- The Constitution of India stands for a secular state. Hence, it does not uphold any particular religion as the official religion of the Indian State. The following provisions of the Constitution reveal the secular character of the Indian State:
- The term ‘secular’ was added to the Preamble of the Indian Constitution by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act of 1976.
- The Preamble secures to all citizens of India liberty of belief, faith and worship.
- The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or equal protection of the laws (Article 14).
- The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on the ground of religion (Article 15).
- Equality of opportunity for all citizens in matters of public employment (Article 16).
- All persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right to freely profess, practice and propagate any religion (Article 25).
- Every religious denomination or any of its section shall have the right to manage its religious affairs (Article 26).
- No person shall be compelled to pay any taxes for the promotion of a particular religion (Article 27).
- No religious instruction shall be provided in any educational institution maintained by the State (Article 28).
- Any section of the citizens shall have the right to conserve its distinct language, script or culture (Article 29).
- All minorities shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice (Article 30).
- The State shall endeavour to secure for all the citizens a Uniform Civil Code (Article 44).
- The Western concept of secularism connotes a complete separation between the religion (the church) and the state (the politics). This negative concept of secularism is inapplicable in the Indian situation where the society is multireligious.
- Hence, the Indian Constitution embodies the positive concept of secularism, i.e., giving equal respect to all religions or protecting all religions equally.
- Moreover, the Constitution has also abolished the old system of communal representation, that is, reservation of seats in the legislatures on the basis of religion.
- However, it provides for the temporary reservation of seats for the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes to ensure adequate representation to them.
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