Topic: secularism; pluralism
1. Pluralism and Secularism are essential for Indian Democracy. Do you agree. Comment. (250 words).
Why this question:
Pluralism and secularism for their sustenance require a climate of opinion and a state practice that eschews intolerance. With violence raging across the country due to the CAA bill and NRC, there are voices raising to protect secularism and promote plurality which are two of the most defining values of our Indian Constitution.
Key demand of the question:
The question wants us to discuss the significance of pluralism and secularism to our democracy.
Comment – When asked to comment, you have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary.
Structure of the answer:
Start by explaining the concepts of Pluralism and Secularism in Indian context.
Discuss the significance of Pluralism and Secularism to Indian democracy.
- Our democratic polity is pluralist because it recognizes and endorses this plurality in (a) its federal structure, (b) linguistic and religious rights to minorities, and (c) a set of individual rights.
- It is this plurality that the Constitution endowed with a democratic polity and a secular state structure. Pluralism as a moral value seeks to ‘transpose social plurality to the level of politics, and to suggest arrangements which articulate plurality with a single political order in which all duly constituted groups and all individuals are actors on an equal footing, reflected in the uniformity of legal capacity.
- Pluralism in this modern sense presupposes citizenship.
- Secularism has both positive and negative contents.
- The positive part of secularism has been entrusted to the State to regulate by law or by an executive order. The State is prohibited to patronise any particular religion as State religion and is enjoined to observe neutrality.
- Religious tolerance and fraternity are basic features and postulates of the Constitution as a scheme for national integration and sectional or religious unity.
Further go on to define how these lead to tolerance and acceptance
Discuss the challenges in today’s India to promote plurality and secularism
Conclude with balanced way forward.