India is a land of diversities. This diversity is also visible in the spheres of religion. The major religions of India are Hinduism (majority religion), Islam (largest minority religion), Sikhism, Christianity, Buddhism, Jainism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism and the Bahá'í Faith. India is a land where people of different religions and cultures live in harmony. This harmony is seen in the celebration of festivals. The message of love and brotherhood is expressed by all the religions and cultures of India. Whether it's the gathering of the faithful, bowing in prayer in the courtyard of a mosque, or the gathering of lamps that light up houses at Diwali, the good cheer of Christmas or the brotherhood of Baisakhi, the religions of India are celebrations of shared emotion that bring people together. People from the different religions and cultures of India, unite in a common chord of brotherhood and amity in this fascinating and diverse land. India, most popularly acknowledged as the land of spiritual beliefs, philosophical thinking, culture, has also been the birthplace of quite a few number of religions out of which some of them exist in this era as well. ‘Religion’ is entirely a matter of choice, perception and belief. Paying heed to the Indian scenario we can conclude that , people in this country have a strong faith and dependence when it comes to their religion as they perceive that religion adds meaning and reason to their lives. When it comes to people who are extremely devoted to their religion , they leave no stone unturned in showing substantial amount of fidelity towards their respective religion.
Definitions by various authors: 1. George Bernard Shaw:“There is only one religion, though there are hundreds of versions of it." 2. Sigmund Freud : "Religion is comparable to childhood neurosis." 3. Rudolph Otto : Religion is that which grows out of, and gives expression to, experience of the holy in its various aspects."
The Indian Constitution guarantees various fundamental rights to the citizens. One of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution also includes right to freedom of religion. India is a secular nation and therefore every citizen residing within the territory of India has the right to follow the religion he believes in . This right basically entitles every Indian citizen and gives him the liberty to preach practice and propagate the religion of his choice . This right gives leisure to to sermonize about his religion , gives him the opportunity to spread it among everyone without any fear of governmental vengeance and also gives him the assurance to practise it in an amicable manner within the jurisdiction of the country.
When we talk about India, we can say that it is the land of diversity be it in terms of race, religion, creed, community ,caste etc. It is a country where millions of people belonging to different caste, sub –caste,race, dialects,and also those practising different religions have been residing since times immemorial. The differences when it comes to communities or religion or caste are not at all looked upon as a drawback or impediment when it comes to development but it is considered to be a crucial factor which serves as a helping hand in enriching the culture not only in the society but also in the nation as a whole . India is absolutely neutral, unbiased and impartial when it comes to exercising ones religious beliefs. The Constitution ensures that no citizen is deprived of this right to profess the religion of his choice peacefully within the Indian territory. The Constitution has high regard and gives utmost importance to the concept of Secularism. Secularism has great significance and also enjoys dignified recognition in the eyes of law. The 42nd ammendment of the constitution inserted the word ‘ secular’ in the preamble.
Every person has the freedom to have faith in the religious beliefs of any particular cult or denomination. The allocation of this right according to the constitution is mainly to provide every person with an occasion to declare in open, freely and without any hesitation what he truly feels about his respective religion, his conceptions and ideologies relating to the religious practise he has indulged himself into. The right to profess a particular religion means enabling a person to communicate his thought process , mindset and viewpoints to some other people with an intention to spread his religion and make them well versed and clear in their head, in the society. Though every person is entitled to the right to preach and expand the religion of own wish and desire but it is also to be taken into account that this right shouldn’t be taken for granted that is , the freedom allotted should not be abused . The person while exercising this right should ensure that he is not indulging in any sort of criminal or other anti- social activities. One needs to always bear in mind that, in the process of utilizing this freedom for one’s own personal good or benefit the societal.