CBSE Class 8 Political Science (Civics) Chapter 2 Notes - Understanding Secularism

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.

CBSE Class 8 Political Science (Civics) Chapter 2 Notes - Understanding Secularism part-1

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 provides the answer to the question ‘in what way is Indian Secularism different from those other democratic countries’. The basic difference is the dominant nature of understanding Secularism as practised in the United States of America. Religion is strictly separated from the state in case of American Secularism. On the other hand, religious affairs can be intervened by the state in case of Indian Secularism. This is the most significant difference between the Indian Secularism and the Secularism of 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.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

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 belief prevailing in the society that gives religious freedom to each and every citizen of India. The objective of Secularism is to build a community where people of different faiths may live together in peace. The government of a Secular country does not interpose any political, social or economic aspects on any religion. And the citizens of a Secular country are believed to be neutral about religions in the country and not discriminate any religion.

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 that is filled with a myriad of religious beliefs and as a country that practices Democracy, Secularism here becomes an important aspect for the country and for the citizens as well. People living in the country should be able to practise their religion without any hindrance. And any religion should not be discriminated against on any basis by anyone. If a country like ours doesn’t practise secularism well, it can lead to various conflicts and religious clashes between people.

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.

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