Daily Mains Answer Writing - PrayaasPrayaas – February 2019Prayaas – February 2019 – Week 5

Daily Answer Writing for IAS Mains Examination – PRAYAAS Series – Day 73

Q.How the Indian concept of secularism is different from western model of secularism. Discuss [Answer in 150 Words]


  • …. The xyz issue can be discussed in terms of
  • … There are multiple perspectives associated with an abc issue…..
  • … factors behind some xyz issue can be discussed in the light of some events / some recommendations of abc report / xyz committee..
  • Based on the perspectives discussed, it can be said that…….

The actual choice of words will depend upon the type of question being asked and the approach that the aspirant choses to follow.


 Appreciate Secularism

  • Secularism is one of the most important value of Indian society that also finds an implicit place in the Constitution of India [Article 25-30].
  • Globally this concept evolved in the post French Revolution phase and has been cherished as a dominant ideology in many of the modern contemporary states.

Connecting Line

  • However, there are certain fundamental differences between the concept of secularism acknowledged in India and the one which has been adopted in the western states. These can be discussed in terms of the following perspectives:


Principled Distance
  • The philosophy of ‘principled distance’ is one of the most important perspective on the basis of which Indian and western concept of secularism can be differentiated.
  • While western concept of secularism maintains complete separation between government and religion, Indian secularism on the other hand encourages government to keep equal distance from all religion.
  • Indian government support all religions equally.
  • Example: Government supports different religions equally. Initiatives like: subsidy for Haj pilgrimage, Organisation of Amarnathyatra, preaching all religious texts in state sponsored public schools, undertaking de-radicalistion programs in minority institutions etc. indicate this fact..

Evolutionary Perspective

  • Further the difference between the Indian and Western concept of Secularism can also be discussed in terms of the evolutionary perspective of this concept.
  • While the Western concept evolved due to their hatred towards the church. Indian concept of secularism on the other hand evolved as an instrument to accommodate the diverse social groups of the Indian society.

From the Perspective of Objective

  • While the western societies were largely homogenous (mainly Christian), the Indian society has been diverse. The diversity in Indian society was exploited by the colonial government (a western power) to weaken the integrity of the nation.
  • Hence the Constitutional Makers imbibed the concept of (Indian) ‘secularism’ as a positive concept rather than a negative one (as in the case of Western Society) in the Constitution of Independent India.
  • It allows government to act as an enabling factor to promote equality, unity, and integrity between different social groups.


  • In the light of the perspectives discussed, it can be concluded that Indian secularism imbibes concept of equal treatment of all religion, promote tolerance among them, initiate reform and enable continuity and change of the institutions.
  • It is on account of this that Indian Society is often referred to as the micro-cosm of the world.

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