Religious Freedom in India

Freedom of Religion Religion in India is a fundamental right guaranteed by Article 25-28 of the Constitution of India. Every citizen of India has a right guaranteed by the Country’s Constitution. So Religion is one of the most important aspects of the Constitution of India. India is the only country in the world which had guaranteed secularism in a proper manner and granted each and every religion of India the equal status and equal opportunities in terms of jobs, in terms of education etc whether he is a Parsi, Jain, Muslim, Hindu, Christian, Buddhist, Sikh etc.

In India any person regardless of which religion he belongs to can travel to any place in India, can follow his religion freely without any restraint or under the influence of any person and most importantly he can even change his religion if he desires to change without the influence of any other person. The religious freedom in India defines the beauty of the Constitution where secularism finds the real definition and people have the freedom to practice any religion according to their choice.

This is the most important fundamental feature of the Constitution of India where the freedom to practice any religion by an individual cannot be taken away from him nor he cannot be denied jobs or the equal opportunities in education sector in terms of education .

India has the most diversified religious culture in the world where the people of every religion live under one umbrella and diligently follows the practice of secularism in the country. Freedom of Religion in India is a fundamental right guaranteed by Article 25-28 of the Constitution of India.

Every citizen of India has a right to practice and promote their religion peacefully. Freedom of Religion in India is established in tradition  as Hinduism does not recognise labels of distinct religions and has no concept of blasphemy or heresy. Every citizen of India has a right to practice and promote their religious practice. India is the birthplace of four major world religions Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism.

Yet, India is one of the most diverse nations in terms of religion. Even though Hindus form close to 80 percent of the population, India also enjoys multiple religions with majority populations of other religions notably Jammu and Kashmir with Muslim Majority, Punjab with Sikh Majority and Nagaland with Christian Majority. The country has large Muslim , Sikh, Christian, Jain and Zoroastrian populations.

Islam is the largest minority religion in India and the Indian Muslims form the third largest Muslim Population in the World accounting for about 12 percent of the nation’s population. The Indians are devoted towards their religion due to the fear that if they don’t respect their gods , then their gods would become upset and curse them.

Generally, we are in a constant struggle to prove each one’s religion the best, giving rise to a lot of crimes, especially when festivals of two different religions fall on the same day and a procession is to be carried out. Indian Government is well aware of this and hence, important safety measures are adopted and there is police surveillance everywhere.

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IN THE CURRENT SCENARIO IN INDIA

When the matter of religious freedom in India is seen in the current scenario, it forms the most debatable topic to be discussed among the common citizens in each and every part  of the country and it also becomes the most controversial debates as well among the citizens starting from the state of Jammu and Kashmir to Kanyakumari and from Gujarat to Arunachal Pradesh, The matter of religion engulfs in the minds of the common citizens around the country .

Even the smaller children and toddlers becomes the victims of religious riots, religious hatred among the various communities across the country. In the past, we have seen hatred growing among the various religious groups across the country just because of some pity issues or because of the agendas and ideologies of the political parties which create religious tensions among the religious  communities just for the sake of increasing their vote bank and establish their dynasty in the country’s politics.

We have seen in the recent past the most brutal form of hatred and religious riots among the religious groups around the country such as Godhara Case in 2002, Babri Masjid Demolition Case in 1992, Bhagalpur Riots in 1989, Muzaffarnagar Riots in 2013, Shaheen Bagh Case related to CAA-NRC in 2019, Delhi Riots in 2020, Sikh Riots in 1984 and many more which have sown the seed of hatred, spreading communalism and most importantly tarnishing the image of secularism in the country.

It’s really shameful for each and every citizen of the country that we have to bear the brunt of hatred and hyper-nationalism in the name of religion. Further the killing of the masses in the name of religion and proving superior over the rest has created the negative mindset in crores if citizens around the country in the name of religion. We have seen in the recent cases the most brutal form of religious riots and hatred in 2019 CAA-NRC Protests and 2020 Delhi Riots that how can a religious superiority can turn into its ugliest form and create nuisance which results in the hatred among the common citizens and can result in the killing of the masses.

There is a constant fear among the minorities in India around the hype that has been created by the opposition parties among them towards the current government related to the religious freedom and practice. The hype so created is related to the fact that the minorities have guarantee of security under the umbrella of the current government ie BJP Government and their religious as well as social status will be taken away from them. Further, if they do not support the ideas of the current government they will be thrown into the detention camps or will be sent to Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh in the name of CAA-NRC.

This is really shameful for the country that the opposition parties are just trying to tarnish the image of the fundamental beauty of the Constitution of India ie Secularism and hence creating the fear, tension and growing the seed of hatred and religious riots just for the sake of securing their vote bank in the country.

Not only this , the goons of these so called political parties who try to claim that they are protecting the interests of different religious groups divert the minds of youth from the very basic idea of the secularism in the country and provoke these ignited minds towards hatred and propel them to work towards creating nuisance and religious riots to embark the sparkle of hatred and mass murder in the whole country.

Stone Pelters throwing stones on the common citizens, goons firing, chopping and doing rapes and killing women and innocent children in the name of religion, Politicians continuously speaking hate speeches , houses burnt into ashes, the images of the cities being created into the war-zones, the life of the common citizens become priceless, mothers and daughters crying, being in dire need of help and sympathy as their livelihoods and self-respect have been completely destroyed and most importantly mobs turning into the the goons just for the sake of superiority of one religion over the another all become the common scenes when a religious riot takes place in any part of the country.

Amidst a religious riot, the mindset of the person is diverted only towards the superiority of his religion and the very idea of humanity, secularism and brotherhood is killed just for the sake of religion. The word religion is so powerful that it can even destroy the whole nation and can result in the division of the nation into many smaller parts resulting in constant tension and eradication of the idea of unity among diversity in the country.

The destruction of the temples, mosques, gurudwaras, churches and other religious sites in the country become a common scenario in the country whenever a religious riot takes place in any part of the country. The regular morning and evening news whenever a religious riot takes place , are filled with the news of mass killing of the people, people under tremendous and constant fear among the religious groups becomes the common news.

Taking advantage of such a situation, the so-called political terrorists try to create further tension and a fear of hatred, mass killing of people and funding in the religious riots so as to gain as much benefit as they can and make the lives of the common people miserable, increase the crime rates in the country in the name of the religion.

Social Media also acts as a source for spreading false information and creating public nuisance in growing the seeds of hatred and religious tensions among the various religious communities. One fake news, just one fake news and happy and enjoying surrounding traps under the wrath of religious riots and engulfs in the bloody ways where people of different religions each other only as victims where blood becomes expensive than the humanity and brotherhood.

The fires of the pistols, the life of a small children, the life of thousands of innocent wives and daughters all become cheap. Just in the name of religion , the village, the district, the town, the metropolitan city of the country turns into a graveyard. The NES channels and the social media instead of promoting brotherhood and peace among different groups shows the face of the goons and promote religious riots through their fake news like a Muslim has destroyed an Hindu Temple or the Hindu Mobs turned the Muslim villages into ashes etc.

Muslims will say they are superior among everyone, Hindus will say they are superior and many other religions will say like that but in the end it’s just a myth that one religion is superior to another and hence it results in the tension and feeling of hatred among various religious groups.

The idea of superiority of one religion over the another deprives the foolish mindsets of the common citizen towards the idea of accepting the fact that there is a word called Secularism in the Constitution of our Country which we the common citizens of the country have to follow it religiously and it is the fundamental duty of each and every citizen of the country to promote the feeling of brotherhood, respecting the sentiments of others religion and not to see one religion or the another as inferior.

STATISTICS RELATED TO RELIGIOUS RIOTS IN INDIA

There were 25 incidents of communal riots in India in 2019, and 108 incidents of mob lynching, according to the monitoring of Centre of Study of Society and Secularism (CSSS).

CSSS monitors the reportage of communal riots and mob lynching in the Mumbai Express, The Hindu, The Times of India, Inquilab and Sahafat. As per the reportage in their newspapers, the number of communal riots in 2019(25) is lesser than 2018 where 38 communal riots were reported in the same newspaper.

Though the number of communal riots have declined, the discourse of communal violence driven by ideology of Hindutva Supremacy remains the same. In 2019, from January 1 to December 31, according to the above mentioned newspapers, 25 communal riots took place in 2019. In these 25 riots, 8 lives were claimed. Out of the 8 persons deceased, three killed were Hindus, three killed were Muslims and the communities of two persons killed were not specified in the reports. In 25 incidents of communal riots, there were total of 48 arrests. 47 of the arrested from 48 were from unspecified community.

The state of Uttar Pradesh continued to top the list of states which had the most number of communal riots. UP was followed by the state of Maharashtra, where 4 communal riots were reported in 2019. Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Jammu and Kashmir such had two communal riots in 2019. In the states of Karnataka, Haryana, Assam, Delhi, Bihar and West Bengal reported one communal riot each.

These figures indicate that communal riots have mostly been reported in the Northern Zone of the country and the north has been a theatre of violence with deep fault lines. The discourse is infused with newer issues like Citizens Amendment Bill, National Register of Citizens, Abrogation of Article 370 and the overall narrative of Muslims being disloyal and second class citizens of India.

In 2019 too like in 2018, the use of religious procession and festivals have been instrumental in formatting communal tensions leading to violence. Out of the 25 communal riots, nine were triggered off by or during religious procession. The Kanwariyas or the Kavadyatras have been given protection and state patronage in a way that State has favoured them. Out of the nine communal riots triggered due to issues related to religious procession, three took in Uttar Pradesh itself.

CONCLUSION-

2019 sees the brazen communal attitude of the State which is using all its organs to maintain a highly polarising communal discourse. This discourse doesn’t depend upon on communal riots alone but has in fact found many other forms to seep into the Indian Society.

In the case of 2020 Delhi Riots, after the hate speeches in Delhi, everybody knows very well what happened and the aftermaths of the riots. 23 people died and more than 170 people were injured. Some of the victims of the Delhi Riots such as Shazia whose husband got killed, Mohammad Furqan who died at Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital due to the pistol, Ratan Lal who was a constable in Delhi Police died because of the stone pelting in Riots and also many several journalists and anchors were injured in these riots.

It all happened because of the narrow mindset of some of the corrupt and evil minded politicians of the country and the Capital of India ie Delhi has to bear the brunt of the most brutal religious riots just because of the hate speech of some corrupt politician who doesn’t even fit in this modern society. The very idea of the secularism in India gets tarnished because of such politicians and pseudo minded people who only bows how to spread hatred and create religious tensions among the religious communities.

The day will become brighter and India will bound towards development and progress only if people of every religion in India whether it is Hindu, Sikh, Muslim, Jain or Christian will respect the sentiments of each other’s religion and thus the idea of secularism in India in the real sense will prevail in the country for a long period of time and India would then be called a secular state in the real sense.

It is to be further noted that we always wonder why the stone-pelters in the state of Jammu and Kashmir throw stones at the common citizens of the state and even the police force who works day night for maintaining the law and order in the country.Who are the forces who are igniting the minds of the young generation of the state and diverting their mind towards unnecessary creating religious riots and turning them into the goons?

We have seen the recent past that in Delhi the voice of chanted in the name of the religion inside the JNU Campus regarding the chanting of slogan-“Insallah Bharat Tere Tukde Honge” just in the name of the religion anything can happen in the country .

The religious hypes were so powerful that it led to division of India into three countries India, East Pakistan (Now Bangladesh) and West Pakistan (Current Pakistan) . The country is facing the turmoil of the religious riots in the name of the superiority of one religion over another for the past 70 Years .

The current Government is blaming the past governments over issues and the opposition is doing the reciprocal of it. It is true in the sense that there has been an enormous cases in the increase of religious riots that are happening around the country especially in the Northern Part of the Country. It is mostly in the Northern States of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan that the rise in the crime rates and riots in the name of the religion has been on its peak.

The Several State Governments and even The Central Government has been unable to tackle this issue in a proper manner and proper execution of the said laws which prevents the religious riots that happens around the country is a need of an hour.

The ever increasing cases of Mob Lynching, Love Jihad, Community Riots etc all in the name of the religion is a big headache both for the common citizens of the country and the concerned authorities which are dealing with the issues related to the religious issues happening around the country.

So after all the debates and discussions that have been taken into the limelight, the final conclusion that arises amongst all is that the only solution to the issues related to the religious tensions and problems that is happening around the country is that we the common citizens of India have to become mature and should stay away from any of the emotional sentiments ir should not be swayed by the religious ideas and philosophies that one particular religion is the best over all the others.

This is not the correct idea and the poison of religious hatred and nuisance related to the religious riots has been engulfed in the minds of the common citizens through the medium of politicians, social media and other sources. So it is our fundamental duty to follow the idea of Secularism in a best possible manner and should stay away from the sources which would create religious tensions and fear especially among the minority sections.

In that way only we can truly achieve the real meaning of Unity in Diversity in India with such beautiful cultures and vibrant people together as brothers and respecting each other’s sentiments living under the umbrella of Unification despite being from different cultures.

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