Topic: Indian Constitution– historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.
2. Time and again conflicting liaison between the right to freedom of religion and the rights of individuals to dignity and equality has become an endless source of litigation off late. Critically comment and discuss the apex court’s viewpoints on it. (250 words)
Why this question:
A nine-judge bench of the Supreme Court will begin hearing arguments on questions concerning the relationship between the right to freedom of religion and the rights of individuals to dignity and equality.
Key demand of the question:
Discuss in detail the present case and explain why there is a continuous conflict between the right to freedom of religion and rights of individuals to dignity and equality, what the causes are and what needs to be done to address the issue.
Critically examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we have to look into the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a fair judgment.
Structure of the answer:
Start with the background of the issue.
Such questions are best answered with relevant and recent examples such as the madesnana ritual at the Kukke Subramanya Temple in Karnataka. Female genital mutilation (FGM) practised in India by the Dawoodi Bohras. Entry of Parsi women to the Sun Temples etc.
Discuss what role does the apex court has to play.
Analyse the constitutional provisions and the breach of the same that arises due to such conflicts.
Discuss what can be done and how can the issue be addressed.
Conclude that one way to strike a balance between the two rights would be to check whether the effect of the disputed religious practice causes harm to individual rights or not. If it does not the religious practice can be allowed, if not it should be banned.