Politics is a broad spectrum entity in our country. Everybody has a say on politics. From businessmen to entrepreneurs, students to teachers, Dadajis to Aunty jis, girlfriends to exes, middle class to even an auto rickshaw driver, all have a strong opinion on Politics. It’s something celebrated in our country like a festival. Nothing unites/divides us as Politics and of course Cricket !
From the times when I was a toddler and Atal Bihari Vajapeyi was the prime minister I have grown seeing immense interest, intoxication and an arduous zeal towards politics. We are the sensitive lot who take everything so damn seriously including politics that nothing affects us more. (Ofcourse Sachin Tendulkar is God !)
What is more painful is the fact that Religion politics is practiced over here. Religion, I believe is a person’s personal matter. What faith you follow, what powers you believe in/or don’t,what cult you practice, what you do to please your God or whatever, is your damn personal choice. And for God’s sake keep it personal. Today we live in an era where so called “personal” relations are advertised all over the Social Media while things that should be your little secret which only you know make the headlines.
We are a democratic nation. Well, in other words we elect our representative amongst us, to work for us. That’s what it means. But things seem to go a bit haywire.
We have made ourselves so touchy and so sensitive that even a minor stroke on our beliefs call for an uproar. This quality enables the powerful to take advantage of. We jump and cry over religion so much that we are ready to rip each other’s head off. May it be Godhra riots or Babri demolition riots or the massacre that followed in Mumbai post the demolition, were all outcomes of hurt religious beliefs.
I request the so called ” religious” people to please look into your Scriptures once which you haven’t touched in years. Brush off the dust and try to find out what it has to preach about peace and tolerance. I bet, there is no religion in the world that asks you to kill,murder,rape or burn in the name of religion or God. We have all made ourselves “religious-touch-me-nots” but barely know our stuff. We barely know the facts but get offended so easily just because someone from the opposite clan said so. Mixing religion with politics is a way of seeking attention and nothing else.
We have been fed with this vitriolic cocktail since ages that even a minute cinder can light the fire sufficient to burn entire humanity in a go. The last time we allowed this was when Britishers found a loophole and enslaved us for 200 years.
I wonder what would happen if religion based politics is banned. They call for beef ban, Valentine’s day ban, Short skirts ban, Gay/Lesbian ban etc. But what if religion based agendas are prevented. I wonder what any politician will have to say in their propagandas and rallies without oozing a bit of religion. No one speaks for Hindus or Muslims or Dalit or any Minorities. Of course as if they have taken care of us by promising that but still ! The Hindus/Muslims/Dalits/Jats have earned their own livings and carved their own niches. What is wrong in talking about humanity and then asking for votes. Why can’t they just promise to improve the standard of living, do something for our farmers, give women their much awaited, long promised safety, do development, work on every strata of society, create jobs, build schools and colleges instead of Temples and Mosques. Why they have to add hints of saffron or green to commemorate the faith they practice ? Why can’t votes be asked for without religiously bullying us ? Why is it so difficult for a Hindu to vote for a Muslim majority party and a nightmare for a Muslim to do vice versa. Why we cross check how many candidates from ‘our’ religion are contesting before voting for that particular party ? Why we have the tendency to vote on the basis of party that favors our ‘religion’ ? What is wrong with us that we do not know anything about the party manifesto or their ideologies but vote for the candidate of our Caste ? Why is religion being given so much importance when it comes to choosing who represents us in higher levels, presenting our problems and being our voice where we cannot be. How do we expect a person chosen solely on the grounds of religion/caste to have a voice for us or do something for us ? Its like choosing knifes to make dough for Chappatis. Irrelevant ! Are we really retards or evolving in reverse.
Science people say anything not under regular use soon atrophies. It’s time we start using our brains if we don’t want it to shrink and disappear in future. I just wish someday we have scenario where everything is religion free around us. We don’t make friends on the basis of casteism, no more favors based on religion, no special attention to specific surnames and no misconceptions and judgements for any section of our society. And of course no more cocktail of Religion and Politics. It has turned out to be poisonous and should not be served with immediate effect. If we make up our minds to value ideologies over caste, planning over religion and vision over intolerance we can definitely end this malicious practice of religious exploitation for political gains.
It’s a huge step, a big responsibility and an uphill task. But if Politics is really a joke then let humor do it’s part. Keep your eyes open, ears alert and brain active.
That shall help us, someday perhaps.