Separating Religion and Politics?

Sunil Khilnani, Vikram Raghavan and Arun K. Thiruvengadam

in Comparative Constitutionalism in South Asia

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780198081760
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199082360 | DOI:
Separating Religion and Politics?

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This chapter investigates Bhutan's constitutional history up to the 2008 Constitution. It specifically reflects on the relationship between Buddhism, the new Constitution, and the avowed secular nature of the contemporary Bhutanese State. It then explores the preparation and enactment of the first written constitution, and the transformation of the role of the Central Monk Body. The Monk Body contains the Central Monastic Body and the District Monastic Bodies. A major transformation in the link between the monastic body and the State has been the highlight of the 2008 Constitution. The author observes that the Bhutanese State has transformed the political landscape without developing divisions within its heterogeneous population. The role of the Monk Body in Bhutan is undergoing a radical shift. The author believes that Bhutan is still a starter democracy. With the high level of university-educated Bhutanese studying in India and, more recently, in Thailand, both India and Thailand may prove to be role models that the Bhutanese will look towards.

Keywords: Buddhism in Bhutan; 2008 Constitution; Bhutanese state; Central Monk Body; Bhutanese democracy; constitutional borrowing; Indian Constitutional model

Chapter.  10461 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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