A Case Study of Secularism
The spirit of Indian Constitution is based on secularism. Originally the word Secular did not occur in the constitution. The Constitution (42 Amend) Act, 1976, added the term Secular to the Preamble. Accordingly now India is a “Sovereign, Socialist, Secular and democratic Republic”. The Indian State does not establish, recognize or endow any religion. Article 15(1) and 15(2) prohibit discrimination on grounds of religion. Article 25(1) guarantees freedom of conscience and the right to profess, practice and propagate religion, Article-27 bars compelling anybody to pay taxes, the proceeds of which are specifically appropriated in payment of expense for the promotion or maintenance of any particular religion or religious denomination. Prohibition of religious instruction is provided in any educational institution wholly maintained out of state funds.
Thus the spirit of Indian Constitution is the absolute separation of religion from political and administrative affairs, non-interference of religion in political affairs and of administration in religion.
However, it may noted that the constitution gives special privileges to religious minorities. Article 30(1) lays down that all minorities, whether based on religion or language. shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice, however by the 44th Amendment, in 1978 favorable treatment has been accorded to minority educational institutions in the matter of compensation for compulsory acquisition of the property by the state, while by reason of the repeal of Article -31 all persons have lost the constitutional right to compensation for acquisition or their property by the state, including the educational institutions belonging to the majority community, but the property of educational institutions established by a minority community cannot be acquired by the state, without payment of such compensation as would safeguard their right to exist guaranteed by Article-30.
The true Picture of Indian Secularism
Thus the spirit of Indian Constitution is Secular. But in practice, it has been distorted. Indian political leaders have given totally different meaning to Secularism. Dr. S. Radhakrishanan said. “I want to State authoritatively that Secularism does not mean irreligious. It means we respect all faiths and religions. But our state does not itself with any particular religion”. Ghandi want a step forward. He regarded all religions as true and said, “My veneration for our faith is the same as for my own”. Out present political leaders seem to have taken a cue from such statements as the above and talk of Sarva dhama Samabharva. Respect for all religious may be noble ideal for the spiritually advanced individuals like Ghandi but if the State believes in Sarvadhama Samabharva, it causes to be secular and becomes a multi-religious state and this is what Indian State is heading for.
Indian Scholars believe that every religion is a compound blind beliefs, irrational dogmas and evil social practices. Respect For all religions would mean respect for all this rubbish and it would be impossible for the state to eradicate evil practices which negate the modern democratic values equality, liberty and human brotherhood. Besides, the state would be dragged with the quagmire of controversies, which have nothing to do with man’s life in this world. The concept of Sarva dhama Samabharva, therefore, is fraught with serious danger for the health of the Indian political system. So far the state is concerned, strict neutrality in religious matters: is the basic policy to follow.
The practice of Sarva dhama Samabharva has encouraged fundamentalism in all communities in the country. A section of the population has not only prevented the state from enacting a uniform civil code throughout the Indian. Territory it has also compelled the Union Government to enact a law negating a judgment of the Supreme Court. Although the Government has made a law against Sathi, is part of its religion shows that the concept of the Secular State has been moral justification for the demand to state based on religion Khalistan, Christians State and so on. When the state respect all religions why should it not respect the tradition according to which religion is inseparable from politics.