News & Information From Northeast India

Need of the hour: Region-based politics over religion-based politics

The term ‘politics’ has more often than not always generated negative vibes among people, which is the sole cause, most of the people try to keep themselves away from it as much as possible. It further creates division and throws a light as to how some politicians changed its genesis, from the process of unification to mercenary based interests. And that is the reason rather than uniting people as a single force, politics has only caused some painful separation.

A diverse country like India, since time immemorial, has always tried her level best to completely cover up the ‘Unity in Diversity’ perspective to a larger extent. The reason for doing this was that India was aware of the fact that in order to keep this huge nation intact and to bring about peace and harmony among different classes of people, the process of unification was really vital.

Politics thus rose up from the flames of nationalism or regionalism and it was the sine qua non for the sole policy of happiness for the people at the cost of nothing. In fact even the rulers during the ancient time were always mindful of the fact that their administrative actions should not hamper the greater interest of the people. And that is the reason Napoleon Bonaparte established the highest administrative court in French, Conseil d’ Etat, back in 1799 for the benefit of the people. Napoleon’s rule somewhere down the line was also a part and parcel of politics, however a ruler of his caliber, never allowed negative vibes to rise up in people’s mind regarding politics, thus displaying the importance of politics in proper running of a nation.

In fact, the Ahom rule in Assam was also a reflection of how politics should be used for ruling a nation in the right way. A cardinal figure in Assam history, the first ruler of Ahom kingdom, Sukapha was instrumental in uniting the various tribes that inhabited the place during that time. And his process of extracting out the good in politics was the prime factor in strengthening the Ahom kingdom, which could not be easily defeated by the Mughals. Thus even this narrative of history, is a good example of the very importance of healthy politics in the running of an administration in the appropriate way.

However, in the above discussion of positive politics, we have nowhere found or used the word ‘religion’, and that is the sole reason for realizing the salubrious impact of politics. Thus separating religion from politics makes politics look more robust and flourishing. But the unfortunate thing is that as people stepped into the 21st century, it was noticeable that religion got intermixed with politics, which degraded it completely. Most of the politicians, especially those in India, intentionally or unintentionally made religion an inseparable part of politics, and that resulted in a great amount of hue and cry and chaos among various tribes and communities.

In fact, it had its negative impact upon the common citizens also, as people started dominating over one another in terms of the religion they practiced. Thus all these slowly destroyed the positive in politics, something which was visible during Napoleon’s rule in France or Sukapha’s rule in Assam.

Added to this, it is a well established fact that the basic structure of the Indian Constitution enumerated the principles of secularism and it remained everyone’s duty not to violate the same. But sadly not only the people, but also some of the politicians continuously kept violating it to the extreme. And the impact of it was so adverse that event chants like ‘Allah uh Akbar’, ‘Jai Shree Ram’ reached the sacred ambiance of the Indian Parliament.

Furthermore, people trashing one another for carrying pork or beef, compelling the other to shout continuously ‘Allah uh Akbar’ or ‘Jai Shree Ram’, are all derogatory to the secular spirit of India. And people should clearly understand that a particular party in power doesn’t signify exaggerated nationalism or a chauvinistic approach especially for a country like India, where morality and humanity are regarded as two of the most important fundamentals.

However, the modern society requires a complete shift from religion-based politics to region-based politics. But region-based politics should not be misunderstood with regionalism. While region-based politics delineates about changing the aspect of politics according to regions, on the other hand, regionalism is the conception of preserving and uplifting one’s unique culture, heritage and tradition. Thus things are as transparent as a glass. The fact being every region has its own predicaments, and therefore a tendency must arise to give due importance to the problems of a region while formulating out a policy.

It is indeed known to one and all, that some regions of India have similarity with one another in terms of their problems, be it the grave issue of scarcity of water or the degrading lifestyle of the peasants. So when a policy is made for improving the availability of water, importance must be given to regions suffering from the same, rather than considering the whole nation as a whole, as that would directly or indirectly solve the issue in the areas concerned.  Since such policies no doubt would require expert handling, for that, in India we have the provision of delegated legislation as well.

Moreover, while dealing with problems particular to a region only, consultations must be made with the people of that region who have been affected, before drafting out a policy. And all these solutions are something which are not new, but are already available in the common law of the land, which some of the politicians have forgotten because of their personal interests.

Nevertheless, we can’t even deny the fact that things in theory look much easier than implementing it in practical terms. But if from nowhere religion could be brought about to the scheme of things of politics, then we surely need to question: Why innovations like region based politics are still not given due importance? And the most important fact is that if the politicians try to figure out and realize the importance of this question, only then India would be able to settle down the religion based conflicts that are increasing day by day and thus can also step on the pedestal of peace, harmony and success.

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