NCERT Class 8 Social Science Chapter 14 Understanding Secularism

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NCERT Class 8 Social Science Chapter 14 Understanding Secularism Solutions to each chapter is provided in the list so that you can easily browse through different chapters NCERT Class 8 Social Science Chapter 14 Understanding Secularism and select need one. NCERT Class 8 Social Science Chapter 14 Understanding Secularism and After Question Answers Download PDF. NCERT SST Class 8 Solutions.

NCERT Class 8 Social Science Chapter 14 Understanding Secularism

Also, you can read the NCERT book online in these sections Solutions by Expert Teachers as per Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) Book guidelines. CBSE Class 8 Social Science Solutions are part of All Subject Solutions. Here we have given NCERT Class 8 Social Science Chapter 14 Understanding Secularism and After, NCERT Class 8 Social Science Textbook of Our Pasts – III: History, Social and Political Life – III: Civics, Resources, and Development: Geography. for All Chapters, You can practice these here.

Understanding Secularism

Chapter: 14



Q.1. List the different ‘types of religious practices that you find in your neighborhood. This could be different forms of prayer, worship of different gods, sacred sites, different kings of religious music and singing, etc. Does this indicate freedom of religious practices?

Ans. The different types of practices that we find in our neighborhood are:

(a) Going to temples and Gurudwara.

(b) Performing yajna.

(c) Satsang. (Hymn recitement)

(d) Reading Namaaz (Muslim prayers)

(e) Worshipping idols.

(f) Saying prayers.

(g) Reading epics.

All these things indicate that India is a secular country and the Constitution of India grants religious freedom and equality. State does not promote any religion. Everybody is free to worship any god in any manner he or she likes.

Q.2. Will the government intervene if some religious group says that their religion allow them to practise infanticide? Give reasons for your answer.

Ans. Yes the government will intervene if some religious group says that their religion allow them to practise infanticide. 

We can give the following reasons for our answer:

(a) No religion of the world allows anyone the murder of an infant. All the religions promote non- violence.

(b) System of sacrifice was promoted by superstitions and selfish religious leaders in ancient or medieval times. No righteous man will support it.

Q.3. Complete the following table:

ObjectiveWhy is this important?Example of a violation of this objective
(a) One religious community does not dominate another.
(b) The state does not enforce any particular religion nor take away the religious freedom of individuals.
(c) That some members do not dominate other members of the same religious community.

Ans. (a) One religious community does not dominate another because everyone should honour country’s constitution which grants right to equality and right to freedom to all. Religious equality is important because it promotes brotherhood, harmony and mutual cooperation.

Example: In the United States of America most children in the government schools have to begin their school day by reciting the ‘Pledge of Allegiance’. This pledge includes the word ‘under God’.

(b) This is important for a secular state. The constitution provides the religious freedom as a fundamental right. Human rights also favour religious freedom.

Example: In an Islamic county such as Saudi Arabia religious freedom is not provided.

(c) It is important to establish equality among the people of different cast and economic social status of the same religious community. 

Example: Before India became Republic, the upper caste Hindus believed in untouchability. The people of so-called lower castes were discriminated on the basis of the caste.

Q.4. Look up the annual calendar of holidays of your school. How many of them pertain to different religions? What does this indicate?

Ans. List of Holidays (in calendar year of 2015):

● January 13th Lohri.

● 10 January 14th Pongal/Makar Sankranti.

● January 15th Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti.

● January 25th Milad-Al-Nabi (Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday).

● January 26th Republic Day.

● Feb. 15th Vasant Panchami.

● Feb. 19th Chhatra Pati Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti.

● Feb. 25th Guru Ravi Dass Jayanti.

● March 10th Maha Shivratri.

● March 27th Holi.

● March 29th Good Friday.

● and so on.

◆ Holidays related with Hindus:

(a) Lohri.

(b) Pongal or Makar Sankranti.

(c) Basant Panchami.

(d) Ravi Dass Jayanti.

(e) Shiv Ratri.

(f) Holi.

(g) Dulendi.

(h) Ugadi.

(i) Ram Navami.

(j) Baisakhi.

(k) Raksha Bandhan.

(l) Krishna Janmashtami.

(m) Ganesh Chaturthi.

(n) Anant Chaudas.

(o) Dussehra.

(p) Valmiki Jayanti.

(q) Diwali.

(r) Govardhan Pooja.

(s) Bhaiya Dooj.

◆ Holidays pertain to Islam or Muslims:

(a) Id-ul-Zuha.

(b) Moharram.

(c) Milad-al-nabi.

(d) Id-ul-fitar.

◆ Holidays pertaining to Christians:

(a) Good Friday.

(b) X-mas Day.

◆ Holidays pertaining to Sikhs:

(a) Lohri.

(b) Baisakhi.

(c) Guru Nanak Birthday.

◆ Holiday pertaining to Buddhism:

(a) Buddha Purnima.

◆ Holiday pertaining to Jainism:

(a) Mahavir Jayanti.

The above list of holidays indicates that:

India is a land of religious diversities. It is a land of festivals, celebrations and carnivals. Being a secular country everybody is free to follow own religion.

Despite all diversities many festivals are celebrated by people of more than one religion. It indicates “Unity in Diversity” in India.

Q.5. Find out some examples of different views with in the same religion. 

Ans. (a) Pongal is celebrated by the Hindus in South India while Mankar Sakranti is celebrated by the Hindus in North India.

(b) Holi is celebrated by all sections of Hindus and even by some Sikhs.

(c) Shiv Ratri is mainly celebrated by the followers of Lord Shiva.

(d) Ram Navami is celebrated by the followers of Lord Rama.

(e) Ravi Dass Jayanti and Ambedkar Jayanti are mainly celebrated by the Dalits throughout India.

(f) In the Hindu religion some people are in favour of the caste system while there are others who opposeit.

Q.6. The Indian State both keeps away from religion as well as intervenes in religion. This idea can be quite confusing. Discuss this once again in class using examples from the chapter as well as those that you might have come up with.

Ans. Non-interference in religion by the Indian State: Following examples make it clear that Indian State keeps away from interfering in religion:

(i) This Indian State has no religion of its own. 

(ii) It does not allow any government institution to display anything which promotes any religion.

(iii) It does not allow any government schools to promote any religion in their programmes or functions.

(iv) In the Indian State no religious community dominates the others.

All this has been done to promote true secularism in India.

Interference in Religion: In order to see that all the citizens enjoy the freedom enshrined in the Fundamental Right of Equality, the Indian State has sometimes to interfere in religion, for example:

(i) The state has banned untouchability in order to end the age-old religious exclusion and discrimination against lower castes.

(ii) Wearing of turban is essential to the Sikh religion, so the Sikhs have been permitted not to wear helmet as asked by the law.

(iii) Some seats have been reserved for the Scheduled Castes and the Schedule Tribes in government services and educational institutions.

(iv) This has been done to do away with injustice done in the social and religious fields.

(v) The Indian state also interferes in the shape of support. For example, the minority communities are given financial support to set up their own schools and colleges.

Q.7. This poster alongside highlights the need for ‘Peace’. It says “Peace is a never ending process. It cannot ignore our differences or overlook our common interests.” Write in your own words what you think the above sentences are trying to convey? How does it relate to the need for religious tolerance?

This chapter had three drawings on religious tolerance made by students of your age. Design your own poster on religious tolerance for your peers.

Ans. Peace is loved by all. All religions preach peace, non-violence, humanity and brotherhood. Peace is needed for everyone- for the sake of security, property protection and for living with honour.

‘Peace’ is a human phenomenon which is for the protection of all. Terrorism is to be condemned by all of us.

A picture can be drawn showing the celebration of some festivals like Diwali, Holi, Dussehra, being celebrated together by people of more than one religion.



Q.1. Write the names of any two non-secular states or countries.

Ans. (i) Israel (Pro – Jewish)

(ii) Saudi Arabia.

Q.2. What is the strategy of non- interference in religion?

Ans. The strategy of non-interference means that in order to respect the sentiments of all religions and not interfere with religious practices.

Q.3. Can Fundamental Rights be suspended?

Ans. Yes, Fundamental Rights can be suspended when an emergency is declared. After the emergency is lifted, the rights again come into force.

Q.4. Why is Indian secularism different from that of American secularism?

Ans. Unlike the Indian secularism, there is strict separation between religion and the state in American secularism.

Q.5. What is the main idea behind secularism?

Ans. Secularism refers to the separation of religion from the state.

Q.6. Write the names of three former French colonies.

Ans. (i) Algeria.

(ii) Tunisia

(iii) Morocco.

Q.7. What are the names of the Fundamental Rights in USA and France?

Ans. In USA, the fundamental rights are called the ‘Bill of Rights’ and in France it is called ‘the Declaration of Rights of man and citizen.’

Q.8. When was the Right to Information Act came into force?

Ans. The Right to Information Act came into force on 12 October 2005.

Q.9. Write one historical example of religious discrimination.

Ans. During the reign of the Nazis or Adolf Hitler, the Jews were persecuted and several millions were killed and forced to free from their own country.

Q.10. What is a secular state?

Ans. A state where all religions command equal respect is called a secular state.


Q.1. What is secularism?

Ans. Secularism means:

(a) It is the belief that no one should be discriminated on the basis of the religion he or she practises.

(b) Every citizen, respective of which religion he or she follows is equal in the eyes of the laws and policies that govern the nation.

Q. 2. What is the difference between the Indian secularism and American secularism?

Ans. Indian secularism differs from American secularism in the following ways:

(a) In Indian secularism though the state is not strictly separate from religion, it does not maintain a principal distance vis-a-vis religion. This means that any interference in religion by the state has to be based on the ideals laid out in the constitution.

(b) On the other hand in American secularism, government cannot ……….. of the others.

Q.3. Give examples of violation of the Fundamental Rights in Indian society. 

Ans. Examples of violation of the Fundamental Rights in Indian society can be illustrated as follows: 

(a) People from minority have sometimes gone to internal human rights commission.

(b) The children below 14 years of age are still seen working in rich families in cities.

(c) Female infanticide is practised in some towns though it has been banned by law.

Q.4. What are the objectives of secularism in India?

Ans. The secularism in India has the following objectives:

(a) Some members do not dominate other members of the same religious community.

(b) The state does not enforce any particular religion nor take away the religious freedom of individuals.

(c) One religious community does not dominate another.

Q.5. Give one example from the US (United States of America) that is considered an objectionable practice by some children in government schools, as a religious saying.

Ans. In the United States of America, most children in government schools have to begin their school day reciting the ‘Pledge of Allegiance’. This pledge includes the words “Under God”. It was established more than 60 years ago that government school students are not required to recite the pledge if it conflicts with their religious beliefs. Despite this, there have been several legal challenges objecting to phrase “Under God” saying that it violates separation between church and state that the first amendment of the US Constitution guarantees.

Q.6. Why are Fundamental Duties important? Write any four fundamental duties.

Ans. Fundamental duties of citizens serve a useful purpose. Rights involve the fulfillment of certain duties, which they owe towards each other and also towards the state. No democratic party can ever succeed where the citizens are not willing to be active participants in the process of governance by assuring responsibilities and discharging citizenship duties and coming forward to give their best to the country.

Fundamental duties which are prescribed by the constitution under Part (IV-A) to every citizen are:

(1) To uphold and protect the sovereignty and integrity of India.

(2) To promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood.

(3) To value and preserve our composite culture.

(4) To safeguard public property.


Q.1. ‘The Indian state work to prevent religious domination through different ways’. Explain them in detail.

Ans. The Indian state works to prevent religious domination in various ways. 

These are:

(i) The first way it uses a strategy of distancing itself from religious. The Indian state is not followed by a particular religious group. It also does not promote any one religion. In India, government institutions such as law courts, Police stations, government schools and offices are not supposed to demonstrate or promote any one religion.

(ii) Second, Indian secularism follows a strategy of non- interference. It means that in order to respect the emotions of all religions and not interfere with religious practices, the state makes certains exceptions for individual religious communities. 

(iii) Third way is the intervention of the state for the protection from the domination of religion. Untouchability present a good example where members of the same religion, i.e. upper caste Hindus, dominate other members, i.e. lower caste within it.

(iv) In order to prevent this religion based discrimination of lower castes, our constitution banned untouchability. Here, the state intervened in religion in order to uproot a social practice that it believed discriminated and excluded, and that violated the Fundamental Rights of the people belonging to lower.

Q.2. Why is it important to separate religion from the State?

Ans. It is important to separate religion from the State because:

(a) In almost all countries of the world there are more than one religious groups living there. If one majority group uses the power and financial resources of the state against minority, this will lead to tyranny of the majority on the minority religious groups.

(b) Once a secular state can ensure the freedom of the individuals and can protect the Fundamental Rights of all its citizens.

(c) The right to freedom of religion is guaranteed to all citizens in a democratic society. 

Q.3. What are the writs and how it works to protect the rights of the citizens? Explain its kinds.

Ans. Writs are refer to the court which can issue various kinds of writs in order to protect the right of the people. Writs are the written orders sent by a higher authority to the lower authority asking why they have not fulfilled their duty or why they have overstepped their powers.

Habeas Corpus, Mandamus, Certiorari, Prohibition and Quo- warranto are the kinds of writs. Let us explain its kind in detail:

(1) Habeas Corpus: The word ‘habeas corpus’ literally mean ‘to have a body’. This writ may be addressed to an official or a private person, who has another person in his custody.

(2) Mandamus: It means a command. It command the person to whom it is addressed to perform some public or quasi-public legal duty which he has refused to perform and the performance of which cannot be enforced by any other adequate legal remedy.

(3) Certiorari: It is issued to quash order or decision of the Court or Tribunal while prohibition is issued to prohibit the Court or Tribunal from making the ultra wires order or decision.

(4) Prohibition: It is a writ issued by the Supreme Court or High Court to an inferior court forbidding the latter to continue proceeding in there in excess if its jurisdiction or to usurp a jurisdiction with which it is not legally vested.

(5) Quo-Warranto: It is a proceeding where by the court enquires into the legality of the claim which a party asserts to a public office, and to oust him from its enjoyment if the claims is not well founded.


Q.1. What is the essence of socialism?

Ans. Religious domination in a state is the essence of socialism.

Q.2. In what ways does the state prevent religious domination in our country?

Ans. To prevent religious domination the Indian state works in various ways:

(i) Keeping distance from religion. 

(ii) By adopting the strategy of non-interference in religion.


Q.1. Why is it important to separate religion from the state? Explain.

Ans. It is important to separate religion from the state on account of following reasons:

(a) To avoid the Tyranny and Violation of Fundamental Rights: In our country we have many religious groups and if the majority religious groups have access to state power, then these could quite easily misuse the power and impose tyranny. This in turn violates the democratic rights of the minority religious groups. Therefore, to avoid tyranny and violation of fundamental rights it is necessary to separate religion from the state.

(b) To protect the freedom of individual and promote freedom to interpret: Another important reason to separate religion from the state India is to protect the freedom of individuals to exit from their religion, embrace another religion and to promote the freedom to interpret religious teaching differently.


Q.1. Multiple Choice Questions.

Tick (✔) the correct options

1. In which month does Diwali came?

(a) December – January.

(b) March.

(c) July-August.

(d) October-November.

Ans. (d) October-November.

2. Orders to restore a citizen’s fundamental right are issued by

(a) the government.

(b) the President.

(c) the court.

(d) all of these.

Ans. (a) the government.

3. Who was the founder of Sikhism?

(a) Guru Nanak.

(b) Guru Gobind Singh.

(c) Guru Teg Bahadur. 

(d) Guru Arjun Dev.

Ans. (a) Guru Nanak.

4. By whom is Diwali celebrated?

(a) Hindus.

(b) Christians.

(c) Sikhs.

(d) All of these.

Ans. (d) All of these.

5. The government cannot force Sikhs to wear a helmet while driving two wheelers because.

(a) they look handsome in pagri.

(b) they do not obey government rules.

(c) wearing a pagri is a very important part of Sikh religion.

(d) Sikhs are very powerful.

Ans. (c) wearing a pagri is a very important part of Sikh religion.

6. What do you mean by ‘Sati system’?

(a) Beating of wife by husband.

(b) Keeping oneself away from certain members of the same community

(c) Burning of a widow on the pyre of her husband.

(d) None of these.

Ans. (c) Burning of a widow on the pyre of her husband.

7. Which of the following steps have been taken by Indian government to support secularism?

(a) The Indian state has no religion of its own.

(b) Indian state has adopted a strategy of non- interference.

(c) The government schools cannot promote any religion either in their programmes or through any religious celebrations.

(d) All of these.

Ans. (d) All of these

8. What does coercion means? 

(a) To respect all religions.

(b) To force others to do something what they do not want to do.

(c) Non-interference in the affairs of the others.

(d) None of these.

Ans. (b) To force others to do something what they do not want to do.

9. In ____________ , the Fundamental Duties were included in the constitution.

(a) 1950

(b) 1960

(c) 1996

(d) 1980

Ans. (c) 1996

10. Where do Christians go for prayer?

(a) Temple.

(c) Church.

(b) Gurudwara.

(d) Mosque.

Ans. (c) Church.

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