21 Feb Declination of Democratic elements and increments in religious authoritarianism : A review in context of changing scenario
Declination of Democratic elements and increments in religious authoritarianism – Today Current Affairs
Context : As per the report published in 2021 by some influential non-governmental research and advocacy organizations such as Freedom House, V-Dem, International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, and Cato Institute, the democratic institution and elements are continuously declining in some countries and the nexus of religious institutions with the state is tending towards other religious authoritarianism
Today Current Affairs
Introduction : Democracy is the most important element for the stability of any state . After the second world wars democratic institutions and ideas have flourished rapidly in the world and many countries of the world , they adopted democracy and continuously reformed in their democratic institutions. But on the grounds of the right of religious practices , the democratic institutions in some countries have been changed , mainly in Islamic countries . However the large democracies including the U.S. and India found themselves downgraded among other things, on the ground of partialities in electoral process , biases in the criminal justice (In some case, some relaxation is given in heinous crime because of the money and power while in some case , a person of simple crime is being treated badly) , some discriminatory policies , harassment of journalists, other activists, critics, intellectual s who oppose governments , and growing disparities in wealth, economic opportunity, and political influence. This democratic declination can be seen in Islamic state on large scale
Religious Politics nexus : The Hindu Analysis
This religious politics nexus starts with the history of Islam. In fact, in Islam, religious and the political head was same . Initially the prophet never discriminated among the people on the ground of race but gradually , kings or rulers justified their rule on the ground of superior race and the recognition of the religion of caliphate was mandatory. And gradually this nexus of the state and the religious institutions continuously not only in Islam but also in other religion also up to a certain extent. In Hinduism , the divinity of the kingship was also justified by the priest but , in Hinduism, the religious head was not the political head at any time .
We see that it was the intellectual stagnation that we (Asians) could not resist Western imperialism . Therefore , during imperialism all the countries of the world had learned about the political and the democratic institutions. In this way , this imperialism broke the religious – state nexus. But after the decolonization of the world, some countries had evolved on the ground of religion (mainly Islamic states) , there against religion state nexus started to evolve , in those countries the declination of democratic institutions is obvious but the declination of democratic institutions in secular countries are thinkable
The Democracy in secular State : The Hindu Analysis
In the secular states, for the political benefits , the leaders also want the support of the religious institutions in the elections. Since these religious heads and the religious institutions have their control in a large section of the society, therefore they can play an important role in democratic politics . Recently, we see this nexus of politicians with religious people in India, the secular state. In India , the recent Hijab dispute was an effort to get benefits in elections going on in some states . Therefore , in secular countries also, the nexus of the state and politics with religious priests and institutions also exist which is dangerous not only for the democratic institutions but also for the integrity of the countries. This nexus would not be harmful in the monochromatic countries but It would be harmful in culturally diversified country
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Conclusion : The democratic institutions and elements should be strong and is expected to be stronger in future but if it is in declining trends then it is thinkable for the social scientist. As we will be more educated and scientific temperaments would be more developed , definitely this nexus of the religion and the state will be weak . and only after the weakening of this nexus of religion and the state , democratic elements and the ideas would be strengthened.
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Source : The Hindu (Editorial)
GS Paper II,