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    Freedom of religion in India

    Freedom of religion in India

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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    Freedom of religion in India is a fundamental right guaranteed by Article 25-28 of the Constitution of India.[1] Modern India came into existence in 1947 and the Indian constitution's preamble was amended in 1976 to state that India is a secular state.[2] Supreme Court of India ruled that India was already a secular state from the time it adopted its constitution, what actually was done through this amendment is to state explicitly what was earlier contained implicitly under article 25 to 28.[3] Every citizen of India has a right to practice and promote their religion peacefully. However, there have been numerous incidents of religious intolerance that resulted in riots and violence, notably, the 1984 Anti-Sikh Massacre in Delhi, 1990 Exodus of Kashmiri Hindus from Kashmir and Punjab, 2002 Anti-Muslim Gujarat Riots and the 2008 Anti-Christian riots in Odisha. Some perpetrators of the 1984 Anti-Sikh Massacre in Delhi have not been brought to justice despite widespread condemnation.[4][5][6][7]

    Religion in India (2011 census)[8]

    Hinduism (79.80%) Islam (14.23%)

    Christianity (2.30%)

    Sikhism (1.72%) Buddhism (0.70%) Jainism (0.37%) others (0.90%)

    India is one of the most diverse nations in terms of religion, it being the birthplace of four major world religions: Jainism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism. Even though Hindus form 80 percent of the population, India also has region-specific religious practices: for instance, Jammu and Kashmir has a Muslim majority, Punjab has a Sikh majority, Nagaland, Meghalaya and Mizoram have Christian majorities and the Indian Himalayan States such as Sikkim and Ladakh, Arunachal Pradesh and the state of Maharashtra and the Darjeeling District of West Bengal have large concentrations of Buddhist population. The country has significant Muslim, Sikh, Christian, Buddhist, Jain and Zoroastrian populations. Islam is the largest minority religion in India, and the Indian Muslims form the third largest Muslim population in the world, accounting for over 14 percent of the nation's population.

    Rajni Kothari, founder of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies has written, "India is a country built on the foundations of a civilisation that is fundamentally tolerant."[9]


    1 History

    1.1 Tradition of religious freedom

    1.2 Refuge from religious persecution

    1.3 Conversion history

    1.4 BJP government

    2 Laws and Indian Constitution

    2.1 Post-independence state laws

    2.2 Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act of 1968

    2.3 Orissa Freedom of Religions Act of 1967

    2.4 Arunachal Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act of 1978

    2.5 Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Forcible Conversion of Religion Bill 2002

    2.6 Gujarat Freedom of Religion Act 2003

    2.7 Himachal Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act 2006

    2.8 Uttar Pradesh Unlawful Conversion Prohibition Ordinance, 2020

    2.9 Karnataka 3 Further reading 4 References 5 External links


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    Tradition of religious freedom[edit]

    The plural nature of Indian society in the 3rd century BC was encapsulated in an inscription of Ashoka:

    King Priyadarshi (Ashoka) dear to the Gods, honours all sects, the ascetics (hermits) or those who dwell at home, he honours them with charity and in other ways. But the King, dear to the Gods, attributes less importance to this charity and these honours than to the vow of seeing the reign of virtues, which constitutes the essential part of them. For all these virtues there is a common source, modesty of speech. That is to say, One must not exalt one’s creed discrediting all others, nor must one degrade these others Without legitimate reasons. One must, on the contrary, render to other creeds the honour befitting them.

    Emperor Kharvela (born in the family of Rajarshi Vasu) declares himself in his inscription (approximately 2nd century BCE):[10]

    sava pasa-nd-a-puujako, sava devaayatan-sanskaarako

    I am worshipper of all sects, restorer of all shrines.

    Kharvela's self-description must be contrasted with other rulers around the world, who took pride in calling themselves "but-shikan" or "defender of the (only true) faith".

    Badayuni in his Muntakhab-ut-Tawáríkh reports that the Mughal Emperor Akbar, who had established the Din-i-Ilahi faith, decreed the following in AH 1000 (1551–1552 CE):

    Hindus who, when young, had from pressure become Musalmans, were allowed to go back to the faith of their fathers. No man should be interfered with on account of his religion, and every one should be allowed to change his religion, if he liked. ...People should not be molested, if they wished to build churches and prayer rooms, or idol temples, or fire temples.

    The Sikh Gurus built freedom of religion in their faith to such an extent that while being a persecuted minority themselves under many Mughal rulers like Aurangzeb, Sikhs felt obliged to fight for the religious freedom of others. The sixth Guru of Sikhs, Guru Hargobind, even had a mosque built for his Muslim disciples, instead of putting them under any pressure to adopt the Sikh faith.[11] The tradition of religious freedom continued under Sikh Empire, and other Sikh Principalities where Sikh rulers commissioned several Gurdwaras, Temples and Mosques for their subjects of various faiths.

    स्रोत : en.wikipedia.org

    Right to Freedom of Religion [Articles 25

    Right to Freedom of Religion - Fundamental Rights guaranteed under Article 25 to Article 28 of the Indian Constitution. This includes Freedom of Conscience, to manage religious affairs, etc.

    The Right to Freedom of Religion is guaranteed to all Indians by the Constitution under Articles 25 to 28. This topic, which is intertwined with the concept of secularism is very important for the UPSC exam. In this article, you can read all about these rights.

    Right to Freedom of Religion

    The Constitution of India guarantees the right to freedom of religion to not only individuals but also religious groups in India. This is enshrined in Articles 25 to 28.

    Read about Fundamental Rights here.

    Article 25 (Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice, and propagation of religion)

    Article 25 guarantees the freedom of conscience, the freedom to profess, practice, and propagate religion to all citizens.

    The above-mentioned freedoms are subject to public order, health, and morality.

    This article also gives a provision that the State can make laws:

    That regulates and restricts any financial, economic, political, or other secular activity associated with any religious practice.

    That provides for the social welfare and reform or opening up of Hindu religious institutions of a public character to all sections and classes of Hindus. Under this provision, Hindus are construed as including the people professing the Sikh, Jain, or Buddhist religions, and Hindu institutions shall also be construed accordingly.

    People of the Sikh faith wearing & carrying the shall be considered as included in the profession of the Sikh religion.

    Article 26 (Freedom to manage religious affairs)

    This Article provides that every religious denomination has the following rights, subject to morality, health, and public order.

    The right to form and maintain institutions for religious and charitable intents.

    The right to manage its own affairs in the matter of religion.

    The right to acquire the immovable and movable property.

    The right to administer such property according to the law.

    Article 27 (Freedom as to payment of taxes for promotion of any particular religion)

    According to Article 27 of the Constitution, there can be no taxes, the proceeds of which are directly used for the promotion and/or maintenance of any particular religion/religious denomination.

    Article 28 (Freedom as to attendance at religious instruction or religious worship in certain educational institutions)

    This article permits educational institutions that are maintained by religious groups to disseminate religious instruction.

    This provides that no religious instruction shall be provided in State-run educational institutions.

    Educational institutions administered by the State but that were established under any endowment or trust which requires that religious instruction shall be imparted in such institutions are exempt from the above clause (that no religious instruction shall be provided).

    Any person who attends any educational institution recognized by the State or receiving State aid shall not be required to participate in any religious instruction that may be imparted in such institution, or also attend any religious worship in such institutions unless he/she has given consent for the same. In the case of minors, the guardians should have given consent for the same.

    What is Secularism?

    The word ‘secularism’ means separate from religion.

    It entails the separation of religion from the government, social, economic, and cultural aspects of life.

    Here religion is an entirely personal matter.

    India is a secular country with no state religion.

    However, this in India, also means that there is equal respect for all religions and faiths.

    The word is also a part of the Basic Structure of the Constitution. It was added by the 42nd Amendment to the Constitution.

    This concept enjoys high regard in Indian democracy.

    Secularism has also been an inalienable part of Indian culture as seen by the multitude of faiths that have co-existed in this country for centuries.

    All religious groups in India have the same powers without any discrimination.

    Indian and Western Models of Secularism

    The term secularism, as explained above, indicates the separation of the State from religion. This concept, however, has slightly differing connotations in the Indian and the western polity. This is discussed below.

    In the Western model, secularism connotates complete separation of the State from the Church. This owes its origin to the French Revolution where the revolution sought to establish a ‘secular’ government, one which did not influence the church or the clergy.

    Both the institutions (church and government) would not interfere in each other’s domains.

    In India, however, the State and religion are not water-tight compartments.

    Even though the State has to maintain equal distance from all religions, the influence of the government does extend to religious affairs, albeit in a limited fashion.

    Unlike the western model, where the State does not offer financial support to any religious institution, in India, the State has chosen a positive engagement model.

    The state provides religious minorities the right to establish their educational institutions, and in some cases, also extends assistance to these institutions.

    Many Hindu temples are directly governed by the State.

    The State has set up Boards for the administration of large temples and has also set up the Waqf Board, etc.

    स्रोत : byjus.com

    Right to Freedom of Religion: Articles 25

    Know: Freedom of Religion in India (Art. 25), Freedom to manage religious affairs (Art. 26), Freedom from taxes for promotion of any particular religion and

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    Right to Freedom of Religion: Articles 25-28 of the Indian Constitution

    By Diva Rai - January 21, 2020 59025 0 Facebook Twitter Pinterest WhatsApp

    Image source: https://bit.ly/30AWmBI

    Table of Contents


    “” -Dalai Lama

    Religion is a matter of belief or faith. The constitution of India recognizes the fact, how important religion is in the life of people of India and hence, provides for the right to freedom of religion under Articles 25 to Article 28. The Constitution of India envisages a secular model and provides that every person has the right and freedom to choose and practice his or her religion. In a number of cases, the Apex Court has held that secularism is the basic structure of the Constitution, the most important being the case. People in India mainly practice Islam, Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism and, Christianity. In India, there are religion-specific laws and Goa is the only state to have a Uniform Civil Code known as the Goa Civil Code. The Constitution supports religious harmony which means the people of India show love and affection to different religions of the country.

    What is Secularism?

    Secularism means developing, understanding and respect for different religions. It is believed that the word ‘Secularism’ has its origin in late medieval Europe. In 1948, during the constituent assembly debate, a demand was made by the KT Shah to include the word ‘Secular’ in the Preamble to the Constitution. The members of the assembly though agreed to the secular nature of the constitution but it was not incorporated in the Preamble. Later, in 1976 the Indira Gandhi government enacted the 42nd Amendment Act and the word ‘Secular’ was added to the Preamble. The 42nd Amendment Act also known as the ‘Mini Constitution’, is the most comprehensive amendment to the Constitution.

    In the much-disputed it was held by the apex court that the constitution postulates equality of all faiths. Through Tolerance and mutual co-existence, the secular commitment of our country and its people can be nourished.

    S. R. Bommai v. Union of India, AIR 1994 SC 1918

    The 9 judge bench, in this case, ruled that Secularism is the basic feature of the Constitution of India. It also observed that religion and politics cannot be mixed together. If the State follows unsecular policies or courses of action then it acts contrary to the constitutional mandate. In a State, all are equal and should be treated equally. Religion has no place in the matters of State. Freedom of religion as a fundamental right is guaranteed to all persons in India but from the point of view of the State, religion, faith, and belief are immaterial.

    Constitutional Provisions relating to Right of Religion

    Article 25: Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion.

    Article 26: Freedom to manage religious affairs.

    Article 27: Freedom as to payment of taxes for promotion of any particular religion.

    Article 28: Freedom as to attendance at religious instruction or religious worship in certain educational institutions.

    Freedom of Religion in India (Art. 25)

    Article 25 of the Constitution guarantees freedom of religion to all persons in India. It provides that all persons in India, subject to public order, morality, health, and other provisions:

    Are equally entitled to freedom of conscience, and

    Have the right to freely profess, practice and propagate religion.

    It further provides that this article shall not affect any existing law and shall not prevent the state from making any law relating to:

    Regulation or restriction of any economic, financial, political, or any secular activity associated with religious practice.

    Providing social welfare and reform.

    Opening of Hindu religious institutions of public character for all the classes and sections of the Hindus.

    The Supreme Court in held that the test to determine the question in deciding what is an integral part of a religion is whether it is regarded as integral by the community following that religion or not.

    Doctrine or Belief?

    In the Bombay High Court held that Articles 25 and Article 26 not only prevents doctrines or beliefs of religion but also the acts done in pursuance of religion. It thus guarantees ceremonies, modes of worship, rituals, observances, etc which are an integral part of religion. What is the essential or integral part of a religion has to be determined in the light of the doctrines and practices that are regarded by the community as a part of their religion and also must be included in them.

    The Supreme Court in ruled that there is no doubt that religion finds its basis in the system of doctrines regarded by those who profess that religion, but it will not be correct to say religion is nothing but a doctrine or belief.

    स्रोत : blog.ipleaders.in

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