Gandhi: The Fusion of Religion and Politics
Gandhi was a devoted Hindu all through his life but he only adopted the things he thought to be good. He criticised the things that were bad. Gandhi did not believe in the personification of God and relating Him to a particular caste, Brahman. He believed that God is formless. He severely criticised the caste system as it gave birth to so many problems in the society. He also criticised animal sacrifices in the temples. He said that animal sacrifices and killing can never be justified as Godly. He was against the child marriages which were the part of Hindu religion. The marriage of child in early stage would deprive them of education and other opportunities to grow and they are not in a mental state for taking responsibilities of marriage. Gandhi also criticised untouchability and never discriminated people in his ashram.
Gandhi sought practicality in every belief he accepted. He was not restricted to only one religion but he took the positive things from other religions as well. Hindu and Jain religion have great influence in his life. The Hindu religion says the main aim of life should be to attain moksha. Gandhi believed in this but meaning of moksha was a bit different for him. Serving people in every way possible was a step towards moksha. Secondly, he sought God in His creation. Thirdly, he regularly chanted hymn, payer and read Gita. He adopted good things from Jain religion and those things became his trademark and arms for his freedom movement. First, he believed in ahimsa which was his greatest arm in his fight against freedom. Secondly, he was a big supporter of no sacrifices for any purpose. Thirdly, he followed nonkilling and nonviolence and he exercised it in freedom movement as well.
Gandhi mixed the politics and religion and he thought that God, Truth and the Ultimate are the integral part of politics. For him, politics was means to serve people and to exercise justice of all forms. The primary motive of the politics is justice to the masses only. However, the politics involves several elements other than religious and God in the current scenario. But for Gandhi other elements did not make a big difference and he tested his own way of politics and redefined it. He was the most successful freedom fighter in India and millions of people were ready to die on his words. He was a great intellectual and charismatic leader and he perfected elements of religions in politics so well. He always knew what he was doing and he had belief in whatever he was doing. This is a quality of true politician.