Student. Photo by Sule Makaro on Unsplash India has a secular Constitution. In India, government (public) schools have no religious prayer as part of their daily work schedule.
FREEDOM FROM BURDEN OF RELIGION
People support the public schools, colleges, and other higher educational institutions, Hindu, Islamic, Jain, Veerashaiva, Lingayat, Christian, and Parsi, by their tax payment. The government has never permitted religious group prayer in these institutions. Because religion is private and public educational institutions are public.
Children as students are born with no burden of religious faith on their heads: They are born free from mental slavery to any religious dogma or non-religion and should have the right to be so free till their death. At birth, they are fresh and free from religion and god and let them be so till their demise. What religion they want to choose is to be left to their decision after they reach maturity. Parents must desist from imparting religious education to them: They must give them ethical, moral universal humanist education; the human values like love and goodwill towards all people of all religions or no religion, rational and scientific temper, awareness of environmental protection, peace and social justice, humility, altruism, global awareness and so on must be instilled into them They should allow and empower them to enjoy their freedom from all forms of religious indoctrination in educational institutions.
We cannot trace morality in society to religious prayer or religion. Japan has no religious prayer in its schools. But it is one of the most morally robust nations.
The countries founded on religion like Pakistan, Iraq, and so on have allowed religious entry into schools and indoctrination and are witness to senseless religious violence, killing of innocent people (and even children). And, remember, religious prayer is an element of religion and rooted in the human’s meaningless surrender to an unknown, non-existent supernatural person or power variously called and worshipped as a god.
Recently. fundamentalist politicians in India have been vigorously attempting to introduce religious prayer and elements of religious bigotry in the school curricula. The secular society has successfully resisted and defeated their attempts.
The preamble of the Indian Constitution reads:
” WE, the people of India having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure all its citizens
JUSTICE, social, economic and political;
LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;
EQUALITY of status and of opportunity;
FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation;
IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this 26th day of November 1949 do hereby ADOPT, ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES this Constitution.”
This Constitution is secular.
The Maharastra State of India has introduced this preamble to be recited by students at the beginning of the school hours in the State. This secular practice needs an introduction in all the public schools in all the States in India in their languages.
BIRTHRIGHT TO FREE-THINKING
Students have the right to their religious or secular beliefs. They are products ultimately of nature and have a natural intellectual birthright to their freedom from religious instruction or indoctrination in their educational institutions. They have to swim in the waves of the religious, secular and rational sea of knowledge and, out of that knowledge, choose faith or no faith for themselves. They must have their choice in the matter of faith or non-faith without indoctrination by anybody, parents, schoolteachers or preachers. The book of faith and of non-faith must be open to them for their choice and not imposed on them.