Your secularism ends where my nose begins

Saubhik Chakrabarti in The Indian Express

“India’s secular state doesn’t define itself by proclaiming that the state doesn’t care about religion. State secularism in India means the State respects all religions equally, that the State will not play favourites between religions. The State will only act, or at any rate is supposed to act, when social practices flowing from religion grossly contradict modernist precepts.

“That’s why caste, a key organising principle of Hindu society, was not legitimised by the Constitution. That’s why the continuing conflict between legal principles and Muslim personal law on issues like divorce and alimony. That’s why the Sethusamudram project can’t be stopped on grounds cited by the writ petitions at the Supreme Court. But the State in India is not in the business of interrogating faith per se…

“Because secularism in India means “respect” for religious belief. One religion can’t target another. But no religion should ideally be targeted, not even by those driven by the spirit of non-partisan, rational inquiry.”

Read the full piece: God and us

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