Secularism is something which is not connected with religion. When referred in relation to governance, it means separation of governance and religion.
Though the term first used by the British writer George Holyoake in 1851, but the idea of secularism is much older; during the renaissance period when the society moved away from the control of church and adopted humanism as it’s primary doctrine!!!
Secularism is based on two things as far as my understanding goes…. one is that there is a plurality of religion and tolerance is the key ; second is that government activities are independent of religion….
Our country is a multi religious country, and it’s inhabitants have been by and large tolerant of other faiths…I believe that religion is a very private matter, it’s an individual choice to reach out to some supernatural power, people have faith!! This faith shouldn’t be destroyed with logic!!
But it should not guide our societal relations…because societal relation is something which shocks should primarily be based on humanity, love and fellow feeling..
With the advent of Britishers in India, the Indian society came in contact enough with modern ideas including secularism though the colonial power did not incorporate this in their functioning because they knew that united India is much more difficult tho rule then divided India… So instead of minimizing the distances they encouraged the spirit of non tolerance…
Guys our ignorance was being used by others….for their self interest.. What have we done ?? Why are we still don’t understand??
During the course of freedom moment, leaders of INC realised the importance of secularism in a diversified country like India. After I independence, this concept was incorporated in the constitution as fundamental right and in 1976 this was reflected in the preamble.
It was also felt that cargos communities will shed their differences and synthesise into an enlightened and unified society which would offset the fragmentation of society created by the British by creating various personal laws…
Indian secularism means it endorses similar treatment to all religion whereas in western concept of secularism, they follow s complete separation of religion and politics… Multiple religion and the bunch of social evils rooted in religion may be done of the reason why government interfere with religious matters!!
The only fear I have is related to the fundamentalism…. They advocate strict adherence to religious doctrine and advocate a sense of contempt for the people who do not follow these principles… It is nothing but a reactionary movement tho secularism. It lead to the formation of organised religious outfits. We have witness their impact in the form of riots and partition but still we give so much importance to it, be it educated or uneducated.. people have accepted these principles from time and again…..
Even the policy of selective interference in religious matters has given a mixed results.. This policy has certainly helps to improve the people from lower castes and women. But leaving the others untouched had led to heart burning within communities who thinks themselves to be at the receiving end..
The problem is perhaps that people in India still believe in the religious dogmas, religion still serves as an identity….
I think, education system and syllabus should be revamped taking into consideration to theses aspects from the school level.
Electoral reforms should also be another aspect where the role of religion should be minimised..
Judiciary should be geared up to provide speedy justice particularly in cases which have a social implications.
Finally, the society should understand the importance of secularism and accept it from their heart… This works is not carrying space for such hatred…
Religion is for people and not the other way round…