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Which one among the following is NOT a character of a secular State?
1. It refuses theocracy.
2. It separates religion from the State.
3. A State in order to be secular must be democratic.
4. It must prevent religious conflict and promote religious harmony

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Correct Answer - Option 3 : A State in order to be secular must be democratic.

The correct answer is A-State to be secular must be democratic.

  • Secularism as a Western term is defined as the separation of powers of church and State.
  • In the context of the other societies, it is near-complete freedom of religion and the lack of authority of religious leaders over political matters.
  • Democracy is not a prerequisite for establishing a secular state though secularism works best when adapted to a democratic system. Hence option 3 is correct.
  • Characteristics of the secular society: 
    • Separation of state & religion- Religious groups, do not interfere in affairs of state, and the state does not interfere in religious affairs.
    • Religious freedom- Defend the absolute freedom of the religious and other beliefs. It protects the rights of both the believers and non-believers.
    • Equal access to public services- No discrimination is allowed to access public services based on religion. State-funded schools are non-religious in character.
    • It refuses theocracy, Theocracy is a government by divine guidance or by the officials who are regarded as divinely guided. In several theocracies, government leaders are members of the clergy, and the state's legal system is based on religious law. Contemporary examples of theocracies include Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the Vatican.
    • Protection of free speech & expression- Religious people have the right to express their beliefs publicly but so do those who oppose/question those beliefs.
    • Promote the idea of democracy- All the citizens are considered equal irrespective of their religious affiliation and universal human rights precedes the religious demands.


  • Secularism and the Indian Constitution:
    • There is clear incorporation of all the basic principles of secularism into various provisions of the constitution.
    • The term ‘Secular’ was added to the preamble by the forty-second Constitution Amendment Act of 1976, (India is a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic, republic).
    • It emphasizes the fact that constitutionally, India is a secular country that has no State religion. And that the state shall recognize and accept all religions, not favor or patronize any particular religion.

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