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Articles of FaithReligion, Secularism, and the Indian Supreme Court$
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Ronojoy Sen

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780198063803

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198063803.001.0001

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In the Name of God

In the Name of God

Regulating Religion in Elections

(p.73) 3 In the Name of God
Articles of Faith

Ronojoy Sen

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines how religion and religious propaganda in election campaigns in India are regulated, focusing on the Supreme Court's interventions in the sphere of election campaigns. In the matter of election campaigns, Section 123 of the Representation of the People Act — the legislation governing the conduct of Indian elections — prohibits election candidates from appealing for votes on the grounds of religion or religious symbols, as well as attempting to promote enmity on grounds of religion, race, community, or language. The Supreme Court has usually attempted to stamp out use of religion in election propaganda, with the notable exception of the Hindutva rulings. But even in the Hindutva rulings, a notion of the context in which the appeal to religion was being made was introduced. This allows the Court to decide when an electoral appeal is religious or not.

Keywords:   India, Supreme Court, election campaigns, religion, religious propaganda, Hindutva rulings, electoral appeal, religious symbols, Representation of the People Act, elections

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