SECULARISM: A WORD WHICH NEEDS INTERPRETATION
Secularism is a word which in Le man’s term means freedom of religion specifically in India but it has a very broad perspective which is a backbone or one can say a support system for many topics including atheism and naturalism. Secularism when discussed as a philosophy or a thought is in a way of separating the government or people of the government from religion and religious institutions and dignitaries, secularism is moreover thought of having a government interference-free religion. The word was first used by the British writer George Holyoake, in the year 1851, the word was coined by him with the view of a social order different from religion without actually using anything against the religion, secularism is a kind of knowledge which one gets in his life which is capable of being questioned on the experience of life and also on how to live. secularism is a thought which in no sense questions on any religious beliefs rather it just tells there is a light in the secular truth and just manifests it. The departure from reliance on religious beliefs blindly and believing in the question of logic and science marks the begging of secularism thoughts. Barri Kosmin from the institute for the study of secularism and culture differentiated the secularism in the modern society in two types, soft secularism, and hard secularism, the hard secularism termed religious beliefs and processions to be illogical and of having no value without any value or experience, on the other hand, soft secularism has its key principles as tolerance, and with a belief that the attainment of absolute truth was not possible. The first to declare itself a secular nation was the united states of America in the 18th century.
SECULARISM IN INDIA
India got its independence in the year 1947 and adopted and enacted its constitution in the year 1950, the constitution of India is one of the largest Constitution which is mainly considered to be a work of DR. B.R. Ambedkar who is also referred to as the father of the Indian constitution, the drafting committee made for the purpose of drafting the constitution although had 7 members headed by DR. B.R. Ambedkar. The Constitution when drafted although had an essence of secularism within it but it was not specifically mentioned in the constitution. Secularism was brought into the preamble of the constitution of India by the 42nd amendment of the constitution, 1976, this amendment is often referred to as the mini-constitution, this amendment was brought in by the then Prime Minister Indra Gandhi. After this amendment, it was that the preamble readout India as a Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic. Since the very addition of the term in the constitution has been an active topic of debate, secularism in India is different from other western countries as it does not separate religion and state but guarantees India a land with no one religion concept.
Although the supreme court itself accepted the fact of a specific religious sense in the very essence of the constitution of India, the court has ruled out that Hindutva or Hinduism is in the spirit of Indians, and it is very obvious about these claims as to the religion which has started, and from the very starting been in the county of India is Hinduism, it is a way of life more than a religion. The constant question and demand of making India a Hindu Rashtra is waived off by this very term and clause of the constitution which declares it as a secular country, but is it not arbitrary to make it a part of the basic structure doctrine as the words socialist and secular were not a part of the original constitution drafted by the drafting committee headed by Dr. B.R.Ambedkar? a plea has been filed in the supreme court challenging the words socialist and secular words of the Indian constitution and therefore declaring them unconstitutional, the petition is moved in the supreme court by advocate Balram Singh, Karunesh Kumar Shukla and an independent advocate Pravesh Kumar, the plea claims the assertion of the words socialism and secularism is unethical and against the cultural theme of the nation and even violation of the freedom speech and expression, since the very moment the news of the filing of such a plea came to the media it has become a topic of heated up debates, although people accept the fact of India being a secular country but still are not so confident about the words placed in the preamble of the constitution of India. Secularism is in today’s world is the maximum number of times used and actually misused by relating it to just minority oppression, which is not correct its quite often when we see articles and blogs of renowned blog writers coined a term of the threat to secularism whenever a person of the minority community is oppressed. The plea in the supreme court claims the word secularism to be unconstitutional as it violates freedom of speech and expression and even freedom of religion. So here lies a big question for which everyone has a different answer but still the question remains unanswered, was adding the word secularism in the preamble of the Indian constitution an idea against the thoughts of our father of constitution Dr. B.R. Ambedkar?
Another question that arises after doing an analysis of secularism is that the meaning of secularism is that it separates government from religious institutions, but be it indirectly government charges taxes on temples in India, but this is not done with respect to churches, why? isn't it a question that shows that Indian secularism is full of loopholes which deserve an answer.