Essay on the Religious Interference in Politics



The question of interference of religion in politics has rather become a non issue as in a large number of countries religion has become an integral part of politics. Most of the countries have a state religion and the religious dignitaries rule the roost directly or indirectly in deciding the political issues.

The secularism of United Kingdom evaporated the day the forces of Roman Catholic Church of Ireland fought against the hegemony of the protestant led forces of England. A Khomeni returning to power would not bring religious interference in the governance of Iran. They would run the whole administration of the state according to the dictates of the Shariat as interpreted by the Shiyas while even a beleaguered Saadat runs the race of armaments in Iraq under the banner of Sunni superiority.

Call it justified or unjustified as soon as the Communist camouflage of secularism is lifted from the bosom of the republics known as the USSR they turn to religion. The religion that was subjected to strict restraints comes to the fore and Azerbejan, Georgia, Bylorussia, Khazakistan and the other states besieged during and after Second World War reawake under the canopy of Christianity or Islam.

The pro-Islamic forces in the governance of Khazakistan the second biggest republic of Soviet Russia bring pressure on the secular minded Soviet President to vote in favour of Pakistan an Islamic State and against India, an old friend of secular Russia in the U .N .0.

It may look strange but is a historical truth that at a certain period of time religion does not remain merely an institution of faith—a way of worship and a step for the soul to achieve its goal of divinity. In a more pragmatic world it identifies itself with the people of a nation that grows and makes progress under its canopy. The material exigencies as met and supplied covertly by the so called secular Western hemisphere just become a tool in the hands of the religion drenched regimes of the states of the Muslim World specially in the Gulf.

The Pope coming to the rescue of a Catholic Leach Walessa forcing a Communist regime in Poland not to harm him and his followers is not a story of distant past. One may say it was not an interference with the polish administration. Of course it wasn't. It was something more. It was an assertion of a world religious authority that worked as a harbinger of political changes in East European countries.

Coming to the national scene one finds the ambitions of a whole religious community being melted and shaped in the crucible of Aligarh Muslim University that finally resulted in the partition of the Motherland (that may not be considered an issue at present) but more forcefully in the establishment of a state and finally two states Pakistan and Bangladesh where politics is not only interfered by religion but is run by religious Islamic dictates. Faith in Islam has become synonymous to political frenzy in the two countries.

Summing up the theme with a closer view of the politics in India during the post-independence regime we find it is rather an irony of fate that the parties that propagate non interference of religion in politics shake hands with the members of Muslim League and keep them in their Ministry.

The secular Congress Party carves a Muslim District Mullapuram for those who got the country divided and aspire for more divisions. The secular CPM does not object to it. Is division not a part of politics and is this prelude not an interference with politics and will chopping off another chunk from the country on religious basis. Rajiv Gandhi getting the Muslim Womens' Act passed in 1986, A V.P. Singh and many other leaders meeting the Imam of Delhi Jama Masjid again and again, Some SJP and TDP leaders saying prayers on Idd day to appease a solid religious community in Lucknow and Hyderabad and a Mulayam Singh erstwhile C.M. of U.P. bring a havoc on the Kar Sevaks under the sway of the dignitaries of a religious community not an interference in politics. It may not be if we support the identification of a part of the Indian populace with a particular region whose leaders would like to call themselves not as Indian Muslims but Muslim Indians.

An outcome and corollary to all this is the resurgence of all those who believe in the religions that comprise the Hindu society—the religions that took birth on the soil of this land that promotes and asserts the emotional attachment to the nation and asserts to be identified as a compact unit of people justifiably called a nation. It is not merely an interference of religion in politics but the real face of politics emerging as a lotus from the pious lake of waters of religions of Indian origin.