UPSC Exam   »   Fundamental Rights (Articles 12-35)   »   Fundamental Right to Freedom of Religion

Fundamental Rights (Article 12-32) | Right to Freedom of Religion (Articles 25-28)

Rights to Freedom (Article 19-22)- Relevance for UPSC Exam

  • GS Paper 2: Indian Constitution- Historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

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Fundamental Rights (Articles 12-35)- Background

  • About: The Fundamentals rights guaranteed under the Constitution of India are fundamental as they have been incorporated into the Fundamental Law of the Land.
    • Rights literally mean those freedoms which are essential for personal good as well as the good of the community.
    • Fundamental Rights (Articles 12-35) are applied without discrimination on the basis of race, religion, gender, etc.
  • Key Mandate of Fundamental Rights: Fundamental Rights are provided in the Indian constitution with an aim to promote the ideals of political democracy in India.
  • Source of Fundamental Rights: Fundamental Rights (FRs) of the Indian Constitution derive their origin from the US Constitution (United States Bill of Rights).

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Right to Freedom of Religion (Articles 25 – 28): Key Points

  • About: Since India is a multi-religion country, where Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and many other communities live together, the Constitution declares India as a ‘secular state’.
    • A secular state means that the Indian State has no religion of its own. But it allows full freedom to all the citizens to have faith in any religion and to worship, the way they like.
    • This freedom is provided by the constitution under the Fundamental Right to Freedom of Religion (Article 25-28).
  • Importance: Fundamental Right to Freedom of Religion restricts the state from interfering with the religious beliefs and ways of worship of people including foreigners.


Right to Freedom of Religion (Articles 25 – 28): Key Provisions

  • Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion (Article 25): All persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right to profess, practise and propagate religion freely. The right to Freedom of Religion has the following limitations-
    • One can force another person to convert his/her religion by force or allurement.
    • Certain inhuman, illegal and superstitious practices have been banned.
    • Religious practices like sacrificing animals or human beings, for offering to gods and goddesses or to some supernatural forces are not-permissible.
    • Similarly, the law does not permit a widow to get cremated to live with her dead husband (voluntarily or forcibly) in the name of Sati Pratha.
    • Besides the above-stated restrictions, the State also has the power to regulate any economic, financial, political or other secular activities related to religion.
    • The State can also impose restrictions on this right on the grounds of public order, morality and health.
  • Freedom to manage religious affairs (Article 26): Subject to public order, morality and health, every religious group or any section thereof shall have the right-
    • To establish and maintain institutions for religious and charitable purposes;
    • To manage its own affairs in matters of religion;
    • To own and acquire movable and immovable property; and
    • To administer such property in accordance with the law.
  • Freedom as to the payment of taxes for promotion of any particular religion (Article 27): No person shall be compelled to pay any tax, the proceeds of which are specifically used in payment of expenses incurred on the promotion or maintenance of any particular religion or religious sect.
  • Freedom as to attendance at religious instruction or religious worship in certain educational institutions (Article 28): No religious instruction shall be provided in any educational institution wholly maintained out of State funds. It places the following limitations on the State-
    • It will not apply to an educational institution that is administered by the State but has been established under any trust which requires that religious instruction shall be imparted in such an institution.
    • But no person attending such an institution shall be compelled to take part in any religious instruction that may be imparted there or attend any religious worship that may be conducted there.
    • In the case of a minor, the consent of his/her guardian is essential for attending such activities.


Fundamental Rights (Articles 12-35)- Right to Freedom (Article 19-22)

Fundamental Rights (Articles 12-35) | Right to Equality (Article 14-18)

Fundamental Rights (Articles 12-35)- Part III of Indian Constitution: Source, Mandate and Key Features

Fundamental Rights: List of Fundamental Rights, Definition of State (Article 12) and Judicial Review (Article 13)

Fundamental Rights (Article 12-32) | Rights against Exploitation

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