Q23. Give one example to prove that the Indian secular state can
intervene to prevent the religious domination concerning different groups of
the same religion.
We can prove this fact with following example: Where members of the same
religion (‘upper-caste’ Hindus) dominate other members (some ‘lower castes’)
within it. In order to prevent this religion-based exclusion and discrimination
of ‘lower castes’, the Indian Constitution banned untouchability. In this
instance, the State is intervening in religion in order to end a social
practice that it believes discriminates and excludes, and that violates the Fundamental
Rights of ‘lower castes’ who are citizens of this country.
Q24. List the different types of religious practice that you
find in your neighbourhood. This could be different forms of prayer, worship of
different gods, sacred sites, different kinds of religious music and singing
etc. Does this indicate freedom of religious practice?
various types of religious practice found in our neighbourhood are:
Hindu performing Puja and Havan
Muslims offering Namaz
Sikhs visiting Gurudwara
Christians praying in Church
are churches, gurudwaras, mosques and temples in our neighbourhood. People of
different cultures and religions stay together and celebrate festivals. This
indicates that all the citizens are able to practice their religion with
freedom in secular environment.
Q25. Complete the following table:
Why is this important?
Example of a violation of this objective
One religious community does not dominate another.
To avoid discrimination.
To establish harmony in the society.
To protect the Fundamental Right to
Freedom of Religion.
of the Babri Masjid on 6 December 1992. A large crowd of Hindu Kar Sevaks
demolished the 16th-century Babri Mosque in the city of Ayodhya, in Uttar
Pradesh. The demolition occurred after a political rally at the site turned
The State does not enforce any particular religion nor take
away the religious freedom of individuals.
is important to uphold the ideals of democratic nation which allow its
citizens to choose whichever religion they wish to follow.
February 2004, France passed a law banning students from wearing any conspicuous
religious or political signs or symbols such as the Islamic headscarf, the
Jewish skullcap, or large Christian crosses.
That some members do not dominate other members of the same
is important in order to establish equality in the society.
were looked down upon and were discouraged to enter temples.
Q26. In what ways does the Indian state work to prevent
domination of the majority religious group?
Ans. The Indian State works in various ways to prevent
First, it uses a strategy of distancing
itself from religion. The Indian State is not ruled by a religious group and
nor does it support any one religion. In India, government spaces like law
courts, police stations, government schools and offices are not supposed to
display or promote any one religion.
The second way in which Indian secularism
works to prevent the above domination is through a strategy of noninterference.
This means that in order to respect the sentiments of all religions and not
interfere with religious practices, the State makes certain exceptions for
particular religious communities.
The third way in which Indian secularism
works to prevent the domination listed earlier is through a strategy of
intervention. The State intervenes in religion in order to end a
social practice that it believes discriminates and excludes, and that violates
the Fundamental Rights of people who are citizens of this country.
Q27. The Indian State both keeps away from religion as well as
intervenes in religion. This idea can be quite confusing. Discuss this once
again in class using examples from the chapter as well as those that you might
have come up with.
In Indian secularism, though the State is not strictly separate from religion,
it does maintain a principled distance vis-à-vis religion. This means that any
interference in religion by the State has to be based on the ideals laid out in
Where members of the same religion
(‘upper-caste’ Hindus) dominate other members (some ‘lower castes’) within it.
order to prevent this religion-based exclusion and discrimination of ‘lower
castes’, the Indian Constitution banned untouchability. In this instance, the
State is intervening in religion in order to end a social practice that it
believes discriminates and excludes, and that violates the Fundamental Rights
of ‘lower castes’ who are citizens of this country.
Similarly, to ensure that laws relating to
equal inheritance rights are respected, the State may have to intervene in the
religion-based ‘personal laws’ of communities.
The intervention of the State can also be
in the form of support. The Indian Constitution grants the right to religious
communities to set up their own schools and colleges. It also gives them
financial aid on a non-preferential basis.