Religious Fundamentalism and the Secular Credentials in India, A Critical Analysis
Abstract: India as a most popular secular democracy in the world is subjected to intense debate and discussion, especially in the present context of growing religious extremism and zealotry in the country. Fundamentalism and jingoism in any religion propagate animosity among its population and chaos in the socio-political structures of the country. In India, the peril of politics-religion nexus jeopardizes the secular credentials of the state and unmasks the myth of Indian secularism which virtually exudes from an illusion of peaceful co-existence of different religions and freedom of faith. The indivisible linkage between politics and religion in India bolster religious fundamentalism of certain sections which ravage the foundation of modern secularism. Thus the Indian secularism in modern times stands different from what the constitutional founding members of modern India were envisioning of. This paper would critically analyze the impact of religious fundamentalism on India’s social and political structures along with its changing equations with the estate machineries in the post- independence era. It would also seek to unearth certain possible propositions to make Indian secularism a reality rather than a myth.
Key Words: Secularism, Religion, Politics, State, Radicalism.
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