Study Material and Notes of Ch 2 Understanding Secularism Class 8th Civics

Topics in the Chapter

• What is Secularism?
• What is Indian Secularism?
• How Indian secularism different from that of other democratic countries?

What is Secularism?

• Secularism refers to this separation of religion from the State.

Why is it Important to Separate Religion from the State?

• The separation of religion from State power is important for a country to function democratically.

• Almost all countries of the world will have more than one religious group living in them.
→ If majority religious group has access to State power, then they misuse their power to other

• Also, we need to protect the freedom of individuals to preach the religion of their choice.

What is Indian Secularism?

• According to the Constitution, a secular state must ensure:
→  that one religious community does not dominate another
→ that some members do not dominate other members of the same religious community
→ that the State does not enforce any particular religion nor take away the religious freedom of individuals.

• The Indian State is not ruled by a religious group and nor does it support any one religion.

• In India, government spaces like law courts, police stations, government schools and offices are not supposed to display or promote any one religion.

• In order to respect the sentiments of all religions and not interfere with religious practices, the State makes certain exceptions for particular religious communities. For example: a sikh while riding bike can wear pugri (turban) instead of helmet.

• Indian secularism prevents the domination of majority over minority is through a strategy of intervention. For example: Untouchability was religion-based exclusion and discrimination of ‘lower castes’ in Hindu so the Indian Constitution bans untouchability.

How Indian secularism different from that of other democratic countries?

• The strict separation between religion and the State in American secularism, while in Indian secularism the State can intervene in religious affairs.

• The Indian Constitution guarantees Fundamental Rights that are based on these secular principles.

NCERT Solutions of Chapter 2 Understanding Secularism

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