The substrata of Articles 25-30 of the Indian Constitution have always been at the heart of Bharat’s national discourse even before the Constitution came into force on January 26th, 1950. This should come as no surprise given that faith has been central to the history of this ancient land, as recognised even by the framers of the Constitution. Therefore, contemporary debates and controversies surrounding Articles 25-30 are but a continuum of a civilisational legacy.
It would not be inaccurate to state that faith has acquired an even more important status in Bharat’s national life ever since Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, the founder of Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College (now known as Aligarh Muslim University), spoke of Hindus and Muslims as two separate nations in 1883. It could even be argued that the skewed and severely truncated approach to majority and minority rights in independent Bharat is but a continued impact of the two-nation theory. Such an approach has contributed to the rapidly vanishing layers of nuance not only in political dialogue but also in constitutional discussions, much to the exclusion and detriment of several markers of identity and vast swathes of citizens.