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Home > Articles on Religion > Religion and Politics
Religion and Politics
In India, religion plays an quintessential role in the day to day life and is a major influence over the Indian population and culture. Religion covers every aspect of the life of the Indian people. Religion also plays an important role in the politics of India. A political party`s acknowledgment of a particular religion decides the support it gets. The main religions of India are Hinduism and Islam and each religion has parties from whom support is given.

Religion and PoliticsAn excellent example of this negative action towards religions is the long standing struggle between Hindus and Muslims. Hindus have an extremely keen hatred for Muslims and vice versa. Many believe this is because the religions are not related in any way. The other religions of India are quite similar to that of Hinduism. However, Islam is completely unto itself.


The eighty- percent of the Indian population that supports Hinduism does so because of the mix of traditions and beliefs. The Hindu religion has no specific books of worship like Bible in the case of Christians. The Hindus have many religious books like the Rig-Veda, Upanishads, and Bhagwad Gita. There are multiple Gods in the Hindu religion ranging from gods, like Shiva and Vishnu, to plants and animals, to rivers, rocks and planets.

In contrast to the Hindu population, India has the second largest population of Muslims in the world. Only Indonesia has more Islamic followers than India. Initiated by Arabian merchants in the beginning of the eighth century the religion only caught on near the twelfth century. Differing from other religions such as Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism, Islam is not based on Hinduism. Islam`s main beliefs are worldwide friendship and absolute belief in Allah, their only god.

Christianity is another prominent religion within the country of India. In 1544 Saint Francis Xavier brought Christianity to India. In the following years Portugal, Denmark, Holland, Germany, and Great Britain followed in Xavier`s footsteps and came to India to preach the benefits of Christianity. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Catholics and Protestants began to preach. The churches and preachers built educational facilities.

Currently there are approximately thirty million Christians in India. The way in which the government of India is set up allows for a large amount of control by the political parties. Religion greatly affects these political parties. Often so much so, that what looks like a religious hate crime can be, in actual fact, a complete political occurrence.

shiva The governmental system of India allows for a lot of control by political parties thus, there is heavy competition for power between parties.The government of India is based on a constitution not unlike that of the United States. India is a group of twenty-five sovereign, secular, democratic states and seven Union Territories. A President, Vice-President, Council of Ministers, and a Prime Minister make up the executive branch. The country of India is in many facets similar to The United States of America.

The political parties that control these positions are split into two categories, National and State parties. State parties are supported in majority in four or less states however, if more than four states are there then the party becomes a National party with more influence and power in the government of India. The confrontations between parties are caused by the excessive power the parties have within the government. Hate-crimes amongst the three religions of India run rampant. However, only recently have any of these crimes been directed at Christians.

The effect of religion on Indian politics is staggering. The hatred that has for so many years put the country in political strife does not seem to be declining. The feelings between all three religions, especially Hinduism and Islam, are just as strong as ever. The structure of the Indian government sets up for the confrontations between the opposing political parties. These confrontations are the basis for power struggle within the Indian government.
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