SECULAR FEATURES IN THE PREAMBLE
Two reasons why India is a secular State :
- To keep religion out of politics – To avoid religious fundamentalism.
- To protect the minorities in particular.
What is Secularism?
A secular State is not a Godless state.
In the West, when they talk of secularism, they mean that in political matters they are not bothered about God. But in India we have a different meaning for Secularism. It means that there is no discrimination between religions.
All persons in India are given rights.
No interference in individual’s beliefs.
There is no State religion in India.
Even in UK there is State religion.
In India there could be Muslim President, Chief Justice etc.
In India no citizen is required to pay taxes for the maintenance of religious institutions.
No person shall be compelled to attend religious instructions aided by the State.
In other institutions there can be religious instructions but they cannot compel students to attend.
An individual is free to profess, practice, propagate religion.
Art. 25 to 28 deal with provisions that make India a secular state. They guarantee Freedom of Religion.
But the state can impose restrictions in the interest of public order, morality etc.
If there is evidence that any religion practice evils like sati, human sacrifice etc. the state can interfere.
State can control economic, financial and political or other secular activity associated with religious practice. But the State cannot interfere with freedom of conscience.
However secular activity of a particular religion can be controlled.
Every religious group in India can maintain religious and charitable institutions.
Can acquire movable and immovable property according to law.
If they follow some rituals which the state considers objectionable, then state is entitled to step in. Thus take Conversion. Conversion is allowed if there is no resort to fraud or force or temptations. Eg. Christianity. SC held that you have right to propagate religion but no right to convert others.(Stanislaus Case)
The State should not discriminate on grounds religion in matters of employment, aid, etc.
The Majority cannot impose its culture on the Minorities
But even though every religious group has the right to administer educational institutions of its choice , it does not include right to mal-administer.
One special right is guaranteed to minorities. When their property is taken away by the State full compensation has to be paid.
Our Constitution is more secular than any other constitution in the world.
A test will be given in the class. You may post your doubts or views and you can have a discussion among yourself. The discussions will be moderated by one of our Professors.