Secularism in India: Recent Developments and Importance for India

Secularism in India: Recent Developments and Importance for India

Q. “PM Narendra Modi’s assurance to minority communities about the importance of secularism in India is important.” Discuss the importance of secularism in India.

1. Latest Developments

- In inciting violence and hatred through attacks on churches, vandals challenged secularism in India

- Prime Minister Narendra Modi has worked to correct the perception his government encouraged Hindutva groups for engaging in attacks on religious minorities

- Distinction between majority and minority religious groups were not made however action against those inciting hatred was promised

- PM Narendra Modi needs to extend the assurance to cover acts of non secular nature by political leaders as well

- Catholic Syro Malabar Church meeting a venue where these assurances were made

- PM needs to address the growing religious imbalance and promote secularism

B. Importance of Secularism

- Secularism critical for India where people of multiple faiths reside together

- Preamble contains the importance of promoting secularism

- Freedom of conscience, free profession, practice and propagation of religion as per Article 25 one of the the most important and fundamental rights of Indians

- The rights of all persons to freedom of religion a major constitutional guarantee and it is the duty of the government of the day to follow this

- Secularism enables people of different religions to live in a civil way with respect for all faiths

- Democracy grants equal right to freedom of faith for all Indian citizens

- Secularism also guards democracy by restricting the powers of the majority

- The equal rights of minorities to freedom of religion is also protected

- Secularism guarantees that no religion will be viewed as a State religion and that no one will be discriminated on the basis of religion

- Wall of separation between State and religion as State has both religious and secular power

- Right to religion a fundamental right; violence between religious communities also sows the seeds of terrorism; secularism is a guarantee against this

- Categorisation and non secularism created dividing lines and separate identities between majority and minority

- Country belongs to no one community; everyone has equal right to it

- Secularism regulates the relation between State and numerous religious groups on the basis of equality that the State should not be discriminatory towards anyone on account of religion

- Secularism is the only alternative if the country has to be protected from the fire of communalism

- Doctrine of ‘sarva dhharma samadbhava’; this holds that all religions need to be treated equally; Gandhian doctrine

- This is normative principle wherein value of religion in people’s lives need to be understood

- Doctrine of ‘dharma nirapekshata’: Nehruvian doctrine which holds that State should not be influenced by religion considerations in formulation of policies

- Policy making cannot be separated from the domain of religion

- Policy making should be in accordance with secularism

- Secular state means that all faiths will be honoured equally and there shall be discrimination against none

Secularism and the Constitution

- Secularism means equal status and treatment of all religions

- India has a population of close to 120 crores made of various faiths and diverse religions

- The concepts of socialism and secularism are integral to the Preamble of India which states that “We, the people of India, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic, Republic”, and so on

- Secularism and democracy are achievements of independent India

- Secularism is an ideal principle enshrined in Article 25 of the Constitution as well

- Wooing voters through caste or communal lines is not acceptable; India must exist as a secular nation if it has to prosper

- Development and growth is not possible if secularism is not accepted as critical for the nation


Secularism is integral to the functioning of India as a composite whole. India has people of many diverse faiths and religions residing here. Without secularism, there is no possibility of even growth and development. Secularism is also critical for the social welfare of a nation apart from its economic health.
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  • RE: Secularism in India: Recent Developments and Importance for India -mukesh (02/20/15)
  • same points repeated , more than once !!, But your contribution is appreciable !!