Religion should not be mixed with politics
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|Pratibha said: (Mar 1, 2018)|
|I think it's the current scenario of our country that it is heading towards a political religionism i.e. There is a mix of religion in politics. Which cause rift in the ideological thinking. And leads to communalism and later it can also turn into a mild cold war. When our nation was built with the motive of democracy and social welfare but now it has turned into religionist global politics. I this condemn the thought that politics and religion should be mixed!|
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|Sufiyan said: (Feb 18, 2018)|
|We should not mixed religion with politics, this are two different factors. Religion teaches us to how to live a life. How to care one another. How to be good with everyone. But politics discriminate people on the basis of caste, religion. The oppose people on the basis of religion. For ths the country will not grow. It is a secular country we should live in our sociey as brotherhood. Thank you.|
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|Seersak Joshi said: (Feb 17, 2018)|
|In my opinion, religion should not be mixed with the politics because religion is something that deals with people's belief and religion shouldnot be a part of politics, sorry to say I don't mean to hurt someone's feelings but there are certain leaders who have raised their voice against the attack made by terrorists who stated that only a particular community of them have died among the Indian army but he didnot mentioned that crpf jawans and other army officials also lost their lives fighting for the country, so there is nothing like hindus ad muslims in india, everyone should be treated equal.|
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|Vishal Dubey said: (Feb 15, 2018)|
|Yes, it is true That religion should not be mixed with politics as unlike gender differences religion differences are often expressed in the field of politics As Gandhi Ji believed that politics must be guided by ethics dawn from the religion.|
But by this he did not mean that the particular religion. So there are many challenges that the politics is faced by the religion. And many differences occur between them so religion should not mix with politics.
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|Arjun said: (Jan 29, 2018)|
|I think religion and politics should go hand in hand. We as Indians live our daily lives according to our religion then why should we separate it when it comes to politics. Politics is a part of our life and when the rest of our lives are based on religion then politics should also involve religion. Religion teaches us honesty, sincerity and good against evil. If politics will not have religion it means that it won't have these teachings which will further lead to more coorrupt political system.|
And practically you can't keep them apart. Religion and politics cross over each other everday. We need acccept it that there is absolutely no way to 100% separte them.
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|Riya said: (Jan 19, 2018)|
|I agree that religion should not mix with the politics. As we know that many of the issues or problems are because of religious discrimination, and we know that religion is one of cause for terrissiom and many other problems in India, so how can we mix the religion with politics. Every individual has there own religion so a politician must select on basis of their humanity irrespective of their gender or caste or religion.|
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|Pranit said: (Jan 17, 2018)|
|Religion is sacred to every individual, and hence should not be made an issue. Religion & politics both should be kept away. Politicians should not exploit this weakness which otherwise is a defining trait of our country.|
Such diplomacy is dividing our societies and resulting in a rise in fear & rage among people.
People should now the power of democracy & that there is no use of religion in governing a country. They should know that the person who is dividing us by the name of religion is not worthy of our votes. Religion, caste, colour, etc. Are worth nothing to the development of a nation. "Jai Hind".
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|Divyani Jain said: (Jan 11, 2018)|
Religion was born to give us the way of life. Different groups formed different modus operandi for their devotees. While politics is to manage the communities. Though both are supposed to be non-discriminatory and non-judgemental, corruption has taken over both. Today, both of these have become a way of serving one's own ends.
One with other or without other, the situation would still be same. Although I do believe that alone they are less disastrous than put together!
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|Naman Chugh said: (Jan 11, 2018)|
|There should be only one religion in politics that is humility.|
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|Anubhav Mathur said: (Jan 9, 2018)|
I think nobody would have any doubts regarding the fact that religion should be kept away from politics but somehow the relationship between the two just doesn't seem to be inseparable. Religion is mixed with politics and is used by political parties to form vote banks thus at times becoming unjust to the deserving leader.
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|Vikrant Singh said: (Jan 4, 2018)|
|I think that religion and politics are two different things and should be kept apart because of following region-.|
According to me, if religion will be mixed with politics than it will give priority to the particular region and that is not good for a developing country. And also mostly political parties misguide religious peoples and want to take advantage of this so both should be apart.
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|Vikas Beniwal said: (Jan 2, 2018)|
|Hi friends, in my opinion, I think persons with religious thoughts and mind should not come to politics I think they should give hole contribution towards their gods. The people who thinks of humanity and for the people and about country first should participate in politics so that we lead towards healthy developed environment.|
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|Jessica said: (Dec 14, 2017)|
|According to me, religion should not be mixed with politics. They are opposite poles and they cannot be compared. Our country India is a religion-free nation. All caste and religions are respected. There is a heavy competition in politics between two people not between there religions. Religions is just a way to recognise them. But we as a Indians are all brothers and sisters. So please do not indulge religion in politics. Thank you for the opportunity.|
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|Sachin Kumar said: (Oct 2, 2017)|
|I don't feel good of indulging religion with politics. I completely condemn it.|
Cast equalization in politics is getting prevelant thesedays. Politicians understand it completely that's why they convince us that they provide all benefits and rights if people elect them of same community. In contrary people is reason behind it. Politicians persuade us during election campaign and make us believe if they win, will provide better life to those community but repurcussion happens just opposite.
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|Sakshi said: (Sep 30, 2017)|
|Politicians who actually care for nations devalopment talk of nations progress and those who just care of power and glory talk of religion which actually must be kept apart from politics. This is reality that if we keep on allowing others to play with our sentiments then they will leave no stone unturned in order to achieve their aim. It is our duty moremost to ignore such people. Not much to say I think we all are are awarded with a good nice conscience.|
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|Vignesh Yv said: (Sep 20, 2017)|
|Yes, I completely agree with the statement. Nowadays, most of our politicians making this as their habit. They beg the votes in the name of religion. These are the main causes for communalism and other related discriminations. My conclusion is that the politicians in future at least can concentrate on improving the REGIONS rather than RELIGION.|
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|Shivani Rana said: (Sep 18, 2017)|
|I don't think is there any way of a single positive aspect of indulging politics with religion, religion and talks about it are very sensitive matter to people, they get annoyed easily if something bad is said about their culture and it's a normal human tendency, so what are politicians doing for the sake of votes is very disappointing, not only religion they have even divided us on basis of castes I'm, and the present scenario of reservation will surely increase the gap between people, there would be no sense of nationalism in them, they would just define them according to their religion, state, caste, social status, and these differences won't help us in any sense.|
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|Archana said: (Sep 11, 2017)|
|Yess! I agree with the thing that religion and politics should not be mixed together. As of now that we are living in a democratic country that probably makes sense. But usually people finding the way to separate themselves such PEOPLE don't want better India. If we mixed politics and religion together then work according to that category and the other party not even getting a chance. Then it is like okay one party members system. We need multi-party member system in our country. It could not happen what the country begins.|
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|Aakash said: (Aug 27, 2017)|
|Religion should not be mixed with politics. As politics must comprise young leaders as they possess youth and advanced thinking which is very necessary for our country, Senior leaders as they have a lot of experiences in different aspects/stages of life. Both age group is necessary. Politics should not be religion biased. As it might hamper the growth of the economy, there might be cultural differences among people, might be nepotism and hatred among people. It may hurt the slogan of Unity in diversity.|
So, religion should not be mixed with politics, the need should be Education and necessary qualification.
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|Krishna said: (Aug 19, 2017)|
|Yes. Religion should not be mixed with Politics. Nowadays, most of the politicians are asking for votes in the name of religion or caste which should not be encouraged by the people. Voting should be done on the basis of effectiveness and character of the leader but not on religion/caste. People should change by not accepting money from the leaders as they are going to collect double or triple the money he spent on us if we choose him. First, We must change to change our country or else, we should die to watch all the magics done by our politicians.|
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|Shishir said: (Aug 18, 2017)|
|India is a land of many religion but politics is making it the weak point of India.|
Use of religion in politics for personal interest is not a new thing.
Many time religion is mixed And general people have to suffer so it should not be mixed with politics.
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|Amit said: (Aug 7, 2017)|
|In our country, peoples of different religion live together in a society. Political parties should not prefer any religion in making any decision. If they do so, it may lead to violence among the peoples of different religions. As a developing country, there should not be any discrimination between different religions. Political leaders should treat a religion as small, they should always make a decision in favour of all religions.|
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|Pj_19 said: (Jul 27, 2017)|
|I completely agree with the statement, as mixing religion with the politics creates a tiff between different religions. Political parties refer a particular religion as their vote bank and try to work in favour of them which create in differences among masses and their consequences are even worst.|
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|Ashish said: (Jul 24, 2017)|
|As we know in India, there are many religions exist till from many years ago according to people faith, but the most importantly we must have to think that is it right if religion is mixed with politics.|
I think that religion should not be mixed with politics.
I want to mention here that if religion is mixed with politics, violence among people increase and there is no harmony exist.
People use religion not for their help but as a weapon (as divide and rule) to increase their votes.
If mentality of the politician get changed that mixing of religion is not the right way to run the country, the image of our country will be more different.
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|Ilayaraja said: (Jul 24, 2017)|
|India is a secularism economy where is available various religion people. But some politicians create a religion political party for their own purpose of giving a vote from people. It will create a discrimination among the people as well as communal violence. The politician should not be mixed with politics. If the politicians mix with religion, the government should abolish political party.|
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|Anup Kumar Thakur said: (Jul 19, 2017)|
|India is democretic countery it does not mean politician has privilege to raise their voice against anything for sake of vote bank or making special protection appearance to the people.|
I absolutely agree that religion should not be included into the politician. It creates lot of adverse effect to the country. Some I am mentioning first it creates the bad sentiments to the people, it initiates the people to be indulge into the terrorism activity which creates violence to the country.
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|Pankaj said: (Jul 16, 2017)|
|I totally agree that religion should not be mixed with politics. Bpolitics. But nowadays, it has become a fashion to include religion into the politics. Politicians are using religion as a vote bank, not for their welfare. It should be stopped. Every party or politician should think about welfare of the countrymen because of whom they have reached to their position in politics.|
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|Prachi said: (Jul 6, 2017)|
|I also agree with the statement. In India, there are such politicians which apply the methodology of divide and rule as early the Britishers do with us for their benefits. But I m quite surprise, that this religion phenomenon also applies our education system. There are caste which has some reservation they have an ability to paid the fees but they can't. They always take benefits from this reservation. And many more factors on this which I want to discuss that apart from the education system, this also applicable at the time of jobs. The promotions also made on the basis of religion and reservation category. Apart from all this there are people having different religion love in India with happiness I appreciate that. There are more than 100 languages are only in India but still, we love and respect each other. I m proud of it.|
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|Abhilash said: (Jun 19, 2017)|
|A religious person who is righteous and loving will definitely care for the welfare of the whole population and hence become a true politician. True politicians can only be righteous and loving. They cannot be anything but religious.|
The problem arises when religious leaders restrict the freedom of people to follow their dharma. If such religious leaders gain political power, they ostracize members of other religions. This should not happen. When leaders allow religion to become all encompassing with full freedom to pray and worship in any manner as long as it does not interfere with others, it will bring righteousness and peace to people and will be suitable for any society. Then there will be no cause to fear such leaders. Indeed, such leaders are the need of the time.
Today both religion and politics need a change. Religionists should be tolerant to allow freedom to everyone to follow the religion of their choice. And politicians should be trained in the basic principles of dharma. If leaders are righteous and spiritual, the whole society can flourish and be uplifted.
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|John Bosco said: (Jun 4, 2017)|
|Religion should never be separated from politics, if the rulers are serious about their/our life. Religion is not what we do in religious places. It is much deeper and involves life and death matter. I believe that firstly every God says 'love your fellow human beings' " this is accepted even by the non-believers. Secondly, God is our Father and we are his children, who expects us to treat everyone as brothers and sisters. Finally, we are accountable to nature and to one another as brothers and sisters. This brings us to the conclusion that Religion is the way we live our faith that is, we are the children of the God of LOVE, who wants us to treat one another equally in every way.|
Politics is the way we help this religion of LOVE coming to reality. Politicians are expected to facilitate this ideal of fraternity, which is in the Indian Constitution -the Preamble.
To make it simple, religion is the real communism - in the positive sense- in which God is the head, love is his path and brotherhood is the motto or final goal.
Unfortunately, capitalistic principles do not go with this line of thinking, as SELF GLORY is their motto and domination is their path, which is questioned by the Religion of LOVE, which does not allow the rulers to get richer. By the way, minister means servant and not a ruler. Their core self is questioned by the true Religion. Therefore, they separated it has been unable to satisfy their conscience. If we are serious about establishing a true society, Religion of LOVE should be the base for all our life - Economic, Social and political. If we are cowards and do not have the courage to be servants of people - whatever the walk of life we are in, we may separate religion from politics. For your information, in earlier societies, ETHICS was taught in one class, which included morality and politics as they could not be separated.
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|Pawan said: (Jun 2, 2017)|
|The statement is 100% true.|
In Indian govt, all the leaders came in politics and they are ruling us just based on their caste. India never develops until this caste filling is live in the people of India.
The people of India first change their mind set that the caste came into the picture just from their occupation s in olden days. Politics cannot be mixed with politics. The voting can be done based on best leader not based on candidates caste.
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|Anand said: (Apr 6, 2017)|
|The world in which we are living today it is harsh reality that religion has been mixed with politics as far as my opinion one should not be mixed it with each other it is just like two banks of river nowadays we are seeing that many politicians are polarising votes by dividing into religions the thing on which one should concentrate like development, skill, lifestyle, facilities, medical treatments etc. Are not discussing the main reason is that at the grassroots level people are not understating what is right for them as educated people nowadays understood that no religion is greater than man and no man is greater than country so they are boycotting those who are mixing it with each other. We should not propagate the kind of thing which they are saying they (politicians) should be isolated if they try to mix it with religion.|
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|Yogesh Choudhary said: (Mar 21, 2017)|
|Religion should not be mixed with politics both are different things like two banks of river they never meet to each other religion is faith but politics is power. Power should not be interfere in faith it may become disaster. And another point is that religion means a particular group of people if we consider this in politics means we biased to that particular group of people which breaks our unity and it is helpful for foreign to rule in our country. And political parties does not work properly because they easily win and they misuse their power which are responsible for our falling down. And one last thing is that reservation they promise that we provide reservation that group of people from that another group of people can come in strike the result of this so many loss of our country. So the conclusion is that religion should not be mixed with politics.|
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|Rajendra said: (Mar 8, 2017)|
|Ideally yes, religion and faith should not be mixed with politics. Before we begin to condemn the malpractices, let us understand that post independence we have chosen to be a democratic government. In a scenario where the majority of the population was rural, uneducated with this new concept of democracy. No resources and programs were introduced with this respect to supplant the feudalistic mind in many strata with democracy. Sufficient education of the new system and its contrasts with the old system were not explained to the population. Only the England educated class had an idea of the democratic process with its pros and cons.|
The soup of politics, religious faith, we are seeing now is a consequence of the mistakes we have committed. We are trying to be democratic with a feudalistic mindset.
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|Raone said: (Mar 6, 2017)|
|It's obvious that that politician will demand votes on the name religion, but who to be blamed, the politician or ourselves, it's a way votes are earned by corrupt, illiterate politician but if s/he request us to vote on religion name then don't for vote them and this will be our answer to them who want to divide us religion name, remember friends we are the voters we are the one who can decide what to do whether to encourage them, or reply back with our power, this will be the message of the people of secular Indian citizen to greedy and mean politics played by them on us we are ready put end to dirty politics.|
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|Anonymous said: (Feb 28, 2017)|
|No religion greater than human; No human greater than country.|
We are known as secular country.
But when politicians like owaisi talk unwanted things and target Hindu religion then secular close their eyes and ear that's today's reality; and those sold media who support anti-national wide in the name of freedom of speech are another side of secular India. The MIM and congress and their followers who support terrorist and talk that we are biggest victims. But the reality is that when that terrorist kill or carry out bomb blast he did not kill or execute the victims because they are Hindu or Muslim or Sikh they execute because we are INDIANS. After the blackout (bomb blast) the blood shed on the floor didn't speak that this blood is related with Hindu or Muslim. That bloodshed speaks that INDIANS are the real victims. So there is no place for communalism and the one who support communalism.
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|Akhtar Husain said: (Feb 16, 2017)|
|No. Religion should not be mixed with politics and whoever asks for vote in the name of religion, boycott that leader as we are living in a secular country in which leader chosen by us is responsible for the development of a country and its people, not a single religion. And whoever does so they are dangerous for our unity and integrity.|
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|Harshith said: (Feb 12, 2017)|
|Many people advocate the thought that religion should not be mixed with politics. But is that a practical thing? Is it possible to keep religions and politics away from each other? There is no doubt that religion and politics are two most important elements in people's lives. And when they both come together arguments are bound to happen. Politics and religions should not mix as politics need to reflect a common opinion and have to make all decisions keeping in view the mutual benefit of all the people. If you simply go by the laws in India which are a secular country then definitely as per it the two things should not mix with each other. If both the elements are mixed then people will become more biased towards their own religion. Whenever politics and religions are mixed then the voting decisions of people have been affected. Politics is about power and a religion is about faith. Faith can influence power but when power influences faith it can become disaster. Faith always leads to principles and values.|
So thereby I conclude that Politics is all about having a good time in present life and religion is about having faith for the future times. There are times when they both run like parallel banks of river which don't meet but always run together.
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|Anikqua Spencer said: (Jan 26, 2017)|
|I agree that religion and politics should never be mixed. The law is supposed to be based on logic and good reasoning as to why something should be legal or not; not based on "your" faith in a personal God. Religion is already complex enough with over 4,000 religions and everyone will feel that their religion is superior, making their word law. "My" God isn't always going to be the next persons God meaning we will practice differently. For example, in some religions "we" would still have slaves, woman wouldn't be allowed to be in a position of leadership, interracial couples and dating would be forbidden, etc. Those are just a few factors as to why I believe religion should not be involved in politics. We should be focused on the maturity and growth of nations that is equal and religion just hinders "us from doing so.|
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|Akshay Yadav said: (Jan 11, 2017)|
|Yes, I also think but in politics it is the most important thing that the people belonging to that caste will allow his her vote to his caste belonging category.|
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|Bimal Kumar said: (Jan 7, 2017)|
|I also agree with this statement. Actually this time lots of people believe in religion. It's a good habit but that is not good. You give your vote of him. Your first duty is that you choose an honest member again you give vote on him. Because this is your right that first of first you choose a candidate.|
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|Gurpreet Kaur said: (Jan 5, 2017)|
|I agree with this statement, Religion should not be mixed with politics. Because we choose politics for nation development, not for religion development. Politics create religion for own benefit but it is bad thinking. Firstly responsible all people this situation because almost people vote for own caste leader. They do not see who leader his good for developing India. The leader born from people not for religion. Don't sell voting for money. Please choose one of the best leader and votes for him. Don't see the cast feeling. If we see caste feeling then we are not select correct leader and when we choose wrong leader then India never develop, only because of you. Thank you.|
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|Gonex said: (Dec 10, 2016)|
|Politics and religion are two institutions that cannot be separated. They have always worked for hand in hand since ancient Greek civilization. While implementing a state's law, it must be put into consideration that the particular law doesn't clash with the religious belief of that state. In Christian context, the state must understand the rule of the church and vice versa. Politics in its broader sense may be referred to, "affairs of the state, or, citizen" and in narrow sense, it simply may be defined as, "government". Looking at the former, it is not deniable that in every religious text a king would normally rule his kingdom on the advice of his god or a god would intervene to select a king. And when we say "government" it simply denotes a powerful head of the state. To be the head of the state a political party would use different strategy. They would make at least 30% false promises or use money power in order to grab the position. But that is applied politic which is somewhat different from real politics and it puts the dichotomy between the two. Otherwise, Religion is always part of politics.|
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|Madhava Reddy said: (Dec 8, 2016)|
|I agree with the statement, religions should not mix with the politics. We choose a politician for nation development, not for the developing the religion or cast. There are many religions approximately 1000 religions made by Indian country. "The leader born from people, not from the religion". Who politician coming from the religion, that politician embers playing with other religion people. "Don't sell vote for money", please choose one best leader and vote for him. Don't see the caste feeling, when you choose the leader for our nation development. If you see the caste feeling in the politics, The India never develop, only because of you. Thank you.|
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|Sriram N said: (Dec 3, 2016)|
|All of our know India is a subcontinent with variable traditions and cultures. In that point of view, we have different religions each of them has different habitations. But also another important than that of India is democratic country too. Each religion has their own political environment to enroll their life in good manner. I support it but it each politician gets set the mind of their own religion responsibilities much more than their social work and doesn't knows the needs of other peoples around us. Especially in India, we cannot cease our traditions and politics.|
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|Wrishabh Pandey said: (Nov 25, 2016)|
|In my point of view, it is true that the religion shouldn't mix with politics if they do so, they try to divide us for just their own profit. Leaders like that just serve for money, not for nation. Citizen must aware for this to prevent Nation's Development.|
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|Elizabeth Sandhra Martin said: (Nov 4, 2016)|
|Being a part of a secular country every citizen has the right to follow which ever religion that one likes and living in a democratic country like India we find ourselves in politics.|
In today's world both religion and politics need to change.
Religious and political leaders need to be both spiritual and righteous to the uplift and to flourish the society.
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|Renu said: (Nov 3, 2016)|
|I completely agree with the statement that politics should not be mixed with religion. We choose a politician for the development of nation not for the development of a religion or of a caste. Our nation is made up of approx 1000 different religion so we can not choose a different leader for each religion. If we will start choosing the leader on the basis of religion then there will be a new India in each and every corner. In the current situation of India, it is our responsibility that if a politician tries to divide us on the basis of religion or cast complain against him and don't give a single vote to him.|
In some regions of our country where the literacy rate is very low, we should work on that and provide the suitable facility for growth and development of that areas.
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|Vikas said: (Nov 2, 2016)|
|My dear friend,|
My view is differ from other because we forget that our partition has been naming on religion so it's not wonder that politician brings with emotion front of voter. It's true but some diplomatic people are not understood.
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|Anurag said: (Oct 21, 2016)|
In my point of view. Religion should not be mixed with politics because many politician members playing with humans feeling on name of religion for votes. There are riots in the country on name of religion.
Politician leader getting benefit.
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|Sahari Gani said: (Oct 20, 2016)|
|When religion mixed with politic it absolutely damaging because the two has different mission. Alike angel vs devil.|
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|Abhishek Verma said: (Oct 17, 2016)|
These political parties are playing with the emotions of public, for their own profit and the mentality of peoples has also changed so they support to their particular party, and due to this several communities grow up very fast due to unlimited opportunities and rest of the peoples are not able to do this just because of caste and religion, and its also responsible for corruption rate, which is not good for our developing country.
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|Kavin Kumar said: (Oct 17, 2016)|
|In our country, most of the political parties depend on their caste-based votes. To maintain their vote bank they are playing with peoples emotions and converting peoples emotions into votes. Even peoples mentality has changed. People too wanted a representative from their own caste or religion. This is not healthy for a democratic nation.|
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|Tanu said: (Oct 5, 2016)|
In India, it is very common to mix politics with religion. The political party supports one particular religion for their vote bank. Here we can take the example of you. P. Where riots are the result of the mixing of politics and religion. Political party plays with the emotions of the people to get their votes under the name of religion/ minority. All this leads to the choosing a candidate who doesn't deserve the seat. We should try our best to give vote for the right candidate without influencing our decision because of religion.
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Should politics and religion be kept separate?
rodrigo | August 13, 2016
In order to address this issue, it is first necessary to define the two colossi of politics and religion. The first term is used here to mean the science of governing a nation, and the second is defined as the belief in a supernatural power that informs an institutionalised code of behaviour. These two subjects lie at opposing ends of the human spectrum and it may appear initially that religious ideas have no place in a twenty-first century government. The contemporary global political scene, however, demonstrates that the long-standing relationship between religion and politics has historically been much more complex than this. In order to assess the value of this relationship, this essay will examine the current global scene with reference to the US, the UK and China.
The science of politics and the seemingly archaic superstitions involved in many organised religions at first instance appear to be diametrically opposed. The natural conclusion here is that there allowing religion to play a part in politics is to preclude a successful twenty-first political leadership and there are, indeed, numerous arguments for this case. When religion enters the political arena, it often threatens to impede technological and social development. An example of this was seen in the UK in 2008, when Gordon Brown was faced with a ‘damaging rebellion by Catholic cabinet ministers’ (Telegraph, 2008) over a Bill to reform fertility laws and allow lesbian couples to become legal parents. The government’s plans were attacked openly by the Catholic Church and three MPs threatened to resist the order because of their religious beliefs. This incident also reveals a deeper incompatibility between religion and politics. The nature of democracy is that it involves a process of negotiation in order to reach a compromise between parties who have conflicting interests. Religious institutions, however, follow strictly codified beliefs and, as Buruma points out:
‘A religious institution claiming to represent absolute of divine truth cannot make these necessary compromises without the danger of corrupting its own principles’ (2010)
In the UK, the tactical exploitation of religion by politicians tends not to achieve positive results. Photos of Tony Blair launching the 2001 general election campaign that showed him standing against a stained glass window with hymn book in hand were widely criticised by the general public and press alike as tasteless and ‘cheesy’ (TES, 2008). Political parties in the US, in contrast, have found it much easier to exploit contentious issues such as abortion and homosexuality in order to gain extra votes. The Republican party, for example, incorporated an anti-abortion position in its programme in the 1970s and hardened its stance during the 1992 and 1996 presidential elections in a bid for support from the Christian Coalition (BBC, 1998). The danger here is that the deciding factor in election results becomes pressure on voters from their religious groups rather than a reflection of their individual political views. Additionally, a small number of contentious issues may become the focus of entire campaigns to the detriment of a well-rounded manifesto.
Taking the role of religion in the political arena to the extreme creates a theocratic form of government such as that found in Iran. A theocracy is essentially a form of totalitarianism and, as such, commonly involves the suppression of free thought, speech and expression that are vital components in social and economic progress. The ruling priest class receives their authority from God (or gods) and are therefore essentially unaccountable, removing the elements of liability and competition that are necessary for a healthy political system. As Buruma states:
‘Radical secularists often assume that any organized faith poses a threat to liberal democracy. In cases where religious authority assumes political authority, this threat is real’ (2010).
However, the long-standing relationship between religion and politics cannot be described in such black-and-white terms. French commentator Alexis de Tocqueville observed in his book ‘Democracy in America’, originally published in 1835, that:
‘In the U.S., from the beginning, politics and religion were in accord, and they have not ceased to be so since.’ (2000)
The founding fathers of the US, many of whom themselves had first-hand experience of religious persecution, were careful to incorporate a formal separation between church and state into the constitution of their new country. Although de Tocqueville’s comment portrays the contemporary situation in a very favourable light, it can be observed that this barrier has in fact had the opposite effect – many Americans actually want their leaders to have religious belief. A poll conducted in 2004 by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found that 72% agreed with the statement “The president should have strong religious beliefs.” (BBC, 2004). The key here is that the church does not confuse its role with that of the state. Preachers in US churches may strongly discourage their congregation not to have sex before marriage but there is no danger that this moral imperative will become law.
The case against mixing religion with politics often rests on the assumption that the former is the enemy of democracy. Whilst it is undoubtedly desirable to establish a system of democracy whenever possible, the reality is that this is not always so. Religion throughout history has repeatedly been used by those in power as a tool to maintain social stability and, while far from ideal, this is certainly preferable to the societal chaos and widespread destructiveness that can ensue where a power vacuum exists.
The current circumstances in the US, UK and China all serve to illustrate the fact that legislatively separating religion and state may be an unpredictable strategy. The UK formally recognises the Church of England as an authority but, in practice, religion is widely separated from state affairs as much of the population is agnostic. The US constitution separates church and state but religious affiliations play a much larger role in national politics here and, in China, where the government is officially atheist, there exists a wholly undemocratic one-party system.
To conclude, there is certainly much evidence for the dangers of mixing politics with religion. Allowing religion to play a part in politics may open the door to contentious issues such as abortion and stem-cell research overshadowing many more valid matters, particularly at election time. It may also be exploited by politicians as an easy strategy to gain votes, as religions members of the population feel pressured to vote solely on the basis of their religious convictions. The practical realities of contemporary government, however, cannot be prescribed by sweeping assertions. Legislatively separating religion and state does not necessarily lead to a healthy democracy, as demonstrated by the political climate in the UK, US and China. Moreover, it is questionable whether it is even possible to keep religious beliefs, which inevitably inform an individual’s moral and ethical code, out of the world of politics entirely.
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Tags: political science, politics, Religion, separation
Category: Essay & Dissertation Samples, Political Science