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Secularism in india

Published on: April 11, 2013 | Updated on: June 7, 2019

India has many religions and to give freedom of religion to everyone and for equality of religion, India was declared a secular country. The word secular was added into the preamble by the 42th Amendment (1976). As per this there would be equality of all religions in India, along with religious tolerance and respect. As per the written Constitution of India, India is a secular country and we as citizens of India must abide by it. Even the old age philosophy of oneness of religion has been mentioned in Hindu scriptures known as the Upanishads. The Upanishads preach ‘Sarva Dharma Samabhava’ which means respect for all belief systems.

Everything in India revolves around religion and with time religion has flourished with Indian civilization. In Feudal India, where authority lay in the sword, there was almost complete religious tolerance. People from different religions used to live in peace and harmony and there was complete respect for each other’s religion. Few clashes and controversies occured during that time, though later with the coming of the Mughals, people were forced to adopt Islam by autocratic ruler like Aurangzeb.

Secularism became more prominent under the British rule in India. Religion then became an inseparable part of politics and social life. The British government imposed separate laws for Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs and other religious communities. This was the basis of their divide and rule policy. With this a civil code came into existence that was not the same across all religions, but different for each religion.

At the time of Independence, secularism was the main objective of political leaders. All prominent leaders of the Indian National Congress were committed to secularism. But unfortunately, the exact opposite happened, communal violence led to the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947 as separate nations. Pakistan was formed as a new homeland for Muslims who felt insure of living in India, with a Hindu majority. This communal violence also led to the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, who preached secularism and religious tolerance.

After Independence, India became a secular country in which the Indian state did not have any one state religion, but her people were free to follow or adopt any religion.Though gradually, most  political leaders started preaching communal ideology, which led to India becoming a combination of communalism and secularism During the early 80’s communalism became so strong that it began to overshadow the secularism in India. Hence the word “pseudo-secularism” began to be used by different political parties., The 1984 anti-Sikh riots in Delhi, The Babri Masjid\Ram janam bhoomi controversy in 1992, militancy in Kashmir and Punjab are few major examples which prove the superiority of communalism in India versus secularism. Communal forces oppress  minorities  in India and lead to the disintegration of secular policies. Communal and religious clashes are the biggest question on the definition of “secularism” in present day India.

The vested interest of people behind communalism must come to an end for a truly secular India. There should be liberal space and respect for each religion. Great and deep subdivision of religion needs to be addressed and everyone at a personal as well as social level must follow ‘Sarva Dharma Sambhav’ philosophy. Religion is personal and must not interference with politics. To strengthen secularism, whenever there is damage to religious sentiments the government must deal with the perpetrators strictly and the guilty must be punished.


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Showing 6 Comments :
Ramesh Chandra Mishra January 27, 2016 at 3:37 pm

मेरे विचार से सेकुलर शब्द का प्रयोग उचित नही था. शब्दकोशो,थेसौरस के अनुसार सेकुलर का अर्थ वह नहिं हैं जौ राज नेता लगा रहे है.ऐंटी मोनास्टिक शब्द उचित होता. सर्वधर्म समभाव तो पहले से भारत मे प्रयुक्त था ऐसे मे अधर्मांधता जिसका समानार्थी सम्भवतह इंग्लिश भाषा मे है ही नही अगर है भी तो सेकुलर नही हो सकता भीं उचिता hotaa. पंथ निरपेक्षता भी उचित नही प्रतीत होता है. सविधान निर्माता( कोंग्रेस् की मेजरिटी थी)हिंदु मुस्लिम एकता की बात जोडना चाहते थे. हिंदू या सनतन धर्म और इस्लाम तो दो अलग अलग धर्म है इनको केवल अधर्मांधता शबद ही व्याख्या कर सकता है. सेकुलर जोड कर हमने भयंकर भूल की थी जिसे आज सुधारना चाहिये और अंग्रेजी मे एंटी मोनेस्टिक और हिंदी मे अधर्मांधता शब्द जोडने चाहिये


i’m not at all happy…….


good nice it helped me a lot to understand about secularism


Hi ramandeep kaur
Your artical is such a informative thanx for it….

Yuvrajsinh Vaghela February 25, 2014 at 2:55 pm

Hi Ramandeep Kaur ,

An article is really good and informative it cleared my confusion related to secularism in India.

Thanks for such a descriptive article.
keep it up.


    Your article was very knowledgeable but it didn’t served my purpose at all…
    So I’m not at all happy with you.
    i’m sorry

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