Q. 1. Write down characteristic values of Indian secularism.
Ans. India is a Secular State. By inserting the word ‘Secular’ in the Preamble of the Constitution by 42nd Amendment, India is declared a Secular State. Following are the features of Indian Secular State:
1. No State Religion: There is no State religion in India, that means that no religion has been attached importance by the State. No religion has been given special rights and no religion has been given any special help by the State. The State does not propagate any religion in any way. The State policy cannot be based on any religion.
2. State remains aloof from Religion: The State has no religion of its own and at the same time,it has kept aloof from all the religious activities. The State is neither religious, nor irreligious and nor antireligious. It means that the State itself does not take interest in any religion. It does not even interfere in the religious affairs of the people. The State neither preaches nor opposes any religion.
3. All Religions are equal: All religions are equal in the eyes of the State. No State enjoys special rights. Nobody is discriminated on the basis of religion. The people of all religions enjoy equal rights. No religion is given priority in case of Government services and nobody is debarred from Government service on religious basis. States are not reserved in the legislature in favour of any religious community. All the religions are equal and are governed by the same law of the land.
4. Freedom of Religion: The Constitution grants religious freedom to all the people. Every individual can keep faith in any religion. He follows his religious customs, traditions and other principles. Each individual can freely worship his religious gods. The Government cannot in any way interfere in the religious affairs of the people. Any individual can give up his religion and embrace any other religion. Every person is free to keep faith or not in any religion. Religion is the personal affair of an individual and he has been left free in this matter.
5. Equal Rights and opportunities for spreading Religion: All the religions enjoy equal rights and opportunities for spreading their religious principles. Each person can impress upon the utility of his religion and for this can even open religious institutions. Since the Government is above religious matters, no religious propaganda can be made in Government schools and colleges. The Government cannot discriminate against any religious institutions.
6. No Religious Education in Government Educational Institutions: Article 28 provides that no religious education shall be provided in any educational institution wholly or partly maintained by the State.
7. No Taxes for Promotion of any Religion: Article 27 provides that no person shall be compelled to pay any tax for the promotion or maintenance of any particular religious denomination.
8. Religious Toleration: People have given religious freedom but at the same time it is expected that they will extend religious toleration. People can propagate their religious principle but while doing so they should not criticise any other religion or disrespect should not be shown to any religion. The followers of one religion should not interfere in the religious matters of others. On the basis of above-mentioned facts, it can be very safely said that India is a Secular State where people have been granted religious freedom.