Ronojoy Sen

in Articles of Faith

Published in print January 2010 | ISBN: 9780198063803
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080168 | DOI:

More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • Constitutional and Administrative Law


Show Summary Details


If the overall direction of India's court decisions on religion were to be assessed from 1951 to the present, some patterns are discernible. This has something to do with the personality of dominant judges, usually serving chief justices or judges who would become chief justices, as well as the prevailing political climate. The Supreme Court laid the foundation for a relationship between state and organized religion that gave considerable freedom to religious denominations. One of the main themes of this book is the strong current of high modernism and rationalism in the judicial discourse on religion. This comes out most powerfully in the Court's understanding of Hinduism, and its articulation and application of the doctrine of essential practices. Another important theme is the Court's attitude towards minorities and its understanding of minority rights, particularly in relation to Muslims. The Court has not been sufficiently sensitive to the fact that the threats posed to a civil liberal order in India and elsewhere are less from disputes over religious beliefs and more from the conjunction of nationalism and religion.

Keywords: India; Supreme Court; nationalism; religion; court decisions; judges; minority rights; Hinduism; Muslims; doctrine of essential practices

Chapter.  6446 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.