Before differentiating between Indian secularism and Western secularism,let us first try to understand the meaning of secularism.Secularism is being separated from religion.In other words,secularism is being nonreligious.
The term secularism is incorporated into the Constitution through 42nd amendment act,1976.Secularism is one of the constitutuents of the basic structure doctrine of our Constitution.So we can understand the importance of secularism in the India context.Indian secularism is the idea which is drawn from ‘SARVA DHARMA SAMBHAVA’,which literally means that the destinations of paths by all religions is the same while the paths themselves may be different.Hence the Indian states give equal respect to all religions.Indian state maintains principled distance with all religions so that no religious group feels neglected.Indian secularism is not an end in itself but a means to address religious plurality. It sought to achieve peaceful coexistence of all religions.Our constitution also provides fundamental rights safeguarding the religious rights of the citizens.Indian state intervenes in the religious matters when it is performing unnecessary activities in the name of religion.In a sense,Indian secularism is a novel model of secularism for a diverse country like India.
Western secularism is different from Indian secularism.Western secularism characterizes ‘bilateral exclusion’ i.e.,state doesn’t interfere in the religious matters and religion doesn’t interfere in the affairs of the state.The state shows ‘antiseptic disinterest’ towards the religion.It only interferes when there is violation of law.
Differentiation between the two:
1.Indian state is not completely separated from religion whereas in western states,the state is completely separated from religion.
2.Indian state provides financial assistance to religious institutions,if required.But Western states doesn’t provide any such financial assistance to religious institutions.
3. Indian state treats religion both as a private sphere and public sphere whereas western state treats religion only as a private sphere.
4. Indian state often interacts and interferes in the religious matters.But western states doesn’t interfere in such matters.
The cause or need for such difference between Indian secularism and Western secularism mainly the nature of Indian society.India society is of diversified nature so the model of Indian secularism is required to maintain the equality among all religions.
I think this type of difference may be justified.Because western states are mostly homogenous,so they don’t need a model of secularism that exists in India.On the other hand,for to accommodate many different religions, this type of secularism is required.