2- Understanding Securalism | Civics | NCERT | Class 8

The blog presents the important summary notes from the Chapter 1, Civics, Social Studies, NCERT Class 8. These notes can be used for school studies as well as for Competitive Entrance Exams and Olympiads.

1. Essence of secularism : All forms of domination related to religion should end.

2. The Indian Constitution contains Fundamental Rights that protect us against State power as well as against the tyranny
of the majority.

3. Secularism refers to the separation of religion from the State.

4. It is important to separate the State and religion in democratic societies because :
• it could lead into the tyranny of the majority, or the violation of Fundamental Rights
• to protect the freedom of individuals to exit from their religion, embrace another religion or have the freedom to interpret religious teachings differently.

5. Secular State can realise its objectives to ensure the following:
• that one religious community does not dominate another;
• that some members do not dominate other members of the same religious community;
• that the State does not enforce any particular religion nor take away the religious freedom of individuals.

6. The Indian State works in various ways to prevent the religious domination :

• Using a strategy of distancing itself from religion.
– The Indian State is not ruled by a religious group and nor does it support any one religion.
– In India, government spaces like law courts, police stations, government schools and offices are not supposed to display or promote any one religion.

• Through a strategy of non-interference.
– This means that in order to respect the sentiments of all religions and not interfere with religious practices, the State makes certain exceptions for particular religious
communities.

Through a strategy of intervention.
– Where members of the same religion (upper-caste Hindus) dominate other members (some lower castes) within it.
– In order to prevent this religion-based exclusion and discrimination of ‘lower castes’, the Indian Constitution bans untouchability.
– In this instance, the State is intervening in religion in order to end a social practice that it believes discriminates and excludes, and that violates the Fundamental Rights of lower castes who are citizens of this country.
– Similarly, to ensure that laws relating to equal inheritance rights are respected, the State may have to intervene in the religion-based personal laws of communities.
– The intervention of the State can also be in the form of support. The Indian Constitution grants the right to religious communities to set up their own schools and colleges. It also gives them financial aid on a non-preferential basis.

7. Government schools cannot promote any one religion either in their morning prayers or through religious celebrations. This rule does not apply to private schools.

8. In what way is Indian secularism different from that of other democratic countries ?
– The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution prohibits the legislature from making laws respecting an establishment of religion or that prohibit the free exercise of
religion.

9. What is meant by the word establishment is that the legislature cannot declare any religion as the official religion. Nor
can they give preference to one religion.
In the U.S.A. the separation between State and religion means that neither the State nor religion can interfere in the affairs
of one another.

10. There is one significant way in which Indian secularism differs from the dominant understanding of secularism as practised
in the United States of America. 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.

11. Indian Constitution intervened in Hindu religious practices in order to abolish untouchability.

12. In Indian secularism, though the State is not strictly separate from religion it does maintain a principled distance vis-à-vis religion. This means that any interference in religion by the State has to be based on the ideals laid out in the Constitution.

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7 Comments

  1. Dear sir I’m feeling very bore during lockdown for my studies but when I searched for the guide for our CBSE schools I find your website and your notes is very much better than a guide to look for .
    Thanks sir because of you I able to score 95 percentage in social science.
    👃☝️😊

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