This book examines the relationship of religion and the Indian
state and seeks to answer the question: 'How has the higher
judiciary in Independent India interpreted the right to freedom of
religion and in turn influenced the discourse on secularism and
nationhood?' The author examines the tension between judgments that
attempt to define the essence of religion and in many ways to
'rationalize' it, and a society where religion occupies a prominent
space. He places the judicial discourse within the wider political
and philosophical context of Indian secularism. The author also
focuses on judgments related to Article 44, under the Directive
Principles of State Policy, which places a duty on the state to
'secure' a uniform civil code for the nation. His contention is
that the Indian Supreme Court has actively aimed at reform and
rationalization of obscurantist religious views and institutions
and has, as a result, contributed to a 'homogenization of religion'
and also the nation, that it has not shown adequate sensitivity to
the pluralism of Indian polity and the rights of minorities.
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