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Structural -Functional Spirit of Secularism & Indian Constitution* Dr.

Ram Dev Bharadwaj

Professor Department of Political Science Rani Durgavati University Jabalpur(MP) pin-482001 e-mail < ramdevbharadwaj47@rediffmail.com>

. India is multi-religious, multi-ethnic-and multi-cultural pluralist society. The unity in diversity is the peculiarity and beauty of the Indian ethos. The Indian Constitution has its true nature of producing a document of lasting value to preserve the composite culture and promote the essence of the Indian polity. The Constitution through its preamble, fundamental rights and direct principles have created a secular state based on the principal of equality and nondiscrimination, striking a balance between the rights of the individuals and the duty and commitment of testate to establish an egalitarian social order Pluralism is the keynotes of Indian culture .The word Panthnirpekha,which has commonly been popularized as Secularism ,was inserted in the preamble by the 42 nd Amendment Act 1976. Not withstanding the word Panthnirpekha was added in the Preamble by the 42nd Amendment, the concept of secularism was very imbedded in our Constitutional philosophy The policy assured to the people of India by the constitution is described in preamble as secular state This secularism is our creed reflected in the composite cultural heritage which is of essence in a pluralist society, wherein the' cover value of the religion is the common thread which binds the society. Structural Foundation of Secularism If we analyses the basic notion of Indian society , polity and living testament of Indian Constitution we find following realities of secular structure in Indian way of life been provide and protected. 1. Equality of Status and of Opportunity---- In the Secular, socialist, democratic republic, every citizen has equality of status and of opportunity to promote among the people dignity of the individual unity and integrity of the nation transcending them from caste, sectional, religious

barriers, fastening fraternity among them in an integrated India. 2. People's Faith in Presentation and Continuity---- The Constitution of India as indicated by the preamble is the reaffirmation of the people's faith in presentation and continuity of the composite cultural heritage, secularism is embedded in the Indian ethos. Sarva Dharam Sambhav is the creed enshrined in the Indian polity. The meaning of the Indian secularism was indicated by the supreme court in Dr. M. Ismail Farauqui's a case. 3. Unification of Multiple Religious------ The Secularism. stand for a complex interpretative process in which there is transcendence of religion and yet there is a unification of multiple religious. It is a bridge between religion in a multi religious society to cross over the barriers of their diversity. Secularism in the positive sense is the corns tone of a forward looking society which our constitution endeavors to establish. It is only possible basis of a uniform and durable national identity in a multi religious and socially 4. Harmonious and Peaceful Living ---. secularism is a fruitful means for conflict resolution and Harmonious/ peaceful living. Which provides a sense of security to the followers of all religions and ensure full civil liberties, Constitutional rights and equal opportunities, therefore, it prove a meeting point for all member of different religions to promote rational approach to life and society and would establish national composite and cosmopolitan culture and way of life. 5. Socio-Economic-Democratic Polity-With the advancement of Constitutional philosophy of social and economic democracy in a democratic policy to all citizens unequal footing. Secularism has been held to be one of the basic features of the Constitution Secularism is a basic structure and the basic structure of the Constitution cannot be altered in exercise of the amending powers conferred by the Art.368 of the Constitution. Thus, the nature of polity promised in the preamble is incapable of alteration even in exercise of the power to amend the Constitution. 6. Improve Excellence, Equal Status and Dignity ----The emphasis of secular structure of constitution therefore, is on a citizen to improve excellence and equal status and dignity of person with the advancement of human right and

Constitutional philosophy of social and economic democracy in a democratic policy to all the citizen on equal footing. Unless free mobility of the people is allowed transcending sectional, casts, religious or regional barriers, establishment of secular socialist order becomes difficult. 7 Freedom of Consciousness----- Secularism in India does not mean irreligion. It means respect for all faiths and religions. The state does not identify itself with any religion. Indian Constitution denotes freedom of worship and freedom of consciousness. Art. 25 to 28 confer rights relating to freedom of religions not only on citizens but on all person in India. India being a secular there is no state or preferred religion as such and all religious groups enjoy the same constitutional protection without any favor or discrimination. 8. No State Religion---- The concept of secularism has not been well defined anywhere in the Constitution of India. It is assumed that the term 'secularism' means there would be no state religion and the state would neither make favour of any religion, nor protect any religion. It would be impartial in the all matters of the religion. It is fact that secularism was not the original verdict of the Constitution. Although freedom of religion is already guaranteed as fundamental right in part 1/1 of the India Constitution. Does the concept of religion as fundamental right mean the state secularism. It is needed to know the difference between faith and religion. Moreover faiths in a practical sense means a cultured or a spiritual living in a religion but not religion itself . But the liberal notion of the religion is a thing which is adopted by our spirit. This is the reason why secularism seems to be failed to respect the pluralist and tolerant tradition that existed in India society for thousand years. Now it has become the ideology imposed upon people who never wanted to separate religion from their daily lives. 9. Tolerance in the Various Faith ----- The religious tolerance can only be built by explaining the philosophy and the ideology of tolerance in the various faiths that have existed in pre-modern India. This is the brooding spirit permeating through the Constitution of India itself. Now it is high time to approach in reconciling diverse practice,

customs and tradition of the marriages as one of the means for social and national unity and integrity and establishment of Indian culture for harmony, amity and self respect to the individuals. The inter-caste intersect, inter-religious marriages from inter-region and the purposive interpretation would definitely pave-way to establish secularism and secular state . Inter caste marriages and adoption are two important social institutions through which secularism would find its fruitful and solid base for an egalitarian social order under the Constitution. Therefore, due recognition should be accorded for social mobility and integration and accordingly its recognition must be upheld as valid law.

Social Order, Polity and Secularism Social order and polity are inter-dependent process of reality. Social order is a way of life and mirror of civilization which reflects social movements and different stages of development of human spirit. In which (Dharma ) the Religion in each civilization has indicated about the faith of human beings in absolute values and a way of life to realize them. Religious faith is continuously providing the passion to preserve in the way of life and if it declines, obedience degenerates into habit and habit slowly withers way. (a)Therefore laws, customs, conventions and fashions etc. are not the only means of social control but the religion and morality also formulate and shape the human behavior. Religion and morality are the most influential forces of social control as well as the most effective guides of the human behavior. (b)The social life of a man in addition of its economics, political, philosophical, scientific and other aspects, has also religious aspects. Religion is the major concern of man. Man is always having religious quest which makes him able to become a restless creature even beyond the satisfaction of his physical needs.

(d) Religion revolves around mans faith in the supernatural forces. Religion is concrete experience which is associated with emotions, especially with fear, awe or reverence. (e)Many societies have a wide range of institutions connected with religion and a body of special officials, with forms or worship, ceremonies, sacred objects titles, pilgrimages, and the like. Looking at the definition of religion by Ogburn, "Religion is an attitude towards super human power, it may be submitted that religion explains the relation of man with god and also elaborate rules of conduct." Further Maxmuller defines, "Religion as a mental faculty or disposition which enables man to apprehend the infinite." Maxmuller has attempted to define religion as a matter of belief in supernatural forces. Man believes that he is at the mercy of the supernatural forces and shows his subordination to them by means of prayers, hymns, and other acts, man believes that his disrespect and negligence towards religion would bring disaster so he engaged in endless endeavor to adjust himself with the supernatural. He attempts to do only the acts which are righteous and sacred to please the supernatural. Behaving in accordance with the norms laid down by religion is righteous and going against them is sinful The same approach can also be seen in the views expressed by the supporters of functional theory. According to Kingslay Davis, Religion is the part of society. It is common to the group; its beliefs and practices are acquired by each individual as a member of the group. The worship of Gods is a public matter supported by the community and performed for communal purposes. The other supporters of functional theory also confirm the same view that religion is a universal, permanent, pervasive and perennial institution and it has a vital function in maintaining the social system as a whole The theory of secularism and a secular state is neither supposed to compel its citizens to adopt a particular religion nor it can give preferential treatment to the followers of particular religion. Secularism eliminates God from the matters of the state.

The Preamble to the Constitution of India signifies that India is a secular state. The Preamble reflects the way of life adopted by Indian citizens for themselves after independence. In fact every civilization has also been a mirror of way of life as well as reflecting movement of human spirit. Religion in each civilization has indicated about the faith of human beings in absolute values and a way of life to realize them. India is a secular country. The term secular denotes the threefold relationship among man, state and religion. Functional Understanding of Secularism . "The secular State is a State which guarantees individual and corporate freedom of religion, deals with the individual as a citizen irrespective of his religion, is not constitutionally connected to a particular religion, nor does it seek to promote or interfere with religion". There are three major aspects of secularism which has to be understand while analyzing the functional realities based in the form of inter-related relationships as: (1) Positive Freedom of Religion or Religion and Individual Relations (2) Negative Freedom of Religion or Individual and State Relations (3) Natural Freedom of Religion or State and Religion Relations. These relations can be comprehensively elaborate by this triangle. This relationship between Religion, State and Individual Relationship or Positive, Negative and Natural freedom of state relationship. These three associates are the three sides of a tri-angle, touching each other necessarily at three points and creating their mutually related angles. These three sets of angular relationship contain the total of religious freedom available in a society. (1) Positive Freedom of Religion or Religion and Individual Relations -----This relation contains positive freedom of religion which implies reasonable unrestrained liberty of believing & practicing ones religion. In other words, every person should be free to follow any religion, and to act upon its teachings and reject all other without any interference from the state. Religious freedom is the soul of principle of liberty enshrined in the Preamble to the Constitution of India.

One of the basic civil liberties of an individual is the liberty of his mind and his conscience. Preservation of liberty of the mind, conscience and thought being the greatest liberty alone can make possible and meaningful other liberties. If the mind and conscience of human is in chain, all the other liberties would become meaningless. A free mind and a free conscience, therefore is the essential, integral and indispensable foundation of all other civil liberties. The Constitution of India, being the supreme law of the nation recognizes the religious liberty of both the individuals as well as associations of individual united by common beliefs, practices & discipline. The freedom of religion may be defined under two aspects(a) Individual Freedom of Religion and (b) Collective Freedom of Religion. (a) Individual Freedom of Religion- The Constitution of India recognizes the freedom to profess, practice and propagate the religion under Article 25. Part (1) of Article 25 secures to every freedom of conscience: and the right to (i) profess religion; (ii) practice religion; and (iii) propagate religion. The term religion has not defined in the constitution but the meaning given by the Supreme Court of India to the religion can be referred here, the Supreme Court in Commissioner, H.R.E. Vs. L.T. Swammiar held: Religion is a matter of faith with individuals or communities and it is not necessarily theistic. A religion has its basis in a system of beliefs or doctrines, which are regarded by those who profess that religion as conducive to their spiritual well being. A religion may not only lay down a code of ethnical rules for its followers to accept, it might prescribe rituals and observances, ceremonies and modes of worship, which are regarded as integral parts of religion and these forms and observance might extend even to matters of food and dress. The freedom of religion guaranteed under Indian constitution is not confined to its citizens but extends to all persons including aliens. This point, was underlined by the Supreme Court in RatiLal Panchand Vs. State of Bombay as it is very important because substantial number of foreign Christian missionaries in India were engaged at

that time in propagating their faith among the adherents of other religions. The Constitution thus declares that every person has a fundamental right not only to hold whatever religious belief commend themselves to his judgments, but also to express his beliefs in such overt acts, as are prescribed by his religion and propagate its tenets among others. The exercise of this right is, however subject to public order, morality and public health. Here the constitution succinctly expresses the limitations on religious liberty that has been evolved by judicial pronouncements in the United States and Australia. In fact, the framers of the Indian constitution attempted to establish a delicate balance between essential interference and impartial interference on the part of the state. They kept in consideration the possibilities of arising out of circumstances in which the government may have to impose restraints on the freedoms of individuals in collective interests. Accordingly Article 25 (2) provides broad sweeping power of interference to the state in religious matters. This Article imposes drastic limitations on the rights guaranteed under Article 25(1) and reflects the peculiar needs of Indian society. It is important to mention here that law providing for the very extensive supervision by the state about temple administration has been enacted by virtue of this provision. Here it would not be out place to state that the extensive modification Hindu personal law (marriage, divorce, adoption, succession etc.) has been effected by legislation based on the provision permitting measures of social welfare and social reform. There is an interesting case on the validity of the Bombay Prevention of Hindu Bigamous Marriages Act of 1946, where the validity was upheld by the Bombay High Court. Chief Justice Chagla , delivered his judgment as follows: it is only with very considerable hesitation that I would like to speak about Hindu religion, but it is rather difficult to accept the proposition that polygamy is an integral part of Hindu religion. It is perfectly true that Hindu religion recognizes the necessity of a son for religious efficacy and spiritual salvation. That same religion also recognizes the institution of adoption. Therefore the Hindu religion provides for the continuation of the line of a Hindu male within the framework of monogamy.

The learned judge went on to argue, that even assuming that polygamy is a recognized institution according to Hindu religious practice, the right of the state to enact this legislation could not be disputed. The enforcement of monogamy among Hindu is a measure of social reform which the state is empowered to legislate by Article 25 (2) (b) notwithstanding the fact that it may interfere with the right of a citizen freely to profess, practice and propagate religion. The same constitutional provision permits legislation opening Hindu religious institutions of a public character to all classes and sections of India. Harijan temple entry laws have been enacted by many of the state legislatures. The Central Unsociability (Offences) Act of 1955 provides that any attempt to prevent Harijans from exercising their right to enter the temple is punishable with imprisonment or fine or with both. Therefore it must be clear that a secular civil law is equally applicable to all Indian citizens. (b) Collective Freedom of Religion- Religious denominations as well as individuals have certain important rights spelt out under Article 26. The term religious denomination has not been defined under the Constitution. The Honble Supreme Court has accepted the definition given in Oxford Dictionary, that defines as a collection of individuals classed together under the same name a religious sect of body having a common faith and organization and designated by a distinctive name. The Supreme Court in number of cases held that Arya Smaj, Anandmarga, Vaishanave, The followers of Madhawacharya and other religious teachers, though not separate religions, yet these are separate religious denomination and enjoys the protection under Article 26 of the Constitution. The right under Article 26(a) is a group right and is available to every religious denomination . Clause (b) of Article 26 guarantees to every religious denomination the right to manage its own affairs in matters of religion. The expression matters of religion includes religious practices, rites and ceremonies essential for the practicing of religion. An important case that involved the right of a religious denomination to manage its own affairs in matters of religion was Venkataramana Devaru Vs. Stae

of Mysore . In this matter, Venkatramana temple was belonging to the Gowda Saraswath Brahman Community. The Madras Temple Entry Authorization Act, supported by Article 25(2)(b) of the Constitution, threw open all Hindu public temples in the state to Harijans . The trustees of this denominational temple refused admission to Harijans on the ground that the caste of the prospective worshipper was a relevant matter of religion according to scriptural authority, and that under Article 26(b) of the Constitution they had the right to manage their own affairs in matters of religion. The Supreme Court admitted that this was a matter of religion, but when it faces conflict with Article 25(2) (b), it approved a compromise arrangement heavily weighted in favour of rights of Harijans and a token concession to the right of a religious denomination to exercise internal autonomy Further Article 26 and (d) recognize the right of a religious denomination to own, acquire and administer movable and immovable property in accordance with law. However it was held in Surya Pal Singh Vs. State of U.P. that this guarantee did not imply that such property was not liable to compulsory acquisition under the U.P. Abolition of Zamindari Act. Similarly in Orissa, land reforms resulted in the expropriation of a village and surrounding agricultural land dedicated to the maintenance of a Hindu deity. Since compensation was paid, the High Court held that there was only a change in the form of the property. Article 30 deals with another aspect of collective freedom of religion: The object behind Article 29 & 30 is the recognition and preservation of the different types of people, with diverse languages and different beliefs, which constitute the essence of secularism in India. (1) All minorities, whether based on religion or language, shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice. (2) The state shall not, in granting aid to educational institutions, discriminate against any educational institution on the ground that it is under the management of a minority, whether based on religion or language. The object behind Article 29 & 30 is the recognition and preservation of the different types of people, with diverse

languages and different beliefs, which constitute the essence of secularism in India. (2) Negative Freedom of Religion or Individual and State Relations--The second angular relation reflects the 2) Negative Freedom of Religion or Individual and State Relations relationship between the state and individual. It contains negative freedom of religion. By negative freedom of religion mean absence of restrains, discriminations, liabilities and disabilities which a citizen might have been otherwise subject to. This component of secular state, the concept of citizenship is based on the idea that the individual, not the group is the basic unit. The individual is confronted by the state which imposes duties and responsibilities upon him; in return the state guarantees rights and grants privileges to the individual. The sum of these individualstate relationships constitutes the meaning of citizenship. There are numbers of provisions dealing with citizens relations with state in social spheres. The provisions based on non discrimination in political functions have also been dealt with under the Constitution (3) Natural Freedom of Religion or State and Religion Relations---The third angular relations which emanates from the relationship between the state and its religion. It contains neutral freedom of religion. It implies that state has no religion of its own and attitude of indifference towards all the religions by the state. India is a secular state. The idea of secularism is one of the basic features of the Indian constitution. The Supreme Court in St. Xaviers College Vs. State of Gujrat observed, India is a secular state, secularism eliminates god from the matter of the state affairs, and ensures that none shall be discriminated against on the ground of religion. Separation of state and religion is the third principle of secular state that preserves the integrity of the other two relationships, freedom of religion and citizenship. Here one must be conscious about the relationship of the religion and the state. The institution of religion came in existence prior to state. It came into being to establish a social order in ancient times because at that time there was neither any law nor any institution like state was in existence. The main purpose of institution of

religion was to regulate the activities of individual on the basis of religion and religion was the supreme law. The institution of state came too much later- so in present scenario, the society is based on the delicate balance maintained between both of these institutions namely state and religion . Both are independent in their spheres and it must be so, Because centralization of powers in one agency would lead to anarchism. Once the principle of separation of state and religion is abandoned, the way is open for state interference in the individuals religions liberty, and for state discrimination against him if he happens to dissent from the official creed. Earlier religion was considered superior to state, because it played an important role in regulating actions of human beings and it was the way for human beings towards the god but in present scenario, it must be kept in mind that the first role is being played by the state and as regards to the relation of individual with god, the domain is totally free. The religion has become subordinate in these days and the state is the main unit of the society. So there are number of important areas in which state interference in religious matter is permitted by the Constitution.

Features of Indian Secularism Seven features of Indian secularism make it distinctive. (I)The first is its multi-value character. Indian secularism more explicitly registers ties with values forgotten by western conceptions -for example, peace between communities - and interprets liberty and equality both individualistically and non-individualistically. It has a place for the rights of individuals to profess their religious beliefs but also the right of religious communities to establish and maintain educational institutions crucial for the survival and sustenance of their religious traditions . (II)Second, because it was born in a deeply multi-religious society, it is concerned as much with inter-religious as intra-religious domination. Although community-specific political rights (special representation rights for religious

minorities such as Muslims) were withheld for contextual reasons, the model allows conceptual space for this. (III)Third, it is committed to the idea of principled distance: poles apart from one-sided exclusion, mutual exclusion, strict neutrality or equidistance. (IV)Fourth, it admits a distinction between depolarization and depoliticization as well between different kinds of depoliticization. Because it is not hostile to the public presence of religion, it aims to depolarize it. It accepts the importance of one form of depoliticization of religion, namely the first and second-level disconnection of state from religion but the third-level depoliticization of religion is accepted on purely contextual grounds. (V)Fifth, it is combines active hostility to some aspects of religion (a ban on unsociability and a commitment to make religiously grounded personal laws more gender-just) with active respect for its other dimensions(religious groups are officially recognized, state-aid is available nonpreferentially to educational institutions run by religious communities, there is no blanket exclusion of religion as mandated by western liberalism). This is a direct consequence of its commitment to multiple values and principled distance. The Indian model accepts the view that critique is consistent with respect, that one does have to choose between hostility and respectful indifference. In this sense, it inherits the tradition of the great Indian religious reformers who tried to change their religions precisely because it meant so much to them (VI)Sixth, it is committed to a model of moral reasoning that is highly contextual and opens up the possibility of different societies working out their own secularisms. In short, it opens out the possibility of multiple secularism (VII) Seventh, it breaks out of the rigid interpretative grid that divides our social world into the western modern and traditional, indigenous non-western. Indian secularism is modern but departs significantly from mainstream conceptions of western secularism Looking at the various constitutional provisions, one can say that India is a secular state. The ideals of secular state

have clearly been embodied under the Indian Constitution and the provisions are being implemented in substantial measure. But the circumstances after independence have posed a challenge before secularism of India for a number of times. Sometimes it is also alleged that: (a) by Uniform Civil Code, the existence of minorities in India is in danger or it is an assault on the identity of minorities. (b)India being still a traditional society that contains not one, but many traditions owing their origin in part to the different religions that exist here. (c)While India carries with it many traditions it has managed to retain the secular character of its polity, (d)while in many countries especially from the third world, a secular authority has crumbled in face of conflicting traditions. Secularism in Function and Supreme Court An explicit goal of the Indian Constitution is to ensure "equality of status and opportunity" among all citizens. Article 15 (1) maintains that "The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on the grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them." Discrimination on the basis of "religion" and "caste" is then declared to be illegal in Article 15. Yet "Hinduism," as it has been variously defined in the courts and by certain scholars of religion. Indian Constitution is also containing various provisions pertaining to religious freedom like Article 25 talks about Freedom of Conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion but these freedoms given in the Constitution are not absolute and they are given subject to certain restriction like Public Order, Morality and Health. Article 26 also talks about Freedom to manage religious affairs and similarly Article 27,28,29 and 30 talks about

religious instruction or religious worships in educational institutions and protection of minorities interests. If we see meticulously in the Constitution then we will be able analyze that one of the better and effective provision relating to religion and protection of minorities are enshrined in the Constitution. Indian Concept of Secularism is much better and wider concept than the Western Concept of Secularism.The Constitution provides way of life and it leads to formation of egalitarian society. If we discuss and analyses the trends of the decisions given by the Honble Supreme Court of India, which is regarded as the guardian of constitutionalism in India, we can very well understand the realities which existed regarding present functional status of secularism in India . Some of examples are as (1). The Honble Supreme Court of India in Sardar Taheruddin Syedna Saheb v. State of Bombay , AIR 1962 SC 853, 871 for the first time explained the concept of secularism wherein Ayyangar, J., explained: "Articles 25 and 26 embody the principle of religious toleration that has been the characteristic feature of Indian civilization from the start of history. The instances and periods when this feature was absent being merely temporary aberrations. Besides, they serve to emphasize the secular nature of the Indian democracy which the founding fathers considered to be the very basis of the Constitution." (2) In Kesavananda Bharati v. State of Kerala (1973) 4 SCC 225, the Constitutional Bench of the Honble Supreme Court reiterated that secularism was a part of the basic structure of the Constitution. (3)In the case of ST. Xavier College V State of Gujarat The Supreme Court said that the State can not have its own religion and it should treat all religion equally (4)In Bijoe Emanuel Case The Supreme Court has said nobody can be compelled to sing a National Anthem if it is against the tenants of their religion but proper respect should be given to the national Anthem.

(5) The State can acquire property belonging to any religion for the purpose of maintenance of public order as held in the case of Ismail Faruque. (6) In the case of Lakhmindra Supreme Court firstly defined the concept of religion which was later on broadened in the case of S.R Bommai. (7)This view crystallized in the landmark case of S.R. Bommai v. Union of India (1994) 3 SCC 1. In fact, the Judges in S.R. Bommais case went on to say that the concept of secularism in the Indian Constitution is in broad agreement with the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment. (4)However, within a year the Honble Supreme Court in Ismael Faruqui v. Union of India (1994) 6 SCC 360 started diluting the active, positive concept of secularism based on scientific thinking it had advocated in the S.R Bommais case. (8) Subsequently, in the infamous Ram Janambhoomi case, the Honble Supreme Court justified its concept of secularism by quoting extensively from Indian scriptures. Verma, J. (as he then was) (speaking for Venkatachaliah, C.J. and Ray, J.) quoted from the Yajur Veda, Atharva Veda and Rig Veda to justify its concept of secularism: 'Sarwa Dharma Sambhava', i.e., tolerance of all religions. This reasoning seemed to be odd wherein the Honble Supreme Court was justifying secularism by religious scriptures. (9)The Supreme Court seemed to have rejected the western concept of secularism based on separation of the Church and the State as explained in the earlier verdict of S.R. Bommai and went back to equating secularism with tolerance. (10) The Court also noted that the State has the power to take over any religious place including a mosque. Though dissenting, Bharucha, J., supported the concept of absolute, positive and active secularism, more in tune with that spelt out in S.R. Bommai. Yet even he accepted that secularism in India exists because of the tolerance of the Hindus who are the majority religion. However, though in some of the recent judgments the Honble Supreme Court

has again shifted from the confusing interpretation of Secularism. But this again highlights an important issue that the secular character of India has in fact received a setback and the issue of Secularism in India today is not simple especially in light of the growing religious fundamentalism which owes its revival to the failure of the government moreover, the intrusion of religious passions and caste loyalties into Indian politics casts serious doubts over the claim of India to be a secular and theocratic state. Emerging Problems &Future of Secularism India is neither anti-religion nor suggest separation of State and religion. It is not based upon the religion but it is based on equal respect to all religion. Secularism is not anti-God and it treats alike the devout, the agnostic and the atheist. It eliminates God from the matters of State and ensures that no one shall be discriminated against on the grounds of the religion. All the Secular State means that Parliament shall not be competent to impose any particular religion on the rest of the people. Secularism is a system of social ethic based upon a doctrine that ethical standards and conduct should be determined exclusively with reference to the present life and social well being without reference to the religion. Pluralism is keystone of Indian culture and religious tolerance is the bedrock of Indian Secularism. The State shall not have any religion that do not mean that it should be irreligious. The State should treat all religion equal and in India the State is never considered as irreligious or atheist State. The State should protect all religion and interfere with none. Indian Concept of Secularism is different from the western Secularism. In India State is neutral in the internal religious matters and similar treatment is extended to mosque, temple, or church etc.Indian secularism, serves to strengthen the democratic and representative credentials of India's political system while serving ruling caste and class interests. The Indian version of secularism is based on a communally compartmentalized vision of India, where various communities enjoying equal status cooperate, but where, in reality, the majority and minority in Indian Society enjoy a special status. It has been found that various Indian communities can cooperate only when working for social change and that cooperation in other circumstances is difficult.Secularism in India faces a problematic future. The

common Western view of secularism as little more than anti-religious feeling does not apply in India where the sacred-secular dichotomy is not generally accepted. This may explain why secularism, though written into the Constitution at the instigation of Jawaharlal Nehru, appears to be threatened by Hindu-Muslim and Hindu-Sikh conflicts. Re-evaluation of the state's role in Indian society, clarification of the meaning of secularism in the Constitution and educational reform are needed to prevent the dissolution of India. Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, once warned us "The Fascism will come to India, in the form of communalism," Today ,religious and communal violence are growing day by day in India. The rise of militancy in different parts of the country and their characteristics of operation are the signpost of the fascist forces. Communal violence's base of race, tribe, caste and religions is the neo face of fascism. It is the fascism between religious majority and minority, seen in Anti-Sikh Riots of 1984, Anti-Christian Riots of 1998 in Gujarat, the Gujarat Carnage of 2002, a black Christmas episode of 2007 in Orissa and over 4000 recorded attacks on Indian Christians in 2008. . The communal violent forces have selected attacking not only religious community but also targeting to Dalits and tribes for example, Tribal Christians of the Dang district of Gujarat, Jhabua of Madhya Pradesh, and Kandhamal of Orissa are major victims of the organized. The episode of black Christmas in the Kandhamal district of Orissa in 2007 and the ongoing attack in different parts of the country are the latest signposts of the attack on Indian secularism and democracy. In black Christmas, the media reported nine Christians killed, over 90 churches and Christian institutions and over 700 Christian homes burnt and over 7000 lives affected. The economic system of tribal Christians was destroyed to ashes.The ongoing and uncontrolled communal violence on Christians has left over 30 deaths, over 100 churches, 300 Christian villages, 4000 Christian homes burnt down and 50000 Dalit Christians made refugees in forest.

These fundamentalist or as commonly been called neofascist tactics often go untold and unreported. No political party and very few human rights agencies have tried to identify these signposts of attacking Indian secularism and democracy. What can be said about the steps that should be taken to stop the rise of communalism and the attacks on Indian secularism and democracy? The legislators are introducing bills to curb the force, fraud and fraudulent conversion while saffron sponsored force (re)conversion is never considered as crime. To conclude, The preamble of the Indian Constitution, which guarantees the fundamental rights of every Indian citizen, will be under threat, if the rise of communalism and attacks on Indian secularism and democracy are left uncontrolled. Time is now for experts to monitor and identify the signpost. It may be submitted that it is beyond the scope of this paper to outline the implications of the conceptual failings of secularism in India; nonetheless we must attempt to raise issues and questions for continuing study of the problem. Clearly the judiciary in India is a significant site where contests under the banner of secularism have been taking place over the last fifty and odd year. Though the judiciary is trying to strike the balance in a harmonious way but the people of India should not forget the dream of framers of the constitution and the ancient philosophy of Sarva Dharma Sambhavah ==================== ---------------------------* Resource Lecture delivered in a UGC Sponsored National Seminar on Secularism in India , organized by the Department of Political Science, Jijamata Mahavidyalaya, Buldana, (MS), September 25 th and 26th, 2009.