The British were driven out of India at midnight when we achieved our independence. For Hindus in this nation, it is still a long way off before freedom dawns. A year after the General Assembly of the United Nations proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Paris on 10th December 1948, the Indian Constitution came into force. “Liberty of thought, conscience, and religion” is a fundamental human right guaranteed by Article 18 of the UN Charter.
Constitutional Rights And Hindus Of India
“All citizens are guaranteed the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion and to freely profess, practice, and propagate their religious beliefs”, says Article 25 of the Indian Constitution. But such freedom is certain to be limited to maintain public order and morality.
In its constitution, Germany stipulated, in 1919, that all of its citizens could hold any belief or conscience they wished, and each religious group had the right to govern and control its affairs. Article 26 of our Constitution, which mentions denominations or the rights of every religious group, is the result of much debate and deliberation.
Every group has the right, subject to the health, order, and morals of the community, to practice its religion, as specified in Article 26.
• Establish and maintain charitable, educational, or religious institutions;
• Conduct its religious affairs;
• Possess and acquire property; and conduct its religious affairs and
• For the administration of such property according to law.
The words ‘every religious denomination’ in Article 30 are significant. They mean that no religious denomination will be excluded from the right to religion and administration. So we can assume that the Constitutionally stipulated rights are not meant to be limited to religious or linguistic minorities. The Constitution intended for the establishment of religious places of worship and charitable institutions (or the maintenance of those already in place) to be permitted to different sects of religions.
The right to maintain implies the right to continue the institution according to its long-established practices, to perform the worship in the same manner it has done for centuries, and to run the institution as it has for many generations. Every citizen and group in India has these rights, including Hindus.
Indic Groups And Communities Are Not Denominations
Religions are generally referred to by the term “religious denomination,” which describes various denominations within the Christian religion. In many countries where immigrants have crowded in over the last century, denominational rights for each of the Church sects have become more important as a result of the diverse nature of its population. A melting pot of diverse and abundant denominations is most likely to come to mind when considering the United States. As with India, each religion, including Indic religions, has a variety of sects.
Indic Religious Groups Are ‘Sampradayas’
According to Hindu tradition, dharmas, or ways of life, are what separate the different Indic faiths of the Bharatiyas. In their view, their religions are not their dharma, but the path they adhere to, which would lead to salvation, or, perhaps, to be one with the Divine free of rebirths and deaths. Indic dharmas are traditions of dharma, or sampradhayas.
Exclusive Denominations VS Inclusive Sampradayas
There are no exclusive dharmas or sects in the Indian religion. There are no non-exclusive Christian denominations. In every Church, the only members allowed to receive rights are those belonging to the church’s denomination and more particularly, those identifying as members of the various churches. Various Sampradayas of Sanatan Dharma are common. Their institutions and charities are opened to members of other sampradayas, and they even allow other sampradayas to attend their religious services on occasion.
A Constitutional Bench had to define the term “religious denomination” in the Shirur Mutt Case (AIR 1954 SC 282) and determine whether a mutt was included in that definition. “Religious minorities” and “language minorities” are also left without a definition in the Indian Constitution. Historically, courts have often referred to Oxford Dictionaries. Here, the Bench used the Oxford Dictionary of 1897 C.E. Edition. The Constitution Bench decided that mutts can be considered religious denominations, just as each sect and sub-sect of the Hindu religion can be referred to as such. That’s all well and good. But, disaster struck.
Subsequent Court Decisions Ignored Shirur Mutt Judgement
There is only one element of the old Oxford Dictionary definition that has been preserved in nearly all Supreme Court decisions and specifically in the SP Mittal case. Unless they were a body that shared a common religion, organization, and distinctive name, no Hindu sect could be classed as a religious denomination.
Center Condoning And Even Supporting These Frauds
According to the Constitution, laws related to “Religious Endowments” are concurrent subjects. This means any act or amendment by a state should receive the assent of the President of India before it can be promulgated. Presidents are authorized by the central government’s home ministry. When it comes to religious freedom and other rights of its citizens, the Central government should be extremely vigilant before making its recommendations to the President.
The laws in India have been lopsided against Hindus and in violation of the fundamental rights outlined in the Constitution of India regarding Hindu rights and the management of Hindu institutions, including temples and mutts and Hindu charities. Governments that have been in power primarily under the Congress party would not care about Hindu rights. The Congress governments in the states and at the center bent backward to appease the minorities-especially Islam and Christianity-at the cost of many Hindu rights, privileges, and liberties.
Governments in the BJP coalition under Narendra Modi, whose party came to power with an absolute majority, were affected by a Hindutva wave. In their refusal to respect Hindu constitutional rights, BJP governments have also fallen in line with their Congress predecessors. Hindu temples and charities have been ignored by governments who control and regulate them, despite denials of such rights. Their results are evident. India is yet to provide true independence to Hindus. Shivaji needs to rise again and give them true freedom.