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Understanding Secularism

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Introduction to Understanding Secularism

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Suppose you are a Hindu by religion and you go to a country from India. That is a Christian majority area and nobody rents their house to you because you're a Hindu. What will you think? How will you feel? The first thing that will come to your mind is "This is wrong and everyone should be treated equally". In this article, we will learn about the concept of Secularism and many other related things.


Discrimination on The Basis of Religion

History shows us various incidents where people were discriminated against and persecuted based on religion. Some of the examples are given below:

  • Several millions of Jews were killed in Germany during Hitler's period.

  • Israel, a Jewish country doesn't treat Muslim and Christian minorities of their nation properly.

  • In Saudi Arabia, non-Muslims are not allowed to open temples or can not gather in public places for prayers.

  • Muslims faced discrimination in the U.S. during the 9/11 attacks.

In the above incidents, one religion is discriminated against by the other. India is the most diverse country with a wide number of religions and ethnic communities. Is this kind of discrimination can be done in India? To answer this, we need to understand the following concepts.


Concept of Secularism

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The separation or complete divorce of the state from the religion is called Secularism. Here, separation or complete divorce means:

  • There will be no official religion of the whole country.

  • All religions are equal and no one religion will be promoted by the state.

  • The state will not interfere in the matters of religion and Religion will not interfere in the matters of the State.

  • Religion is considered a personal matter completely.

Secularism Examples

Examples of the countries that follow Secularism are France, Mexico, South Korea, Turkey, etc. India also follows Secularism but it is different from Western countries.


Why is it Important to Seperate Religion From The State?

This can be cleared with the following arguments:

  • One country needs separation from the religion so that it can function well.

  • Every country has more than one religion. Some religions are in majority and some of them are in minority. If the state chooses one religion, then it'll use the financial and administrative powers in favour of the chosen religion and will work against the minorities.

  • Non-Securalism can lead to discrimination or even the killing of religious people.

  • It is also important to protect the freedom of the individuals and to interpret the religion in their own and better way.

Secularism in India

India also adopted Secularism as per the Constitution of the country. India has its own definition of Secularism. Here, a complete divorce between the state and religion is not followed. Features of Indian Secularism are as follows:

  • The state will not interfere with the religions and religions will not interfere with the state's matters. India also follows this Principle but whenever the state feels anything inappropriate and is harming something then it interferes with religious matters.

  • India doesn't have any official or state religion. India doesn't promote any religion and all religions are equal for the country.

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Concept of Secularism in Indian Constitution

The word "Secular " was added into the Constitution of the country by 42 Constitutional Amendment Act, 1976. It doesn't mean that India was not Secular before 1976. The words "belief, faith and worship" in the Indian Preamble denote the Secular nature of the country. Article 25 to 28 of Part III of the Indian Constitution provides Fundamental Rights related to "Freedom of Religion".


Did You Know?

Indian Secularism is aligned with the Vedic concept of "Dharma Nirapekshata" which means separation of religion from the state.

We have read the notes and Indian Secularism Theory and practice the related FAQs:

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Question 1. Write a Short Note on Secularism with an Example.

Answer. The separation or complete divorce of the state from the religion is called Secularism. Here, separation or complete divorce means there will be no official religion of the state. All religions are equal and no one religion will be promoted by the state. The state will not interfere in the matters of religion and Religion will not interfere in the matters of the State. Religion is considered a personal matter completely. Examples of the countries that follow Secularism are France, Mexico, South Korea, Turkey, etc.

Question 2. Write a Short Note on the Indian Way of Secularism.

Answer. India also adopted Secularism as per the Constitution of the country. India has its own definition of Secularism. Here, a complete divorce between the state and religion is not followed. Features of Indian Secularism say that State will not interfere with the religions and religions will not interfere with the state's matters. India also follows this Principle but whenever the state feels anything inappropriate and is harming something then it interferes with religious matters. India doesn't have any official or state religion. India doesn't promote any religion. All religions are equal in the Indian system.


In this article, we have learned about the concept of Secularism, Secularism examples, Secularism in India, and many other things. These notes will help the students of Class 8 in Chapter 4 i.e. Understanding Secularism.