RELIGION IN POLITICS


Gandhi the patron of secularism once remarked ‘politics without religion is a trap, is a trap, is a trap’ was Gandhi being a hypocrite by preaching ‘a’ while practicing ‘ z’? In order to find out the real sense of the his dialogue we first need to understand what religion meant for him. Religion in the Indian concept is composed of four basic virtues i.e. ‘Dharma, Artha, Karma & Moksha’. Dharma means duty, Artha means capital, Karma is the deeds while Moksha is peace these all together form what we know as religion. Religion therefore refers to duties and sane deeds to have a peaceful life hence politics without duties and sane deeds is definitely a trap, a trap, a trap.

A very raw meaning of religion is ‘love for god’ and that of communalism is ‘obsession for god and one’s religion’. Communalism is the perverted form of religion and the extreme form of communalism leads to ‘fanaticism’. Religion and communalism are two terms which are invariably used as synonyms in most of our discussions. Religion in politics as Gandhi said is a must while communalism in politics is a curse. Our votes and support in a democratic country like India should be for the leader who is religious and not for the communal one; however the hardest part is differentiating between the two. In my opinion religious politics as Gandhi desired is an oxymoron at least in the present day scenario. Our modern society ahs modernized on the very bedrock of religion and is also segregated on the same basis. Religion has had such enigmatic imprint on our society that the very blurred line separating religion and communalism has reduced to a mere ardor of the learned. Hence as most of the people say ‘it’s no more black or white in politics, everyone is equally soaked in the diabolical black, it’s about finding and voting for the one in gray’.

Our Indian politics is one of the most brightly religiously painted political systems in the world and the credits for same goes to our long religious history coupled with the concept of secularism adopted post independence.  There are prolonged suspicions on the reasons behind the unexpected BJP victory in 2014 general elections. The entire country was bugged of being represented by a puppet PM and the long list of scams had almost brought the entire nation on the brink of a revolution, what people wanted and voted for was development and for a more charismatic leadership and the only person qualifying all these was ultimately chosen. The country had after years managed to give a sound verdict for a better nation but unfortunately this too has been given a communal color. And this itself proves how unreligious politics is.

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