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Modern Myths, Locked MindsSecularism and Fundamentalism in India$
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T.N.M Madan

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780198065104

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198065104.001.0001

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The Crisis of Indian Secularism

The Crisis of Indian Secularism

(p.233) Chapter Eight The Crisis of Indian Secularism
Modern Myths, Locked Minds

T. N. Madan

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the nature of secularism in India and discusses the difficulties into which it has run. Three basic assumptions are considered. First, secularism as an anti-religious or non-religious ideology has universal applicability, but has culturally specific expressions. Second, secularism will be welcomed by all right-thinking persons, for it shows the way to the making of rational plans for social reconstruction and state action, placing ultimate faith in the adequacy of human agency. Finally, with appropriate corrective measures, ideological secularism can still be made to succeed in India, notwithstanding all the faltering of the last fifty years. This chapter also considers Mahatma Gandhi's views on secularism as a backdrop for a discussion of Jawaharlal Nehru's ideology of secularism and his views on religion and politics, secularism and the constitution, and the majority–minority conundrum.

Keywords:   India, secularism, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, religion, politics, constitution, majority–minority conundrum

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