An Anti-Secularist. Manifesto. AshisNandy. I. Gandhi said he was secular. Yet, he thought poorly of those who wanted to keep religion and politics separate. He scandalized many in India who view themselves as progressive when, in the mids, he published ‘An Anti-Secularist Manifesto’. Free from the irate polemics seen in some recent anti-religious commentaries ( here and here), his “secularist manifesto” invites constructive.

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None of this involves anything to do with doctrinal matters such as women bishops, gay priests or Latin masses, which are matters for religions. It is these ideas with which Nandy was signifying his agreement, adding his own inimitable touch to the discussion. For well over three decades, Nandy has been in the business, shall we say, of unsettling received ideas, controverting the most established opinions, and deploying the tactics of a street fighter against institutionalized forms of knowledge.

Where religious organisations join others in delivering public services, ensure they do so without: Limit the right of religious people delivering public services for example marriage registrars, judges, pharmacists, or care workers to conscientiously object to manifezto out lawful parts of their job to rare and specific exemptions eg doctors and abortion agreed by parliament.

Religious citizens, organisations, MPs or councillors should — when circumstances require it — be free to invoke religious arguments when they advance policies or laws in democratic forums, including parliamentary and council proceedings. For many religious believers, manifestation is a corporate not a solitary enterprise, coming to zn in a wide range of faith-based educational, welfare, charitable, publishing or campaigning associations.

Under this model, advocates of contending belief systems may freely advance their political views in public debate within accepted rules of xnti engagement but eecularist no one belief system enjoying entrenched constitutional privilege.

Nandy says that he stays clear of these tellings by simply being honest to himself. This is why secularists: It is a political movement seeking specific policy end-points. Loading comments… Trouble loading? But, to understand Nandy, we can even do without the context: Since at this point his penchant for detail is not on display, let me suggest qn forms of religious public speech he might care to consider: Second, it fails to recognise that an effective right to “manifest” belief is not only individual but organisational.


Secularism is not atheism lack of belief in God and nor is it humanism a nonreligious belief system.

Commendably, Harris distances himself from any such imperious ambition. His credentials as an expert social critic have not spared him from controversies that follow those who comment on politics. Order by newest oldest recommendations. Please Email the Editor.

‘Secularism is an inaccessible concept’ – The Hindu

Threads collapsed expanded unthreaded. His point manifesto contains much that many citizens of religious faith could endorse: Nor does it involve the banning of religious opinion from the public square.

And as long as this is the case, the Indian Republic will survive. Like many who call themselves secularists, he claims to be against “banning religion from the public square”, yet the tenor of this and other public interventions suggest a desire to keep it on a tight leash.

This article is closed for comments. Presumably Harris would not object seculqrist religious citizens exercising the same kind of democratic influence over law as that available to everyone else.

A secularist manifesto

First, it proposes a restrictive interpretation of the right to conscientious objection within the public sector, secuarist would be limited to “rare and specific” exemptions agreed by parliament. End discrimination against nonreligious belief systems or organisations by ending their exclusion from:.

Catholicism Religion The papacy comment. To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: G iven the cantankerous tone of many commentaries provoked by the pope’s visit, many will appreciate Evan Harris’s measured contribution to the debate over the place of religion in public life.

A response to the ‘secularist manifesto’

Secularism is unfairly characterised and attacked by religious leaders as a way of seeking to protect their privileges. The intellectual has a right to publish books.

We are the only country outside Iran to have reserved seats in parliament for clerics. Third, it elides the distinction between a separation of church and state and a separation of religion and state. Also published in Outlook magazine, at http: In addition secularism aims to end religious privileges or persecutions and to fully separate the state from religion which is a necessary means to that end.


Yet alongside these legitimate objectives the manifesto contains troubling elements, which serve to undermine his professed support for the right to manifest religious belief. Disconnect religion from the state by: Work to end segregation of people based on religious dividing lines. But Harris wants to impose severe legal restrictions on the ability of such religious organisations to act according to their distinctive religious beliefs the moment they enter the public sector, thereby frustrating the very reason for them existing as distinct bodies rather than mere replicas of secular agencies.

A response to the ‘secularist manifesto’ | Jonathan Chaplin | Opinion | The Guardian

In this way religious beliefs might shape the content of law just as secular humanist ones already do. Where religious organisations join others in delivering public services, ensure they do so without:.

Allow for reasonable adjustment to cater for religious practice in employment or in seculafist eg Sikh turbans in the police force, the hijab or kara in uniform maniefsto, and prayer facilities in the workplace but not to extend this to a blanket religious exemption based on subjective feelings, nor to impose religious practice on nonbelievers.

April 22, Seculariet outcome would be a boisterous procedural secularism in which religious voices could make their distinctive contributions unconstrained by the sort of deliberative restraints often imposed by self-styled secularists. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use.

None of it engages with what families get up to in their home, or religious leaders within their own families. The meaning of the first is plain enough but Harris is worryingly unclear about what he means by the second. This is essentially a summary of article 9 of the European convention on human rights.