Politics and Religion in India: An Analysis


Rev. Dr. Selvam Robertson
Politics and Religion in India: An Analysis
Introduction
The simple thesis is of this paper is that religion and politics were never purely or completely separated in India, in spite of the contributions of modernity and hence it is necessary to strive hard to separate them as secularism seems to be more viable in a pluralistic context. While working towards this direction, it may also be asked how best positive religious insights can guide political wisdom.
To derive at this point, I shall attempt a sketchy and graphic historical development of the process of secularization leading to the formulation of secularism and secular state. While attempting to do so, I shall also highlight the never-ceasing influence of religion on politics and how politicization of religion takes place.
To prove the thesis I shall analyze the role of Congress party, emergence of Muslim League and religious interest organizations leading to the formation of BJP. Considerable space shall be devoted for the patterns in which BJP attempts to subscribe to communal politics. Before concluding the analysis the areas and issues that need to be considered and addressed can be underlined.

1 Traditional Society
The ideological component in traditional societies was provided almost entirely by religion; secular political ideologies did not exist, and the legitimacy of the ruler was based on religious ideas. The religiopolitical system was an integrated system in which ruler, clergy, religious ideology, religious norms of behaviour, and coercive governmental power were combined in order to maximize the stability of society.[1]
It is also often true that “in the intricately woven fabric of traditional systems, the political functions of the clergy were no less important than the religious role of the king.”[2]
In general, the sway of religion over politics was noteworthy in traditional societies because religion is a mass phenomenon, politics is not; but religion can be used to make politics meaningful. Religious values are also an important influence on political culture, and predispose individuals and societies toward certain patterns of political life.[3]
            The preponderance of religion over politics in specific in the traditional societies has been challenged in the modern society. Here there is a conscious, but often unsuccessful, attempt to distinguish between religion and the other aspects of life. To understand this phenomenon it shall be appropriate to circumscribe modern period.



2 Early Modern Period and Modern Period
The term modern period or modern era is the period of history that succeeded the Middle Ages (which ended approximately 1500 AD). Before underlining the characteristics of Modern era it is necessary to note the characteristics of early modern period a subdivision within modern period. Of course, making a watertight distinction between these two eras is not possible.

2.1 Early Modern Period
The early modern period is a term used by historians to refer to the period approximately from AD 1500 to 1800, especially in Western Europe. It is marked by the first European colonies, the rise of strong centralized governments, and the beginnings of recognizable nation states that are the direct antecedents of today's states in what is called Modern times.
Also, the early modern period is characterized by the rise to importance of science, the shrinkage of relative distances through improvements in transportation and communications and increasingly rapid technological progress, secularized civic politics and the early authoritarian nation states. Further, capitalist economies and institutions began their rise and development.
The early modern period also saw the rise and beginning of the dominance of the economic theory of mercantilism. As such, the early modern period represents the decline and eventual disappearance, in much of the European sphere, of Christian theocracy, feudalism and serfdom.

2.2 Modern Era
The modern era begins with the 19th century, and includes World War I, World War II, and the Cold War. It has been a period of significant development in the fields of science, politics, warfare, and technology. It has also been an age of discovery and globalization. During this time the European powers and later their colonies, began a political, economic, and cultural colonization of the rest of the world.
The modern era is closely associated with the development of individualism, capitalism, urbanization and a belief in the positive possibilities of technological and political progress. The brutal wars and other problems of this era, many of which come from the effects of rapid change, and the connected loss of strength of traditional religious and ethical norms, have led to many reactions against modern development.
Although modernity and post modernity have some commonalities, a salient distinction between the two needs to be underlined as people now speak of post-modernity.  This is found in the American Heritage Dictionary. It describes the meaning of postmodern as ‘of or relating to art, architecture, or literature that reacts against earlier modernist principles, as by reintroducing traditional or classical elements of style’.
Having underlined the salient characteristics of these different historic eras, it is appropriate now to begin to discuss the process of separation between religion and politics starting with reformation and concentrating on the developments in the 19th century in order to focus on secularization.

3 Reformation and after
Almost invariably, religion and politics are inseparable in their ability to arouse strong emotion. This was no doubt true during the 17th century when there was a drastic change in how both religion and politics were perceived by European society. Through either the Protestant Reformation or the Counter Reformation, governments gained control over the religion their state practiced. Religious tolerance became more prevalent. Religion was also used as a means to legitimize the nobles' power struggles, thus gaining public support for their conflicts.
To put it differently, “the contemporary nation-states of the West evolved out of a medieval religiopolitical system of Catholic integralism. The medieval synthesis was cracked open by the Reformation and Renaissance, nationalism challenged the religious basis of political community, and the secularization conflicts of individual states have occupied an important place in Western history right up to the present time.”[4] Since the days of Luther, political and national convictions outweighed religious convictions in Europe.
After the Protestant Reformation and the Counter Reformation, the states of Europe had gained almost complete control over church hierarchy. Governments benefited from this new acquisition, as they gained all the property the church previously controlled in their country. However, religious alignment often led to conflicts.
Religious ideals were often used as a rallying point to build power bases for political agendas. Oliver Cromwell, an army commander (supported parliamentary party) used religion, during the English Civil War, to strengthen the spirit of his New Model Army, which was unbeatable against the King's forces. During the Thirty Years War, the Holy Roman Emperor fought against the Protestants.
Through the integration of religion into the politics of the day, the common people supported the power struggles of the nobles, and religious toleration became common. This pattern of diversity and compromises continues even to today.
Roughly, from the first decades of the nineteenth century traditional systems came under external attack.[5] The integral relationships have also come under powerful attack.[6] The impact of the attack is that it cracked open the integralist nature of society.[7] As a result “from that time to this, the secularization of the polity has been the most fundamental structural and ideological change in the process of political development.[8]



4 Secularization
Secularization was first used at the end of thirty years war in Europe, 1648, to refer to the transfer of Church properties. It generally refers to people of transformation by which a society migrates from close identification with religious institutions to a more separated relationship. It is also the name given to a general belief about history, namely that the development of society progresses toward modernization and lessening dependence on religion as religion loses its position of authority. In other words, it is the detachment of a state or other body from religious foundations.
In expressly secular states like India, it has been argued that the need was to legislate for toleration and respect between quite different religions, whereas the secularization of the West was a response to intra-Christian tensions between Catholicism and Protestantism.
To be very specific, “starting with the disruption of traditional religiopolitical systems, the secularization of polities is a major aspect of differentiation, separating the political from the religious structures. Religious symbols, leaders, and organizations have served as vehicles to bring the masses into the political process, producing mass participation.”[9]
In such contexts  Secularization involves the separation of the polity from religion; legal and constitutional recognition is given to the fact that the political system does not derive its legitimacy from religion, and the symbols and structures which linked the two are destroyed. Secularization involves the expansion of the polity at the expense of religion as major areas of social life (education, law, economy, and so on) pass from religious regulation to the jurisdiction of the state. Secularization involves the transformation of political culture as politically relevant values assume a secular orientation. Nationality and nationalism displace religious notions of political community, and secular ideologies develop a legitimating power of their own. Finally, in a few countries which have undergone violent revolutions, secularization extends to state domination of religion, narrowly defined, with efforts to eradicate or drastically alter its very core.”[10]
Precisely, “the secularization of the polity is the political consequence of the disruption of the traditional religiopolitical system.”[11]Generally, “Western imperialist regimes in Asia and Africa have been powerful secularizers.”[12] In some instances their impacts are accepted without modifications. For example, “In a number of cases the independent states proceeded to ratify the polity-separation secularization which had been forcibly imposed by their former colonial rulers. The constitutions of India and Ceylon, for example, made no mention of special status for any religion and clearly outlined the structure of a secular state.”[13]
In general, secularization is characterized by (1) the separation of polity from religious ideologies and ecclesiastical structures, (2) the expansion of the polity to perform regulatory functions in the socioeconomic sphere which were formerly performed by religious structures, and (3) the translation of the political culture to emphasize nontranscendent temporal goals and rational, pragmatic means, that is secular political values. In the context of a participant and competitive political system, with universal suffrage and opposition political parties, however, the secularization of political culture becomes a much more problematical enterprise. Thus we can add to the first three aspects; (4) the dominance of the polity over religious beliefs, practices, and ecclesiastical structures.[14]
Mostly “liberal regimes, with varying degree of democratic political participation, have accounted for a great deal of the secularization which has taken place throughout the third world.”[15]
Although it is evident that secularism and secular state are the products of secularization process, the point is true that, politics and religion never completely get separated. This is obvious from the fact that in many occasions religious functionaries have emerged as powerful political leaders. As the politics of mass participation has increasingly become a reality, religious political parties have appeared.[16]

5 Secularization and Secular State
The process of secularization of politics led to the development of Secular state in India. Neera Chandhoke writes, “Secularism as a creed that the state should treat all religions equally, was adopted by the Indian National congress as one of its core principles, simply because it was moral, relevant, and appropriate for the needs of our society.”[17]
Having taken into careful consideration the plural structure of the Indian society in all aspects of life, the preamble of the Indian constitution envisages justice, liberty, equality and fraternity to all the citizens of India.[18] The above definite assertion is possible because of the meticulous insertion of the word ‘secular’ in the preamble of the constitution.[19] However, the critiques argued for the non-necessity of the inclusion of the word secular on the flimsy and covet ground that India is secular in nature (Hinduism is secular).[20] In the opinion of anti-secular proponents the word secular is western and it was used to fight against the pope and hence it is not relevant to India.[21]
The necessity of separating religion and politics is explained in one of the judgments regarding the meaning and scope of the word secular as “the neutrality of the state would be violated if religion is used for political purposes and advocated by the political parties for their political ends. An appeal to the electorate on grounds of religion offends secular democracy (para 128). Politics and religion cannot be mixed (para 131). If a State Government does this, it will be a fit case for application of Art. 356 of the Constitution against it (para 365 (10)).”[22] It is evident that in spite of substantial guidelines communal politics is gaining momentum in India.    
Meera Nanda writes, “the future of secular societies depends upon the cultivation of secular culture.”[23] Despite the fact that secularism is essential for the preservation of plurality in India, people who hold on to the traditional mix of politics and religion argue against it even after witnessing many ugly communal unrests.

 5.1 Critiquing Nehru

According to critiques, Nehru introduced secularism for the first time in 1952 General Election de-linking politics from religion. In 1976 during the Emergency it was incorporated into the preamble of the Constitution of India to appease the disgruntled Muslims.[24] For instance “the Jan Sangh hated Jawaharlal Nehru, the most committed and articulate of secularists.”[25] For the opponents “Nehru broke up the relationship of Hinduism   with politics.”[26] The critiques are unjustified as a secular framework is inevitable to the Indian plural context.
It cannot be wished away that “Secularism as a peculiarly modern concept, aligned to the equally modern concepts of equality and freedom, was an integral part of the project of modernity that India began her post-independence life with.”[27] Nevertheless, in contrast to the prevailing form of secularism the anti-secular forces argue, “Gandhiji’s Ram Rajya is based on that concept of toleration and universality which form the bed-rock of positive secularism that BJP advocates. In this positive secularism there is no appeasement of minorities.”[28] It needs to be reiterated that the vision of Gandhi had no commonality whatsoever with the present Hindutva communal ideology.

5.2 Secular State
One could also argue that, nowhere in the Constitution of India has the term “secular” been used to signify the character of the State. The fact is that, “nevertheless it embodies the idea of a secular State.”[29] The role and place of religion in Indian secularism is amply established. E. C. Bhatty maintains that “a secular State is neither religious nor anti-religious.  It is neutral in religious matters.  Not that it is indifferent to the religious welfare of its citizens.”[30] P.N. Sapru writes, “a secular state is not an unethical state.  The basic ethical ideas are much the same in all religions.”[31]
One of the basic expectations in a secular state is the separation of religion and state or religion and politics. In other words, the essential basis of a modern secular State is the institutional separation of State and religion. While State limits itself to the promotion of the secular welfare of the people. religious life is considered as intimately personal.

5.3 Challenges to Secularism/Secular State
Politicization of religion is the major challenge a secular state has to face. It is very painful to notice “intolerance has manifested itself in the activities of communal political parties which are clearly antagonistic to the entire spirit of the secular State.”[32] M.P. Raju states “the dreams for a secular India soon started to vanish with the growth of a kind of neo-fanaticism as part of Hindu revivalism and cultural nationalism.”[33]
There is a great need to protect the secular principle of our nation. In the words of E. C. Bhatty, “we have to guard against political religious communalism gaining strength and stifling religious freedom and destroying the secular State.”[34] This is a dangerous trend because religious elements influence politics and politics uses religious elements.
            Although secularization and secularism were significant hallmarks of modern era, the influence of religion on politics was not completely vanquished. This continuity in discontinuity or seemingly inseparable relation between religion and politics needs to be analyzed thoroughly in order to determine the magnitude of conflicts resulting from the mixing of religion and politics particularly in India.

6 New Role of Religion in Modern Period
It can be argued that “in a modern colonial semi-colonial or independent democratic society people are less religious but religion tends to become politics oriented.”[35] In other words, “Religion on account of its powerful emotional appeal has often sought to be dragged into political and social arenas by various interest groups.”[36] In political arena religion was no longer oriented towards faith, rational or irrational, but towards evolving a religious identity, a primordial consciousness for its political utility.[37]
In India, the political orientation of religion began with the consolidation of the British rule after failure of the war of independence of 1857. Now onwards ones identity as a Hindu or Muslim was more important than ones true religiosity or actual faith in religion. Jinnah, the Supreme leader of Muslim League was an archetypal model of such as a Muslim. So was Savarkar archetypal Hindu of similar model.[38]
It was during freedom struggle that a sense of separatism was injected in the minds of Hindus and Muslims middle classes which were instrumental in articulating their respective political ambitions. The elites of both the communities freely made use of religion, culture and language for this purpose.[39] Still further, religions are being reinterpreted to provide ideological support for political systems seeking to increase their capacity to direct socioeconomic change.[40]

6.1 Power
According to general theories, the incarnation of religion in various forms in the political sphere is based upon the principle that power comes from god. It is said, “The exercise of power is at the center of the polity and in virtually all cultures power is an attribute of divinity.”[41] Even those who hold power are considered to be divine or agents of divine.[42]
This may not be true in the current Indian scenario where respect for transcendental is not the driving force behind using religion for political mileage. The main principle is to grab power at any cost, including the lives of many minority religious communities which are vulnerable in nature due to numerical disadvantage. In other words the present mixing of religion and politics is to polarize the people on the grounds of majority-politics and creating communal hatred among people of different religions.

6.2 Politicization of Religion
Communally obsessive leaders know well that “in traditional societies, religion is a mass phenomenon, politics is not; in transitional societies, religion can serve as the means by which the masses become politicized.”[43] This is a reason why “Individual clerics or religious functionaries have made great impact on the political scene in a number of countries.”[44]
Prominent lay politicians who have effectively utilized religious symbols have been found in all religious traditions. Among the important Hindu nationalists were: Tilak, who used religious festivals for anti-British propaganda; the Bengal terrorists, who identified Mother India with the goddess Kali whose worship required bloody sacrifices (political assassinations); and Gandhi, whose elaborate theory of nonviolent resistance, rooted in Hindu concepts, also spurred the Indian national movement. Jinnah used Islamic symbols to intensify the Indian Muslims’ sense of separate national identity and, on this basis, demanded a separate state, Pakistan.[45]
Also of concern are the religion-oriented interest groups of a predominantly lay character. The RSS ideology holds to the concept of a Hindu Nation and urges the creation of a Hindu State in which the religious minorities would be relegated to the status of foreigners. Although, RSS has concentrated on the indoctrination and paramilitary training of youth and has never entered politics directly, it has provided much of the leadership and organizational strength to the Jana Sangh.[46]
Interest groups and political parties have been formed to further communal interests. In the case of Pakistan a new state was created for a minority religious community.[47] At the same time it cannot be ignored that “In societies characterized by religious pluralism, each community may become in some sense a political actor. Religious communities become politicized in conflict situations where the real issues are frequently social, political, and economic. Religion derives its chief importance from its function as a symbol of group identity and self-esteem.”[48]

6.3 Patterns of politicization
It follows then that the notion of conflict is central to our understanding of the nature of politics. At practical level, “Politicization – the drawing of people into active participation in the political process – takes place as people become conscious of conflicts which are perceived as relevant to their lives.”[49] When the principle of conflict is instilled in the mind of the people “Politicians, clerical and lay, are engaged in manipulating religious symbols as one technique in the struggle for power, sometimes cynically but more often through the same process of rationalization by which interests become disguised as principles in politics everywhere.”[50]
Along with the conflict of misusing religious interests, we must recognize still another kind of conflict- the conflict of political interests which cuts across, and in some cases clearly dominates, the conflicts over ostensibly religious issues.[51]
The Hindu-Muslim conflict leading to the partition of India in 1947 is the classic example. After independence and partition, Hindu-Sikh tensions became a prominent feature of politics in the Punjab. A militant Sikh political party, the Akali Dal, sought to mobilize the entire community behind the demand for a separate Sikh state within the Union of India. After the movement for the creation of linguistic states developed, the Sikh demand assumed the form of an agitation for a Punjabi-language state, which involved the partition of the then bilingual (Punjabi and Hindi) state of Punjab. While language constituted the official basis and justification for the demand, which was conceded in 1966, the motivating force behind it was clearly religious and communal. In any event, the creation of a Punjabi-language state also meant the creation of a Sikh-majority state, which was the real point of the agitation.[52]
From the middle of the nineteenth century down to Gandhi, social reform was a predominant nationalist motif. The liberal Moderates in the Congress thought in terms of an Indian nation. In the 1920’s, however, illiberal communalists such as V.D. Savakar began to speak of a “Hindu Nation.” It helped emergence of some sense of a Hindu community.[53]
In general “Politicization in the third world has been significantly furthered by various ideological conflicts involving religious and political belief systems. These are conflicts not only of general world views but of blueprints for society.”[54]
            In order to analyze the process of politicization of religion in India it is necessary to start with the Congress party. It is interesting to note that its secular vision was challenged by communally charged members and significantly congress also had attempted to play religious sentiments for its advantage, intentionally or otherwise. The real opponents of secularization process later emerged as advocates of religious political parties. This can be discussed after analyzing the congress.

7 Indian National Congress
Started in 1885, the Indian National Congress was not intended to be a political party but it was an annual gathering, speaking on behalf of social groups. However, roughly from the last decade of the 19th century onwards, the radical ideology of the young leaders like Tilak challenged the moderate of the Congress. While the moderates, the old generation leaders had a secular outlook in politics, the young leaders who were known later as the extremists invoked the help of religion for arousing national, patriotic and political feeling among Hindus.[55] As a result the nature of Indian nationalism changed and the growing tension between Hindus and Muslims began to surface.[56]


7.1 Tilak
Lokamanya Bal Gangadhr Tilak introduced religious-nationalism in Indian politics and his ideology influenced many others as well. People like Veer Savarkar who later became known for the ideology of Hindutva and K. B. Hedgewar, the founder of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh are the best examples of this.[57] In other words “He was a pace setter for the use of religious fundamentalism in Indian politics, in that he supplied a thought–structure for politics based on religious ideology, which later became an acceptable norm for many a politician.”[58]
Tilak utilized the Ganapati festival and a festival in the name of Shivaji, the celebrated Maratha ruler who withstood the Muslim invasion of Deccan, to galvanize Hindus. This is the first example of using religions for political gains, in the context of freedom struggle.

7.2 Gandhi
Opposed to Tilak’s Hindu religious nationalism which is based upon religious intolerance, Mahatma Gandhi envisaged nationalism based upon inter-religious relationship in India. Gandhi envisioned an India where Hindus and Muslims could live harmoniously and work for the welfare of each other.[59] The utility of religion by Tilak and Gandhi was diametrically opposed to each other. One used religion for hatred and the other used it for harmony.
In view of Gandhi’s application of religion, he is often proclaimed as the spiritual father of Indian secularism. For Gandhi secularism was considering all religions as equal.[60] He also had to encounter the nationalists who believed in Hindu state and the majority Hindus’ rule over religious minorities.[61] In fact “There was a strong move by Hindu fundamentalists groups for making Hinduism the state religion of India. Gandhi repudiated such ideology.”[62]
However, Gandhi is often criticized for his use of religion for political purposes, because, he used religious idioms and phrases to explain his political philosophy. He saw a close relationship between politics and religion. He used religious idioms and practices, some time even Islamic practices like Ramadhan, fasting, prayers and religious anecdotes to advance his struggle for freedom and to mobilize the masses on the basis of religious symbols. However, most of the symbols used by Gandhi were from Hinduism. Yet, it needs to be emphasized that his concept of religion was entirely different from that of the proponents of Hindu Nationalism and Muslim nationalism.[63]
While Gandhi was fighting for freedom of India, he was also concerned with the emancipation of the different sections of the population like the Muslims and Dalits.[64] Gandhi asked for Swaraj because “Gandhi seems to have understood that rushing the agenda of freedom and self-determination of the nation, without first resolving the great potential and manifest conflicts within-among the Hindus and Muslims and Hindus and Dalits- would jeopardize the very cause of freedom.”[65]
It needs to be admitted that “Amidst serious contestations and efforts to construct the nation along the lines of the Hindi-Hindu-Hindustan slogan, the combination of the Gandhian and Nehruvian streams posited ‘unity-in-diversity’ as the essence of Indian nationhood.”[66]

7.3 Jawaharlal Nehru
Aditya Nigam writes, “The ideology of secular-nationalism as the ideology of the postcolonial nation-state in India is closely related to the figure of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of the Indian republic.”[67] He had to choose that noble path because of the two decades of Hindu-Muslim conflict which preceded independence and which led to the partition of the subcontinent. Various elements in Nehru’s thought strongly confirmed the commitment to secularism, but it was above all the fundamental sociological fact of religious pluralism which dictated the policy.[68] The alliance of religion and politics was the most disturbing issue for Nehru. And “He saw the danger of communalism in independent India.”[69]
 Nehru constantly worked to show that India, timeless and eternal, had always been an ocean of tolerance and an exemplar of openness, ever willing to absorb different cultures.[70] He was always true to the reality of many cultures in India.

7.4 Ambedkar
Ambedkar was committed to the cause of the Dalits and hence “he vehemently refuses to accept the givenness of the nation, such as was sought to be constructed by the Congress.[71] Similarly he refused to take the working class as given. That is why “It is well-known that when he formed his first political party in 1936, he called it the Independent Labour Party.”[72] From the point of Indian politics Ambedkar’s efforts were in line with bringing in the concerns of the Dalits, but surely not communal as he found that the social evils in India was the outcome of Hindu religion.

7.5 Indira Gandhi
Originally Congress was committed to secular principles, but “It is with the return of Indira Gandhi in 1980, after the failure of the Janata experiment, however, that we can begin to see the changes in Congress politics clearly.”[73] It has been noted and meticulously documented by various scholars in recent years that this turn in Congress politics was defined by an overarching move to cater to Hindu majoritarian sentiments. The process received a major fillip with the assassination of Indira Gandhi, after which the Congress then led by her son Rajiv Gandhi, openly utilized Hindu ‘fears’. His notorious statement in response to the massacre of Sikhs that ‘when a big tree falls, the earth shakes’, was a clear and blatant admission of the fact that thenceforth, the party would have no qualms in using majoritarian sentiments to the maximum.[74] In fact the emergence of the Hindu right as a major political force belongs to this phase.[75]

7.6 Rajiv Gandhi
According to Arun Nehru, formerly one of Rajiv Gandhi’s close confidantes and advisors, the Congress High Command had taken a decision in early 1986, to ‘play the Hindu card’. The Muslim Women’s Bill was passed to play the Muslim Card; and then came the decision on Ayodhya to play the Hindu card’. Rajiv’s biographer, Nicholas Nugent, also notes that in August 1989, Nehru hinted in an interview that Rajiv also arranged the televising of Hindus worshipping at the newly unlocked shrine. In 1989, Rajiv initiated his party’s campaign for the Lok Sabha elections, by ritually breaking a coconut at Ayodhya and claiming that only the Congress could usher in the utopia of Ram Rajya. The role of the Rajiv led congress in making possible the foundation-stone laying ceremony (the shilanayas), at Ayodhya, is known to have been one of the most dangerous episodes in this game of placating the Hindu communal platform.[76]
 It was only in the course of the build-up to the Babri Masjid crisis in the late 1980s, that sections of the Muslims started moving away from the Congress. The episode of the Shah Bano judgment and the subsequent surrender to ‘fundamentalist’ Muslim pressure by Rajiv Gandhi, went hand in hand with the shilanyas, or the foundation-stone-laying ceremony at Ayodhya, that was accomplished under the Congress. If pandering to ‘majority Hindu’ sentiments in dealing with the Akalis in Punjab had led Indira Gandhi to practically stigmatize the entire Sikh community, Rajiv Gandhi managed to do so with the Muslims, when he began his 1989 election campaign from Ayodhya with the slogan of Ramrajya.  The crowning event came with the demolition of Babri Masjid, under the watchful eyes of the Congress government under Narasimha Rao. All day long the dance of destruction went unchallenged, leaving little doubt where the Congress government’s sympathies lay.[77]
It is very obvious that even the best secular wisdom of the Indian leaders were challenged by communal politics. Religion continues to stake claim in several important decision making process. Although Congress desired to be secular in its early phase, many of the religiously oriented congress men diluted that wishes. Subsequently, congress itself had attempted to utilize religious sentiments. To put it simply, secular vision was always either challenged as in the early part of congress or misused as in the latter part of the Congress.  Consequently the religious orientation and religious influence on political parties came out distinctively.

8 Religious Political Parties- Communal
The communal political party arises in response to the actual or latent conflict of a religiously pluralist society. In British India the Muslim League, founded in 1906, and the Hindu Mahasabha, founded in 1923, sought to articulate and champion the interests of their respective communities which, both were convinced, were being ignored, harmed, or betrayed by the leadership of the Indian National Congress which professed secular nationalism. The major Hindu party since independence has been the Jana Sangha, which maintains a definite anti-Muslim bias despite the existence of liberal elements within the party.”[78]
Communal parties always promise protection of communal interests. For example “The political expression of Hinduism, it is clear, is dominated by two basic expressions: the laity and communalism. Religious functionaries, individually or collectively, have played no significant political role; on the other hand, there have been very prominent lay spokesmen for Hinduism in the political sphere. Hindu interest groups and political parties have not concerned themselves with developing a Hindu ideology for modern society but have been strongly oriented toward defending the interests of their community in communal conflict.”[79] This will be clearer as the discussion of the Hindu communal politics progresses.

8.1 Muslim
Reference has already been made to the fact that, in British India the Muslim League, founded in 1906, demanded a separate nation for Muslims resulting in the partition of India. Many Muslims would not prefer to be ruled by Hindu principles as the Muslims believe that Allah is the almighty ruler of the universe whose sovereign transcendence over all creation is absolute.[80] The original Islamic vision is the complete fusion of religious and political authority in the Prophet and his successors. A separate clerical class, the ulama, was developed to interpret the comprehensive sacral law.[81]Now, of course, in most Muslim countries the legal and judicial functions of the ulama have been virtually eliminated.[82]
In India, an organization known as the Jamiat-ul-ulama-i-Hind was founded in 1919 to give guidance to the Indian Muslims in religious and political matters. It cooperated with the Indian National Congress in the struggle against British rule and, since independence, has continued to act as spokesman for Muslim interests in relations with the government.[83] One unpleasant fact is that the secularization of law in the Muslim countries has produced one of the most serious conflicts of modernization.[84]

8.2 Hindu
To begin with, “The traditional Hindu religiopolitical system was dominated by a theory of the sacral caste order of society.”[85] On the contrary the communal political orientation using Hindu sentiments may implicitly continue to press for caste, but explicitly herald to protect the religious interests and sentiments of Hindus. This can be analyzed as follow.

8.2.1 Arya Samaj
A brief mention about Arya Samaj is made here as its concerns will repeat in the subsequent discussions. Arya Samaj was Started in 1875 in Bombay by Swamy Dayananda Saraswati from Kathiawar in Gujarat. The major area of its work was Punjab. Its watch word was Back to the Vedas. The origin of the samaj is significant as it heralded the birth of the first reactionary movement against the modernist.[86] Dayanand contended that the kings of Arya varta- India enjoyed universal sovereignty up to five thousand years ago.[87] Return to that utopian golden age should be the motivational force to unit the Hindus together against the interests of the minority religious communities.
In a nutshell, Arya Samaj was a fundamentalist organization working for the establishment of a Hindu nation and the revival of the Hindu spirit through various means- Shuddhi and Sanghatan. [88]



8.2.2 Hindu Mahasabha
Founded in 1915, the Sabha did not emphasize political involvement in the beginning because its leaders were simultaneously members of the Indian National Congress. However, it declared its aim to maintain the protection and promotion of Hindu culture and Hindu civilization for the advancement of Hindu Rashtra.[89] While Arya Samaj could evoke a fear psychosis among Hindus and called them for a return to the scripture and to the Vedic golden age, the new movement challenged Hindus to consolidate the Hindu nation, heralding the beginning of nationalism based on religious fundamentalism.[90]
The founding of Hindu Mahasabha became a reality as a reaction to the formation of the Muslim league.[91] It mobilized the Hindus to form an exclusive Hindu political party. It was also started to canvas for Hindu nationalism as against the secularism of the Congress party.[92] The growth of the Mahasabha was marked by the adoption of the Shuddhi and Sanghatan invented by the Arya Samaj.[93]Aggressive militancy was another feature of Hindu Mahasabha.[94]
The Sabha came to prominence during the tenure of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar.[95] Like Dayananda, he found encouragement from an utopian past glory, which he wanted his people to achieve in the future. The ideology of the Hindu Mahasabha (HMS) put forth by Savarkar was known as ‘Sangahatan’ or Hindu Nationalism. Sangahatan, otherwise known as Hindu unity was his goal.”[96] Savarkar went to the extent of threatening and sometimes challenging Muslims, with the fate of the Jews under Hitler’s rule in Germany.[97]
The movement was thus highly motivated by political undercurrents, aiming at the establishment of an exclusively Hindu nation. The cardinal principle of Hindu Mahasabha was always the unity of Indians as a single culture, and single religion.[98]  Though it was meant to be a political organization, it was more religious than political in its activities. Politics linked with religion was the pattern of its functioning.[99] A crucial point of importance is that the idea of a Hindu Nation stood in contrast to the idea of a composite, territorially defined political entity that developed among the secular nationalists.[100]

8.2.3 Bharatiya Jana Sangh
The major Hindu political party in India since independence has been the Jana Sangha, which maintains a definite anti-Muslim bias despite the existence of liberal elements within the party.[101] The context of the origin of the party itself was complex. Assassination of Gandhi and the ensuing legal struggles of RSS-were badly in need for a political party.
Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, a former Hindu Mahasabha member, one of the ministers of the Nehru Cabinet openly criticized Nehru for his pro Muslim stand and resigned from the Cabinet. Mukherjee was looking for a political platform to air his views. As Hindu Mahasabha was already vanishing from the political parlance, it seemed good for him to start a new party. Shyam Prasad Mukherjee’s ambition got materialized through the help of RSS as Bharatiya Jana Sangh. As Mukherjee was in full agreement with RSS in the articulation of Hindu Rashtra, Golwalkar lent some of his faithful lieutenants for the political task. Consequently, by October 1951, a national level political party named Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS) was inaugurated in Delhi with Swayamsevaks as the main working body. This was the beginning of the RSS involvement in Indian politics. [102]
Although, BJS was started as a reactionary and opposition political movement against the Congress policy of minority appeasement and secularism,
Jana Sangh was not a success in the political scenario till it merged with the Janata Party after the Emergency (1975). Due to inner conflicts, the Janata government fell in 1979 and on 5th April 1980 Jana Sangh was revived with a new name Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with more RSS ethos. A senior leader of the erstwhile BJS, Atal Bihari Vajpayee became the founding president of the new party.[103]

8.2.4 Bharatiya Janata Party
It is baffling that, “Communalist ideology and communal politics have not declined as many modernizers expected. On the contrary today it is on the offensive, particularly with the BJP aggressively promoting its Hindutva-ideology.”[104] In spite of its predecessors’ opposition to secularism as a state policy the BJP emerged with a new formulation, ‘positive secularism’ against Nehruvian secularism.[105] BJP’s cynical approach to secularism is obvious as positive secularism envisages suppression of religious minorities under the Hindu majority rule.
It was in the late 1980s that the BJP started emerging as a serious contender for power at the centre. For a period after the collapse of the Janata government in 1979, the BJP went through a process of reinventing itself. Reluctant to go back to the Jana Sangh past, the party made desperate efforts to gain an acceptable and inclusive character. It sought to establish continuity with the Janata Party legacy, not simply by adopting the new name of the Bharatiya Janata party, but importantly, by emphasizing the link with the Gandhian legacy of the former by declaring its commitment to ‘Gandhian socialism’.[106]
In July 1980, Ram Jethmalani with the support of Sikkander Bakht, ‘introduced a Bill in the Lok Sabha that would once again legalize religious conversion. His justification for this initiative was the need to dispel anxieties engendered by O.P. Tyagi’s Freedom of religion Bill and to give credibility to the secularist image that the BJP wanted to promote.[107]
During this period, the BJP concentrated on raising mass issues like price rise. In fact, it is interesting that the Meenakshipuram conversion was hardly noticed publicly by BJP at that time. The conversion took place on 19th  February,1981.[108]
The well wishers of the BJP did not like its soft and apparently non-communal approach. In fact, in mid 1984, Bal Thackeray told correspondents that the BJP was ‘also following the same policy of Indira Gandhi’ and that it had also ‘started wooing the Muslims’.[109]
Unlike its predecessors, the main objective of BJP was to capture political power in order to implement Hindutva ideology. Therefore, “BJP took up the issue of the construction of Ram temple in Ayodha as a political agenda to come to power.”[110] It is alarming that “BJP, the present political organization of the Sangh Parivar seeks political mileage by dividing the nation on communal lines.”[111] Its communal canopy has become true in the recent years in its attack against Christianity. Similarly, in all the recent political programmes of the BJP, there was always a tinge of communal element.[112]


8.2.4.1 Hindu Nationalism
The Hindu communal politics spreads through a form of strange nationalisms, while Nationalism in India was born in the dual moment of its struggle against colonial domination and the encounter with modernity.[113] Again, Nationalist discourses are discourses of modernity par excellence. [114] On the contrary “Hindu nationalism was always a strong opponent of Indian nationalism: the nationalism advocated by Nehru and Gandhi.”[115]
In spite of the marked differences between the nationalisms of the secularists and the Hindu fundamentalists, the latter wanted the nation to be divided and the people to be subjugated on religious grounds. The intrinsic purpose of this obnoxious nationalism is to make India Hindu in the primordial way.[116] There is no progressive element in it. The Hindu-nationalists do not stop with ridiculing the credibility of secular nationalism; they go to the length of backtracking people to false glory of yore.[117]

8.2.4.2 Religious nationalism
While Hindu nationalism bargains for Hindu India, religious nationalism takes recourse to certain religious elements and presents them as inspirational to nationalism while ignoring the existential realities of life. Religious nationalism helps the Parivar to elevate the religion of the majority and put down others.[118] In a way, religious nationalism helps the Parivar to shift the focus of attention from real issues to abstract and trance-mundane concepts.[119]
The Sangh Parivar also envisages that this religious nationalism can pave way for world unity. Unfortunately, communal forces that promote religious nationalism divide people within a nation. When it is impossible to establish harmony within a nation how can such an idea bring about world unity?[120]
Another utter false promise the Parivar assures is that, accepting religious nationalism in India on the basis of religious insights can pave way not only for world unity but also for human welfare.[121] A society stigmatized with caste discriminations will definitely be skeptical of such welfare.
If Hindu religious nationalism can bring about brotherhood where is the necessity for asking other religious communities to leave this country? What is the need for asking other religious communities to subject themselves to the whims and fancies of the majority religion? Where is the need to venerate Hindu Heroes?[122]
Added to these are the other nationalisms promoted by Hindutva Ideology such as: Motherland Nationalism, Caste Nationalism, Cultural nationalism, Language nationalism and Territorial Nationalism. What India needs is Commitment for Real and United Nationalism.
How RSS a Hindu religious affiliate contributes to the influence of BJP can be discerned form the following finding that, in Chhaattisgarh’s Baster (district) region a changed socio-religious character of the tribal population has also impacted on the voting pattern, the beneficiary being the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The BJP is now reaping the rewards of a long campaign by the various outfits of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak  Sangh (RSS). This tribal support has greatly strengthened the party in the State. Right from the 2003 Assembly elections, the tribal vote has been polled in favour of the BJP and the trend is likely to continue in 2009, unless something dramatic happens. The changed politics has become more evident in the recent past with tribals shifting their support from the congress to the BJP.[123]
            The other organizations that can be analyzed for the influence of religion on politics are Shiva Sena, Ram Sena, Akali Dal, etc.

8.3 Christian Response
Whether we like it or not Christians also have started to use religion as a tool to mobilize political power. Rather than communalizing, Christians need to work with secular minded people, because the fact is that all Christians do not belong to one single political affiliation. They are members of different political orientation. Hence it is difficult to be prescriptive. Christians can work towards strengthening secularism and democracy and motivate people to actively involve in the electoral process.

9 Issues
The major concern in politicization of religion is that “Whether it is Hindus or Muslims or anyone who uses religion for political purposes, all of them are contravening the constitutional provisions of secularism in India.”[124] Using religion for political gains is against civility. It promotes the debate between modernity and traditional mind set.
Further, “Communalizing politics amounts to constant tension and threat to peaceful and harmonious living.”[125] It leads to polarization of communities on the basis of majority and minority; promotes Communal disharmony; encourages hatred towards each other and hatred towards communities. The unfortunate Ayodha tragedy, the horrifying communal carnages in Gujarat, the ill fate of Christians in Kandamal, vandalizing churches and properties in Mangalore and Bangalore are other examples.
Varun Gandhi’s Hate speech, inciting hatred towards communities just for votes and Ashock Sahu’s (M.P. candidate of BJP, in Kandamal) communal speech  against Christians are the vivid manifestations and risks of communal politics.
A painful outcome of communal politics is the suffering and inconveniences inflicted upon the minority religious communities. In other words, “Due to such communal political orientations, minority religious communities, particularly the Muslims, are irritated and frustrated. This situation will have adverse effect on the polity of India.”[126]
This situation help proliferation of minority -majority conflicts resulting suppression of minority rights and trying to root them out by terrorizing them through communal atrocities- killings, burning of worship places and houses. The influence of religion on politics seriously affects the religious freedom of the minority communities.

Conclusion
In the traditional societies the sway of religion on the politics was an accepted principle. The modernity discourses have brought in secularization and secular polity mainly through colonialization. Yet the fact remains in India that secularization and communalization of politics exists simultaneously. Religion is used by politicians to galvanize support for them, as it facilitates mass mobilization.
Although Congress was a secular party in its early phase, at its latter stage, it is a mix of secular as well as communal politics. The purely secular commitment of the Congress came under the attack of the religious radicals.
Consequently the religious radicals have formed political parties to implement religious programs. The dangers of the failures of the process of secularization and secularism are really a matter of concern.
In order to fight the communal political affiliates, without disturbing the genuinely religious sentiments of the committed people a consideration of Gandhian model may be beneficial. We need to fight against communal politics. It is against the constitution and it is against the beauty of plurality in India as Nehru conceived.

Religion and Dialogue


[1] Donald Eugene smith, Religion and Political Development (Boston: Little Brown and Company, 1970), p. 57.
[2] Donald Eugene smith, Religion and Political Development, p. 58.
[3] Donald Eugene smith, Religion and Political Development ,  p. xii.
[4] Donald Eugene smith, Religion and Political Development,  p. 3.
[5] Donald Eugene smith, Religion and Political Development, p. 10.
[6] Donald Eugene smith, Religion and Political Development,  p. 60.
[7] Donald Eugene smith, Religion and Political Development,  p. 10.
[8] Donald Eugene smith, Religion and Political Development,  p. 2.
[9] Donald Eugene smith, Religion and Political Development,  p. xii.
[10] Donald Eugene smith, Religion and Political Development,  p. 11.
[11] Donald Eugene smith, Religion and Political Development ,  p. 12.
[12] Donald Eugene smith, Religion and Political Development , p. 88.
[13] Donald Eugene smith, Religion and Political Development,          p. 95.
[14] Donald Eugene smith, Religion and Political Development,  pp. 85-86.
[15]Donald Eugene smith, Religion and Political Development,           p. 90.[16] Donald Eugene smith, Religion and Political Development, p. 3.
[17] Neera Chandhoke, Beyond Secularism, the rights of Religious Minorities (New Delhi:Oxford University Press, 1999), p. 41.
[18] P.L. John Panicker, “Marginalization of Minorities: Anti-conversion Bill,” in Inter-Play of Religion, Politics and Communalism, edited by Samson Prabhakar (Bangalore: BTESSC/SATHRI, 2004), p. 61.
[19] Durga Das Basu, Introduction to the Constitution of India, 19th ed. Reprint (Nagpur: Wadhwa and Company, Law Publishers, 2003), 27.
[20] Pannalal Dhar, India and Her Domestic Problems: Religion State and Secularism (Calcutta: Punthi- Pustak, 1993), p. 63. The author of the book purposely used small ‘m’ for Muslims. [21] M.S. Golwalkar, Bunch of Thoughts, 3rd ed., Reprint (Bangalore: Sahitya Sindhu Prakashan, 2000), p. 162.
 [22] Durga Das Basu, Introduction to the Constitution of India, pp. 116-117.
[23] Meera Nanda, The Wrongs of the religious Right: Reflections on Science, Secularism and Hindutva (Haryana: Three Essays, 2005), p. 61.
[24] Pannalal Dhar, India and Her Domestic Problems: Religion State and Secularism,p. 80.  
[25] A.G. Noorani, “Fractured Democracies,” Frontline (December 1, 2006):84.
[26] Pannalal Dhar, India and Her Domestic Problems: Religion State and Secularism, p. 80.
[27] Neera Chandhoke, Beyond Secularism, the rights of Religious Minorities, 50.
[28] Pannalal Dhar, India and Her Domestic Problems: Religion State and Secularism, 56. 
[29]E. C. Bhatty,  “Religious Minorities and the Secular State,” in Religious Freedom, editedby J.R. Chandran, and M. M. Thomas, (Bangalore: The Committee for Literature on Social Concerns, 1956), p. 74.
[30] E. C. Bhatty,  “Religious Minorities and the Secular State,” in Religious Freedom, p.74.
[31] P.N. Sapru, “Religious Freedom and Civil Liberties,” in Religious Freedom, edited by J.R. Chandran, and M. M. Thomas, (Bangalore: The Committee for Literature on Social Concerns, 1956), p. 5.
[32] E. C. Bhatty,  “Religious Minorities and the Secular State,” in Religious Freedom, p. 77.
[33] M.P. Raju, Religious Conversion: Legal Implications (Delhi: Media House,1999), p. 34 .    
[34] E. C. Bhatty,  “Religious Minorities and the Secular State,” in Religious Freedom, p. 86.
[35] Sunita Gangwal, Minorities in India: A Study in Communal Process and Individual Rights
(Jaipur: Arihant Publishing House, 1995), p.187.
[36] Sunita Gangwal, Minorities in India: A Study in Communal Process and Individual Rights,p.187.
[37] Sunita Gangwal, Minorities in India: A Study in Communal Process and Individual Rights, p.187.
[38] Sunita Gangwal, Minorities in India: A Study in Communal Process and Individual Rights, p.187.
[39] Sunita Gangwal, Minorities in India: A Study in Communal Process and Individual Rights,p.188.
[40] Donald Eugene smith, Religion and Political Development,  p. xii.
[41] Donald Eugene smith, Religion and Political Development,  p. 6.
[42] Donald Eugene smith, Religion and Political Development, p. 7.
[43] Donald Eugene smith, Religion and Political Development,  p. 124.
[44] Donald Eugene smith, Religion and Political Development, p. 127.
[45] Donald Eugene smith, Religion and Political Development,  p. 128.
[46] Donald Eugene smith, Religion and Political Development,  p. 132.
[47] Donald Eugene smith, Religion and Political Development,  p. 136.
[48] Donald Eugene smith, Religion and Political Development, p. 136.
[49] Donald Eugene smith, Religion and Political Development, p. 144.
[50] Donald Eugene smith, Religion and Political Development, p. 145.
[51] Donald Eugene smith, Religion and Political Development, p. 145.
[52] Donald Eugene smith, Religion and Political Development, p. 147.
[53] Donald Eugene smith, Religion and Political Development,pp. 148-49.
[54] Donald Eugene smith, Religion and Political Development, p. 157.
[55] M.T. Cherian, Hindutva Agenda and Minority Rights: A Christian Response (Bangalore: Centre
 for Contemporary Christianity, 2007), p.98.
[56] M.T. Cherian, Hindutva Agenda and Minority Rights: A Christian Response, p.99.
[57] M.T. Cherian, Hindutva Agenda and Minority Rights: A Christian Response, p.99.
[58] M.T. Cherian, Hindutva Agenda and Minority Rights: A Christian Response, p.100.
[59] M.T. Cherian, Hindutva Agenda and Minority Rights: A Christian Response, p.105.
[60] M.T. Cherian, Hindutva Agenda and Minority Rights: A Christian Response, p.106.
[61] M.T. Cherian, Hindutva Agenda and Minority Rights: A Christian Response, p.108.
[62] M.T. Cherian, Hindutva Agenda and Minority Rights: A Christian Response, p.110.
[63] M.T. Cherian, Hindutva Agenda and Minority Rights: A Christian Response, p.112.
[64] Aditya Nigam, The Insurrection of Little Selves: The Crisis of Secular- Nationalism in India (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2006), p.38.
[65]Aditya Nigam, The Insurrection of Little Selves: The Crisis of Secular- Nationalism in India, p.38.
[66]Aditya Nigam, The Insurrection of Little Selves: The Crisis of Secular- Nationalism in India, p.38.
[67]Aditya Nigam, The Insurrection of Little Selves: The Crisis of Secular- Nationalism in India, p.69.
[68] Donald Eugene smith, Religion and Political Development, p. 92.
[69] M.T. Cherian, Hindutva Agenda and Minority Rights: A Christian Response, p.121.
[70]Aditya Nigam, The Insurrection of Little Selves: The Crisis of Secular- Nationalism in India, p.75.
[71]Aditya Nigam, The Insurrection of Little Selves: The Crisis of Secular- Nationalism in
India,p.245.
[72]Aditya Nigam, The Insurrection of Little Selves: The Crisis of Secular- Nationalism in
India,p.244.
[73] Aditya Nigam, The Insurrection of Little Selves: The Crisis of Secular- Nationalism in Indiap.118.
[74] Aditya Nigam, The Insurrection of Little Selves: The Crisis of Secular- Nationalism in Indiap.119.
[75] Aditya Nigam, The Insurrection of Little Selves: The Crisis of Secular- Nationalism in Indiap.120.
[76] Aditya Nigam, The Insurrection of Little Selves: The Crisis of Secular- Nationalism in Indiap.120.
[77] Aditya Nigam, The Insurrection of Little Selves: The Crisis of Secular- Nationalism in Indiap.316.
[78] Donald Eugene smith, Religion and Political Development, p. 137.
[79] Donald Eugene smith, Religion and Political Development,  p. 141.
[80] Donald Eugene smith, Religion and Political Development, p. 46.
[81] Donald Eugene smith, Religion and Political Development, p. 8.
[82] Donald Eugene smith, Religion and Political Development, p. 48.
[83] Donald Eugene smith, Religion and Political Development, p. 48.
[84] Donald Eugene smith, Religion and Political Development, p. 50.
[85] Donald Eugene smith, Religion and Political Development, p. 8.
[86] M.T. Cherian, Hindutva Agenda and Minority Rights: A Christian Response, p.163.
[87] M.T. Cherian, Hindutva Agenda and Minority Rights: A Christian Response, p.170.
[88] M.T. Cherian, Hindutva Agenda and Minority Rights: A Christian Response, p.174.
[89] M.T. Cherian, Hindutva Agenda and Minority Rights: A Christian Response, p.176.
[90] M.T. Cherian, Hindutva Agenda and Minority Rights: A Christian Response, p.175.
[91] M.T. Cherian, Hindutva Agenda and Minority Rights: A Christian Response, p.175.
[92] M.T. Cherian, Hindutva Agenda and Minority Rights: A Christian Response, p.177.
[93] M.T. Cherian, Hindutva Agenda and Minority Rights: A Christian Response, p.177.
[94] M.T. Cherian, Hindutva Agenda and Minority Rights: A Christian Response, p.183.
[95] M.T. Cherian, Hindutva Agenda and Minority Rights: A Christian Response, p.177.
[96] M.T. Cherian, Hindutva Agenda and Minority Rights: A Christian Response, p.182.
[97] M.T. Cherian, Hindutva Agenda and Minority Rights: A Christian Response, p.183.
[98] M.T. Cherian, Hindutva Agenda and Minority Rights: A Christian Response, p.178.
[99] M.T. Cherian, Hindutva Agenda and Minority Rights: A Christian Response, p.187.
[100] M.T. Cherian, Hindutva Agenda and Minority Rights: A Christian Response, p.178.
[101] Donald Eugene smith, Religion and Political Development, p. 137.
[102] M.T. Cherian, Hindutva Agenda and Minority Rights: A Christian Response, pp.217-18.[103] M.T. Cherian, Hindutva Agenda and Minority Rights: A Christian Response, p.218.
[104] Gabriele Dietrich & Bas Wielenga, Towards Understanding Indian Society (Tiruvalla: Christava Sahitya Samithi, 2003), p.180.
[105] M.T. Cherian, Hindutva Agenda and Minority Rights: A Christian Response, p.219.
[106] Aditya Nigam, The Insurrection of Little Selves: The Crisis of Secular- Nationalism in Indiap.120.
[107] Aditya Nigam, The Insurrection of Little Selves: The Crisis of Secular- Nationalism in Indiapp.120-21.
[108] Aditya Nigam, The Insurrection of Little Selves: The Crisis of Secular- Nationalism in Indiap.121.
[109] Aditya Nigam, The Insurrection of Little Selves: The Crisis of Secular- Nationalism in Indiap.121.
[110]M.T. Cherian, Hindutva Agenda and Minority Rights: A Christian Response, p.223.
[111] S. Robertson, Freedom of Religion a Human Rights Issue (Bangalore: SATHRI, 2007), p.117.     
[112]S. Robertson, Freedom of Religion a Human Rights Issue, p.118.
[113] Aditya Nigam, The Insurrection of Little Selves: The Crisis of Secular- Nationalism in India p.37.
[114] Aditya Nigam, The Insurrection of Little Selves: The Crisis of Secular- Nationalism in Indiap.36.
[115] M.T. Cherian, Hindutva Agenda and Minority Rights: A Christian Response, p.219.
[116] S. Robertson, Freedom of Religion a Human Rights Issue, p.129.
[117] S. Robertson, Freedom of Religion a Human Rights Issue, p.130.
[118] S. Robertson, Freedom of Religion a Human Rights Issue, p.134.
[119] S. Robertson, Freedom of Religion a Human Rights Issue, p.135.
[120] S. Robertson, Freedom of Religion a Human Rights Issue, p.135.
[121]S. Robertson, Freedom of Religion a Human Rights Issue, p.135.
[122] S. Robertson, Freedom of Religion a Human Rights Issue, p.136.
[123] Aarti Dhar, “The Hinduised face of Bastar’s tribals,” The Hindu, 14 April 2009, p.17.
[124] S. Robertson, Freedom of Religion a Human Rights Issue, p.183.
[125] S. Robertson, Freedom of Religion a Human Rights Issue, p.183.
[126] S. Robertson, Freedom of Religion a Human Rights Issue, p.185.

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