19 - 11 - 2018

Five states’ assembly election: likely melee between Shiva and Rama

The relation between religion and politics continues to be an important theme in political philosophy. Indian politics is not an exception as it runs on caste and religion.

As religion became increasingly intertwined with Indian politics, candidates picked up on these divides and used them as tools for mobilizing religious populations. Religious sentiments are used for building vote banks. In previous decades we have seen the role of religion in Indian politics enhanced.

Like it or not, religious language will become affixed in next five states’ Assembly elections Indian politics. Religion is a big factor in the eight-week election, which ends on December 11, 2018.  During Rahul Gandhi’s  campaign in poll-bound MP, with dubbing Rahul as a “Shiv bhakt”, then Rambhakt and then Narmada Bhakt will be called the beginning of Bhakti era in Indian politics. Now Bhakti has taken the form of political venture and religion started to be an important political phenomenon. Sidelining socio-economic improvement issues like economic welfare of the people as a whole, women empowerment “Hindutva” is likely to be a poll issue in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram. 

Vote bank politics muddles all ideologies and the Congress, with its support having declined in the past five years, has fired a shot in the dark.In the past, all mainstream political parties except the BJP had shunned the Hindutva narrative. It remains to be seen if the Congress president’s evident attempt to foreground his Hindu identity will change the party’s electoral fortunes

Minority appeasement has been a very typical gimmicky strategy deployed during election season by the Congress party but In Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh  the Congress has adopted Hindutva politics with  state unit chief and chief minister hopeful Kamal Nath has undertaken Ram Path Gaman Yatra and announced to make shelters for cows if the party is voted to power in the assembly election. Rahul Gandhi, who has shown a ‘Hindutva’ tilt in the recent times, has been seen hopping to temples and even undertook Kailash Mansarovar Yatra in September this year. Soon after his pilgrimage, Rahul was called ‘Shivbhakt’ in posters when he came to Bhopal to address a workers’ conclave on September 17. After 10 days, he started his election campaign in Madhya Pradesh after offering puja at the Kamtanath temple in Chitrakoot, where Lord Rama spent 12 of the 14 years in exile. Several Congress posters welcomed the Congress President as “Rambhakt Pandit Rahul Gandhi” in Chitrakoot, wherein he was seen with folded hands before a picture of Lord Rama. 

Vote bank politics muddles all ideologies and the Congress, with its support having declined in the past five years, has fired a shot in the dark.In the past, all mainstream political parties except the BJP had shunned the Hindutva narrative. It remains to be seen if the Congress president’s evident attempt to foreground his Hindu identity will change the party’s electoral fortunes

Minority appeasement has been a very typical gimmicky strategy deployed during election season by the Congress party but In Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh  the Congress has adopted Hindutva politics with  state unit chief and chief minister hopeful Kamal Nath has undertaken Ram Path Gaman Yatra and announced to make shelters for cows if the party is voted to power in the assembly election. Rahul Gandhi, who has shown a ‘Hindutva’ tilt in the recent times, has been seen hopping to temples and even undertook Kailash Mansarovar Yatra in September this year. Soon after his pilgrimage, Rahul was called ‘Shivbhakt’ in posters when he came to Bhopal to address a workers’ conclave on September 17. After 10 days, he started his election campaign in Madhya Pradesh after offering puja at the Kamtanath temple in Chitrakoot, where Lord Rama spent 12 of the 14 years in exile. Several Congress posters welcomed the Congress President as “Rambhakt Pandit Rahul Gandhi” in Chitrakoot, wherein he was seen with folded hands before a picture of Lord Rama. 

The Congress hopes that developing image of Rahul of a Hindu will get them community votes This Rahul tactics of the Congress party has been named Temple Run by Politics Pandits.  

The BJP in Rajasthan has come out with a “constituency-specific strategy” to improve on its chances of victory

In ideology-led parties, deviating from the script can be dangerous It’s an example of how political parties can exploit religious sentiments and create divisions for political gains. Look at how BJP acquired a base after it launched a campaign for constructing a Ram temple At the national level of governance, political parties have to accommodate diverse groups and cater to the plurality of India