Topic – Part of static series under the heading “Right to Religion and nature of Secularism in India”
1) Do the rights provided under Article 25-28 truly make India a secular state. Evaluate. (250 words)
Key demand of the question
The question expects us to first examine what the meaning of secular state in Indian context is. Thereafter, we need to evaluate the provisions of Section 25-28 and whether they all fall under the same definition of secularism.
Evaluate – When you are asked to evaluate, you have to pass a sound judgement about the truth of the given statement in the question or the topic based on evidences. You have to appraise the worth of the statement in question. There is scope for forming a personal opinion here.
Structure of the answer
Introduction – Discuss the provisions of Art 25-28 and what it seeks to achieve.
- Discuss what secularism in Indian context means and how it differs from its conception in the West. Talk about the distinction between Sarva dharma sambhava (principled distance) and dharma nirpekhshta. Discuss Gandhi’s views on the nature of Indian society and the form of secularism (Sarva dharma sambhava) suitable for India
- Examine the provisions of Article 25-28 and discuss how far do they fall in line with the overall conception of secularism in India. Discuss the contradictions that the right to religion give rise to such as Article 25(2)(b), 27.
- Also mention that another feature of the constitutionally mandated secularism is the securing of individual as well as collective religious rights. Thus the constitution has mandated the state not only to equally treat all religions equally but also to establish equality among all religions. This has been done by securing minority groups their cultural and educational rights, A 29 and A 30.
Conclusion – Present your view on how far the fundamental right to religion make India a secular state.