Q1. What has been done by the government to prevent religious-based exclusion and discrimination of lower castes?
The government has done the following:
- The Indian Constitution bans untouchability.
- The State also intervenes in religion-based personal laws of communities when required.
Q2. Why is it important that government schools do not promote any one religion?
It is important that government schools do not promote any one religion because if the government itself does not follow the rules in the Constitution, a normal citizen will also not understand the importance of following it. Also, it results in the discrimination between the students belonging to different religious backgrounds.
Q3. How is Indian Secularism different from the dominant understanding of secularism as practised in the United States of America?
One way in which Indian secularism differs from the dominant understanding of secularism as practised in the United States of America is that there is a strict separation between religion and the State in American secularism. However, in Indian secularism, the State can intervene in religious affairs.
For example, the Indian Constitution intervened in Hindu religious practices in order to abolish untouchability.
Q4. What provision has been made by the government to follow religious equality in schools?
The provisions made by the government are
- Government spaces such as law courts, police stations, government schools and offices are not allowed to display or promote any one religion.
- Government schools are prohibited from promoting any one religion either in their morning prayers or through religious celebrations
Q5. Why is it important to separate religion from the state?
It is important to separate religion from the state
- So that the country can function democratically.
- So as to protect the freedom of individuals to exit from their religion and embrace another religion or to have the freedom to interpret religious teachings differently.
Q6. State the various ways in which the Indian State prevents religious domination.
The various ways in which the Indian State prevents religious domination are
- It distances itself from religion.
- It uses the strategy of non-interference.
- It uses the strategy of intervention
Q7. What is Secularism?
Secularism means allowing individuals the freedom to live by their religious beliefs and practices. To provide religious freedom, India adopted a strategy of separating the power of religion and the power of the State.
Q8. What do you mean by freedom to interpret?
Freedom to interpret means having independence to understand things in our own way. It refers to peoples’ liberty to develop their own understanding and meaning of the religion they practice.
Q9. How does the Indian Constitution ensure its objectives of a secular state?
The Indian Constitution ensures its objectives of a secular state in the following manner:
- One religious community does not dominate another.
- Some members do not dominate other members of the same religious community.
- The State does not enforce any particular religion or take away the religious freedom of individuals
Q10. What religious law was passed by the French government for students? What was its result?
In February 2004, France passed a law banning students from wearing any conspicuous religious or political signs or symbols such as the Islamic headscarf, the Jewish skullcap or large Christian crosses.
Result: The law encountered a lot of resistance from immigrants who were mainly from the former French colonies of Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco.