New Delhi: Gujarat Assembly elections 2017 are just around the corner and national political parties like Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress should have debated on important matters like employment growth, economic development and how to remove poverty from the state.
But on the contrary, they are arguing about the religion of the leaders of their opposition parties!
BJP was the first to trigger this non-serious debate by asking the religion of Rahul Gandhi. However, Congress was quick to return the favour by asking the same of BJP president Amit Shah.
Recently, Congress' future president Rahul Gandhi was at the centre of a furious controversy after his name was seen to have been written in a register for "non-Hindus" during a visit to Somnath temple in Gujarat. His visit to seek Lord Shiva's blessing at the popular temple flared into a major dispute as he was put down as a "non-Hindu". Till now he has visited quite a large number of temples.
Interestingly, non-Hindus have to sign a register before entering Somnath temple. Saffron party demanded Rahul specify his religious identity. However. Congress claimed it was a forgery.
Reacting to the controversy created over Rahul Gandhi's "non-Hindu" fight, leader of grand old party-Congress-Raj Babbar trained guns at Amit Shah. Babbar said Shah is a "Jain" but "calls himself a Hindu".
“Amit Shah calls himself a Hindu, but he is a Jain. As far as Rahul Gandhi is concerned, Shiv Bhakti is being practiced in his home for a long time. Indira Gandhi used to wear rudraksha, which was only worn by those who worship Shiva,” Raj Babbar told news agency ANI.
Does the religion of a leader really matter? Or is it right to see a political leader through the glasses of religion?
Well, I don't think so.
A leader is a leader. He should be "religion-neutral" figure if he wants to work for greater good. He is a leader of lakhs and lakhs of people who may be of any religion.
What matters is a leader's good work for his people.
As an Indian citizen when I vote during elections, only a few things come to my mind and they are how the person has performed in the past for whom I'm voting and how he will perform in the future, how well he is connected with his followers and how swiftly he addresses the problems.
And I strongly believe that most of the people in this country (which has unity in diversity as its strength) follow the same pattern.
What matters for a common man is how his political leader will solve his daily problems, not what his religion is.
During elections, we all like to listen our political parties debating on how they will address future challenges in the fields of employment, inflation, security of the country. And based on these fruitful and promising debates a voter decides his vote.
If we want our country to move rapidly on the path of development, then we should concentrate on more important matters than debating on the religion of leaders.
Religion and politics should never be mixed specially in a country like India which is home to many religions (and that is also its beauty). Both are highly sensitive and their combination is lethal.
About the author: Author is an Associate Producer in ABP News Network Pvt Ltd and tweets at @AnuragSason
Disclaimer: The views expressed by the author are personal and do not reflect the opinions, beliefs and views of ABP News Network Pvt Ltd.