Constitutional Debate on Religion and Secularism in Indonesia and India

Muhammad Bahrul Ulum, LL.M.
University of Jember, Faculty of Law
muhd.bahrul@unej.ac.id

Ayuningtyas Saptarini, S,H.
Universitas Jember, Faculty of Law
ayun.saptarini@gmail.com

Abstract
This article investigates the origin of the evolution of constitutional debate on religion and secularism in Indonesia and India and provides an account of prospects and challenges on cultural proximities in the constitutional development. The concern of this article is that religion has a pivotal role in the societies of Indonesia and India, but it frequently raises challenges of peace and harmony. Such challenges are specifically triggered by the emergence of religion-based hardline movements, by which both countries have shared respective challenges: the movements of Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh which propagate religion-based states and strive for a religion supremacy over the land. By examining their missions and towards the respective goals following the rising tension of the societies to address such circumstances, it necessarily reiterates the idea of secularism by putting state in the neutral position regardless of the religious dominance. The first draft of the article uses library resources by compiling previous research publications highlighting the issues of religion and secularism throughout constitutional debate in respective countries. It concludes that religion remains a demanding subject, though they have adopted the ideas of secularism declared in their constitution. To date, they have experimented secularism by compromising with religion resulting quasi-secularism in constitutional practices.

Keywords: Constitutional Debate, Religion, Secularism, Indonesia, India

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