Indian Journal of Secularism (IJS)

(Reg. No.66034/97 with Registrar of News Papers)

ISSN 2277 – 5501

journal devoted to addressing problems faced especially by Indian society in the context of growing communalism, ethnic conflicts, fundamentalism, regionalism and related issues.

Indian Journal of Secularism (IJS)

COMMUNALISM has emerged as a major threat to democracy in a multi-religious and multi-cultural society like India. Realising this, the architects of our Constitution made secular principles an integral part.

IJS cover page-October-December 2014

The last two decades have witnessed increasing communalisation of society. Though the principles of secularism are ingrained in our Constitution, communal forces are becoming increasingly powerful in diverting the social goals of society, and are also posing a threat to the human rights of the more vulnerable sections, especially women.

We need to understand the deeper dynamics of this problem in order to face its threat and to restore the democratic values.

Today, the increasing confidence of Hindu obscurantism, aggressive communalism, intolerance, Muslim fundamentalism and criminalisation of politics pose a serious challenge to our democratic polity especially in the context of the globalised and globalising paradigm of development.

The Indian Journal of Secularism (IJS) attempts to examine and deepen understanding by analysing problems faced by people and society in the context of growing communalism, intolerance, patriarchal mindsets, casteism, ethnic conflicts, regionalism, marginalisation, etc.

The IJS has now completed 18 years of uninterrupted publication and has continued to maintain high standards and regularity.

Besides conducting debates and discussions at the academic level, the IJS also seeks to serve as a forum for activists in the field to initiate debates and air their views.

THE IJS is published by the Centre for Study of Society and Secularism (CSSS), a pioneer organization working for the promotion of communal harmony and the cause of secularism. The setting up of CSSS is the result of the growing concern of academics, social activists and prominent citizens and the affirmation of their efforts to strengthen the secular fabric of society.

First Journal in its Field

 The IJS is a pioneering journal which has exclusively focussed attention on secular and communal problems from the historical, political, economic, cultural and sociological perspectives. It publishes original research material, book reviews, deliberations and debates of a high academic standard. We are seriously committed to make the IJS a distinctive and exclusive journal on this subject not only in India, but also South Asia.

What does IJS Cover?

 Each issue contains a wide range of topical, well researched articles and papers on themes that include

  • History of religious movements
  • Evolution of the concept of secularism
  • Racial and ethnic conflicts
  • Secularism in the post-modern era
  • Religion, politics and the State
  • Media and communalism
  • Gender and secularism
  • Human rights and communal violence
  • Judiciary and secularism
  • Marginalisation
  • Case studies of communal riots

In addition, each issue carries book reviews, appraisal of events, rejoinders from readers etc.

Our Contributors

 Eminent scholars and activists like Bipin Chandra, Rasheeduddin Khan, T.K. Oommen, Romila Thapar, Kuldip Nayar, D.R. Goyal, Soli.J.Sorabjee, Paul Brass, Steven Wilkinson, Christophe Jafferlot,  Gabrielle Dietrich and others contribute to the IJS from time to time.

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 The journal is a valuable source of information and ideas for

  • Students
  • Scholars
  • NGOs
  • Libraries
  • College and Universities
  • Activists
The IJS Team

 Founder Editor: Dr. Asghar Ali Engineer

Managing Editor: Adv. Irfan Engineer

  • Executive Editor: Prof. P.K. Nair
  • Associate Editor: Ms. Neha Dabhade 

Editorial Advisory Board

  • Justice Sachar
  • K.N. Panikkar
  • M.S. Agwani
  • Ram Puniyani
  • Uday Mehta
  • Ritu Dewan
  • Ranu Jain
  • Imtiaz Ahmed
  • Bhikhu Parekh (UK)
Call for Articles

 The Editor welcomes articles, research papers and book reviews relevant to the main theme of the journal. Contributions should be typed in double space and addressed to:

The Editor

Indian Journal of Secularism

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Current Issue

Volume 21                           No.2                   July – September  2017



I. Articles

The Bijnor Violence 2016

– Mohammad Sajjad

 Abstract:  In most of the narratives of the ethnic/communal (Hindu-Muslim) violence in India, four issues remain comparatively less attended, viz., (a) the Pasmanda identity of the Muslim victims, (b) communalization of the Muslim communities, (c) wilful failure, even of supposedly secular regimes, in penalizing the culprits, and (d) details about the hoodlums patronized by the politicians. This essay looks into the first of the four issues in the anti-Muslim violence which took place in a village, Pedda, Bijnor district, in the western part of Uttar Pradesh, the most populous province of India. This happened when the elections for the provincial legislative assembly of Uttar Pradesh were just a few months away. This part of India has seen a resurgence of spurt in the communal violence in recent times. The majoritarian communal organizations have registered a big rise, manifested by unprecedented victory of such political formation and occupying power at the Union/federal government in May 2014. Unlike some of the recent communal/ethnic violence, in the present case of the village Pedda (in Bijnor) however, no evidence of communalization (or Intra-Muslim sub-sectarian—maslaki–assertions in public domain, more particularly the Barelwi-Deobandi conflicts) of the Muslims, could be found out. Also, in this specific case, even though initially the police action remained questionable, the provincial government however, did initiate actions against the accused ones. Both the resurgence of such violence, and the administrative action or inaction, is guided more by the immediate and long term electoral motives of the major political parties trying to get/stay in power.         


Understanding Causes and Extent of Crime against Dalit Women in Varanasi

– Muniza R. Khan

Communal Riots in India: Role of State, Institutions and Individuals

– Amit Ranjan

 Abstract: Even in post-independent India, religious violence between the groups have been used by almost all political parties to retain and gain power.  This has become more assertive mean with the rise of Hindutva politics in India and emergence of Islamic radicalism in South Asia since 1980s. The pattern of Gujarat riots of 2002 and its political result further strengthened the faith of political parties that a communally polarised society with intermittent violence is electorally beneficial to them. It is not only political parties but also the substantial number of members from constitutional institutions or bodies, and a majority section of Indian middle class whose behaviour, to a certain extent, has significantly contributed in occurrence of religious violence in India at regular intervals. This essay is a critical assessment of the mentioned political situation in India. With the help of two books reviewed for this essay the author has made an attempt to look into behaviour of political leadership, constitutional institutions and the Indian middle class during religious violence and aftermath.


Sufism, Counter-Extremism and India Media

Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi

Abstract: This paper attempts to look at anti-extremist activism of the Indian Sufi scholars and spiritual masters widely known in the country and abroad as “Ulama and Mashaikh”. Mapping the agenda of the Indian Sufi scholars and spiritual masters (Ulama and Mashaikh), it engages in a scholarly effort to check whether they are helping in the peace activism and counter-extremism, and if so, then how the media outlets project and construct “Sufism” as an “antidote to extremism”.

In particular, it kick-starts and encourages research on a contemporary Indian Sufi movement actively engaged in countering violent extremism and radicalization in the country.

It’s a primary research on the various works and activities of Indian Sufi Ulama and Mashaikh with the purpose of identifying how a counter-extremism Sufi movement in India contributes to the solution of radicalization on an individual, societal and national level. At the same time, it looks into the ways it is being investigated and researched within the realms of media scholarship.

In brief, it will initiate a scholarly appraisal of representation of this Indian Sufi counter-narrative of extremism in media by an extensive study of the mainstream English print media, press, magazines, journals and other literature.


 Ideal Relationship Between Religion and Politics

– C.R. Annapurna

Religion and politics have been influencing most human life. But they are the two most important problems facing the mankind today. Religion and politics are mutually interacting and influencing, and their relationship has great impact on the life of people across the world. In India, this relationship is very important because India is a multi religious country. Separation of religion and politics is advocated as the solution to the problems arising due to interaction of religion and politics.


 II.Book Review

 Why be Moral? A Search for Final Justification of Morality.

– Devasia M Antony


III. Document

Communal Riots After Independence A Comprehensive Account