Opinion: Political Leader, Religious Leader

I despise political parties. I wish for the demise of them all. But then political parties and politicians are the norm of politics and state leadership in the present context.

Having accepted this bitter pill, in my opinion a political leader must never assert himself or herself as a religious leader. A political leader who takes up position in the administration of a state or nation must always discuss ideas and programs that would bring social and economic progress to the community he or she serves. This goes to all political parties too as a whole.

This matters, since a political leader usually leads or represents a community of various races and religions. He or she should lead this community by working to improve their welfare. It’s my opinion that a political leader must focus on these three aspects, which are accountability, fairness and compassion. In fact these three must be the defining attributes of his or her leadership characteristics.

But if a political leader thinks that he is more of a religious leader, I suggest that he quit politics and join a religious institution. This is not about separation of religion from state. I’m sure the three attributes required in political leadership as mentioned above are preached by Islam, for example. So, all that I would ask a Muslim political leader is to put those attributes to practice in every aspect of his duty as a leader and administrator. He must realize that he is in the position of a representative of people and not a particular religion.

So, religion and related matters must be left to the religious leaders and clerics who are the experts in this field. Let the ulamaks discuss, preach and lead the people according to religion. This brings us to a conclusion that there must not be any political parties in the name of a religion. I would also add that there must not be armed struggles in the name of religion too. This in particular has gone too far, an end to this is long overdue.

All political endeavors for the sake of people must be based on welfare and progress of the people. A political leader must be one who is prepared to roll up his sleeves any time to get his hands dirty in the service to people. His business should be the tremendous task of overcoming adversity and fulfilling aspiration of the people. A cleric or an elitist for that matter, may not fit the bill.



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