Chapter

The Crisis of Indian Secularism

T. N. Madan

in Modern Myths, Locked Minds

Second edition

Published in print January 2010 | ISBN: 9780198065104
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080182 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198065104.003.0008
The Crisis of Indian Secularism

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This chapter explores the nature of secularism in India and discusses the difficulties into which it has run. Three basic assumptions are considered. First, secularism as an anti-religious or non-religious ideology has universal applicability, but has culturally specific expressions. Second, secularism will be welcomed by all right-thinking persons, for it shows the way to the making of rational plans for social reconstruction and state action, placing ultimate faith in the adequacy of human agency. Finally, with appropriate corrective measures, ideological secularism can still be made to succeed in India, notwithstanding all the faltering of the last fifty years. This chapter also considers Mahatma Gandhi's views on secularism as a backdrop for a discussion of Jawaharlal Nehru's ideology of secularism and his views on religion and politics, secularism and the constitution, and the majority–minority conundrum.

Keywords: India; secularism; Mahatma Gandhi; Jawaharlal Nehru; religion; politics; constitution; majority–minority conundrum

Chapter.  13729 words. 

Subjects: Sociology of Religion

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