The Importance of Religion in Indian Politics Essay

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The Importance of Religion in Indian Politics

India is the largest democratic country in the world, in the last fifty years it has travelled and been influenced by multiple social and economic changes. Its independence from Britain in 1947, the partition creating Pakistan and the Pakistan/ Indian debate over Kashmir have been fundamental political movements within these years. As Y.B.Damle states, “Politics is concerned with goal-attainment and politics is the art of possibility”, the political process cannot function without structural features. As a country with multiple religions, a secular state, the political process has been moulded around not only ethnicity and caste but religion has
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A partition based on religion as the congress would not allow Muslims to sit before 1947. Now, governed by Hindu nationalists religious nationalism affects the secular state, a state that cannot foreseeably be secular when it encompasses such a majority of Hindus.

Hindu’s believe in Dharma, that in accordance to the sacred Hindu text, every person has their own path to follow and it is better to do their own duty badly than another’s well. (Hardgrave ch.1) Only by fulfilling their own predestined duties can they expect a ‘more favourable rebirth and ultimate salvation’. Therefore for a Hindu a true democratic state should be against their religion, as it involves meddling in others affairs. Along with this Hinduism divides and distances the sub-continent. Each Hindu linguistic area have their own traditions, way about their different lives and their own God’s. with an existence without unification how can India politically aspire to social change and reform? As Gunnar Myrdal states, “Religion has, then, become the emotional container of this whole way of life and work and by its sanction has rendered it rigid and resistant to change.” (Hardgrave ch.1)

Post partition the general consensus was that India should be a democratic state, important political groups believed individuals had the right to their

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