The constitutional framework that structures the relationships between religion and politics in India reveals how the democratic and liberal concern for equal treatment and liberty for all has been pursued, along with a deep commitment to recognizing and protecting religious and cultural diversity. This paper emphasizes the distinctiveness of the Indian conception of secularism. Experience of the working of Indian democracy over the last six decades reveals that competitive electoral politics compels parties to woo people from different communities. Other axes of identity, such as caste, divide religious communities. The spaces opened by democratic politics and the dynamics it creates need, therefore, to be factored into any discussion of religion and politics.
Citation: Working Paper No.26, Religions and Development Research Programme, University of Birmingham, ISBN: 978-7044-2760-0, 110 pp.