Religion, Communalism and Politics
Social division based on religion is not as universal as gender, but vastly widespread. Religion and politics though need to be kept away from each other, yet there is a close relationship between the two.
Communal politics begin when the idea of nation is based on religion and religion becomes the basis of social community.
Communalism takes different forms in politics. Political mobilisations take the religious form and may cause communal violence.
India is a Secular State
Communalism is a major challenge to our democracy. The constitution framers had visualised this and have created a secular state. Some of the provisions in the constitution have been presented below.
- There is no official religion for the Indian state.
- The Constitution provides to all individuals and communities freedom to profess, practice and propagate any religion or not to follow any.
- The Constitution prohibits discrimination on grounds of religion.
- At the same time, the Constitution allows the state to intervene in the matters of religion in order to ensure equality within religious communities. For instance, abolition of untouchability.