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Secularism in India: Freedom, Equality

Secularism in India

Features of Constitutional Secularism in India

Constitutional secularism is characterized by two key aspects. First, it emphasizes the importance of respecting all religions. Unlike certain forms of secularism, it doesn’t take an antagonistic stance towards religion but instead values and respects all faiths equally.

Second, it necessitates intervention when religious groups contribute to communal discord. Therefore, it constantly evaluates when to step in or step back, to either support or discourage religious activities, based on their impact on our constitutional principles of freedom, equality, and fraternity.

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How Populism is Harming Secularism

  • Secularism in our nation has faced significant challenges due to its prominent role in public and political discussions.
  • Politics driven by populism often overlooks the importance of religious reform centered on freedom and equality.
  • Regrettably, populism has sometimes played a role in sparking communal violence, further complicating the situation.

Way Forward

  1. It’s essential to transition from politically-driven initiatives to a grassroots movement for justice, led by the people.
  2. We should shift our attention from conflicts between different religions to addressing issues within each religious community.
  3. Focusing on intra-religious matters encourages deep self-reflection, encourages diverse opinions to be heard, and paves the way for eradicating injustices within religious groups, promoting freedom and equality among their members.
  4. While we concentrate on issues within each religion, we must not overlook the importance of addressing inter-religious matters as well.

Read Also: Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution

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