The Religion and Politics
Religion and Darma – There lie a difference between religion and dharma. Religion is not the exact translation of dharma. Religion is one-sided, small, and narrow in comparison to dharma. Dharma is inclusive of all the aspects of human life while religion is restricted mostly to the way of worship, customs, traditions, and religious rites. Dharma emphasises our duties. It tells us what are our duties as a son, as a father, as a brother, and towards other relatives. Thus it strengthens our family bonding. This makes us ideal father, son, or brother. Moreover, Dharma defines our social, national, and political duties. Not only this, but it also narrates the duties of a king or ruling class.
Besides this, even the principles related to health and daily routine were made an integral part of dharma.
That’s why Mahatma Gandhi said that dharma should be a part of politics. When he said this, he meant dharma, not as a religion in the form presented by fundamentalists. Rather, he put emphasis on compassion, non-violence, and truth which are the essence of dharma. For him, Rama was the symbol of the almighty who is the ocean of compassion, generosity, and charity. Gandhi’s Rama is always just to everyone.
In Gandhi’s Ram Rajya, everyone performs his duties honestly and sincerely, be it the king or the ordinary citizen. Every citizen enjoys the right to live with their head held high. His honour and prestige are intact. People are free, happy, and contented because their rights are protected. In Ram Rajya, even a member of low caste (washerman) can accuse the king and the king deserts even his dear wife to prove his honesty and sincerity. That’s why, Mahatma Gandhi regarded dharma, not religion as an essential part of politics.
But the present scenario in our country is quite different. At present, in our country, instead of dharma, Religion has become an integral part of politics. Consequently, there is so much turmoil and disturbance. There is emphasis only on creed and caste. The present politicians irrespective of party affiliation, are emphasising religious dogmas and not human values. Even religious leaders do not realise their duty. They are delivering fiery speeches. Thus the general atmosphere in the country is disturbed and poisoned. The people who oppose injustice and oppression are charged with sedition and are being sent to jail.
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This will not go forever. Change is bound to come. Dark clouds of communalism and intolerance will soon disperse and the first ray of hope will emerge out of the darkness of grief and despondence.
Darkness is the guest only till the night ends,
No body can prevent the light of dawn !