RELIGION AND POLITICS
The question of interference of religion in politics has father become a non issue. In a large number of countries religion has became an integral part of politics. Most of the counties 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 forces of Roman Catholic Church of Ireland fought against the hegemony of the protestant led forces of England. A Khomeini returning to power would not bring religious interference in the governance of Iran; he 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 cover of secularism is lifted from the republics known as the USSR They turn to religion. The pro Islamic forces in Kazakhstan the second biggest republic of Soviet Russia bring pressure on the secular minded Soviet President who voted in favour of Pakistan an Islamic State and against India, an old friend of secular Russia in the IIN.O.
It may look strange but is a historical truth that religion does not remain merely an institution of faith or a way of worship and a step for the soul to achieve its goal of divinity. It identifies itself with the people of a nation that grows and makes progress under its canopy.
The Pope coming to the rescue of a Catholic Leach Walesa forcing a Communist regime in Poland not to harm him and his followers is not a story of distant past. It was not an interference with the polish administration but 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.
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 Malapuram 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? A Rajiv Gandhi getting the Muslim Women’s Act passed in 1986. A V.P. Singh and many other leaders meet 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 CM. of U.P. bringing 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 pant of the Indian populace with a particular religion whose leaders would like to call themselves not as Indian Muslims but Muslim Indians.
The result of 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. It 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 water of religions of Indian origin.