To provide comprehensive knowledge to the students regarding the Law, Religion and Political scenario in India, Amity Law School Centre – II organized a National Seminar on “Law,Religion and Politics in India: The Travesty of a Secular Nation” at Amity University, Noida Campus.
The objective of the seminar was to provide an avenue to identify, discuss and have critical reflections on emerging issues, trends and challenges in contemporary Indian Politics, Law and Religious beliefs and practices.
During the seminar, eminent personalities including Mr. N.P. Singh, District Magistrate, Gautam Budh Nagar; Mr. Samir Mukhopadhyay, Principal Income Tax Commissioner (Legal and. Research); Dr. Vikram Singh, Vice Chancellor, Noida International University and Former DGP, UP; Prof. (Dr.) Vijaya Ramaswamy, Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi; Mr. R.S. Goswami, Former Chairperson & Member of Bar Council of Delhi and Prof.M. Afzal Wani, Professor & Dean , USLLS, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, New Delhi shared their views with the participants.
They were welcomed by Prof.(Dr). Balvinder Shukla, Vice-Chancellor, Amity University Uttar Pradesh, Dr. Aditya Tomer, Assistant Professor of Law, Amity Law School Centre-II and Senior Officials of Amity University.
Enlightening the participants Mr.N.P. Singh, District Magistrate, Gautam Budh Nagar said that every Nation has three important elements, Economy, Democracy and Secularism and at present, our country is facing difficult situation economically and socially; therefore there is a need to take required action to mend it rather than just reacting emotionally. He outlined that the people who provoke or are part of communal violence don’t comprehend the right meaning of religion. He added that perception of Indians towards Law, Religion and Politics is different from western countries. He mentioned that there are still many laws which could be implemented for development of Nation although our society is still not ready to accept them such as Law against immersion of God Idols, Food Protection Law etc. Mr. Singh apprised that there are various laws which have been implemented due to western influence however around 80 percent of population is not aware about them. He called on the Educational Institutes to impart proper knowledge pertaining Law, Religion and Politics to the students from primary level so that they will be able to have the right outlook towards every individual and society at large. He further added that earlier religion was social and now it is political. He averred that Law is the soul of every democracy and it is the responsibility of the people to maintain it legitimately.
Sharing his views on the Law and Religion, Mr. Samir Mukhopadhyay, Principal Income Tax Commissioner said that Law is a process through which behavior of an individual or group is regulated for maintaining peace and order and every individual is required to abide by it. He added that religion is faith and belief but whether the religion practices observed by people are outlined by religion or not, is a question that is raised by many people. In context of Article 25 of the Indian Constitution, he clarified that there is a sharp distinction between Religion,Faith and Religious Practices. If religious practices run counter to the order or morality then state has an authority to regulate it. He stressed that Law is like a river running for all but religion is for particular section of people and doesn’t have universal application like laws. Talking about Politics, he said that in a democratic setup, politics is mainly framing of law in accordance to the quandary of the people. Mr. Mukhopadhyay highlighted that Law, Religion and Politics cannot be subdivided. He stressed that religions have been propagated at different point of time and politics is free to all,many people change their political preferences with time. Mr. Mukhopadhyay called upon the students to develop functional understanding on the topic and work towards the betterment of society.
During the seminar, Dr. Vikram Singh, Vice Chancellor, Noida International University emphasized that human civilization is on a self destructive mode and the problem is not with the Laws but the discernment of people towards it. He further added that the purpose of Religion is not to harm any person through words, thoughts or action but to bring people together.
Addressing the gathering, Prof.(Dr.) Balvinder Shukla said that it is an importunate time to give importance to the topic of the seminar as at present Law, Religion and Politics are interrelated and they also compliment each other in a way that if one gets affected the other two are bound to be affected. She opined that India is known as a Secular Nation where number of communities live together,hence, tolerance of every religion, caste and creed is expected. She mentioned that everyday we various heinous crimes in newspapers are reported such as honor killings, communal violence etc. which outlines inequality faced by the individuals. She emphasized that with such a volatile atmosphere in country, it has become necessary to discuss Political, Legal and Religious situation in such forums. She remarked that as an Academic Institute, Amity strongly believes that every human deserves equal respect regardless of his religion, caste, color or creed and the purpose of education is to teach mutual respect.
During the technical sessions, the speakers deliberated on various topics including “The Connect Of Religion & Hate Speech/ Freedom of Expression”; “The intricacies of Religion and Terrorism” and “Forced Conversions in light of Article 25/26 of the Constitution and the need of an Anti-Conversion Law”.