Right to Freedom of Religion

India is a secular state.

A secular state is one that does not establish any one religion as official religion.

People in India can practice and follow any religion they want.

Indian secularism practices an attitude of a principled and equal distance from all religions.

The state has to be neutral and impartial in dealing with all religions.

Secularism is based on the idea that the state is concerned only with relations among human beings,….

….and not with the relation between human beings and God.

It is a right guaranteed to us by the Indian Constitution.

The law has been made in such a way that you can exercise the religion of your choice.

In India, under the Articles 25 to 28, each and every individual has a right to freedom of religion.

He/she can practice their own religion without troubling others.

It says being secular is neither pro-God or anti-God.

This right eliminates God from matters of a state and makes sure that no one is discriminated based on their religion and caste.

There have been different cultures practiced in India, for many years.

India is thus, home to many religions and even castes.

Many people have come here and practiced and nurtured their own religion.

Thus, the freedom of right to religion holds greater importance in a country like India.

Let us look at the guarantees under this Freedom of Religion

1. Freedom to change religion

People can freely without restrictions, change their religion they belong to and wish to follow.

But, a person cannot force another to change his/her religion.

Of course, a person is free to change religion by his or her own will.

2. Freedom to practice your Religious beliefs and customs

One can follow the practices and customs of one’s religion in the country.

However, this does not mean that a person can do whatever he wants in the name of religion.

For example, one cannot sacrifice animals or human beings as offerings to supernatural forces or gods.

3. Freedom to practice a fair and open minded Religion.

Religious practices which treat women as inferior or those that restrict women’s freedom are not allowed.

For example, one cannot force a widowed woman to shave head or wear white clothes.

4. Compulsory spreading of religion or religious learnings is not allowed.

A person cannot be forced by another to practice any custom not of his/her religion.

Religious learning is not allowed or compulsory in educational institutions.

There shall be no religious instruction in the government educational institutions.

In educational institutions managed by private bodies no person shall be compelled to take part in any religious instruction or to attend any religious worship.

Thus, the ideal of Secularism is upheld by the Government by granting people the Right to Freedom of Religion.

This also forms a part of the basic rights that need to be given to citizens and protected against misuse.

People must understand that everyone has the freedom of thought, belief and expression, but these must be used with limits.

Wrongful ideas and information when spread can lead to a lot of conflicts and violence.

Thus, even though this is a part of the right to freedom, it has some limits to be maintained.