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Politically Bulldozed Polity

by Rinku Khumukcham
0 comment 5 minutes read

By: M.r. Lalu
India in the recent days witnessed and discussed violence aplenty. No country, for that matter, would appreciate the enormity of violence into which it sinks. What makes India the most vulnerable is its multitude of cultural expressions which are, if not often, but in conflict at different levels these days. Multiple religious ideas are sure to remain a reality in a secular country like India. What makes them conflicting is the way we approach them. With different religious ideas weaving the garment of diversity in India, we must have enough space for a hearty laughter and a reason for congenial coexistence. What derails such a coexistence is the exclusive ideals that we hold on to be true and deliberately authorize to mar the essence of collective humanitarian wellbeing. India has a long story to tell about invasions and their inimical scars that are still engraved in the minds of generations. Its acrimony, mistrust and gruesomeness stay for long and take generations of efforts to eradicate completely. Post-independence, the political welfarism with which the country moved taking a one-sided appeasement approach also contributed to the collateral damage. India was communally divided and emotionally dampened, which was an outcome of a colonial intervention that, when the British vacated the country, left it with deep cuts and bleeds. Religious affinity in India was a personal matter for a long period. But it came to the forefront recently as a political tool capable of collectively enticing a large cohort for electoral gains. The role of religion in a person’s life is spiritual upbringing at a personal level. What made it acrimoniously outrageous was when it was tightly tied to the ugly intentions of politics. Of course, the communal violence erupted in different states at small localities should make us ponder seriously on the damage that it can cause to what we call, the national conscience of the country. We have umpteen historical evidences for small skirmishes subsequently turning into volatile riots causing severe damage and bloodshed.    
Exclusive behavior of religions has always caused danger to societies. Bloodshed in abundance across the globe was not only due to the hostile behavior of politics, but the politics in religions or religions being made into political tools. This was also due to certain religions being incapable of either abandoning or renovating their exclusive ideals in the direction of strengthening humanitarian values. Friction to the level of severe commotion and destruction was the result of such ideals. Constantly questioning the reliability of other religious views and being in scrimmage with them, exclusive religious beliefs always made the human endeavor of spiritual progress calamitous. Certainly, no religion holds the spiritual power to claim to be completely apolitical without a dark spot in its integrity. Bulldozing the dreams of ordinary people may be a temporary solution to the tumult that the repulsive elements in each religion creates. But such administrative actions are incapable of stopping the fire of hatred. Of course, bulldozers may temporarily douse the discontent.  Political parties have probably understood thatreligious beliefsare the weakest chain link that in India the societies are impulsively fastened on. And to break the link by divisive political intentions is the easiest task and the only solution is to go beyond the self-styled unambiguous exclusive mindset and the confinements of religions.  Situation in India is so precarious that a person with an impartial perspective on the current social atmosphere is sure to get perplexed, unable to distinguish between a religious and political procession in the streets. This is because the slogans raised in all these processions are almost the same, putting religion and politics in the same casket.  Undoubtedly this trend needs to change. Names of Gods dragged into political platforms appears to be the easiest way to get public support.
Violence becoming a new normal with religion and politics accelerating discontent among people is horrific. Processions in the name of religious ceremonies with names of divinities shouted should not be disputed with acrimony. India has a variety of religious forms offering multiple practices significantly capable of diluting disagreements. Unlike the Islamic republics in our neighborhood, India offers a congenial impetus to everybody to be appreciably expressive. This does not mean that religions motivated by radicalized beliefs can pounce on one another aggressively with sufficient political patronage jumping into their rescue. The distance with which the Indian state has drifted from the universal spiritual ethos that it once preserved and propagated is ghastly irrevocable. The question relevant at this juncture is, can India survive and progress as a powerful nation when trifling frictions easily shake the country with volcanic violence erupting across the length of it. Bigotry of religions is probably hijacking the collective conscience of people.  The Sanatana Dharma which has nothing to do with the saffronised political motives of the BJP, is purely inclusive and that held the power to bind the country together when it was shattered by the brutality of invasions. Political ideologies intellectually invade the people’s mind by moulding them to be submissive to their dubious intentions, undoubtedly define the present context of political discourse. It is time for India to decide the course that it has to take helping the diversity to remain unified and unperturbed. But unfortunately, it seems to be a tough task. Political parties need to stop the euphoria that they have so far been successful in injecting in the polity. Instead of bulldozing the fortunes of people, the administration should find ways to curb aggressive agitations. It appears that a trend of political bulldozing in the BJP ruled states is politically countered by the same bulldozing in the Congress ruled states. The only difference is that the communities that got bulldozed were different. Parties politically strategize to satisfy the vulnerability into which the polity is plummeting and the dividend is sure to bounce into their electoral exchequer. But does the nation have the patience to suffer more?    
(The author is a Freelance Journalist/Social Worker)

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