Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures

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Secularism: India
(588 words)

In India secularism has never been based on the idea of a wall of separation. Since independence in 1947, almost all discussions of secularism have been based on the idea of equal respect for all religions, a concept propounded by Mahatma Gandhi. This approach to secularism requires an equal respect for all religions within both the public and private spheres.

The meaning given to this concept of secularism depends in large part on the meaning given to equality. If equality is understood in a formal sense – treating likes alike – then secularism will ins…

Cite this page
Kapur, Ratna, “Secularism: India”, in: Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures, General Editor Suad Joseph. Consulted online on 25 February 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1872-5309_ewic_EWICCOM_0144b>
First published online: 2009

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