Topic: Communalism, regionalism & secularism.
1) How does religion influence politics in India? Critically analyse in the light of recent 2019 report of United States Commission on International Religious Freedom. (250 words)
why this question:
Recently The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, in its 2019 report has stated that there is an “overall deterioration of religious freedom conditions in 2018” in India. Thus the question becomes important to ponder from the point of view of GS paper I.
Key demands of the question:
The answer must evaluate the link between religion and politics in Indian case and how is different from other countries of the world, also discuss why is India often being criticized to fall in Tier II category, conclude with way forward.
Critically analyze – When asked to analyze, you have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a fair judgement.
Structure of the answer:
In a few introductory lines explain the background of the report findings.
Discuss the following dimensions in the answer:
- Quote the findings of the report about India – According to the Commission, India continues to remain a Tier 2 country, a list it has been unable to get off of since 2009.
- In India, religious freedom is declining, apart from increased securitization and politicization of religion.
- Also discuss that Tenzin Dorjee, Commission Chairperson gave a dissenting view and argued that India is an open society with a robust democratic and judiciary system where religious harmony exists.
- Explain the correlation of religion and politics in India ? How does religion influence politics in India? Discuss pros and cons – The religion based politics ideology and mass mobilization have always challenged secular forces in Indian society.
- Many people vote on the basis of religion and to the person belonging to their religion. In my view religion based politics is harmful, it divides the citizens.
- Discuss the constitutional provisions.
- Analyse the findings of the report – discuss shortcomings if any.
- Suggest what needs to be done?
Conclude with way forward.