Comparing Secularism in India and China

Peter van der Veer, university professor at Utrecht, explored different patterns of secularism in India and China, with special attention to the historical legacies of colonialism and the nation-building projects first undertaken in the nineteenth century. The government hostility towards religion in China, evident both before and after the 1949 revolution, was in part a reaction to the negative colonial and missionary experience. In India, a more constructive relationship between secularism, nationalism, and democracy was shaped by a very different colonial legacy.

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