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What Are the Different Senses in Which ‘Secularism’ Has Been Understood in India? - Sociology

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What are the different senses in which ‘secularism’ has been understood in India?

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  1. The Indian meanings of secular and secularism imply that state does not favour any religion. This implies equal respect for all religions rather than separation or distancing.
  2. In the western context, secularism implies the separation of church and state. This implies the progressive retreat of religion from public life, as it was converted from a mandatory obligation to a voluntary personal practice.
  3. Secularization was related to the arrival of modernity and the rise of science and rationality as alternatives to religious ways of understanding the world.
  4. One difficult issue that arises from this is the tension between the western sense of state maintaining distance from religion and the Indian sense of the state giving equal respect to all religions.
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NCERT Class 12 Sociology - Indian Society
Chapter 6 The Challenges of Cultural Diversity
Exercise | Q 9 | Page 139
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