Lecture on Secularism and Freedom of Religion was held on 9th December, 2015. Prof. Faizan Mustafa, Vice Chancellor, NALSAR University, Hyderabad delivered a lecture on “Secularism and Freedom of Religion”, which was followed by an interactive session in which Prof. Mustafa responded to questions asked by the University students. The lecture was organized by the Residential Coaching Academy.
In his lecture, Prof. Faizan Mustafa discussed what Secularism was and how political leaders were fabricating its meaning. He said that every citizen had right to freedom of religion, however, nobody had right to say what one should follow and what one should not.
Delineating the correct meaning of secularism, Prof. Mustafa said that a secular state had no business with God. It was better that the state had nothing to do with religion. He said that the Constitution of India had not explained the method to appoint Prime Minister yet it was practiced in a way and nobody opposed it. In the same way, he pointed out, the word ‘secular’ was added to the Preamble in 1976, the Indian state had remained secular from time immemorial and it gave every citizen full freedom to practice religion of his or her choice. He said that secularism was a basic structure hence it could not be deled from the constitution.
Prof. Mustafa stressed that it was obligatory on the state to remain religion-neutral because secularism was the core of modernity. He pointed out that the majority rejected the ‘separate electorate’ theory of Vallabh Bhai Patel. He clarified that India is a secular country because majority of Hindus are secular and they respect other’s right to freedom of religion.
Prof. Faizan Mustafa also interacted with the students and gave valuable advices regarding preparation of civil services.
Earlier, Dr. Kalimuddin Ahmad, Director of the Residential Coaching Academy introduced Prof. Mustafa and highlighted the achievements of the Academy.
Prof. Atif Iqbal, Deputy Director, proposed a vote of thanks.