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GD: State should not interfere in matters of Religion

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Religious topics and topics which stray close to fundamental ideologies of specific groups are generally avoided by panels in GDs. This is only because of the inherent qualities of us Indians of being zero tolerant in matters of religion! However, be prepared for topics of national importance as some pressing issues require everyone's equal attention.

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September 24 is the judgement day for the 1992 demolition of the Babri Masjid at the city of Ayodhya in UP. The government has deployed armed forces and police in every corner of the city fearing a communal backlash in case the judgment goes awry for either of the 2 communities. As the country awaits the decision of the Allahabad High Court, the issue raises an important concern: Should government leave religion to the people and stop making it an election issue every-time disrupting normal life?

Points in Favor

  • Religion should be a matter of personal choice and every body should be free to chose and live by the fundamentals laid down by their respective religions.
  • No religious scripture asks followers to disrespect any other religion or disrupt the life of people of any other community. How then can our political leaders make one religious community hate another?
  • Politicians use religion as a means to win polls. They try to appease certain communities in minority only to garner their votes. Their agenda of empowering the minorities hardly materializes once elections are over. If states really feel that particular communities need extra facilities or privilidges or environment to grow, they should set up NGOs or other independent social organizations to do the job.
  • Global examples teach us that no nation which has prioritized one religion over another has ever succeeded. India on the other hand, heavily relies on religious sentiments to move forward. One decision needs to appease all religions (rather than all people!) before it can be passed on for implementation.
  • The biggest political party after congress, BJP, openly shows its support for hinduism and is vehemently encouraged by the VHP (vishwa hindu parishad). This was one of the reasons why BJP failed in the last general elections, inspite of their above average performance in their last term under Vajpayee. People do not want communalism and politics needs to understand that.

Points Against

  • Religion in India is here to stay. India is not a neutral society like other developed nations.
  • People here are religious, they worship gods, they read scriptures. When religion becomes such an inseparable habit of the common man, it is hard to ignore  it. So when a policy needs to decided, the government has to take the religious sentiments of the common man into account.
  • Because of the past descriminations and other factors like partition, certain religion sects have remained less developed than the rest. To bring them up with the rest of the society and Indian progress as a whole, the government needs to be aware of their religion and needs to interfere wherever possible.

Conclusion

State should focus its energies on removing poverty and misery from society. People are mature enough to take care of religion themselves. This is how they have lived all these years. Government should step in only in case of disputes.
At the same time, Governments should strive to bring all religions at par with each other but not use these steps as tools to win elections.

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