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Rahul Jajoo

Semester VI LLB. (Hons.) Institute of Law Nirma University (Ahmedabad) +91-7567160672, +91-8769340978

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religionTheme: Religion-the root of all Evil.

Topic: Different Facets of religion as a evil via the Prism of Indian Subcontinent vis-à-vis the solutions to tackle the evil.  

Introduction to the idea of religion.

A typical hold back sung in the twenty–first century is that religion is the underlying driver of the considerable barbarities of mankind’s history. As a general rule, more individuals passed on as a consequence of secularist philosophies in the most recent century alone than have kicked the bucket in all the religiously persuaded clashes of Western history.

When the idea of Adam and Eve was introduced to the world, people had started believing in the concept of something which is super natural and follows a set pattern of rules. This was the time when global population came across the idea of religion and this marked the inception of phenomena which was initially introduced for the betterments of the lives of the people but ended up in being the largest weapon of mass destruction. Since time immemorial religion has acted as vital part of all the lives of all mankind.[1]

The definition of the term religion has varied from mind to mind and place to place for instance the Evangelical controversialist in his definition of religion excludes what is often called as superstitions of a man. The moralists on the other hand give a negligible regard to the influence of religion on conduct of the society and individuals.[2] Looking at the concept of religion in 21st century, the need of the hour is to keep aside the variable definitions of religion and focus on something which is far basic than approaching and unfolding the sociology, philosophy, ethnology and psychology of religion since a lot of deliberation has already been made by various authors. Thus, questioning the relationship of religion with science and morality can answer the question of rational behind the actions of human race arising out in the name of religion.

Religion gives space to belief is an undisputed assertion to make but the problem arises when we do not acknowledge the existence of intellectual element in the definition of the concept of religion because this narrows down the scope of religion. To understand this further, belief to religion is what sand to house i.e. we use sand for building the house but this house of sand will collapse if other important ingredients are not used while making the house. Since, belief is formulated by the present state of knowledge and which is variable, subjected to growth in and the change in the perspective of an individual therefore, making the palace of religion only on sand of belief is not fruitful for human race in long run.

Nature of Religion.

John Dewey the American Philosopher came up with a theory that religion has to be viewed as an aspect of entities and not as an independent entity. The thin line of difference between the terms religion, a religion and the religious has to be highlighted so as to avoid the wrong interpretations of the concept.

The difference between religion, a religion and the religious is that religion is can never exist in the singular form and there is only a multitude of religions.[3] On the other hand term the religious fails to denote something which is specific for instance it cannot denote anything which can exist on its own or can be categorized into a distinctive and particular form of existence rather it denotes those attitudes which may be taken towards each and every proposed ideal and end along with every object.[4] Hence to assert that religion is an aspect of entities rather than entity in its own right unless this is identified that religion as an entity can exist by itself.[5]

Jurisprudence of the major religions in India.

India was never exposed to idea of multiplicity of religions in the early centuries and the dominant religion was Hinduism but with advent of Mughals which was subsequently followed by the Dutch and the British we transformed into a nation state which had unity in diversity. But this question of unity in diversity again raised the eyebrows of all the states globally during the time of partition in the year of 1947.

The very idea of adding the word secular to the preamble of Indian Constitution[6] was because the intention of the Legislature was to incorporate the idea among its citizens that the Government of India respects all the religions equally. With passage of time and looking at the current political scenario in India and the growing intolerance of people against the people of a particular community. This idea of secularism seems to be falling apart from the intention with which it was brought in considering the radical approached shown by the actions of the government and her propagators.

Jurisprudence of Hinduism.

To understand the jurisprudence behind the Hindu laws we first need to identify the reference in which this term is widely used considering the diversity of Hindu Religion. The term Hindu means people who are by birth, conversion or reconversion Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists.[7] Or all those people who are not Muslims, Christians, Paris or Jews and all such people who are domiciled in India and no such law is Applicable on these people.[8]

Procedure of conversion and reconversion in Hinduism has not been prescribed in any of the texts of Hindu religion although a few hints come from the Arya Samajists procedure of Shudhi.[9] The major development in the process of conversion and reconversion has been provided by the Hon’ble Supreme Court wherein the modes are as follows:

1.      If a person converts by the method prescribed by the religion he wants to enter.[10]

2.      “If a person expresses a bona fide intention to become a Hindu accompanied by a conduct unequivocally expressing that intention coupled with the acceptance of his as its member by the community or caste into the fold of which he has entered.”[11]

3.      Any bona fide declaration made by a person stating his acceptance of Hinduism as his faith he is follower of Hinduism for a considerable period of time, becomes a Hindu.[12]

Also, it was laid down in Rani Bhagwan v. J.C. bose[13] that a person still continues to be a Hindu even if he becomes an atheist, dissent or tends to deviate from the doctrines of Hinduism or anything which a Hindu will never indulge in.[14] In the modern Hindu law there is no compulsion on a child to take up the religion of his father as his own religion but the off-springs of Hindu parents are deemed to be Hindu irrespective of the facts that whether they follow Hinduism or not.[15]

For a person to be Hindu by birth two conditions are necessary:  

1.      If the parents of the child born (legitimate or illegitimate) are Hindu.

2.      If the parents of the child were at the time of the birth of the child were Hindu and the child was bought up as a Hindu.[16]

Schools of Law in Hindu Jurisprudence.

Hinduism has comprises of two schools of namely Mitakshara and Dayabhaga. The former school is further divided into 4 sub-schools namely the mithila, the banaras, the Bombay and the dravida (south). The Dayabhaga school of law prevails in eastern India majorly and rest of the India is covered by the Mitakshara school of law. Mitakshara School of law also enters the jurisdiction of Dayabhaga where the law in Dhayabhaga remains silent.[17]

The major line of difference between the two comes with respect to the laws dealing with proprietary rights to the legal heirs. The Dayabhaga Schools allow the daughters to claim the share in ancestral property whereas the Mitakshara debars women from this right.

Jurisprudence of Islam.

“In Muslim Law the term Muslim has been defined in the context of Islam, though the orthodoxy or heterodoxy of the belief is not material.”[18] Muslims can be defined for the convenience of personal laws as:

1.      Muslim by origin or

2.      Muslim by Conversion:

a.       Persons who profess Islam

b.      Persons who undergo the formal ceremony of conversion.

For a person to be Muslim he has to accept basic tenants of Islam and these tenants being: (i) there is only one God and (ii) Mohhomad is Prophet of God. Islam has not mandated for its followers to perform five prayers daily or observance of Ramzan fast and hence the non compliance of all such norms does not make person a non-muslim.[19] Merely the fact that he is born to Muslim parents is enough to establish himself as a Muslim as per Islam.

Conversion to Islam is a easy defined process wherein a person who seeks to embrace Islam as his religion has to go to the mosque. Further, the imam at the mosque questions the person about his voluntary embracement of Islam and he has to answer the same affirmatively and then he is granted with a kalma to recite. With this the conversion ceremony gets over and the person is given a Muslim name.[20]

Khan v. Habib[21] held that a convert with respect to Marriage, Dissolution of Marriage, Trust Properties, Divorce, Gifts and wakfs will be dealt by the Muslim Law. And with respect to adoptions, and wills and legacies a person converted to Islam shall be governed by his respective custom unless he voluntarily renounces his right.[22]

Islam has been divided into 2 Major Sects Shia and Sunni and the schools of law in both the sects vary. In India the most prominent schools found is the Hannafi School, one of the four schools of Sunni sect. The other prominent school in southern part of India is Shafii School again belonging to the Sunni sect. The Shias are prominently situated in the central and western part of India and are the minority group in Islam are governed by Ithana Ashari School. [23]



Chapter2: Scope for operation of Evils under the umbrella of religion

A.    Global Prespective

To start with, the Nazi logic that Jews were subhuman and that Aryans were Supermen prompted the annihilation of six million Jews. In the expressions of Sir Arthur Keith, an activist anti–Christian physical anthropologist: “The German Fuhrer, as I have reliably kept up, is an evolutionist; he has reliably looked to make the acts of Germany fit in with the hypothesis of development.” Far from religiously roused, Hitler’s “Last Solution to the Jewish issue” was grounded in the naturalistic rationality of survival of the fittest. Indeed, Hitler plainly separated himself from Christianity, broadcasting, “I should never deal with the Christian falsehood”[24] and “Our age will positively see the end of the ailment of Christianity.”[25]

Besides, the naturally agnostic idealistic logic of socialism obscured even the slaughter of Hitler’s Germany. Karl Marx saw in philosophical naturalism the logical and sociological backing for a monetary investigation that prompted the mass homicide of duplicated millions around the world. Mao Tse–tung’s socialist tyranny of China represented the passings of an expected sixty–five million individuals, while the U.S.S.R. under Stalin saw somewhere around twenty and thirty million killed as an after effect of agrarian collectivization and the Great Purge. Add to that two million Cambodians––nearly a fourth of that country’s populace—slaughtered by Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge administration, and the loss of life coming about because of the common belief system of socialism turns into a repulsiveness past comprehension. More individuals passed on as an after effect of secularist philosophies in the most recent century alone than have kicked the bucket in all the religiously roused clashes of Western history.

At last, a third belief system of cutting edge secularism has prompted significantly all the more horrendous outcomes. In spite of the fact that not formally sorted out under an unhinged tyrant, this imperceptible holocaust keeps on killing untold millions around the world. Four thousand defenseless victims––more than the aggregate losses of 9/11––die every day in the United States alone. The secularist philosophy to which I allude, obviously, is abortionism. In fact, the cutting edge bioethical holocaust has obscured the slaughter of Nazism and socialism consolidated.

B.     Indian Perspective

Terrorism in Indian context cannot be limited only to the attacks by militants. We need to broaden the horizons and incorporate the terrorism by state and various religious practices. Terrorism in India has taken the shape of state violence in late 20th and early 21st century. Major examples such violence can be witnessed in the names of 1984 anti-Sikh riots, Ayodhya massacre, Bombay Riots, 2001 Kishtwar massacre, Godhera riots, 2002 in Gujarat, the Muzzafar Nagar riots in 2013 and the recent Una riots, 2016 in Gujarat are a few of  many.

India the major issues arise because of conflicting ideologies of majority and minority religions which are which are always trying to capture the free space of such minor religions by involving in violence. Also, Indian religion system is the father of caste system which now has resulted in the formation of various terrorist groups inside India and one such group can be seen as naxalites although this community is not a terrorist group but the actions are similar to a one. India because of his religious history and irrational caste based system has led to her own destruction by her own kids in her own name

“Hoffman argues that a religious imperative is one of the most important characteristics of contemporary terrorism. He observes that it is the nature of the violence that distinguishes religious terrorism from political terrorism. He argues that the intensity of the acts and number of fatalities created by religious terrorism somehow distinguish religious from secular violence.”[26]

Terrorism can be defined as the use of violent acts to frighten the people in an area as a way of trying to achieve a political goal.[27] The next face of religious evil in India is the personal laws of respective communities. The practice of Sati had caused a lot of atrocities on Indian women[28] and was a form of terrorism. The ratio behind this practice was based on the fallacy of protecting the purity of women. When the propagators of religion start propagating such practices at the cost of human rights the problem starts at that very point and the social practices convert into a terrorism taking the lives and human rights of many. Thus, the act of sati was a violent way to further the political goals of dominance of men in the society.

One such example in Islam is the law of Triple Talaq, wherein a husband is entitled to grant divorce to his by merely by reciting the term Talaq for 3 times in a continuation. If merely pronouncing a particular term thrice can result into divorce which is a social stigma attached for a women for her lifetime such law is nothing more than terrorism for the women of that community. Women are always at a risk of getting destroyed even if they’re at zero faults.

Ambiguity is created due to the existence of different personal laws regulating a social institution such as marriage, specifically in the case of polygamy and divorce. Also, possibility of a separate law for Muslims under the Muslim Personal Law supporting child marriage based on Shariat.[29]

The system of Khap Panchayat is another synonym of terrorism in the country like India. On 29 March, a Sessions court in Karnal, Haryana, imposed a death sentence on five people who were ordered by the khaps to kill. These five had a role in the murder in June 2007 of a young couple, Manoj and Babli, of Kaithal district.[30] The only reason why they were killed was that they belonged to the communities where revelry existed since long. A terror has been established by khaps via their existence which has stopped people from being rebel or go against the usual practices of their communities especially with regards to the marriage ceremonies.

The most famous form of terrorism prevalent in India is the cross border terrorism by its neighbor Pakistan. Pakistan is the home for world’s most wanted terrorists and leading terrorist organization. These terrorist organizations have readily accepted that the militants they train are ready to everything and everything under the duty of Jihad.[31] The neologism jihadist is often used to describe militant Muslim groups, including those deemed guilty of terrorist atrocities.[32]  This term which derives its roots form the backyard of religion because of its misinterpretation has resulted in deaths of unaccounted people who carry the batten of innocence and human race.

Thus religion and its propagators have successfully operated the actions of evil under the ambit of religion and will continue to do in the name of religion.

Chapter3: Need for change

In the present dynamics of cross border terrorism, the conventional bilateral alliance systems that underpinned most of the region’s security structure and relations are not adequate to deal with the challenge of conventional cross border terrorism.[33] Considering these scenarios there a clear need for the change in current practices with regard to religion since they’re acting as the blockage in development of the human race. Religion is that blindfold which once worn by any person becomes almost impossible to take off and the person sees nothing except the things shown by religion in the name of God.

Since by now this has been established that Cross-border terrorism is one of the off-springs[34] of religion thus, the time has come to either start abandoning the concept of religion or to start interpreting the same in its true essence. Religion acts as a fear for a person to undertake his actions with caution or else he shall be punished by Bhagwan or Allah or God. When this clause is added before taking up any action, this acts a bar on fundamental rights of a human being because then the person is deprived of his right to choose, right to express etc. for example: A person belonging to Islam wants to consume alcohol but merely because this has been interpreted by the propagators of Islam that consuming alcohol is criticized by Quran he has to kill his will and abide by the same because of the fear of sanction.

Steps which can be adopted by the Government of India in order to curb cross border terrorism are as follows:

1.      Nexus of intelligence of security agencies at the centre and states has to be relooked upon and coordinated accordingly with minimum hindrances.

2.      These intelligence agencies to keep a close eye on various national and international militant groups and identify their potential recruits from India and take actions thereof.

3.      Increase the intakes in police force to control internal security of the country.

4.      Strict regulations with respect to immigrants have to be adopted.

5.      Strengthen the security of our Costal Areas.

6.      Effective use of NATGRID.[35]

7.      Rising of the issues of Cross-Border Terrorism in every one of its appearances incorporating its financing in different multi-sidelong showing her policy of zero tolerance.

Formulation of a Uniform Civil Code (UCC) to curb terrorism by personal laws of different religions.

The need for a UCC was felt as soon as the Constitution came into force. Indeed, even following 54 years, this order couldn’t be actualized for reasons better known not those worried with this mandate. The UCC additionally plans to overcome the particularistic and regularly reactionary parts of individual laws of different religious groups. The target accordingly is additionally to bring a social change and elevating the status of ladies. The UCC is famously alluring in light of a legitimate concern for modernization of society and for a typical arrangement of Justice for all.[36]

The absence of UCC gives rise to piquant, unwarranted and ugly situations. In the words of court: Marriage is the very foundation of civilized society. The relation once formed, the law steps in and binds the parties to various obligations and liabilities there under. Marriage is not an institution in maintenance of which the public at large is deeply interested. It is the foundation of the family and in turn of society without which no civilization can exist.[37]

Indian Judiciary has appreciated the need of the UCC by various landmark judgments. Justice Y.V. Chandrachud while delivering the judgment in the matter of Mohd. Ahmed Khan v. Shah Bano Begum[38] said that the uniform civil code will help in the process of national integration by removing the lacunas in all the conflicts of personal laws and the never lasting tussel between the ideologies of two religions. Again in the case of Sarla Mudgal[39] the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India had reiterated the need to a Uniform Civil Code to further the cause of pan nation integration on personal laws front and end the conflict of ideologies of various religions.

Abandon the Institutions of Khaps

The punishments under the system of Khap Panchayats are granted in the name of Honour killing which has been recognized as illegal[40] by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in various judgments. Thus, any institution furthering an illegal object by illegal means shall be declared illegal and the institution should be demolished with immediate effect so as to rebuilt the new structure of faith and uniformity in the socities that face atrocities because of irrational actions of such institutions.


Religion has done the work of dividing people in the name of faith and has lead to massive genocides in human communities by their fellow brothers. It has also worked as a friction for development of a particular community which by the virtue of being a minority religion was always oppressed. Also, religion has curbed the personal freedoms of an individual by inserting the clause of sanction to every act of his/hers in non compliance with the route of religion and hence making the society static. This results in failure of growth of that particular religion and people of the same religion.

Indeed, even separated from the continuous genocide of the unborn, more than one hundred million individuals kicked the bucket on account of secularist administrations amid the twentieth century. Combined with acknowledgment of the incalculable compassionate guide endeavors spurred by religious responsibilities, these measurements ought to rouse secularists toward humble thoughtfulness, as opposed to haughty inculpation of religion.

Thus the hypothesis of the research paper that Religion is one of the many reasons to blame for harbouring all evil. Rest all evils evade from this very own reason has been proved and satisfied to the best of Author’s knowledge.


[1] Young, Lavada J., What Is Religion?, 3.2 Social Science pp. 138-45 1928.
[2] Ira W. Howerth, International Journal of Ethics, Vol. 13, No. 2, pp. 185-206 (Jan., 1903).
[3] Williams, J. Paul, and Friess Horace L. “The Nature of Religion.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 2.1 pp. 3-17 (1962).
[4] 5 John Dewey, A Common Faith Yale L.J., pp. 3, 7, 9 (1934).
[5] supra note  3, at 3.
[6] 42nd Constitutional Amendment, 1976.
[7] Hindu Marriage Act, § 2(1) clauses (a) and (b) and explanation.
[8] Hindu Marriage Act, § 2(1) (c).
[9] Dr. PARAS DEEWAN, Family law, pg. 4 (10th ed. 2015).
[10] Kusum v. Satya, ILR (1930) 30 Cal. 99.
[11] Peerumal v. Poonuswami, AIR 1971 SC 2352.
[12] Mohandas v. Devasan Board. 1975 KLT 55.
[13] ILR (1903) 30 IA 249.
[14] Chandra Shekar v. Kundandaivelu, AIR 1963 SC 185.
[15] supra note  9, at 4.
[16] Ram Prakash v. Debnab, ILR (1942) Pat. 152.
[17] supra note  9, at 4.
[18] Narantakath v. Parakkal, ILR (1922) 42 Mad. 225.
[19] Id.
[20] supra note 9, at 4.
[21] ILR, (1933) 14 Lah. 518.
[22] Sharia Act, § 3.
[23] supra note 9, at 4.
[24] Adolf Hitler, mein kamph, pg. 339,
[25] Id.
[26] BADEY, THOMAS J., “The Role of Religion in International Terrorism.”, Sociological Focus 35.1 81-86(2002).
[27] Anonymous, definition of terrorism,
[28] I clement, Atrocioties on women, Sociology for Nurses,
[29] Ahmed, Shabbeer, and Ahmed Shabeer. “Uniform civil code (article 44 of the constitution) a dead letter.” The Indian Journal of Political Science 67.3: 545-52 (2006).
[30] Anonymous, “Khaps, Castes and Violence.” Economic and Political Weekly 45.18 pg. 7 (2010).
[31] G Marranci, Jihad: Beyond Islam; L Napoleoni, ‘Modern Jihad: the Islamist Crusade’ (2003) 23 Sais Review 2, pp.53, 65(Berg, New York, 2006).
[32] Turner, Colin. “Reconsidering Jihad: The Perspective of Bediüzzaman Said Nursi.” Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions 11.2 pp. 94-111 (2007).
[33] Acharya, Arabinda. “India and Southeast Asia in the Age of Terror: Building Partnerships for Peace.” Contemporary Southeast Asia 28.2 pp. 297-321 (2006).
[34] Id.
[35] Government has established the National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) with an intention to link data bases for collecting actionable intelligence to combat terrorism and internal security threats.
[36] Ahmed, Shabbeer, and Ahmed Shabeer. “Uniform civil code (article 44 of the constitution) a dead letter.” The Indian Journal of Political Science 67.3 pp. 545-52 (2006).
[37] Id.
[38] 1985 2 SCC 556.
[39] 1995 3 SCC 635.
[40] Arumugam Servei v. State of Tamil Nadu, 2011 6 SCC 405.

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