A Comparative Perspective on Legal Framework and Practices relating to Secularism in France and India

  • G. Vaishnav Kumar
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  • G. Vaishnav Kumar

    Assistant Professor at Pendekanti Law College, Affiliated to Osmania University, Chikkadpally, Hyderabad, India

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This research paper aims to provide a comparative analysis of the legal frameworks and practices concerning secularism in France and India. Secularism, as a concept, plays a crucial role in shaping the relationship between the state and religion, safeguarding individual liberties, and maintaining social harmony. France and India, both diverse democracies with rich histories, have adopted distinct approaches to secularism, reflecting their unique social, cultural, and historical contexts. Through an examination of constitutional provisions, legislation, court judgments, and societal practices, this study delves into the key similarities and differences in the legal frameworks of secularism in France and India. The paper explores how each country's legal system has sought to establish a secular state while ensuring the protection of religious freedom and addressing the challenges posed by religious diversity. Furthermore, this research investigates the practical implementation of secularism in both countries, analyzing case studies and recent controversies. It explores areas such as state neutrality, religious symbols in public spaces, education, and the relationship between the state and religious institutions. The findings of this study reveal that while France adopts a strict interpretation of secularism, known as "laïcité," with a focus on the separation of religion and state, India embraces a more inclusive and accommodative approach, known as "sarva dharma sambhava," emphasizing respect for all religions. These divergent approaches lead to contrasting legal frameworks and practices, resulting in varying degrees of state intervention in religious matters. The comparative analysis sheds light on the strengths and weaknesses of each approach, addressing the impact on individual freedoms, religious minority rights, and social cohesion. Moreover, it explores the influence of historical, political, and cultural factors in shaping secularism in each country. By critically examining the legal frameworks and practices relating to secularism in France and India, this research paper contributes to a deeper understanding of the challenges and complexities involved in balancing state neutrality and religious freedom in diverse societies. The findings can inform policy discussions and debates on secularism, both within the two countries and in other contexts grappling with similar issues.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 6, Issue 3, Page 710 - 726

DOI: https://doij.org/10.10000/IJLMH.114922

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