On Indian Secularism| Swagat Baruah

Although the 42nd Constitutional Amendment, through insertion of the word ‘secular’ in the Preamble of the Constitution asserted that India is a secular nation, the relationship between the state and religion has not yet been defined but only interpreted. A cloud of great confusion still lurks amidst the current debates on religious intolerance and secularism in India as to how the social milieu might interpret secularism. The Supreme Court has consistently taken up the task of defining secularism and has tried giving it a wide ambit of reasoning and interpretation, but this has also, in a fortuitous misfortune, created the great confusion that exists today. This observation raises the question, should the Supreme Court and the Parliament make efforts in defining Indian secularism or even the idea of it? The Constitution has laid down secularism as only a goal towards which all activities of the nation must approach, the silence on its connotation however remains long debated.

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