‘The psyche of India’s voters and political class lies in understanding religious secularism, and secular religiosity, as the India way of life.’ ‘It would be difficult to imagine a political and social life that is outside religion, and a secularism where religion may be treated only as a matter of personal faith.’ In India ‘everyday politics is infused with religion icongraphies. Political mobilization rests on this intersection between the sacred and the profane’. It becomes hot cake during election time. India’s God market becomes sensitive. Therefore, ‘the use of goddess imaginary in contemporary politics is dangerous’. ‘Election exposes an extensive reliance by secular parties, religious constituencies, religious invocations and rituals to match that of parties which thrive on the religious identity vote’. ‘Deification of prominent politicians and Bollywood artists is quite common in India.’ ‘Secular parties have traditionally eyed Muslim voters and fielded Muslim candidates strategically.’
In West Bengal, minorities (Muslim) are the matter in every election. It plays an important role in electing a democratic government. About one-third of the electorates in this state belong to the Muslim minority. Therefore, there is a trend to battering this section by the secular political parties or non-Hindutva. Now the political parties of West Bengal are clearly divided into two – extreme Hindutva and Non-Hindutva. The ruling political party (TMC) has a trend to maintain a balance between Hindu and non-Hindu (Muslim). It allocated an allowance for Imam and muezzin in 2012 and also an allowance for Bramhin priest. Further, it arranged for dole to the Durga Puja organising committees.
Ultimately, TMC is in the pressure due to quickly rise and expansion of BJP. It would obviously grasp the Hindu supporters in the state. Therefore, TMC has put its efforts to turn the Muslim votes in its support, while Muslim voters have their own political parties to be contested in this forthcoming election. To get the Muslim supports the leaders of TMC are throwing loose comments against Hindu God and Goddess, while these leaders belong to Hindu, and they use to offer worshiping to these Gods and Goddesses daily and celebrate various festivals time to time. Sometimes, TMC leaders threw loose comments against ‘Sita’ who was considered as the queen of India by Sister Nivedita. Sometimes, Lord Shiva becomes a matter of political struggle. Significantly, Muslim leaders have no or rarely comment against Hindu’s Gods and Goddesses publicly. Are these acts of the leaders belonging to Hindu considered as secular? Is not it their biased behaviour? They are eventually acting as non-Hindu for political gain. Is it not a way to organise a religious clash between the Hindu and the Muslim?
On the other hand, BJP worships Mother India on the eve of the Republic Day. It has to remember that ‘the celebration of Mother India was primarily directed towards mobilizing her children into political resistance, but it was also designed to create a pious and united Hinduism without caste and regional divisions’ to free India from the colonial rule.
The political leaders of any political party should not play with the sentiment of the people of different faith. They are dangerously creating a religious environment among grass root who are rarely concerned with it. They live together in harmony. The political parties have no right to break their peaceful relation and living. There is a huge effect of this, even after the poll.
The views and opinions expressed by the writer are personal and do not necessarily reflect the official position of VOM.
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