The right to freedom of religion gives individuals the right to affiliate with any religion of their choice. Every citizen has the right to freedom of conscience thought and religion. This right also includes freedom to denounce his religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private align with his/her religion or belief, teaching practice and observance. The National security concept provides that a government, along with its parliaments, should protect the state and its citizens against any crises that may arise through a variety of power projections, such as political power, diplomacy, economic power, military might. The government of India has tried to find balance between the two with the ultimate goal of promoting peace and stability among the citizens.
A key note to consider when evaluating whether differences in religion pose as a national risk is the doctrine secularism, with provisions as given below.
PROVISIONS MADE FOR RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF RELIGION
Under the constitution of India, religion has been mainly highlighted under four articles which are article 25, 26, 27 and article 28 as fully detailed below:
- Article 25 gives power to the freedom of conscience, the freedom to express, practice, and propagate religion to all citizens.
- Article 26 outlines that every religious group has rights such as rights to morality, health, and public order.
- As per Article 27 of the Constitution, there can be no taxes, the proceeds of which are directly used for the promotion and/or maintenance of any particular religion/religious denomination.
- Article 28 permits educational institutions that are maintained by religious groups to disseminate religious instruction.
PROVISIONS MADE FOR THE RIGHT TO NATIONAL SECURITY
National security is an element of the state that focuses with a government, along with its parliament should protect the citizens against all sorts of national crises whether internally or externally through a variety of power projections, such as political power, diplomacy, economic power, military might among others. There are certain provisions made that cater some elements of national security as outlined below:
- National Security is a major element in the Union List (7th schedule) of the Indian Constitution.
- National Security Council (1998)
It gives advice to the PM on how to handle matters of national security and strategic interest. It is headed by the National Security advisor.
•Nuclear Doctrine 1999
Its major aim is to hinder the use and threat of the use of nuclear weapons by any State or entity against India and its forces. India will never be the first to initiate a nuclear strike but will respond with might retaliation if deterrence fails. It is confined to only one special aspect of India’s security blueprint.
DOCTRINE OF SECULARISM
The term secularism means the separation of the State affairs from religion. This concept however, has slightly differing connotations in the Indian and the western policies. Many conflicts are politically triggered and thus steps have been taken to alienate religious influence from the government. Under this, religion is an entirely personal matter and this concept holds such a high regard in Indian democracy.All religious groups in India have the same powers without any discrimination or high influence.
IMPACT ON SOCIETY
As outlined above, the right to freedom of religion is given to the citizens under the articles 25 to 28 of part 3 of the Indian constitution as mentioned. This right given to everyone as explained by the Supreme Court of India, also it says being secular is neither aligned to any particular religion nor annexed from such. It is irrespective of the antagonistic or the devout. Thus, this right eliminates religion from matters of a state or any government office and makes sure that no one is discriminated on the basis of their religion or caste. There are many different religions in India, for many years. India is home to many religions and different cultures.
- Sardar Syedna Saifuddin v The State Of Bombay on 9 Jan 1962
- Commissioner of H.R.E. vs. Lakshmindra, A.I.R. 1954 S.C. 282 at 290.
- Seshammal vs. State of Tamil Nadu (1972) 2 .
SUGGESTIONS ON HOW TO COUNTER RELIGIOUS CONFLICTS
•Resolve conflicts over peace agreements.
•Traditional peace building practices can be applied to help solve religious disputes.
•Identify a set of regulations that will handle the current crisis and work towards the emancipation of religious freedom.
For years, religion conflicts have been on a rise but they have been tamed by the provisions catered for by the constitution of India. It is the solemn duty of the government to protects the interests of its citizens. National security is a pillar of the government that along with its parliaments should in its power protect the state and its citizens against all kinds of internal or external crises that may arise through a variety of power dynamics such as politics, diplomacy, economic power, military and Religious influence.
Link to the blog: https://www.quora.com/Can-differences-in-the-choice-of-religion-pose-as-a-national-security-threat/answer/Christine-Sibanda6?ch=10&oid=395619767&share=8bdd9b62&srid=ueVxUG&target_type=answer
Author: Christine Sibanda,
Lovely Professional University