Explaining the concept of secularism, discuss how Indian secularism differs from the West.
Secularism is the concept that demarcates the separation of state and public matters from religion is a personal affair of citizens.
Western model of secularism and religion:
- Rigid state-religion separation.
- No scope of state led to religious reform.
- Addresses only intra-community domination.
- Focus on individual freedom of religion.
- No state aid to religious institutions.
- Opposing public display of religious symbols.
Indian concept of religion:
- “Principled distance” between state and religion – Scope of state reforms.
- Equal protection, respect and treatment to all religions.
- Balancing personal and community religious rights (article 25-28).
- Freedom to profess and practice religion with its symbols, e.g. Sikh kirpans.
- State aid to religious institutions (article 30).
- Preventing intra and inter-community domination.
- Acceptance of plurality of religions.
- Social sense of inclusivity.
- Religious freedom.
- No curbs on display of faith.
- Social harmony.
- Scope for social reforms.
India’s broader religious concept is a mark of its ethos of tolerance and inclusivity