India’s Secular Stand

“United we stand, divided we fall” is the phrase India stands by, hence its constitution has declared India a secular state. What is a secular state? A secular state is a country whose stand is neutral in matters of religion. Although, majority of India’s population practices Hinduism (79.8%), still it does not call itself a Hindu nation.

India takes pride in being a secular country as it has been the birthplace of the world’s four major religions – Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism. Although Islam and Christianity came to India from the west, they still have the second and third highest followers respectively. This shows how liberal the country is in respect with allowing people to practice different faiths. Children from a very young age are taught about different religions and beliefs. Schools, colleges and government offices are closed on all major religious holidays, so as to show respect to the followers of different religious communities and their own alike. These holidays also create awareness about the religion, and its significance amongst the people of other religions.

Dr. Manmohan Singh, 13th Prime Minister of India
Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, 11th President of India

There have a been instances of communal violence in the past, but over the years’ people have become very tolerant towards other religious communities. This can be proven by the fact that back in 2004, the President of India, Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam was a Muslim and the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, was a Sikh. Both belonged to the minority communities, but were still elected democratically as the Head of State and Head of Government respectively. India believes that its diversity is its strength, and does not support extremism in any form.

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