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Context

Indian constitution provides fundamental right to freedom of religion (Article 25,26,27,28 among others).

India is country with secular constitution. However many personal laws regarding marriages, divorce, inheritance, adoption etc are religion specific (along with some non-religious versions of these acts like Special Marriage Act)

Questions

  1. Does the constitution of India allows starting a brand new religion?
  2. Will this new religion get similar freedoms? Especially if it promotes controversial practices (which are not uncommon in many religions like — circumcision, polygamy, subjugation of women, weird dress codes etc)
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  • 3 out of 4 tenets you suggested are against the law.
    – Trish
    Apr 7 at 9:37
  • In Indian context : Not giving women the proper rights to inherit property (for example son gets bigger share than that of daughter), under Digambara sect of Jainism monks remain naked, polygamy for certain religions — allowed.
    – ShivCK
    Apr 7 at 10:22
  • Circumcision is mutilation and a crime, Polygamy is banned and subjugation is enslavement and illegal. You mean a different inheritance law which is legal, but not subjugation
    – Trish
    Apr 7 at 10:24
  • Subjugation of women under religions is a real thing. And I used this term to highlight social discriminations and suppressions which continue under personal laws . (Which vary religion to religion). However I don't might removing this term.
    – ShivCK
    Apr 7 at 10:29
  • 2
    Male circumcision is lawful, FGM is not.
    – Rick
    Apr 7 at 10:32

1 Answer 1

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Does the constitution of India allows starting a brand new religion?

Yes. Indeed, brand new religions have been started in India since it was enacted. See, e.g., Dinkoism and an academic journal article by Dubey (2015) discussing several others. The Lingayat religion is currently in the process of seeking official government recognition as an organized religious body (even though it has actually existed for centuries in India).

Will this new religion get similar freedoms?

Yes.

Especially if it promotes controversial practices (which are not uncommon in many religions like — circumcision, polygamy, subjugation of women, weird dress codes etc)

The fact that practices are controversial does not bar a religion from receiving respect under the Constitution of India. But religious views don't always overcome secular law.

For example, a new religion that called for human sacrifice would not make that practice legal in India, despite its constitutional protections for freedom of religion.

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