Model Question and Answers for APSC | How is the Indian concept of secularism different from the western model of secularism? Discuss.
How is the Indian concept of secularism different from the western model of secularism? Discuss.
- Indian constitutional secularism is marked by at least two First, critical respect for all religions. Unlike western secularisms, ours is not blindly anti-religious but respects religion. Unlike the secularisms of predominantly single religious societies, it respects not one but all religions.
- However, given the virtual impossibility of distinguishing the religious from the social, as R. Ambedkar famously observed, every aspect of religious doctrine or practice cannot be respected. Respect for religion must be accompanied by critique
- It follows that our state must respectfully leave religion alone but also intervene whenever religious groups promote communal disharmony and discrimination on grounds of religion (an inter-religious matter) or are unable to protect their own members from the oppressions they perpetuate (an intra-religious issue).
- Therefore, and this is its second feature, the Indian state abandons strict separation but keeps a principled distance from all For instance, it cannot tolerate untouchability or leave all personal laws as they are.
- Equally, it may non-preferentially subsidise schools run by religious communities. Thus, it has to constantly decide when to engage or disengage, help or hinder religion depending entirely on which of these enhances our constitutional commitment to freedom, equality and fraternity
- This constitutional secularism cannot be sustained by governments alone but requires collective commitment from an impartial judiciary, scrupulous media, civil society activists, and an alert citizenry.