Religion Of Politics In India!

India | Politics | Religion | 10th November 2022 | Virtual Wire

 

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Religion and politics are two different entities yet ironically they both are intermingled at the grass root level.

In a country like India this is more pronounced as India is home to various religions, cultures and languages. As soon as we refer to any religion and culture we can imagine specific images associated with that religion and culture. The most remarkable thing about these images is the usage of images and quotes with specific colour palettes and denotation to the God respectively in them. Like in the Hindu religion red and saffron are predominantly used in places like celebrations, poojas, temples, etc. These same colours are used by the political parties to woo their followers along with enchanting slogans with a religious backdrop like Jai Shree Ram, Har Har Mahadev, Allah Hu Akbar, Khela Hobe, etc. are popular slogans of political rallies during elections. This shows the prep of elections is laid upon religious factors. Rather than discussing the issues of national interest, every political party tries to woo the people by offering them freebies of various kinds.


When we talk about the politics of India, religion plays a major significant role. This role has been talked about and is propagated with more intensity via the popularly known as “Godi media” in recent times. The way they present their channels during prime time helps in creating an atmosphere that favours the present government. Not only the presentation but even the way news anchors also use religious quotes and symbols for propagating the agenda of the government is played under the cover in a very effective and subtle way. Like using religion-inspired outfits or slogans or using colours which are religion specific in small icons and accessories like scarves, spectacles, etc.

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According to a study conducted “The Analysis of the primetime shows of leading private and public news channels,” it was seen that the topics which are most commonly discussed in the prime time slot include Politics (20.6%), Crime (15.7%) and Business (9.7%). Whereas topics like education, environment, farming, asking government questions, police and intelligence lie at the bottom list ranging from 1.6 - 0.2%. The survey was conducted in the prime time slot of 8-10 pm and included public news channels Doordarshan (DD News), and private news channels Times Now and India Today. This percentage is more than enough to showcase that the media and politics are diverting the issues which are connected to our basic fundamental rights like the right to education, the right to information, etc.


In Indian culture, religion is closely associated with caste also and people over the years have created distinct demarcations to represent their religion. Faith in God and nationalism are depicted by your religion in today's scenario. Like if you are a nationalist then you will cry out slogans like “Jai Shree Ram”, “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” etc. at the highest capacity of your lungs. But if you want to say “Vande Mataram”, or “Allah Hu Akbar” then you are portrayed in a different manner. There are many reasons not to accept or dislike slogans from other religions or cultures because India is home to an enormous population of Hindus. So, technically Hinduism is the predominant religion that is prevailing and thriving well and minorities are always looked down upon. Minorities have been used by political parties as a weapon to win elections over the years.

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But in recent years the BJP government is trying to intensify the issue of Hindu Rashtra, and the main body which works day and night to propagate that thought process in the public’s mind via Godi Media is the RSS (Rashtriya Sevak Sangh). The history itself states that RSS has always opposed the concept of India, they always dreamt of a Saffron nation or Hindu Rashtra. This idea of India as a nation is very alarming as it clearly states the power belongs to one religion, which is completely against the idea of the constitution and democracy of India. Nowadays we clearly see that under the magnanimous image of PM Modi, the BJP government is talking openly and bluntly about the saffron nation theory on public platforms. Hate speeches are articulated openly by people of RSS, BJP and their associates during Hindu Mahasabha, election rallies, opening ceremonies of projects etc.


But as citizens adult citizens of India, did we question the importance of religion to each other? Why are politicians interested in religious issues? The answer lies in the fact that religion is associated with the faith and beliefs of a particular society. Our society has always given more importance to spiritual and emotional connection rather than things like education, sanitation, healthcare, roads, and other basic amenities necessary for a comfortable life, which every citizen needs from any running government. This strong connection with religion helps any political party to use it as a manipulative vote collector tool over the years. People forget about their suffering and vote if the leader of their choice supports their religion and beliefs. Hindu we see in the present scenario, a few years back the BJP used to cry out against INC for inflation, fuel prices, rupee value, etc. But today the same BJP government is reticent on these issues as they are trying to blindfold the Hindu population mainly with issues like hindu Vs Muslims, Hijab, the Uniform civil code, the meat ban in Navratri, etc. BJP and its associates always divert these issues into national and anti-national debates on prime time rather than giving explanations with facts and figures.

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People of India have to understand that every political party has a job, that is to earn a vote by their deeds, not by teaching citizens what to wear, eat, read, drink, how pray, etc. But when this doesn't happen then religion dominates in politics because your work is not enough to speak and get you a vote. It's not only BJP who are using Hinduism for their vote bank. INC, TMC, and other parties have used minorities over the years as their fixed vote bank. But with BJP being in power at the centre for almost two tenures is following a modus operandi that tries to weaken the opposition and on the other hand with the help of Godi media fabricates stories on the basis of one statement or a picture just to deviate the real issues. Fake and false information is all out mainly due to digital and social media. Social media is also being used by the BJP IT Cell to spread fake news and information for example memes, cartoons, pics, altered videos, etc to put down and question the opposition rather than answering the present difficulties faced by the common man.


Data like the Global Hunger Index shows India is continuously slipping down to the bottom. In 2013 India ranked at 63rd position and now it's 107. Similarly, NCRB data shows that the most populous Hindu state Uttar Pradesh has more than 35,000 cases of riots whereas the state CM Yogi says that under BJP governance No riots have taken place. According to NCRB, there has been a 500% increase in cases of hate speech in the past seven years. All these figures show the true picture of development is not shown to the common man instead the media is showing what it is forced to show by its owner.

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All the above-mentioned facts and figures show that the religion of politics is one that is to earn POWER VIA POSITION by winning elections. Every time there are elections an unaccountable amount of money is spent to lure the voters, the money which can build schools, playgrounds, hospitals, etc for the betterment of the public. This money belongs to the people of India only as it is the taxes paid by the citizens of India which are used by political parties. So, start questioning the people in power why they are not able to solve issues of unemployment, poverty, hunger, pollution, hygiene, etc.


So, here to all the citizens, religion is a personal choice and never intermingles with politics, whereas the religion of politics is about power only. Politics is designed to work for the people, by the people and of the people of India rather than just winning and losing elections. This change can be brought by us only. So, shake your inner self before you choose and vote as our future lies in our hands only. In the end, all religion teaches humanity is the biggest religion and we all have to work for the betterment of our society and its people.


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