Articles of Faith: Religion, Secularism, and the Indian Supreme Court

Paperback | June 15, 2012

byRonojoy Sen

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This book examines the relationship of religion and the Indian state and seeks to answer the question: "How has the higher judiciary in Independent India interpreted the right to freedom of religion and in turn influenced the discourse on secularism and nationhood?" The author examines thetension between judgments that attempt to define the essence of religion and in many ways to "rationalize" it, and a society where religion occupies a prominent space. He places the judicial discourse within the wider political and philosophical context of Indian secularism. The author also focuses on judgments related to Article 44, under the Directive Principles of State Policy, which places a duty on the state to "secure" a uniform civil code for the nation. His contention is that the Indian Supreme Court has actively aimed at reform and rationalization ofobscurantist religious views and institutions and has, as a result, contributed to a "homogenization of religion" and also the nation, that it has not shown adequate sensitivity to the pluralism of Indian polity and the rights of minorities.

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This book examines the relationship of religion and the Indian state and seeks to answer the question: "How has the higher judiciary in Independent India interpreted the right to freedom of religion and in turn influenced the discourse on secularism and nationhood?" The author examines thetension between judgments that attempt to defin...

Ronojoy Sen has been a Visiting Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy in Washington, D.C. He has been awarded a PhD by the University of Chicago, Department of Political Science. He was also Senior Assistant Editor with The Times of India.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:288 pagesPublished:June 15, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198085354

ISBN - 13:9780198085355

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Table of Contents

PrefaceIntroduction1. Defining Religion: The Supreme Court and Hinduism2. The Doctrine of Essential Practices: The Judges Shape a Rational Hinduism3. In the Name of God: Regulating Religion in Elections4. Good Citizens: Religion and Educational Institutions5. Boundaries of Faith: The Court and Conversion6. Imposing Legal Uniformity: The Court and Muslim Minority Rights7. Judging Religion: A Nehruvian in Court8. ConclusionSelect BibliographyCase IndexSubject Index