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Religion, Communalism and Politics

Our politics today is purely power-oriented and values are thrown aside as if values are shell and power the core. Politics without values become monstrosity as Gujarat has proved.

  • Gandhiji,
in early twenties, had felt this danger and had then written that politics without religion is like breathing without nose.
  • Gandhiji later modified the word religion as he realised its use could be misunderstood. He was quite clear that state should remain secular.
  • Thus in 1942 he clarified when he said "Religion is a personal matter which should have no place in politics."
  • He even went further and told a missionary: "If I were a dictator, religion and State would be separate. I swear by my religion. I will die for it. But it is my personal affair. The State has nothing do with it."

However, our politicians have completely reversed this approach. They mix religion with politics with vengeance and throw away values in the air.

Religion without values

like justice, equality, compassion, love, non-violence, truth and sensitivity to others suffering is mere dead ritual and if such empty rituals, and not values, are associated with religion, which our politicians do, it can be very deadly. This is what we have been witnessing since independence.

Not that power is not important in politics, it is. But the question is power is a means to achieve certain goal. Power should not be a goal but a means to an end. But for our present day politician's power has become the goal and outright foul or unethical means are employed to achieve this goal. And all this is done quite unabashedly. Also, the struggle for power has become quite ruthless.

Such struggle existed in medieval ages too as power has terrible attraction for some people. It often leads to patricide or fratricide too. But then we do not approve of medieval methods of seizing power. Democracy is important both for means employed and goals to be achieved. But it appears our medieval mindset has hardly changed and our methods of achieving power have even worsened.

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