Religion, democracy and social relations are not dependent on each other. They are nowhere interconnected in carrying forward each other. The three entities should be treated separately, with separate leaders to thrive for a better society and nation.
RELIGION IS seen as an impediment in the progress of modern civil society. It is often passed on from one generation to another, without caring much for its relevance in the present day life of an individual. In practical life, religion is nowhere involved in carrying forward the chain of social relations of a given society. The relations are more or less imposed, devoid of any free will and tremendously full of prejudice and bias, when carried forward by different religious groups.
There exists more antagonism than any coherence in beliefs of scientific thought and religious ideologies. The proof of it is seen in the evolution of entire modern day scientific discoveries and inventions being opposed by church and other religious faiths in initial stages throughout the world. The simple reason for the opposition to science from orthodox religious priests was due to challenge science was posing to the divine authority propounded by kingship theory, supported by religious institutions. According to this theory, the king was bestowed with divine power to rule.
The position of the modern day theocratic states is more or less the same. States formed on the basis of a particular religion exploit masses in the name of religion by limiting the scope of their participation in the affairs of state. Common people are engaged consciously in futile exercises of religious rituals and their life is directly controlled under pretext of different suppressive religious laws, often flouted by the so-called religious authorities. This system of constant religious dogmatism and obscurantism is often resulting in the violation of basic individual human rights and violent confrontations within a civil society, aspiring for a scientifically more balanced life.
Science has altogether changed the approach of mankind in perceiving and apprehending universal facts and knowledge is subject to scrutiny and test rather than a matter of belief or faith. Even this was always the case, when prudence prevailed over mere notional belief. Well, religion has made a very positive contribution towards society, whenever and wherever it worked to enhance and improve the spirit of individual by shaping and developing a balanced conscience, based on natural justice and fair-play.
The state had a limited role to play and acted to the extent of preserving and promoting the secular religious doctrines, derived often from practices of human activity and interaction with nature. The making of an individual in context to the Indian school of thought depended more or less on the way of living he/she would choose for the entire life. There was very little interference from the state for holding any world-view.
This point is supported by the fact that there evolved all type of religious philosophies carrying different point of view from dualism to monism and atheism to Buddhism and recent Sikhism, but never did state try to suppress one religion and promote another except at some rare dark and isolated event, the history of Indian religious development has been more or less peaceful till the acceptance of division of society on religious basis.
Theocratic and state communist dictatorship states have one thing in common and that is negation of democratic freedom to its people. Both believe in absolute authority vested in a group, lead by a dictator. One takes refuge under the doctrine of a religious statehood and the other rules in the name of social justice and equality. Both act, however, under different influences of thought and faith.
While communism, when separated from state control looks most acceptable and humanistic in its approach towards society. Likewise there is hardly any religion, which preaches hatred, brutality and any anti-human or anti-social ideology to suppress or subjugate the people of other faith. But, both revisionist and reformist communists and religious fundamentalists prove detrimental to the cause of human progress equally, when they structure, interpret and propagate their theories to suit their own interests rather than the interests of the people they are ruling.
Democratic societies are no exception to the above stated perversions of religion and social justice. When these societies are also divided on the lines of religion, caste and class basis, when the fruits of social progress keep accumulating in the hands of only a few sections of society and a majority of people remain deprived even after their full participation in the said growth and progress, the things are not certainly moving in the right direction. Like other theocratic states and state-run communist countries there is something wrong in the root of our democracy, which is calling for our immediate attention.
We have, in the last sixty years, been trying to carry the business of our country on three constituents of preamble:
2) secularism and
The first two have proved a big casualty in Indian political and economic arena and third is totally a farce, until we do not have fully educated and equally privileged people to participate as electorate. In a country divided on narrow fictitious divisions of religion and caste, democracy turns out to be a segmented factor rather than any free and independent will to choose.
In all its essence religion should be totally separated from superstition, politics and economic funding by state. Religious leaders interested in pursuing political goals should immediately give up religious positions and make their participation effective by pleading public cause and not the cause of a particular religious group. Same should apply to politicians; they should be disqualified from public office if they indulge in supporting or pleading politics on religious basis.