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Secularism - Lesson Summary

India is a secular state because it separates religion from state. This means a citizen of India can freely follow his religious beliefs as long as he doesn’t violate the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Indian Constitution.

The Constitution of India believes:
  • Religious communities should not dominate each other.
  • People within a religious community should not dominate each other
  • The State should not enforce any particular religion nor take away the religious freedom of individuals.

The government implements these secular principles at four levels: Distance, Non-interference, and Intervention.

Distance: the Indian government does not promote any one religion as the state religion. It views citizens as equal regardless of religion.  For instance, government schools don’t celebrate any religious festivals in the school premises.

Non-Interference: the government gives citizens the freedom to interpret their religion the way they deem fit. Citizens are free to switch from one religion to another.

I ntervention: stops domination within a religious community.

Support: The government let’s religious communities set up their own schools. It also gives them financial aid on a non-preferential basis.

Secularism supports the fundamental rights that are intrinsic to a democracy.


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