Unit-30 Context of Indian State

Unit-30 Context of Indian State - L N T 30 SECULARISM AND...

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LNT 30 SECULARISM AND THE COMMUNAL CHALLENGE Structure 30.0 Objectives 3 0.1 Introduction 30.2 Secularism: Meaning and Definition 3 0.3 The Indian Constitution and Secularism t30.4 Communal Challenge to Secularism 30,4.1 The Character of the National Movement 30.4.2 Electoral Politics and the Decline of Democratic Institutions 30.4.3 The Nature of Capitalist Development and character of the Indian Ruling Class 30.5 The Anti-Modernist Challenge to Secularism 30.6 What is the Way Out? 30.7 Lets Us Sum Up 30.8 Key Words 30.9 Some Useful Books 30.10 Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises 30.0 OBJTECTIVES Much of the recent political debate in India has been over the issue of secularism, from passionate defence of a secular way of life and politics, the arguments range all the way to a complete denouncement of secular ideals and politics. In a sense this debate is today at the heart of Indian politics. After going through this unit, you should be able to: Understand the meaning and historical significance of secularism; ldentify the challenges to secularism; and Formulate a strategy to cope with these threats. 30.1 INTRODUCTION Secularism, along with a commitment to the ideals of democracy, equality and freedom were some of the fundamental principles that inspired a large section of our people to fight against British colonialism. After independence, these values were enshrined in the Constitution, thus enjoining the state to uphold these principles. When we look at our society closely we notice a steady devaluation of these ideals, challenged as they are by various social, political and economic developments. For our heterogeneous society secularism is undoubtedly the most cherished principle. However, it is this that is being severely challenged by communal forces. The battle lines are clearly drawn between those who stand for a democratic society and those for whom democracy is dispensable. Secularism is a part of the commitment to democracy and hence worth defending and fighting for.
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Context of Indian State 30.2 SECULAVSM: MEANING AND DEFINITION We will begin this unit by attempting to understand the meaning of secularism. In the west, secularism was part of a whole range of new ideas and institutions that marked the end of the feudal order and the emergence of a sovereign modem nation-state with new forms of economic organisation. Its clearly western, and more specifically Christian orign, need not however limit its application to other cultures. Modem western secularism was the consequence of the search for a way out of religious wars (often between Christians of various persuasions) and the need to separate the domain of the state from that of the Church. Secularism has become essential for modem democratic nation-states to ensure a strong sense of identification with the polity based on a common sense of identity, where being a citizen takes precedence over all other identities like family, race, class and religion. The word secularism was coined by George Jacob Holyoake in the middle
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This note was uploaded on 03/13/2012 for the course IR 101 taught by Professor Harfancoofers during the Spring '12 term at Sunway University College.

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Unit-30 Context of Indian State - L N T 30 SECULARISM AND...

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