Yuva - India

Freedom of Religion in India


India is a secular-democratic country with no officially declared religion of its own. Therefore, the government cannot stop anyone from exercising the constitutionally given right to religious freedom, whether it is a question of living in a particular religion or leaving it, or a question of not believing in any religion. There is not a single law in the country that forces people to believe in some religion. The constitution gives a person the freedom to practice religious beliefs, propagate and implement them in Article 25.

In a country that has a long tradition of atheism in the largest religion – Hinduism – and in many other religions, today it has become difficult to explain in the same country that being religious can be as important to someone as it is to be irreligious. Being irreligious is also a matter of individual beliefs and authority in the same way as one’s political beliefs and authority.

Just as ordinary Indians are not objected to by different political beliefs of people, similarly, why should religious beliefs also be questioned, unless it is legally proved that it requires Greed or fear have been resorted to.

Why are religious beliefs considered rigid? And why is there an uproar when they are changed, but everyone has complete freedom to mock political beliefs. Leaders change parties with four types of political beliefs four times a day, while in a democracy such antics should be taken very seriously and those who change their political faith like clothes due to their political convenience or ambition, they and their families should be denied the right to do politics.

On the contrary, in the matter of changing religious beliefs, even the poorest of the poor man takes a lot of thinking and steps because it involves many family-social behaviors, sometimes it is associated with his identity. Whereas in the case of political beliefs, there is no such crisis. But violence is perpetrated even if there is a slight injury or no injury to blind religious beliefs. It seems difficult even today to explain that a religious person like Gandhi can be a Hindu, whose priority is to stop the Hindu-Muslim riots after getting independence. However, the same Gandhi became the target of bullets of a Hindu fundamentalist and those who rejoiced called it ‘Gandhi slaughter’.

Saakshi Mayank

Intern, Goa Chronicle
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