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Secularism: An In-depth Exploration of a Vital Societal Concept

After 30 years of conflict in Europe, the word "secularisation" was first used in 1648. It alludes to the handing over of Church assets into the sole custody of the princes. Later in 1989, following the French Revolution, Tallerand informed the French National Assembly that all religious possessions were available for distribution throughout the country. Additionally, George Jack Holyoaked invented the word "Secularism" and organised a nationwide protest campaign in 1851. Progress has a secularisation component built into it. Secularisation has since kept a positive comfort, although being little more than a fragmenting and unfinished process.

According to Peter Bergeri, secularisation today is "the process by which portions of society and culture are freed from the dominance of religious institutions and symbols." The word "secular" can therefore be described as "worldly," simply having a connection to things relating to the current life, according to George Ostler's definition in the Oxford Dictionary of Current English. It is not ecclesiastical and is not found in monastic perspectives. It denotes "dissociation from religion or religious doctrine" when taken negatively.

According to. D.E Smith, a secular state is one that upholds both individual and corporate freedom of religion, treats every citizen equally, is not legally tied to any one religion, and neither seeks to advance nor obstruct it. It is a state that is unrelated to, unaffiliated with, and not committed to religion, according to V.P. Luthara. The secular state sees each person as a citizen, not as a follower of a certain religion. Religion ceases to be significant when defining citizenship; particular religious views have no bearing on a citizen's rights or obligations.

Religious freedom refers to the individual's unrestricted ability to weigh the relative claims of many religions, debate them with others, and make a conclusion without intervention from the government. This connection does not include the state. The state cannot force a person to practise a specific religion or impose its practises on him.

It is not permitted to compel someone to pay taxes in order to support their faith. Therefore, there are only a few instances in which a secular state may rightfully control how religion is expressed for reasons of morality, public safety, or public health.

A secular state protects individual freedom of conscience and freedom of association for religious reasons equally.All religious organisations have the freedom to plan and run their own religious affairs. Additionally, it can buy property. Additionally, it has the ability to create and run charitable and educational organisations.

Secularism in the Indian context means an equal status for all religions
On the question of secularism in India, several academics have varying opinions. Some favoured the implementation of secularism in India. According to others, it will be doomed because of the very religious nature of Indian society. For a multiethnic, multireligious community like India, it may thus be said that.

To solve the issues plaguing society, a parameter must be planned and chosen. The issue of sacrificing human rights in the name of religious freedom needs to be resolved. However, how the rights of divorced women were compromised in the Shah Bano case in 1986 under the guise of personal law calls for reforms from within the community, and how various Hindu customs have been taken out of context.

However, these two images need to be examined because they show how, in the Shah Bano case in 1986, the rights of divorced women were compromised in the name of personal law, which requires changes from within the community, and how certain Hindu rituals were taken into consideration and outlawed.

There is a need to examine various activities from the perspective of a fair and secular state, where the rights of the person must come first and their life must be prioritised. Rajeev Bhargava described the collection of vague and conflicting clauses in the Indian constitution governing religion-state interactions as "political secularism" or "contextual secularism," respectively.

[Bibliography: Secularism and Religious Freedom in India: An Overview
Anas Jameel, Research Scholar (Human Rights) Department of Political Science AMU, Aligarh ]

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