1. We all know that the Constitution of a nation is given by its people to itself and thus, is its Supreme Law.
2. So too is the Indian Constitution, adopted by our Constituent Assembly in November 1949.
3. The Preamble to the Constitution proclaims the very intention of the document in a nutshell and hence it follows that the Articles of the constitution cannot conflict with the Preamble and must be constructed and interpreted in harmony with the Preamble.
4. Viewed from this insight, India is a SECULAR Republic, even though the term “secular” was inserted in the Preamble ironically through the 42nd amendment in 1976 by Indira Gandhi, during the infamous emergency period!
5. The expression “Secular” essentially prohibits the citizens, acting as individuals or in groups or through organisations from SOLICITING conversions of people from one faith to another by means fair or foul.
5.1. The ” entitlement” to PROPAGATE one’s religious faith granted in Article 25(1) merely permits the citizens, groups and organisations to write, speak or otherwise publish the virtues and tenets of one’s religion, no more.
5.2. The Article certainly does not permit them to solicit conversions even if it is interpreted as a ” divine edict” by the believers of a faith.
6. Simultaneously the expression “Secular” in the Preamble casts an inescapable duty and obligation on the Union Government to enact laws covering the entire nation, as a Central Legislation to :
6.1. Ban soliciting of conversion overtly or covertly.
6.2. Ban inducing conversion through force, coercion, fraud or allurements by citizens acting alone or in groups or through organisations with or without using funds received from foreign countries and foreign citizens or organisations.
6.3. Provide for capital punishment for killing in the name of religion.
6.4. Establish specialised police force to deal with anti secular offences expeditiously,making the heinous offences cognizable and non bailable.
6.5. Establish dedicated fast track courts to try and pass orders on anti secular offences in six months time, appealable only to a dedicated Bench in the Supreme Court, which shall also dispose off the appeals in six months time.
6.6. Provide for deterrent punishment in such law for anti secular offences including suspension / cancellation of voting rights of individuals.
6.7. Provide for cancellation of accreditation with the Election Commission for political parties indulging in anti secular vote bank politics, including disqualification of individuals from contesting the elections and so on.
7. Sad to say that it is here that the successive Union Government have failed in their Constitutional edict by not brining in such a Central Law to protect safeguard and promote Secularism in India for the good of all.
8. Will the Central Government act at least now?
9. This Article is also my humble plea to our honourable Supreme Court to treat this as an SLP and proceed on it and direct the Union Government to enact such a law and pass other orders as the honourable Court deems appropriate .