ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Nehru and Minorities

S Gopal Pressure of circumstances led Nehru not to throw his full weight on the side of secularism. In 1948 he committed the support of the government to the banning of communal political parties but did not implement the resolution. He agreed with Gandhi that the compulsory stoppage of cow-slaughter, taken as an isolated decision, would appear as a concession to Hindu bigotry and was therefore to be avoided; yet he did not oppose the listing of the banning of cow-slaughter as one of the directive principles of state policy in the constitution and was content to see that nothing came of it in practice. An even greater deficiency in his policy of merging religious communities in a general citizenship was the restriction of the insistence on monogamy to Hindu men and the grant of the rights of divorce and inheritance only to Hindu women. In his keenness to win the confidence of the Muslim community, he failed to ensure the equality before the law of all Indians and enact a common civil code. Religion can be separated from politics more easily if it is also separated from law.

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