GS PAPER, 3 INDIAN SOCIETY
SOURCE- THE HINDU, Bare act
In the Indian context, secularism defines a state that is neutral to all religious groups. It does not mean separation from religion instead secularism in India talks about principle distance from each and every religion. According to the Gandhian thought- Dharyate Iti Dharma i.e religion is following its duty.
Indian secularism does not start or end at the word “Secular” in the Preamble only rather it is revertible with the whole constitution.
- The right to equality provides the Right against discrimination on the basis of religion also.
- Freedom of thought and expression under Article- 19 also allow the expression of religious thought with some reasonable restrictions.
- The Constitution of India has given Freedom of Religion to individuals and organizations under Article 25, Article 26, Article 27, and Article 28. It also supports the basic idea of practicing any religious practices as far as it does not harm the social and moral order of society.
- Article 29 and Article 30 provide special protection to religious minorities and their educational institutions.
- The Directive Principle makes a constitutional obligation on the state to bring a uniform civil code.
- The fundamental duty asks the citizens to uphold principles of fraternity and brotherhood.
Supreme court guidelines-
Supreme Court of India has also given several verdicts which have a bolstering effect on secularism:
- The Supreme Court has criminalized the appeal to religious sentiments for campaigning in the election under section 3 of RPA act 1951.
- In a verdict, the Supreme Court has lifted an arbitrary ban on entry of lower castes and women in some temples and mosques.
- Supreme Court has given individual a right to be atheist
Despite numerous provisions in the constitution, secularism doesn’t find appeal among the masses. Our state is secular but the society is yet to be secular. However, efforts are needed from all sides from the government, from the civil society, from the education system, from the families, and also the individual to make India a secular nation in a holistic way.