitution guarantees equal right for all citizens under the broad title ‘Equality before Law’.expression. belief and opportunity and guarantees liberty of thought . race.  Article 14 stipulates that “The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion. place of birth or any of them. Constitution guarantees every person. liability. race.

be ineligible for. residence or any of them. is not adequately represented in the services under the State V. educationally backward classes of citizens or for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes3  Article 16 says that “Equality of opportunity in matters of public employment” I. Nothing in this article shall prevent Parliament from making any law prescribing. 5 Article 17 of The Indian Constitution. descent. Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any provision for the reservation of appointments or posts in favour of any backward class of citizens which. or any local or other authority within. in the opinion of the State. shall be conferred by the State No citizen of India shall accept any title 3 Article 15 of The Indian Constitution. race. caste. There shall be equality of opportunity for all citizens in matters relating to employment or appointment to any office under the State II. in regard to a class or classes of employment or appointment to an office under the Government of.Untouchability is abolished and its practice in any form is forbidden The enforcement of any disability arising out of Untouchability shall be an offence punishable in accordance with law5  Article 18 mentions “Abolition of titles” . or discriminated against in respect or. place of birth. No title. sex. 4 Article 16 of The Indian Constitution. Nothing in this article shall affect the operation of any law which provides that the incumbent of an office in connection with the affairs of any religious or denominational institution or any member of the governing body thereof shall be a person professing a particular religion or belonging to a particular denomination4  Article 17 mentions “Abolition of Untouchability” . any requirement as to residence within that State or Union territory prior to such employment or appointment IV. not being a military or academic distinction. . a State or Union territory. No citizen shall. any employment or office under the State III. on grounds only of religion.

from any foreign State No person who is not a citizen of India shall. iii. ii. without the consent of the President. decency or morality or in relation to contempt of court. public order. reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the right conferred by the said sub clause IV. accept without the consent of the President any title from any foreign State No person holding any office of profit or trust under the State shall. to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India. v. to form associations or unions. while he holds any office of profit or trust under the State. the security of the State. and vi. trade or business II. to practise any profession. Nothing in sub clause (c) of the said clause shall affect the operation of any existing law in so far as it imposes. accept any present. . or prevent the State from making any law imposing. in so far as such law imposes reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the right conferred by the said sub clause in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India. or office of any kind from or under any foreign State Right to Freedom6  Article 19 mentions “Protection of certain rights regarding freedom of speech etc. or prevent the State from making any law. or prevent the State from making any law imposing. in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India or public 6 Article 18 of The Indian Constitution. friendly relations with foreign States. emolument. Nothing in sub clause (b) of the said clause shall affect the operation of any existing law in so far as it imposes. to assemble peaceably and without arms. Nothing in sub clause (a) of clause ( 1 ) shall affect the operation of any existing law. to freedom of speech and expression. iv. in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India or public order. All citizens shall have the right i. to move freely throughout the territory of India.” I. defamation or incitement to an offence III. or to carry on any occupation.

reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the right conferred by the said sub clause VI. Union of India. trade or business. in the interests of the general public.No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law8 Also. or by a corporation owned or controlled by the State. Nothing in sub clause (g) of the said clause shall affect the operation of any existing law in so far as it imposes. of citizens or otherwise7  Article 21 says “Protection of life and personal liberty” . in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India or public order or morality. or ii. or prevent the State from making any law imposing. and. 8 Article 21 of The Indian Constitution. 7 Article 19 of The Indian Constitution. nothing in the said sub clause shall affect the operation of any existing law in so far as it relates to. reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the right conferred by the said sub clause V. . industry or service. Supreme courts says that . We should be proud of our Secular Nation. Nothing in sub clause (c) of the said clause shall affect the operation of any existing law in so far as it imposes. in particular. the carrying on by the State. i. in the case of S. Bommai v.R. of any trade. whether to the exclusion. reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the right conferred by the said sub clause. Secularism is the part of ‘Basic Structure Doctrine’ of the constitution of India. or prevent the State from making any law relating to. the professional or technical qualifications necessary for practising any profession or carrying on any occupation. or prevent the State from making any law imposing. business. complete or partial. order or morality.

like. When the corridors of power were debating the future of India in Kashmir provinces Pakistani soldiers infiltrated and occupied one third of the total area of the province. It was a blow to the soft corner talks which . Hinduism follows Bhagavat Gita and Islamic people follows Quran. So where is the equality of religion and secularism?. The very same arena regarding the religion of state as well as minority protection was also being discussed at this side of boundary. This statement can be understood by the very general example. Gandhi. Many questions may put some serious allegation on secularism in India. they often treated Muslims as a terrorists or criminals.Apart from that . It can be possible that one Muslim can easily live in a Hindu society but a Hindu person cannot easily lives in a Muslim society. SECULARISM IN THE POST-INDEPENDENT ERA : During the time of partition in India. why India is also known as ‘Hindustan’. Besant. This problem worsened with another incident which happened in Kashmir. partition trauma and the exodus of refugees for religious reasons. So what about the identity of Muslims. In fact declaring India as an secular state seemed to be a herculean task especially in view when the other part had already declared her to be Islamic state. Because of the myth created by the society that Muslims are brutal and merciless. According to the most of the psychology of Hindu . If we look at this word ‘Hindustan’(Hindu + Stan) it means land of Hindus. If all religion are equal then why are we having two different philosophies of Hinduism and Islam. If we look according to Indian perspective then there are two major and most controversial religions that are Hinduism and Islam. All the secular ideas which were imbibed by Nehru. Only those people who actually did not experience the brunt of suffering of the communal divide and partition could easily argue for the establishment of a secular state of India. The Hindu men are restricted to have only one wife but in Muslim community . a question arises in mind of every Indian citizen regarding Secularism and about its existence. Our Indian History plays a very impactful role in creating or developing the negative mentality of peoples. One partitioned part declared her as an Islamic state. Muslim men are allowed to have 4-4 wife’s. Raja Ram Mohan Roy and other leaders were washed away by the communal riots.

. Secondly. India is a sovereign nation which is free to think and act”.9 SUGGESTION : In the end of the research I would like to put some suggestions which seems to be necessary for strengthening Secular force in India. There should be no reservation on the basis of caste or religion. The actual line of control on ceasefire became the virtual borderline between the two countries in time to come. Here was born the Indian version of secularism thought it was later only in 1976 it was formally added in the preamble of constitution of India. Firstly. the mentality of Indian people should be positive. And such myths like Muslims are merciless should not exist. there must be adequate pressure on politician to give priority to people’s issue rather than non-issues like Kashi. Hence equal respect for all religion on the part of people must be encouraged as a matter of policy. The voice was sharply criticized by Nehru who firmly said that “India will not do what Pakistan thinks or enact. So everyone should be proud of their own religion and they should give equal respect and love to other religion also. Every religion is entitled to have equal respect and equal dignity same as the other religion. Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid and Mathura issue.were growing in the mind of Indians. It become one of the toughest tasks to decided India’s religious orientation in that combative condition. This ‘Idea of Secularism’ as Professor Faizan Mustafa puts was the most pioneered thinking by Nehru which saved India. Politician must 9 Nawdeep Singh Sen(2015) . Punjab. There must be a code of conduct for Indian Political parties.(Thesis) Secularism : myth or reality. In the constituent assembly when our constitution was being debated a voice was raised by Mahavir Tyagi that “we will give the same protection to our minorities what Pakistan will offers to her ”. Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru took the issue to the United Nation organization. If today India is an aspiring world power and it is only because of this ‘Idea of Secularism'. Thirdly. Indian minds were still fresh of memory of thousands of Hindus thrown out of Pakistan. the ban on the formation of any political parties on the basis of caste and religion can stop our politician to explore the caste or religious sentiments for political ends . Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law.

Problem arises in every society and every country of this world but those problem does not make them incapable of doing something. . Secularism in India is not a myth and can prevail in reality by strengthening secular fabric of the nation. Both are providing us a free society with full of rights to live in. When a new baby is born. it would be better to ensure him/her that he/she is a Indian and a human being. Our Indian secularism may have been weakened to some extend but it certainly not down and out. Similarly. instead of tell him/her that he/she is a Hindu or Muslim or any other religion.came out with correct programmes to solve the people’s issues rather than appealing to then on caste and religious basis. CONCLUSION : India is a secular state but non anti-religious state. It is not very difficult to develop such pressures. That would makes him/her a better person who never believe in any kind of discrimination and also he/she will inspire others with his/her thinking. Our Indian government and our Indian constitution both are providing o many rights regarding the interest of minorities. It is the duty of the secular intelligentsia to do this. The most important suggestion is regarding the human observation. in India we have some amount of conflict between religions but those conflicts can’t question our Indian Secularism.