Secularism is a fundamental principle of the Indian Constitution, which guarantees equality and non-discrimination on the basis of religion. The Indian state is secular, meaning that it is neutral and does not promote or support any particular religion. However, the implementation of secularism in India has been a contentious issue, with some arguing that the government has not done enough to protect the rights of minority religious groups.
Secularism in India refers to the principle of separation of religion and state, where the government does not have any official religion and all citizens are free to practice their own beliefs without interference. This concept is embedded in the Indian Constitution, which guarantees religious freedom and equality for all citizens.
The Indian media plays a crucial role in promoting secularism by highlighting the importance of tolerance, mutual respect and understanding among different religious communities. The media also plays a watchdog role in holding the government accountable for any actions that may be seen as discriminatory or violative of the constitutional guarantees of religious freedom.
The Indian media is diverse and includes a wide range of perspectives, including those that support secularism and those that are critical of it. Some media outlets are considered to be more liberal and secular in their coverage, while others are considered to be more conservative and aligned with religious or nationalist ideologies.
One of the most debated topic of Indian media is of religious discrimination and mob lynching of people from minority groups. Many news platforms and media houses have been accused of promoting Hindu nationalism views and of bias in their reporting on religious minority groups, particularly Muslims. This has led to accusations that the Indian media is not sufficiently critical of the government’s handling of issues related to secularism and minority rights.
The Indian Constitution guarantees the right to freedom of religion in Article 25-28, which states that “all persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practice and propagate religion.” The Constitution also lays down that no religious instruction shall be provided in any educational institution wholly maintained out of State funds.
However, it is important to note that India has a free press and many journalists are working independently to report the truth of what is happening in the country and call out issues of discrimination and bias.
In short, while secularism is a fundamental principle in India, its implementation and the role of the media in covering related issues are complex and have been the subject of much debate and criticism.