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         Secularization or secularization is the process as a result of which discrimination in social behavior on the basis of religion is eliminated in a society. Secularization which is based on rationalism is necessary for modernization, since every society now wants to be modernized, therefore it is giving shelter to secularization. After independence, whatever state was not a secular state in India, even today there is talk of secularization. Reinterpretation of religion, rationalism and liberalism have a direct relation in secularization. Dr. Srinivas has done a detailed analysis of this process. 

The process of secularization has become a fundamental feature of the society. A few decades ago in India, the acts which were considered religious and pious are today seen as useless conservative irrational behavior, the special effect of a religion and caste which has been accepted, is now effective in that way. Has not been Various thinkers are of the opinion that the British rule is responsible for speeding up the process of secularization in India. The British rule also brought with it the process of secularization of Indian social life and culture. This trend became stronger gradually with the development of means of communication and increased spatial mobility of cities and with the spread of education. Both the world wars and the civil disobedience movement of Mahatma Gandhi not only activated the masses from the political and social point of view, but also contributed to the growth of secularisation. The effort made to achieve secularization in India after 1947 is really remarkable.


It is written in the constitution of independent India that ‘India will be a secular state’. Even in the eyes of law, there will be no discrimination among citizens on the basis of religion, caste, gender etc. Elections to the Parliament and Legislative Assemblies will be on the basis of adult suffrage and the development of Indian territories will be done on the basis of objectively planned programs.




Meaning of secularization: From the point of view of literal meaning, it is the process in which the existence, importance, identity or development of a person is not related to religion. Secularization is directly related to logical approach. Under this, the interpretation of the world is presented in the form of pure thinking. Secularization is the process by which logical knowledge emerges in place of traditional beliefs and concepts. Prof. Srinivas has clearly written that ‘secularization’ implies that what was earlier considered religious is no longer considered so. Explaining this, he has written that it also involves a process of differentiation which results in Various economic, political, legal and moral aspects of society are becoming more and more wary of each other. Thus Srinivasa did not understand secularization in the sense of mere secularism. According to them two main features of secularization are


  1. Firstly, this process is related to the feeling that what we used to consider religious earlier, we no longer keep it in the category of religion.
  2. The second feature is that under this process we try to see and understand each and every fact with logic. Traditionally, there was a complete lack of both these characteristics in our social life. One could not reason about the significance of the social system because the whole system was mixed with religion. There are several definitions of secularization in the Concise Oxford Dictionaries. These definitions have been described as populism, skepticism towards religious beliefs and contradiction towards religious education. The following definition of secularism has been given in the Third International Dictionary. “(secularism) is a system of social ethics that is based on the principle that ethical standards and behavior should be based on current life and social well-being apart from religion in particular.” Batter House has defined “secularism as such an ideology” which presents a theory of life and conduct, which is against the theory propounded by religion. Its essence is materialistic. Its belief is that human welfare can be achieved only through national efforts. But Baker refuses to believe that secularism is a heretical concept.


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“Lukik” is not synonymous with “profane” or similar words.


Blackshield has supported Baker’s view. He has told that “secularism does not oppose religious institutions. No, it is against religious inspirations in legal, political and educational processes. In this only the functional division of attitudes is emphasized, that is, the distribution of powers in different types of social activities.” Social division.” Blackshield says that religion, education and law should not enter into each other’s field, nor should they go beyond their field boundaries. To the extent that religion remains within its own limits, the concept of secularism can be considered as religious neutral.


It neither supports nor opposes religiosity. In this way secularism is that situation in the field of social problems in which law and education are independent of religious institutions and religious inspirations. Secularism is a stage of historical development in which law and education not based on religion is established. In this way, if various definitions of secularism are considered, then a list of many such subjects can be made which are considered under it. Such as: scientific humanism, naturalism and materialism, invincibility and positivism, intellectualism, democracy and communism, optimism and progressivism, moral relativism and nihilism etc.


Essential elements of secularization:


  1. Rationality: Secularization is directly related to the rational approach. Under this, the number of occurrences is done in pure form. Whatever behavior is irrational in the society, it is rejected by this process. For this reason, in this process, rational knowledge emerges in place of conservative, irrational, traditional beliefs and concepts. It also involves a process of differentiation as a result of which various economic, political, legal, moral and social parts of society become more and more independent from each other.


  1. Cause-effect relationship: Another essential element in secularization is the demonstration of ’cause-effect’ relationships, which is also addressed by rationalism. According to Prof. Srinivas, establishment of modern knowledge in place of traditional beliefs and concepts is included in this. The specialty of the process of secularization is that it tries to destroy mutual beliefs and irrational beliefs as much as possible. Such ideas which are reciprocal and which cannot be put to the test of cause-effect relationship, are automatically eliminated by this process. Even if their existence remains somehow, they do not get the support of proper public opinion.


  1. Concept of purity – impurity: The concept of purity and impurity has been prominent in Hindu religious practice. On this basis, the distance between different castes is fixed. On this basis, touch, marriage and food have been prohibited in castes. Every Hindu has concepts and actions of purity and impurity in normal life. For example: shaving was an unholy act for Brahmins. Over the years these notions have waned as the laws of purity have been replaced by the laws of health and hygiene. Educated Brahmins and fanatics have gradually given importance to rational interpretation in place of strict rules and have called purity as another form of health rules. Srinivasa gives the example of the Brahmin women of Mysore and says that the educated women are not much concerned about impurity, but are giving importance to the rules of health. On separation from the joint family, they leave this stereotyped form of rituals. In the process of secularization, many rituals have been abandoned. Namkaran and other rituals such as shaving of the widow are no longer prevalent, along with the process of omitting and shortening the rituals, the rituals are also mixed so that the lack of time in the expressed life can be reduced. As with the marriage, two days before the Upanayana Sanskar is also done. ,

84 Social Changes in India: Condition and Direction Marriage rituals are also becoming brief. Brahmin marriages with all rituals, which used to take 5 to 7 days earlier, are now settled in a day or a few hours. Only close relatives are present at the time of marriage, other guests only attend the reception. Sitting the bride and groom on a high seat, listening to music, playing band, serving refreshments to the guests, etc. have become important. In the traditional system like Saptavadi, it used to take 7-8-9 hours. Now very soon the bride and groom are retired from these works.





Objectives of Secularization:


  1. The aim of secularization is to achieve secularism. Secularism refers to a certain pattern of behavior while secularization is a process that helps in achieving that behavior pattern. Secularism will be called that condition of behavior where there is no unnecessary influence of religion on state, morality and education etc. Secularization in America means that the state and the church should maintain their respective existence in the society without affecting each other. This is the reason why the state government does not approve the educational institutions run by the church there.

Don’t give. The meaning of secularism in India is somewhat different from the meaning taken in the West. Here secularism means that the state does not give shelter to any religion, but it does not mean that if a religious institution runs an educational institution, then the state government will not give grants to it.

  If necessary for cultural development and co-existence of different communities, the state government can direct different religious institutions. For example: There is a ban on cow slaughter by the central government, while some religions consider such a ban to be undesirable. There is a system in India that the defects of religion are removed through law and persuasion. Like: Various defects of Hindu religion were removed. The defects of Islam religion should also be removed in this way. Now there has been a change in the traditional attitude towards religion in India. Although the ‘personal law’ of Muslims is yet to be modernised, the Indian society itself has been an obstacle in the path of secularism in India. Both Hindu and Muslim communities have been fulfilling their respective objectives through religion. After the attainment of independence, now various political parties are fulfilling political objectives through religion, which is an obstacle in the path of secularism.


None of the government and opposition parties seems to be active for complete secularism. Jawaharlal Nehru had said at the time of getting power on August 14, 1947, that at this midnight when the whole world is sleeping, India will wake up for a free life. Secularism will be the basis of this independent life. A nation which is based on communalism and religion cannot survive for long. India will only be a secular and democratic state where every citizen, irrespective of religion, will have equal rights.


  1. The second objective of secularization is the attainment of a secular state. A secular state is one where every citizen has equal opportunities on the basis of equality and where the society does not interfere with the activities of the citizens on the basis of religion. DE Smith, while explaining the secular state, wrote that the state which guarantees freedom of religion to the people, recognizes every religion follower as a citizen, it should not be related to any particular religion only constitutionally, nor Only he can progress any particular religion.

Processes of social change 85 – Be related to decadence. The literal meaning of secular state is that state which does not believe in any particular religion. Thus a secular state views an individual as a citizen and not as a member of a particular religious group. In a secular state, the rights and duties of the people are not defined on the basis of religion. Clause 1 of Article 15 of the Constitution of India declares that the State shall not discriminate against people on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex and place of birth. Thus we see that due to secularization India has emerged as a secular state where there is religious discrimination. By the way, now the place of religion in the society is not what it was five decades ago.






Features of Secularization:


  1. Development of rationalism: Due to secularization, the matter of depending on religion for every event ends. Primitive man used to consider every social phenomenon as a gift of religion and supernatural power, but as rationalism developed, the explanation of cause-effect relationships increased and due to the knowledge of the real reasons, the importance of religion decreased. Now everyone considers rational behavior to be appropriate.


  1. Decline in religiosity: Due to secularization, the importance of religious institutions has decreased now. The reason for this is that high or low status is no longer determined in the name of religion. Earlier, the more religious rituals a person performed, the more respect was given to him. But now the same person is called a backward person who finds the success or failure of his actions in religion. So it is clear that as the process of secularization progresses, the importance of religion decreases, and thus religiosity declines.


  1. Increasing differentiation: Earlier, religion was considered to be the dominant factor behind every incident and every incident was explained on the basis of religion, whether it is crime or disease, death or natural calamity, but now every incident is explained on the basis of religion. Different and real reasons are searched for, in which the influence of religious and spiritual power is generally accepted at least. Due to this situation the degree of differentiation increases. There are different people doing specific types of work. So the distance between them is natural.


  1. Helpful in the attainment of modernization: At present the wave of modernization was in full swing. Every society now wants to call itself modern, for which it becomes necessary to bring changes in traditional practices. Secularization also changes traditional practices. For example, before independence, the spirit of different religions and theism was flourishing in India. But the natural wave of secularization that arose from the freedom struggle itself reduced this effort to a great extent. as soon as independence

India declared itself as a secular state, there were radical changes in the traditional behavior patterns. At present such changes are taking place in the country which are essential for social development and modernization. Therefore, it can be said that secularization is helpful in modernization.


  1. Development of Equality: In ancient times, many types of social differences were found in India, wide discrimination was done on the basis of religion, caste, gender etc. in India. Different religions had different punishments for committing the same type of crime. But due to secularization, this type of discrimination automatically becomes universal and equal opportunities are available to all people. ,
  2. A Scientific Concept: Secularization is a scientific concept. Due to the influence of religion, the performance of work-relationship is not proper. So people become irrational. Secularization lays stress on rationality and calls only that which has a demonstration of cause-effect relationships.


  1. Humanistic and neutral concept: Secularization is such a concept in which it has been said to treat human beings as human beings. It is not that you talk about inhuman treatment of humans on the basis of any imaginary caste. This process encourages humanistic behavior. Along with this, there is a neutral concept in which on the one hand no discrimination is found on the basis of religion, on the other hand complete freedom to accept any religion has also been given.


  1. Types of Secularization Factors: Secularization of India started at a time when religion was strongly influencing the society. This was the period of advent of British rule in India. As a result of the efforts made by the British to establish and deepen the foundation of their empire in India, the process of secularization also started automatically along with processes like urbanization, industrialization, sanskritization. The efforts made by the British to establish their foothold and increase trade encouraged the process of secularisation. For example: The British developed big industries, ports, cities and means of transport, which automatically hurt secularism, caste restrictions started loosening and the process of secularization started parallel to the process of sanskritization.



The following were the reasons for the spread of secularization in India:


  1. Westernization: The credit goes to Westernization for starting the process of secularization in India and taking it forward. Western culture has promoted materialism and individualism so much that because of that the decline in religion and its related practices is natural. India has been known as a traditional country. Tradition has a direct relation with religion. The process of westernization emphasized on adopting those practices which are logical, practical and beneficial by violating the tradition. This is the reason which has given a boost to the process of secularisation.


  1. Urbanization and Industrialization: The people living in the cities get separated from religious superstitions due to being in contact with various types of industrial inventions. As various types of industrial institutions are being established in the cities, the density of population is increasing. It is no longer necessary that one religion predominates at one place and followers of that religion live there in large numbers, in cities and industrial centers followers of different religions work together and exchange ideas. Huh . Due to this situation, the fanaticism of a particular religion ends and the feeling of co-existence develops. Therefore, it can be said that urbanization and industrialization are helpful factors in the process of secularization.


  1. Developed means of transport and communication: When the means of transport were not developed, people could not go to distant places even if they wanted to. Due to staying at one place, they used to behave according to their religious sentiments. Due to lack of development in the means of communication, people could not get information about what is happening in other places and societies. This was also one of the reasons why people maintained religious fanaticism. But as changes are taking place in religious practices and rituals, now discrimination of untouchability on the basis of religion or discrimination in food and harshness in it is no more possible.


  If followers of different religions are traveling together in a train or bus, they cannot maintain untouchability even if they want to because they do not even know the caste, religion of all the passengers. If a society gives any exemption in the traditional behavior pattern of a particular religion, then its information becomes known to other societies through means of communication, hence the matter of change starts there too. Now the villagers go towards the city for small works. They are impressed by the living conditions there and get ready to leave their traditional behavior pattern (on which religion is dominant). Now the rural people are also ready to accept all those things which are beneficial for them. Even if it is related to any other religion.


  1. Current Education System: In ancient education, religious foundations were taught to the students. Education was also the medium of propaganda. The format of education was such that religious

There should not be any deterioration in the mould. There was no arrangement for education for those who could not make themselves religious. Only religiously pious people could get education. The attainment of knowledge was prohibited for impure people like Shudras and Touchables. Religion used to be the focal point of education. Brahmins whose main work was to give education: used to lay more emphasis on religious rituals and rituals. But religion did not have that important place in the new education system. Arrangements have been made for special education for those who are considered impure. They are being taught by giving encouragement. Followers of different castes and religions study, write, eat and drink together.


Due to this situation the religious complexity has ended. Now religious institutions and educational institutions run by special castes are being asked to change their names, as now there is no discrimination on the basis of religion in educational institutions. Similarly, discrimination based on gender is also coming to an end. Now women have also become logical and they are getting all kinds of education. His outlook has also become evolutionary and libertarian. They have started trying to recognize their existence, they have started assessing their importance as an essential part of the society. It is a well-known fact that the practice of traditional practices in India in which religious practices are prominent, women were not allowed to go outside the house. Hence his approach was traditional. They have also been given equal rights in modern education, due to which their attitude is changing towards traditional practices and their behavior is now moving more towards secularism. In this way, we see that the process of secularization is intensifying due to the present education system.


  1. Religious and Social Reform Movement: Various religious and social reformers wrongly told religion and caste discrimination and religious hypocrisies dependent on it. Due to this situation, people’s perception towards religious rituals became somewhat neutral. Followers of different religions were asked to live and work together. The Bhakti movement of the medieval period also made a significant contribution in this field. The efforts of Rajaram Mohan Roy, Syed Ahmed Khan, Ranade, Swami Dayanand, Gandhi etc. also proved helpful in the process of secularization. The efforts of Brahmo Samaj, Arya Samaj, Prarthana Sabha, Ramakrishna Mission and Theosophical Society also proved helpful in removing religious complexity. Therefore, it can be said that social and religious movements have also helped in secularisation.


  1. Social Legislation: Various social legislations were also helpful in increasing secularization. Hindu marriage is no longer considered a religious rite or a religious act because the concept of prescribed religious duties behind it is becoming secondary. Now it is becoming a social bond or agreement. Therefore, now inter-caste marriages are also being justified because scientific inventions have made it clear that there are equal groups in all castes, whose objective is to achieve gender satisfaction in a society-accepted way and to cooperate economically. Therefore, the matter of scheme purity has also started to be considered as religious and therefore to be avoided.


It is not necessary for different castes to follow the same religion. The law also considers such marriages to be proper. Similarly, the Untouchability Prevention Act of 1955 emphasizes that those who have been called untouchables till now also have the same relationship with various institutions as other upper castes. There shall be no discrimination between people on the grounds of untouchability or religion. Since Indian constitution has declared India as a secular state, therefore every effort of the government will be towards furthering secularisation. In a democratic state, the selection of representatives to run the government is adult suffrage, in which no discrimination has been done on the basis of religion and caste, but to bring all the people (historically backward persons) to the same level, additional facilities to those people are being given. Various types of social welfare programs are also being run by the government so that secularism can be furthered.


  1. Political parties: Various political parties have also proved helpful in the process of secularization like Congress, Samajwadi Party and Communist Party etc. At the time of the formation of the Congress (1885 AD), there were some leaders in it who were in favor of accepting secularization as a social policy. As the number of educated and westernized people in this party increased, the demand for secularization also became stronger. Pandit Nehru, whom the Congress elected as its leader after independence, was a strong supporter of secularisation. Dr. Radhakrishnan said at the time of Pandit Nehru’s death that “Pt. Nehru’s main objective was to remove the irrational elements of religion from the minds of the people so that the social upliftment of the people could be done.

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