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21 Apr, 2016

Is India a secular nation? | The Indian Express

by Madhav Godbole

It is my conviction that India’s survival as a multireligious, multilingual, multiracial, multicultural society will depend on how successful it is in working its secularism. No society can prosper or be at peace with itself if one-fourths of its population feels neglected, deprived and unwanted. It is disconcerting to see that, in recent times, serious questions are being raised about India’s secularism. It is for the first time since Independence that the Hindu rashtra ideology is being talked about so openly, defiantly and persistently. It is fortunate that the proposal of the Janata government contained in the Constitution (Forty-fourth Amendment) Bill, 1978, for effecting amendment of the Constitution by holding a referendum on certain important matters did not find acceptance in the Rajya Sabha. Otherwise, attempts would even have been made to rally public opinion in favour of doing away with the secular characteristics of the Constitution and I would not be surprised if, in the present polarised political atmosphere, it would have found a majority support. The Supreme Court itself has expressed apprehensions in this regard: “India till now is a secular country… we do not know for how long it will remain a secular country.”

Source: Is India a secular nation? | The Indian Express