Class 8 : Understanding Secularism Notes.!! Class 8 Notes | EduRev
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Secularism is the belief that no one should be discriminated on the basis of the religion he or she practices. Every citizen, irrespective of which religion he or she follows, is equal in the eyes of the laws and policies that govern the nation.
Need for separating the state from religion
This is important for a country to function democratically. Almost all countries of the world will have more than one religious group living in them. Within these religious groups, there will most likely be one group that is in a majority. If this majority religious group has access to State power, then it could quite easily use this power and financial resources to discriminate against and persecute persons of other religions.
We also need to protect the freedom of individuals to exit from their religion, embrace another religion or have the freedom to interpret religious teachings differently.
Importance of a secular state
According to the Constitution, only a secular State can realise its objectives to ensure the following:
1. that one religious community does not dominate another;
2. that some members do not dominate other members of the same religious community;
3. that the State does not enforce any particular religion nor take away the religious freedom of individuals.
Indian secularism as being different from western countries
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. In Indian secularism, though the State is not strictly separate from religion it does maintain a principled distance vis--vis religion.
Reservation for SC/ST in Lok Sabha
The Constitution has provided reservation for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. Some seats in the Lok Sabha are being reserved for these categories. A member of these categories can get elected from a non-reserved seat. Of the 543 seats in Lok Sabha, 79 are being reserved for the Scheduled Castes and 40 for the Scheduled Tribes.