Understanding Secularism NCERT Class VIII Civics – Social and Political life Extra Questions
What is religion?
Religion is the personal beliefs and practices relating to the divine. It is also people’s beliefs and opinions concerning the existence, nature, and worship of the divine.
Name the major religions practiced all over the world.
Buddhism; Christianity; Hinduism; Islam and Judaism are the major religions practiced all over the world.
What is secularism?
Secularism is the belief that no one should be discriminated on the basis of the religion he or she practises. Every citizen, irrespective of which religion he or she follows, is equal in the eyes of the laws and policies that govern the Nation.
State the 4th point of the Fundamental Rights of the Indian constitution.
The 4th point of the ‘Fundamental Rights’ is …
Right to Freedom of Religion
‘Every person has the right to practise, profess and propagate the religion of their choice’.
Secularism is separating religion from the power of the state. Discuss why it is vital to separate the power of the state from religious practices.
Secularism is very essential for the smooth functioning of a democratic country. In today’s world people go to other countries to work or do business. So you will find that people of different religions live in the same locality.
In the event of people of different religions living together in the same locality there is a possibility that people belonging to one particular religion being in the majority. If this majority has access to State power, there is likelihood that it will use it to discriminate and dominate the minority group which practices another religion.
In a secular democratic country any form of domination or tyranny, based on religion is in violation of the rights that a democratic society guarantees to each and every citizen irrespective of their religion.
Therefore it is important not to allow any one religion, even though it may be the majority, to violate the fundamental rights of all citizens. If this right has to be maintained it is vital to separate the power of the state from religious practices.
What are the other reasons for separating the power of the State from religion?
People should have the freedom to leave the religion they have been practicing and join another religion. They should also have the freedom to interpret religious teachings differently. It is for these reasons that it is important to separate the power of the state from religion.
What do you understand from the statement ‘freedom to interpret religious teachings differently’ in context with the practice of untouchability?
Untouchability refers to the social practice of excluding a minority group (untouchables) by regarding them as “ritually polluted” and segregating them from the mainstream by social custom.
According to the Indian constitution every one has the freedom to interpret religious teachings in their own way. Similarly the Dalits who are called untouchables have the freedom to interpret religion in their own way. The Indian constitution has abolished ‘Untouchability’.
What are the objectives of the Indian constitution that advocates secularism?
The objectives of the Indian constitution that advocates secularism are…
One religious community should not dominate another.
Some members of a religious community should not dominate other members of the same religious community.
The State should not enforce any particular religion nor take away the religious freedom of individuals.
What are the strategies followed by the Indian government to establish secularism?
The strategies followed by the Indian government to establish secularism are…
Strategy of distancing itself from religion
Strategy of non-interference
Strategy of intervention
State Article: 17 in the Right to Equality, in the Indian constitution.
Article 17 in the Right to Equality is related to the ‘Abolition of Untouchability.’
“Untouchability” is abolished and its practice in any form is forbidden. The enforcement of any disability rising out of “Untouchability” shall be an offence punishable in accordance with law.”
Mention a few points in the US constitution related to secularism.
According to the U.S. Constitution the legislature cannot declare any religion as the official religion. The legislature cannot give preference to one religion and neither the State nor religion can interfere in the affairs of one another.