Secularism in India is a doctrine that states religion is kept separate from the social, political, economic, and cultural spheres of life.
|Secularism in India|
|Origin of concept||The emergence of secularism can be traced to the social and political situation existing in Europe during the 17thand 18thcenturies.|
|Principle of Secularism||The essential principle of secularism is to seek human improvement by material means alone.|
|Secularism in the Indian context||Grounded in the notion of equality, equal concern and respect for other religions; seeks neutrality towards all religions.|
|Secularism and India’s Past||Santam Dharma (Hinduism) was basically allowed to develop as a holistic religion; Emperor Ashoka → the state would not prosecute any religious sect; Sufi and Bhakti movements; State under Akbar- Din-i-Ilahi, Sul-i-kul, Ibadat khana; leadership of the national movement was, by and large, in the hands of secularist leaders.|
|Distinguished features of Indian Secularism||Secularism as a National ideology in India’s Freedom Movement; Secularism paves the way for Hindu Renaissance; Secularism as the means to combat Communalism; Secularism is a Multi-value Doctrine; Secularism follows a principle of Principled Distance; Secularism secures the right of the specific community.|
|Distinguished features of Western Secularism||Declaration of Rights and Religious Freedom; Recognition of Legitimacy; Secular Education; Freedom of Religion.|
|Difference between Indian and Western model||In Western Secularism- Principle of rationalism, Principle of autonomy
In Indian Secularism- Dharmanirapeksha, Sarva dharma sambhav.
Indian secularism is concerned much with intra-religious oppression as with inter-religious dominations.
|Secularism and Indian Constitution||Preamble, Articles 14, 15, 16(1), 21, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 51A|
|Importance of Secularism||Separation of religion from State; Protects both believers and non-believers; Religious freedom; Secularism is about democracy and fairness; Equal access to public services; Secularism is not Atheism; Protects free speech and expression.|
|Threat to Secularism||Majority-Minority issues; Mingling of religion and politics; Religion and education; Freedom of expression; Personal laws and economic backwardness.|
|Gandhi and Secularism||Gandhi suggested peaceful co-existence of all religions; faith-based respect to all religions was the best base for tolerance and peace in India; secularism for him is the separation of religion from state, but not from politics.|
|Way forward||Clear perceptions; Education; Promotion of composite culture; Uniform Civil Code; No biasness; Media.|
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