Pluralism and Secularism in India: Sustainability and Challenges of Pluralism in a Democratic Set-Up

  • Tanya Mayal
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  • Tanya Mayal

    Student at Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Punjab, India

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In a heterogenous, contemporary society like India, secularism and pluralism are indispensable elements for the smooth interaction and functioning of its organs. Secularism, though loosely understood to be the (non)regulation of religion, is tough to define as it is used to refer to several ideals relating to the same. If no single tradition is represented, no one is excluded – this is the ideology vouched for by our democratic set-up, and is incontrovertibly the most apt, considering the diversity of religious belief-systems prevalent in the sub-continent, and despite this diversity, the State chooses to represent none, stand for none, promote none and think of none as over and above the other, thereby fulfilling its secular vision. This endeavour is a fundamental step towards ensuring religious blindness, which is demonstrative of what is known as the largest democracy in the world. Not only to ensure a peaceful co-existence, but in order to see this diversity as a strength, is quintessential for the success of a democracy. A pluralist democracy, allowing the masses the freedom of association, is a necessary condition for the democratic culture to flow. Various aspects of this culture, such as the arts, press and media work constructively towards building this legacy of pluralistic thought and critical argument. Understanding that secularism and pluralism are compatible and striving to honour both of them simultaneously, needless to say, goes a long way to uphold social justice. Our Constitution has struck a balance between the two which allows an individual to profess a particular religious faith or belief. India, for the longest time has continued to be a standing example of this ideal of tolerance and pluralism, and, despite repeated assaults on its faith, has managed to bounce back and stand tall and proud as a pillar of unity – peacefully co-existing amidst secularism and pluralism.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 4, Issue 3, Page 2646 - 2653


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