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Understanding Secularism Class 8 Notes CBSE Political Science Chapter 2 (Free PDF Download)

Last updated date: 19th May 2024
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Understanding Secularism Class 8 Notes Political Science (Civics) Chapter 2 - PDF Download

Vedantu aims at providing a complete overview of Class 8 Civics Chapter 2 through well-prepared notes. The chapter deals with the various aspects regarding secularism. Secularism Class 8 is one of the most significant chapters as this term is added to the Indian Constitution through the 42nd Amendment Act. The notes further explain the objectives of secularism. The perfect answer to the question ‘why it is important to separate religion from the state’ is also given in the free notes PDF. A thorough study of the notes will prove to be helpful for students.

Download CBSE Class 8 Political Science Revision Notes 2024-25 PDF

Also, check CBSE Class 8 Political Science revision notes for All chapters:

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Access CBSE Class 8 Political Science Civics Chapter 2 - Understanding Secularism

1. History has witnessed all the gruesome discrimination, persecution, exclusion, & the torture done to people based on the religion which they follow. In the present civilized world, matters like this can be strictly prevented to safeguard communities & protect a person's right. That's why the word secularism is inscribed in the preamble of the constitution of India. Below is the vital information you'll need to learn about India, and it's secularism.

2. What is Secularism?

Secularism generally refers to the separation of religion from a State. It is very essential to separate religion from the state for the country to practice its democracy. Most of the countries have people of more than one religion who reside within the state. We ought to safeguard individuals' right to preach and practice the religion of their choice.

3. What is Indian Secularism?

  1. According to the Indian Constitution, a secular state ought to ensure that:

  1. One religious community should not assert dominance over the other.

  2. Members of the same religious community should not dominate each other.

  3. The state would not enforce any specific religion or take away the freedom and support of the other religions.

  1. Government spaces in India like police stations, law courts, & government institutions are prohibited from promoting any particular religion. The state can make exceptions for specific religions to respect the sentiments of the religion. For example, Sikhs are generally permitted to wear a turban while riding a bike instead of the helmet.

  2. Secularism in India also prevents the dominance of one majority over the minority through various strategic interventions. For example, the Indian Constitution bans untouchability in any form or kind. 


4. Why is it generally Important to Separate the Religion from the State?

For the functionality of a democracy, it's imperative to separate religion from state.

  1. Most of the countries have mixed religious groups living amongst each other. If a majority group has state powers, they can easily dominate the minority religious groups by misusing their power.

  2. We need to safeguard individuals' freedom to embrace any other religion, exit from their religion & comprehend religious teachings differently.

5. How Indian secularism is different from that of other countries?

  1. Indian secularism very much varies from other democratic countries. For example, let’s take the case of the United States of America- there is a strict separation b/w the state and religion in America. In contrast, the state can practice strategic interventions in religious affairs in India from time to time. 

  2. Although in Indian secularism, the state does not entirely separate itself from religion, it does maintain a principled distance. It means any action or intervention by the state will be based on constitutional principles.

  3. The Constitution warrants Fundamental Rights, which is based on secular principles.

Important Questions and Answers

1. What do you mean by coercion?

Ans: In English, coercion generally means forcing a person to do something. In politics, it refers to the force exerted by various legal authorities, for instance, the state.

2. What is Freedom to Interpret?

Ans: It refers to the freedom given to all the people to comprehend things in their way. This chapter pertains to the individual liberty to formulate their understanding and meaning of the religion they choose to practice.

3. What is State Intervention?

Ans: The state normally has the power to intervene in specific matters that align with the Constitution. It refers to the state's efforts to influence situations, for example, religious matters.

4. What do you mean by Secularism?

Ans: Secularism is generally a belief that nobody should be discriminated based on the religion they follow. Regardless of the religion he/she follows, they are equal according to the laws & regulations that govern the nation.  

5. What are the reasons to separate the power of the state from religion?

Ans: Everyone should have the freedom to choose or to leave any religion and join another one. People should also have the freedom to interpret religious teachings as they please.

6. What is Article 17 in the Constitution?

Ans: Article 17 consists of the Right to Equality. It is also directly related to the 'Abolition of untouchability.'

It states that:

"Untouchability" is abolished, and its practice in any form is absolutely forbidden. The enforcement of any disability arising out of "Untouchability" shall be an offence punishable by law."

7. Give the strategies followed by the Indian government in order to establish and maintain secularism.


  1. The strategy of non-interference.

  2. The strategy of distancing itself from a religion.

  3. The strategy of intervention

8. What do you mean by religion?

Ans: Religion is normally a set of personal beliefs and related practices to divinity. It refers to people's opinions and beliefs concerning the existence, worship, and divinity of nature.

9. What does the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution prohibit?

Ans: The first amendment of the US Constitution prohibits the legislature from creating laws "respecting an establishment of religion" or laws which "prohibit the free exercise of religion." This means that the legislature cannot declare any particular religion as the official religion or any religious community's preferences.

10. Why does a country need laws?

Ans: So as to avoid people from socially unjust and cultural practices. To establish equality between people as society discriminates against the underprivileged lower caste people.

What Do You Understand by Secularism?

As per Class 8 Civics Chapter 2, the answer to the question ‘what is secularism’ will be the principle that guides a state to remain separate from and non impacted upon by religious institutions.

A strategy was adopted by India in view of separating the power of religion from the power of the State. The separation of religion from the State is termed as Secularism. According to Understanding Secularism Class 8 notes, Indians are permitted to live by their religious beliefs freely and practise the same.

Why is it Important to Separate Religion From State?

The answer to the question ‘why it is important to separate religion from state’ is beautifully answered in the Class 8 Civics Chapter 2 notes. According to the study material, religion should be kept separate from the State because:

  • It enables the country to function democratically.

  • The people belonging to the minority communities can otherwise be harmed by the domination of the majority and there can be an infringement of the Fundamental Rights.

  • Individuals can exit from their religion and another religion can be embraced by them through Secularism. According to the law, people can interpret religious teachings in different ways.

What is Indian Secularism Class 8?

According to the Constitution of India, the Indian states must be secular. The following objectives of Secularism can be ensured only by a secular state. The following points also explain the answer to the question of what are the objectives of Indian Secularism.

  • One religious community cannot be dominated by another religious community.

  • Members of one religious community cannot be dominated by the members of the other religious communities.

  • Any particular religion cannot be enforced by the state and religious freedom should not be taken away from any individual.

Steps Taken to Protect Secularism in India:

Following steps are taken by Indian State to protect Secularism in India:

  1. Various strategies are taken to keep a distance from religion. No religion is displayed or promoted in government offices such as law courts, police stations, government schools, etc.

  2. The strategy of non-interference is adopted by the Govt. According to the above-mentioned fact, religions of all religious communities are given equal respect. There are a few exceptions in this case.

  3. A strategy of intervention is also adopted. The laws related to equivalent legacy rights are respected and the religion-based ‘personal laws’ of communities can be intervened by the State to ensure the same.

  4. The intervention of the State can also be in the form of assistance. One example of it is the establishment of schools and colleges by the religious communities and the fact that they are mostly granted by the Government of India. Financial aid is also given to these communities on a non-preferential basis.

In What Way is Indian Secularism Different From that of Other Democratic Countries?

Secularism Class 8 also answers the question, "How is Indian secularism different from that of other democratic countries?" The fundamental distinction is the dominating character of comprehending Secularism as practised in the United States of America. In the case of American Secularism, religion is tightly segregated from the state. In the case of Indian secularism, the state may meddle in religious matters. This is the most notable distinction between Indian secularism and secularism in other democratic countries.

Did You Know?

  • Govt schools can never promote any religion.

  • Untouchability is banned by the Govt. of India to prevent religion-based exclusion and lower caste discrimination.

  • India has been a secular country from the beginning of the implementation of the Indian Constitution.

  • The word ‘Secularism’ is officially added to the Indian Constitution by the 42nd Amendment Act.

  • The most significant aspect of Secularism is its separation of religion from the state’s power.

Benefits of Referring to Understanding Secularism Class 8 Notes CBSE Political Science Chapter 2 Notes 

If you are wondering how beneficial will consulting these notes be, then take a look at  some of the reasons given below:

  • These notes are prepared by our subject matter experts having wide knowledge in their field. 

  • These notes are error-free and students can reliably use them while preparing for their exams and revising all key concepts.

  • These notes include the gist of the chapter, given in a structured and well-explained format to help students prepare it even before the night of the exam. 

  • By referring to these notes, students will cover all the topics discussed in the chapter in less time and reduce their revision time significantly.

  • With these notes, students can evaluate their understanding of the chapter and find the loopholes, if any. 

  • These notes follow the latest syllabus prescribed by the CBSE and cover important questions in Chapter 2 of the NCERT book. 

  • Students can easily download the PDF of the notes for free and study offline at their convenience.


CBSE Class 8 Political Science Notes for Revision



These revision notes of Understanding Secularism Class 8 Notes CBSE Political Science Chapter 2 are the best study resources for students who want to achieve good marks in their examinations. These concise and comprehensive notes will help you in completing your last-minute exam preparations. Students can easily download these PDFs to study from anywhere and anytime. If you are looking for notes on other subjects or chapters, visit Vedantu website.

FAQs on Understanding Secularism Class 8 Notes CBSE Political Science Chapter 2 (Free PDF Download)

1. What are the Problems of Indian Secularism?

Understanding Secularism Class 8 notes help you identify the challenges faced by the Indian secularism. Indian secularism is not devoid of problems or issues. The Govt is working hard to sort out these problems. The challenges faced by the Secularism in India are as follows:

  • Since India is a land of many religions, it is not always possible to separate the religion from the States completely.

  • Government intervention is necessary for certain areas. This makes way for the secularism to be criticized by the critiques.

  • A new term is being used frequently in political matters nowadays i.e. pseudo-secularism. Misusing the secularism concept is a regular practice in India in recent days.

  • Giving undue advantage to the minorities in the name of Secularism for political propaganda is a practice in present days.

2. What is the 42nd Amendment Act in the context of Secularism Class 8?

The 42nd Amendment Act is considered to be a milestone in the context of Secularism as well as the Indian Constitution. At the beginning of the Indian Constitution, India was considered to be a Sovereign, Democratic and Republic state. Three words are added through the 42nd Amendment Act namely, ‘Secular’, ‘Socialist’ and ‘Integrity’. These three words have changed the basic structure of the Constitution of India. The phrase ‘Unity of the Nation’ is also changed to ‘Unity and Integrity of the Nation’. India was considered to be a Secular State from the beginning. However, the word ‘Secular’ is added officially to the Constitution of India by the 42nd Amendment Act.

3. What do you understand about Secularism in Chapter 2?

Secularism is a prevalent idea in society that grants religious freedom to every Indian person. Secularism seeks to create a community in which individuals of all religions may coexist peacefully. A secular government does not impose any political, social, or economic characteristics on any religion. Thus inhabitants of a Secular country are thought to be religiously neutral and not discriminate against any faith.

4. How can you practise Secularism in your country?

India's massive population is diverse when it comes to religious beliefs and practices. To ensure harmony and peace in the country, we must respect each other’s religions and their practices. We should believe that we all belong to one religion and that is being Indian. We should not look at other religions with contempt. This can bring disputes among people. We should celebrate every festival and should make our upcoming generation understand the value of every religion and of Secularism.

5. What is Indian Secularism in points?

Indian secularism is an approach articulated to segregate religion from influence of any political, cultural, social or economic matters of the country.

  • The Indian constitution declares that each and every citizen of India will have full right to practise their religion and that the people of India will make the country a Secular country.

  • No religion has the right to look down on any other religion.

  • The government shall not impose any religion on its people and shall not discriminate between religions.

6. Why do we need Secularism in India?

India is a country filled with a diverse range of religious views, and as a democracy, secularism becomes a vital feature for the country and its residents. Individuals residing in the country should be permitted to exercise their faith freely. And no religion should be discriminated against on any basis. If a country like ours does not implement secularism properly, it might lead to a variety of tensions and religious confrontations among its citizens.

7. How do I prepare notes for Chapter 2 ‘Secularism’ in Class 8 Civics?

The Chapter 2 ‘Secularism’ in Class 8 Civics revision notes available on Vedantu are absolutely accurate and written to the point. You will get the condensed description of every important topic of Chapter 2 ‘Secularism’ in Class 8 Civics on . The main objective of providing these revision notes to the students is that they can make quick revisions of the chapter whenever they want. These notes are prepared by referring to the NCERT textbooks and you can definitely rely on them for your exams by downloading them on your device from revision notes.