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

C/o. Centre for Study of Society and Secularism

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Mumbai: – 400 055.


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Current Issue

Volume 21                           No.3                   October – December  2017



I. Articles

Babri Masjid and the Clash of Epistemologies

– Abir Misra

 Abstract: The paper looks at Babri Masjid demolition as an event that serves as an actualisation of a historical conflict between the Western Episteme and knowledge traditions outside it. The paper focuses specifically on two groups: the ‘Hindu Nationalists’ and the ‘Secularist Faction’, and traces the origins of their specific conceptions of History. The paper shows how one group, in its attempts to control the meaning of the event, ends up constantly foregrounding Man while the other group primarily seeks to foreground a sacred immanent entity which is beyond rational critique. This paper treats the intellectual experience of this epistemic clash as crucial to an understanding of the Babri Masjid event and also the events afterwards. The paper finally argues that the attempts at rewriting history and reconfiguring the Western episteme by the Hindu nationalists render precarious the position of Man as the centre of knowledge, a position which was never permanent in the first place.


There is No Support for Demolition of Babri Masjid in Hinduism

– Saral Jhnigran

When we viewed the direct broadcast of the Babri Masjid being demolished on 6th Dec. 1992, I, of course, wept almost hysterically, as I could not understand the whole phenomena, neither its justification nor the helplessness of authorities to check the destruction being played there. Having been nurtured in Gandhi-Nehru tradition, and being equally versed in ancient and medieval thought and approach, I could not but

feel bewildered and shocked by the destruction. My response was further strengthened by two old ladies (my illiterate mother and her sister, both having their roots in Mathura and Vrindavan) who happened to be with me at that time. I put the question before them, “Is the destruction of masjid justified?” They answered in one voice, “It is wrong to destroy any place of worship.”

Be Vigilant – Danger Ahead!

–  Kumar Ketkar

The destruction of Babri Masjid in a violent conspiracy was neither accidental nor spontaneous but manifestation of growing Hindu militancy, almost since the independence. Pandit Nehru’s visionary leadership and his commitment to the idea of secularism prevented the communal fascism from taking over the country. But the Babri Masjid destruction paved the way for Narendra Modi phenomenon to rise and the Hindutva forces taking over the state power and working towards the aim of the Hindu Rashtra.


Constrictions, Circumvents and Collations

– Anup Shekhar Chakraborty

Abstract: The discussion in the paper attempts to weave seemingly polarised ideas into a knot of convergence and thereby attempt to understand the practices of borrowed concepts of religion, institutional democracy (political representations) and secular politics alongside indigenous religiosity, everyday democracy, and peoplehood. The paper by interloping three issues that is the ‘notions of Politics of Zo Christianity’, ‘Representational Leadership’ and ‘Being Secular’ in Mizoram attempts to address the ‘constrictions, circumvents and collations’ and critique the same


 Democracy and Secularism in India

– Sanjay Kumar

This August will bring the 70th anniversary of India’s Independence, and the Partition. As usual, the former will see much official fanfare, the latter will be remembered as a tragedy and its mass criminality.

There are no confirmed official counts of the number of humans killed in that horrendous vivisection. Penderel Moon estimates one hundred thousand, others’ estimates go up to five hundred thousand. About 15 million were forced to migrate leaving their homes for generations under threat of losing life. We should ask why and how people were killed? Who killed them? How could they be forced to leave their homes en masse? Armies of states have killed more number of people than killed during the partition of India. Armies are however, trained to kill. Almost all killings in 1947 were committed by non-state actors, ordinary in every aspect, except carrying an overbearing rage and fury. What kind of ideology turned ordinary social beings into killers? Anger can be whipped up on any number of real or imaginary issues, but mass killings require some organisation of people, training and weapons, no matter how rudimentary. Which organisations were responsible for the 1947 killings?


 II.Book Review

 Fascism in India – Debating RSS-BJP Politics.

– Aalap Hajarnis


III. Document

Communal Riots After Independence A Comprehensive Account