Secularism MAINS (STATIC)
- Secularism is all about erecting a wall of separation between a state and religion, thereby devaluing religion. Critically analyse the statement in Indian Context. [200 words]
Secularism, basically a western concept, is multifaceted in Indian context. The question, whether it is only about creating a wall of separation between the state and religion, can be addressed as follows:
It is a ‘wall of separation’:
- If religion is not a matter of the state, it is obvious that the state must not be allowed to discriminate against any of its citizens on the basis of religion, which has been enshrined in articles 15, 16 & 29(2).
- Article 27 (rules out the public funding of religion), article 28 (No religion instruction shall be provided in any state-funded educational institution) strictly implies the separation.
- Section 123(3) of Representation of the People Act, 1951 which holds, appeal to vote in the name of religion, a corrupt practice and prohibition in inclusion of a person in general electoral roll on the ground of religion (article 325), further substantiates the separation of religion from state affairs.
- Again article 60 gives the President a choice of not taking the oath in the name of God, confirms the strictly neutral character of the Indian constitution.
Wall of separation is not the only feature:
- Safeguarding individual freedom: Indian secularism deals with religious freedom of individuals and religious group (Article 25 & 26), again the religious freedom of minority communities (article 30).
- Principled Distance: India doesn’t erect a strict wall of separation, like in France, where public preaching of religion is prohibited. For example, intervention by the state in the affairs of Hindus [article 25(2)(b)] (recent, allowing women entry into Sabarimala temple), Haj, Amarnath subsidy to pilgrims, Separate religious board for Muslims.
- Positive secularism: State is following the communal harmony. e.g.- Imparting religious instructions in school as part of moral education, not complete separation (Aruna Roy case).
Indian secularism, prevalent in the Indian Constitutional philosophy since its inception, isn’t entirely about ‘separation of the state from religion’, rather it believes in peaceful co-existence of all the religions adhering to the concept of religious tolerance, which forms the ‘basic structure’ of our constitution (S.R. Bommai case).
- Consider the following statements : A Constitutional Government is one which: [CSE (PRE)-2014]
- Places effective restrictions on individual liberty in the interest of State Authority
- Places effective restrictions on the Authority of the State in the interest of individual liberty
Which of the statements given above is / are correct?
a. 1 only
b. 2 only.
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2
DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS
- Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct about the Rashtriya Gokul Mission?
1. It aims at enhancing the productivity of the indigenous breeds of India through professional farm management and superior nutrition.
2. It will upgrade nondescript cattle using elite indigenous breeds like Gir, Sahiwal, Rathi, Deoni, Tharparkar, Red Sindhi.
3. Under this scheme, it is envisaged to strengthen/establish 20 Embryo Transfer Technology (ETT) centres for the production of high genetic merit bulls of indigenous bovine breeds.
a. 1 & 3 only
b. 2 only
c. 1 & 2 only
d. All of the above
Additional Reference: http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=183807
2. Which of the article in Indian Constitution empowers the President to draw up a list of the castes, races or tribes to be deemed as Scheduled Castes?
(a) Article 243D
(b) Article 342
(c) Article 341
(d) Article 330
Prepared by: Bikesh Verman