i. In the United States of America, most children in government schools have to begin their school day reciting the ‘Pledge of Allegiance’.
ii. The most important aspect of secularism is its separation of religion from State power.
iii. In India, government spaces like law courts, police stations, government schools and offices are not supposed to display or promote any one religion.
iv. The Indian State is not ruled by a religious group and nor does it support any one religion.
v. Jewish State of Israel treats its own Muslim and Christian minorities quite badly.
i. In Indian secularism the State is not strictly separate from religion. True
ii. Wearing a pugri (turban) is central to a Sikh’s religious practice. True
iii. Government schools can promote any one religion. False
iv. In Indian secularism, the State cannot intervene in religion. False
v. History provides us with many examples of discrimination, exclusion and persecution on the grounds of religion. True
Ans. Secularism refers to this separation of religion from the State.
Ans. ‘Freedom to interpret’ means an individual’s liberty to develop his own understanding and meaning of the religious teachings.
Ans. This means that any interference in religion by the State has to be based on the ideals laid out in the Constitution.
Ans. In Saudi Arabia, non-Muslims are not allowed to build a temple, church etc., and nor can they gather in a public place for prayers.
Ans. The word ‘establishment’ means that the legislature cannot declare any religion as the official religion. Nor can they give preference to one religion.
Ans. The most important aspect of secularism is its separation of religion from State power. This is important for a country to function democratically.
Ans. This is because the Indian State recognises that wearing a pugri (turban) is central to a Sikh’s religious practice and in order not to interfere with this, allows an exception in the law.
Ans. In India, government spaces like law courts, police stations, government schools and offices are not supposed to display or promote any one religion. Government schools cannot promote any one religion either in their morning prayers or through religious celebrations.
Ans. Discrimination occurs when members of one religious community either persecute or discriminate against members of other religious communities. These acts of discrimination take place more easily when one religion is given official recognition by the State at the expense of other religions.
Ans. There is one significant way in which Indian secularism differs from the dominant understanding of secularism as practised in the United States of America. This is because unlike the strict separation between religion and the State in American secularism, in Indian secularism the State can intervene in religious affairs.
Ans. The celebration of the religious festival within the school would be a violation of the government’s policy of treating all religions equally. Government schools cannot promote any one religion either in their morning prayers or through religious celebrations. That’s why government schools are not allowed to celebrate religious festival.
Ans. The Indian Constitution allows individuals the freedom to live by their religious beliefs and practices as they interpret these. In keeping with this idea of religious freedom for all, India also adopted a strategy of separating the power of religion and the power of the State. Secularism refers to this separation of religion from the State.
Download to practice offline.