GS Paper I Mains 2019 Analysis
- What can France learn from the Indian Constitutions approach to secularism?
Mains Assignment Question
What can France learn from the Indian Constitution’s approach to secularism? (150 Words)
Subjects : Indian Society
Introduction: Define secularism
- Mention incidents which have created trouble in France
- Highlight the basic principles of Indian secularism
Conclusion: Show that for creating inclusive society, Indian Idea of secularism can help France.
Add your Answer below
Secularism is the principle of separation of the state from religious institutions. But various
interpretations of the principle across the world have led to multiple models of “Secularism”.
The secularism of France employs negative concept of secularism which has led to following issues:
• Ban on public display of religious symbols (like cross)
• Ban on religious dressing (Burkini, Turban)
• Absolute freedom of expression
o Lack of prohibition on the literature demeaning to a particular community. For
example: Charlie Hebdo
The above events highlight that France has not been able to accommodate the changing demography and public opinion because of influx of various cultures in recent times.
On the other hand, Indian secularism which is the positive concept of secularism, respects the sentiments of all religions and does not interfere with religious practices as far as they do not violate the principles enshrined in the constitution. For example: wearing of Turban by Sikh community is allowed while practicing untouchability has been abolished by constitution itself.
Hence in a society where religion remains an important anchor of personal identity, France needs to emulate Indian model of secularism by integrating religious identity with that of civic identity to make the society more inclusive.