Indian secularism: Adjective or necessity?

Padmanabhan, Abhinav, Raza, Mohd Rameez, Chouhan, Sameeksha, Nagar, Ada, Kashyap, Krishanu, Fernandes, Wynnona and Mohan, Deepanshu (2021) Indian secularism: Adjective or necessity? Conversations in Development Studies Journal, 3 (3). ISSN 2249-8045

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‘Secularism’ can be understood as a concept of separating religion from governance. In India’s constitutional history, this idea was advocated by Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, but it was not included in the final draft of the Indian Constitution. It was later added in the Preamble by Indira Gandhi, which separated religion from government; and was made the central idea for the functioning of the State. However, with the emergence of right-wing governments of late, the fate of ‘secularism’ as a key part of the Indian constitution has been challenged. The tale of India and Secularism is probably the most debated topic throughout the social and political history of independent India. With the nature of ethnic, linguistic, cultural, and religious differences in a country as diverse as India, it could be argued that it was important for the State to be neutral and promote equality and brotherhood. In this edition of the Conversations in Development Studies we have tried to understand the different schools of thought on the concept of ‘Secularism’; and explored the concept from perspectives of colonial history, jurisprudence, gender, social justice, economics, and development. Had the nation chosen a theocratic status, would it have been the Sword of Damocles? Would we have witnessed stagnation in social development, class diversification, gender equality, etc.?

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Secularism | Gender | Economics | Development | Equality
Subjects: Social Sciences and humanities > Economics, Econometrics and Finance > Economics
Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Development
JGU School/Centre: Jindal School of Liberal Arts & Humanities
Depositing User: Subhajit Bhattacharjee
Date Deposited: 17 Mar 2022 15:31
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2022 14:20
Official URL:
Additional Information: CIDS (Conversations in Development Studies) is a peer-reviewed, quarterly research journal publication produced by the research team of Centre for New Economics Studies, Jindal School of Liberal Arts and Humanities, O.P. Jindal Global University. This student-led editorial journal features solicited research commentaries (between 2500-3000 words) from scholars currently working in the cross-sectional aspects of development studies. Each published CIDS Issue seeks to offer a comprehensive analysis on a specific theme identified within development scholarship.


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