Top 10 Must Read Topics for IAS Mains GS Paper 1 | Western vs Indian Model of Secularism

Top 10 Must Read Topics for IAS Mains GS Paper 1 | Western vs Indian Model of Secularism

Top 10 Must Read Topics for IAS Mains GS Paper 1: IAS Mains GS Paper 1 consists of areas: History, Geography, Indian Culture & Heritage and Society. This paper gives you an advantage over other aspirants if you score well.

The problem is that no matter how good & knowledgeable we think we are or how good we feel we have prepared for the exam there is always a certain level of uncertainty. To overcome this fear, we will be sharing Top 10 Must Read Topics for IAS Mains GS Paper 1.


Top 10 Must Read Topics for IAS Mains GS Paper 1 | Topic 9

A secular state must be committed to principles and goals which are at least partly derived from non- religious sources.(i.e. means). These ends should include peace, religious freedom, and freedom from religiously grounded oppressions, discriminations and exclusions as also inter-religious and intra-religious equality.

What is Secularism?

Principle of the separation of government institutions and the persons mandated to represent the state from the religious institutions and religious dignitaries. Some characteristics ——-

  • It is devoid of both inter-religious domination and intra-religious domination.
  • It promotes freedom within religions and equality between as well as within religions.
Western model of secularism
We have read that there needs to be separation between political institutions and religion. Now what kind of separation. Separation means complete separation where state does not interfere in religious affairs at all this is western secularism. Or should state interfere in religion so as to remove evils in it. This is Indian secularism.
Features of Western model of secularism
  • State will not intervene in the affairs of religion. And religion will not intervene in the affairs of the state. Each have separate sphere of its own.
  • No public policy will be drafted on the basis of religion. And the state cannot aid any religious institution.
  • It cannot give any financial support to educational institutions run by religious communities. State don’t intervene in the affairs of religion till the time religion is working within the limits of the law.
For example: if a religion does not allow woman to become a priest , then the state can do little about it. If the religion does not allow some community to enter in its temple, then the state cannot do anything about it. State does not give community based rights or minority rights. This was because; most of the western societies was religiously homogenous except the presence of Jews. So they focused on individual freedom and equality and inter religious issues were neglected.
Indian model of secularism
Indian secularism is completely different from western secularism. Before we understand this, we need to remember that India is a religiously diverse country. The differences between indian and western secularism are Keeping our deep rooted diversity in mind, indian secularism focused on equality. It opposed the oppression of women and dalits within hinduism or indian islam or christianity.
Indian secularism deals not only with religious freedom of individuals but also with religious freedom of minority community. Within it, individual has right to profess religion of his/her choice. Religious communities have a right to exist and establish their own culture and educational institutions.

Difference between Indian and western secularism

  • In the west principle of mutual exclusion is followed, that is both state and religion are mutually exclusive in their sphere of operation,
  • whereas in Indian context, equal protection is given to all religions by the state and it doesn’t favor one religion over other and no religion is specified as state religion.
  • Indian secularism is fundamentally different from western secularism. It does not focus
    only on Church- State separation and the idea of inter-religious equality is crucial to the
    Indian conception.
  • Indian secularism took on a distinct from as a result of an interaction between what
    already existed in a society that had religious diversity and the ideas that came from the
    west. It resulted in equal focus on intra-religious and inter-religious domination.
  • Indian Secularism equally opposed oppression of dalits and women within Hinduism.
  • It also opposes the discrimination against women within Indian Islam or Christianity and the possible threats that a majority community might pose.

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Expected Question: What do you understand by Western and Indian model of Secularism. Discuss the difference between the two.

Over here we conclude our article on Top 10 Must Read Topics for IAS Mains GS Paper 1. Stay tuned with us for the rest of the topic that we will discuss day by day.

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