Difference Between Secularism And Secularism

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'ESSENTIAL RELIGIOUS FUNCTIONS TEST' - JUDICIAL TRANSGRESSION OR SOCIAL JUSTICE? INTRODUCTION In India, the concepts of religion, the welfare state and secularism all interject forming a very interesting amalgamation worth observing. While there are around six valid marriage laws in India, property laws are different for Hindus and Muslims. The concept of the Hindu joint family assumes so much importance that it is interwoven into many laws. The government has a Haj subsidy fund worth Rs. 632 crores and also utilizes around Rs.500 crores to organize the Hindu Kumbh Mela in Uttarakhand (Alam, The Idea of Secularism and the Supreme Court of India, 2009). The Constitution itself recognizes religious texts as sources of law. Considering the unique…show more content…
While framing the Constitution, two questions to be considered were whether the constitution need concern itself with any religion, or was it to embrace the fact that the Indian culture had "deeply religious moorings" (Sen, 2007). Nehru in dealing with this question observed that secularism in India was not to be too dismissive of religion nor was it to embrace religion in its entirety. He stated "A secular state doesn't mean an irreligious state. It only means that we respect and honor all religions giving them freedom to function." He went on to explain that all religions would have free play as long as they didn't interfere with other religions or with the basic foundations of the state (Sen,…show more content…
In S. R. Bommai vs. Union of India, the Court upheld the presidential proclamation dismissing the Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh state governments in light of the Babri Masjid incident (1994) 3 SCC 1). The Court described Secularism as a basic feature of the constitution and stated that when states act in contrary to this constitutional mandate, it would be deemed to be a failure of constitutional machinery warranting their dismissal under Article 356 (Alam, 2009). But these principles were grossly neglected later on in the Hinduvta judgments where, the Court upheld the election of Manohar Joshi stating that ""Hindu”, “Hinduism” and “Hindutva” interchangeably are not amenable to any precise definition and no meaning in the abstract would confine the term “Hindutva” to the narrow limits of religion alone. (Manohar Joshi vs Nitin Bhurao Patil & Anr. 1996 (1) SCC 169)" The above two judgments summarize the subjective role that the Indian Court plays in interpreting

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