Thursday, September 18, 2008

Religion and Politics

When we consider the link between religion and politics, it appears as though we are trying to link two subjects or objects which are absolutely divergent. While politics is the name given to the art of governing a country, religion is the name given to the acceptance of a superhuman who is governing from somewhere, above all, the human race. A person who has a religious bent of mind is known to be pious and God fearing, scrupulous, conscientious and having concern for all. If these are the qualities of a religious minded person one does not see how and why we should keep such people out of governance.
The situation prevailing in the world and mostly in India is because there is absolute segregation of religion from politics. When religion is set aside, it is but natural that religions people are also swept away. So, the governance falls automatically in the hands of those who lack the qualities of a religious minded person. It is exactly these qualities as being missing entities in our politics, and that is why, this situation of the country, and both politics and religion have gone with the wind, because they have severed relations.
Now let us consider each of the qualities mentioned that are supposed to be found in people who are religious minded, and see how the lack of these very qualities have worked hell into our politics. A religious minded person is expected to be pious and God fearing, i.e. to be dutiful and god fearing. Now, since our politicians lack duty, the sense of duty, they have no qualms about all they are doing, what they owe to the electorate, that has placed them on a pedestal. Since they are not God fearing, we see the entry of criminals into politics, and the fast and continuous criminalization of politics. The politicians are known to get crimes committed for achieving their own ends. Al this is because they have no religion and they are not even frightened of God.
The politicians are not scrupulous i.e. not bothered about any details of their working as long as the personal ends are served – he just does not care as to what he does, and what the repercussions of his actions will be. All this is because he is not religious minded. Not only this, he lacks sincerity and conscientiousness because he does not seem to care for any job in hand as, he has had his prime objective of reaching a chair which gives him a return.
Regarding the politician’s concern, it is neatly concentrated in himself and his family only. He has absolutely no concern for the poor people who have voted him to power. His concern is simple, HE, HIMSELF and HIS FAMILY.
After studying all the qualities of a modern politician, one would say that he is irreligious and that is why he is so degraded, depraved and selfish. The present scenario of politics and politicians is because of an absolute delinking of religion from the realm of politics. Religion cannot make anything, anybody or any system bad.
However, in today’s politics, being religious has taken a back seat, while at the same time, religion is being used as a tool of destruction. It is here that religion plays a nasty role in politics. It is not the merging of religion and politics that is bad, but it is the exploitation of religious sentiments by politicians that is disastrous. The politicians are not religious minded but take the cover of religion to play up one section of the society against another. It is this aspect which bad, an not religion or politics. Thus we can say that mixing of politics and religion can be a wonderful blend if the attitudes of religious people and religion be developed in all politicians. Instead, our politicians misuse religious beliefs to destroy both the political fabric of the country, and the religious fervour of the Indians.
The part of religion that has nothing to do with politics is the rituals. These depend on the individuals and the State or politics should not interfere, but the absolute severance of religion from politics has led this country to this dead end. When we do not understand whereto our politics and politicians are leading us, and where our religious sentiments take us. This confusion is all the creation of our politicians and an achievement of our fifty years of misrule. We have in the bargain destroyed the standard of the politician, who has always taken refuge of religion to meet his own ends. If this continues, we will soon have forgotten what governance is and also what religion makes of us. Religion and religious thinking should make of us good, sincere human beings and not corrupt traitors as what we are today. This is not because religion and politics are dealt with from the same platform, but because both have lost their real meaning and sanctity and their impact on those who matter.
If religion could correctly and wisely be merged with politics, we would get a community of well meaning, hard working, and loyal politicians who would do wonders for the country. I fail to understand why, people believe that religion should not be linked with politics for, I believe that the two would make a very healthy and congenial whole, if used appropriately.

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