How the word 'Secular' came into the Constitution of India | Latest Current Affairs and General Knowledge

Saturday, November 30, 2019

How the word 'Secular' came into the Constitution of India

How the word 'Secular' came into the Constitution of India
How the word 'Secular' came into the Constitution of India

How the word 'Secular' came into the Constitution of India

There has always been a ruckus in Indian politics over the term secular or creed. Before knowing this, we need to know what it means for India to be secular or secular? 

According to the NCRT, being secular means that the citizens of India have complete freedom to follow any religion. But no religion is official. The government will give equal respect to all religious beliefs and practices.

When the Preamble to the Constitution of India was prepared, initially it did not contain the word, Secular. 

''The Preamble was amended during the Emergency in 1976, incorporating the word 'Secular'. ''

In the Preamble, all citizens have been given the right to freedom and equality of thought, expression, belief, religion and worship. 

''The 42nd amendment only clarified it by adding the word 'secular'.''

The other side believes that the addition of words like 'socialist', 'secular' and 'integrity' to the Preamble of the Constitution and the incorporation of fundamental duties in the Constitution is an example of a positive change. 

'Secularism' has been in controversies

The Vajpayee government also formed a committee in 1998 to review the constitution. Then it also protested that it was an attempt to influence the basic structure of the Constitution. 

There is an attempt to eliminate secularism and reservation. But the then Home Minister LK Advani, while referring to the Kesavananda Bharati case in a long article at that time, wrote that secularism is in the culture of India.

What is Keshavanand Bharti case:

The Kerala government enacted two laws regarding land reform. With the help of these laws, the Kerala government was in complete control of the monasteries operating in the state and was preparing to impose a number of sanctions on it. 

The government's move was sure to have an impact on the monasteries operating in Kerala. In such a situation, Keshavanand Bharti, the head of a Hindu monastery named Idnir of Kerala, reached the court to challenge the government. 

For this, he resorted to Article 26 of the Constitution. 

''According to Article 26, every citizen of India is empowered to make an institution for religious work, maintain it and add movable and immovable property.'' 

Kesavanand Bharti argued that the new land reform law introduced by the government was a violation of his constitutional right.

The case reached the Supreme Court, many political analysts believe that Kesavanand's fight was not only with the Kerala government but also with the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. 

A bench of 13 judges, headed by Chief Justice SM Sikri, heard the case. When the bench gave its verdict, seven judges pronounced their decision against the government. 

The court said in its judgment that the basic structure of the Constitution cannot be changed. The constitution of the country i.e. the infrastructure is at the top. 

The verdict ensured that there would be a rule of law and independence of the judiciary in the country. It is also known as 'Basic Structure Theory'.

It was only in 2015 that Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu said in his speech for the National Commission for Minorities that India is not secular just because it is in our Constitution. India is secular because secularism is in our 'DNA'.

But this will change in the coming times, there have been many changes in the constitution earlier too, now we are and we have come to change the constitution.

Disputes related to the 42nd amendment:

Those who do not support the 42nd Amendment believe that secularism is already contained by the 42nd Amendment by several sections of the Indian Constitution. 

Section 14 provides for the citizens to be uniform in the eyes of law. Section 15 prohibits discrimination on the basis of religion, caste, creed, sex and place of birth.

But many people feel that today, even after almost 70 years, 'secularism' is separating communities rather than connecting people of one community with the people of another community.

The biggest complaint of the majority in this is that most laws, restrictions are imposed on their religious beliefs and institutions. 

Apart from this, the implementation of the Uniform Civil Code, promotion of conversions among people living in tribal areas and protection of minority educational institutions are also included.

Important changes in the 42nd amendment:

- The words 'socialist' 'secular' and 'unity and integrity' were added to the Preamble of the Constitution.

- All Directive Principles ensured supremacy over fundamental rights.

- Ten fundamental duties were added to the constitution under this.

- Through this, the subjects of forest wealth, education, population-control etc. were reduced from the state list to the concurrent list.

-It determined that the President would act according to the advice of the Council of Ministers and its head, the Prime Minister.

It gave Parliament the authority to enact laws to deal with anti-national activities and establish supremacy.

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