By Rashid Samnakay, New Age Islam
The yard stick to measure a country’s Condition as a whole is none other than the evaluation fits objective morality, ethics and character of the individuals in the position of power across all institutions of authority from parliament to police and all its institutions in between, under their control.
This evaluation will reflect the prevailing social health of the country and the masses. Also too, it’s standing “among the powers of the earth”; to be considered as Developed, Less Developed or even Failed States.
The third world countries, stretch from Africa, South America, and many parts of the East, euphemistically called less develop countries (LDC).This empirical measure which is perhaps only applied to economic and social conditions of the elite does not apply to Middle East as that region is considered wealthy.
However in many cases it may not even be necessary to apply when it is so obvious to see that the State has failed its population, which tries to survive in ineluctable decayed morality that persists from top to bottom!
One of the yard stick to determine the failure of the States is the number of people; the unfortunate ones called ‘the boatpeople’ and ‘asylum-seekers’, men, women and children, who attempt to escape in utter desperation to other countries huddled in highly risky modes of transport and in so doing often perish at sea!
Often these people are rescued at sea by the Border Patrol Boats and are taken care of by authorities when they reach their shores. Credit therefore must be given to these countries for their kindness in receiving in the spirit of humanity the tired, the poor, and huddled masses yearning to breathe free; shamelessly pushed out by their own people back at home!
Although, they are detained separately from the general community, for screening purposes, at least they are safe and provided with all the necessities.
However, there is increasing resentment and angst in the community, which causes embarrassment to all migrants, old and new and disharmony in the community. Thanks only to the inapt governments and corrupt leaders, and religious bigotry in home countries; adds to the so called push factors (1).
The contrast therefore is stark between the sending-end-countries’ inhumanity and receiving-end-countries’ humanity!
Why then are there not many “revolutions” taking place on mass in LDCs’ countries to boot out these governments, as has happened in say, France, Russia, China and even Philippines?
The general decay in third-world, led by its leaders who shamefully and callously abrogate all the civilised codes of ethics required for just-governance are often propped up by other powers for their strategies!
Is this in the name of politics?
The ruling class in its abrogation of duties then in power, with its hedonistic attitude stays in the position well protected and remains then above the law and thus to enjoy their privileges with impunity.
Civilised countries propagate that ‘all are equal before the law’. This is an anachronism. Strangely enough the concept of ‘parliamentary immunity’ is copied from the very civilised world which holds themselves as the bastion of law and order and Justice. The LDCs thus entrench this immunity in their laws with relish, to be seen as among those cultured in parliamentary ethics.
Among such States are majority of Muslim countries. Laced with this advantage, the elite have the added prop of their religious institutions to absolve them of any sense of moral guilt that they may carry, for neglecting their duties of governance.
Hypocritically the leaders perform some religious rituals at State expense and use this way out to deaden their inner voice, if there is any. The State sponsored accompanying entourage of media, presents this hypocrisy as news. The gullible in their ignorance then believe that such piety ridden people can do no wrong.
This then reminds one of Hali’s (2) long poem lamenting this situation!
Is Religion a part of politics in governance of a country?
Surprisingly, there were various ‘movements’ in the world in the past to dispel this myth that moral tenets need be grounded in religious dogma. They maintained that “Religions were mistaken to believe that they made ethics and morality dependent on religious dogma alone”.
“Purity of thought and action, fair distribution of wealth and enhancement of intellectual development “as the main responsibility and duty of the people in power; and the edict of their own faith makes it abundantly clear as to what is right and what is not. These intrinsic values have long been discarded in most part of the world for insatiable greed to accumulate immense wealth and parasitic adherence to power at all cost.
The irony seems to be that the general public which is deliberately kept ignorant and desperate often believes these conditions as destined, and the only way out is to escape to safer havens; the civilised West!
Standard of governance measured objectively by any yardstick is based on what is witnessed as morally right or wrong by the world, of the condition of people in general in any country. Abject poverty of masses on one hand and obscene grandeur of wealth of the elite, accumulated by dipping deep into State coffers(3)as if there is no tomorrow; and corrupt behaviour on the other is the norm in most Muslim majority countries, including those with official appellation of ‘Islamic State’, which none so deserve!
This prevailing condition can only be put down to the escape mechanism made available by religious dogma, that says that having washed their hands, face and feet in holy waters they have washed their sins and are ‘born-again’ as pure as an infant; and infants naturally have no guilty conscience!
This then brings into sharp focus the roll of politics and religions and the separation thereof.
In any such discourses, it is essential to first determine the meanings of words as understood by commoners and lay people, that is, the masses.
In the context of managing a country, Politics conjures these associations of ideas: Total management of a country with powers to govern, by country’s constitution and through its various institutions and their commissioned officers. To provide security and social needs for intellectual and economic development. At a slightly elevated level therefore, politics is the ‘Science of government’. But different countries have different forms of government. Is politics then a precise Science for governance?
Religions conjures up various Mother-churches, dogmas, edified places where god(s) reside, their institutions, cadre of anointed professionals, houses of worship and liturgy of worship therein. Religion is therefore to attain a higher spiritual status in many different ways. Can religions be then called universal code of ethics and morality in human life and for its governance?
With this picture, one is compelled to logically conclude that politics is not a precise science and reference to religions is dispensable for humans to behave righteously, within the intrinsic values of humanity’s existence. One does not have to go to a Church to earn a political science degree as to how to govern a country in terms of management of its economics, finance, education, foreign policy, defence, security, judiciary and law and order etc. in the best interests of all its citizens!
To achieve the end-result of advancement of its peoples, a council of righteously acting individuals with insight of practical judgements and not any holiness, is all that is required. Hence, as such religion has no place in politics, for the governance of any country.
The question then remains as to what constitutes righteous acts?
Thankfully the general acceptance of this by the civilised world, taken objectively within moral and ethical code, gives some clue when considered in the broad sense, of benefits on equitable terms to humanity as a whole.
Conversely, therefore, if any act is undertaken to benefit a particular group or a class of people at the expense of other citizens whether of different religions, minority or majority; then that negates the claim of the community whose code is equality under the law. With this concept one then understands the conclusion of the poet Iqbal on this subject:-
Jalaal-e-padshahi hoe yaa jamhuri tamasha ho
Whether it’s the razzle-dazzle of monarchy or the street comedy of democracy,
Judaa ho Deen jo siyasat say to reh jatee hai Changazee!
Separate the Code from politics, then what remains is Genghis-ism!
1, Watch this-. http://www.sbs.com.au/dateline/story/comments/id/601660
2,-Hali’s Musaddus states:-
Maanay nah koi madh hai har jazr kay baad,--none would believe that there is a tide,
Daryaa kay hamaaray jou tarnaa dekhey—if they observe the ebb of our oceans.
3, Also this-.http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2013/03/15/news/national/sindh-assembly-approves-salary-rise-lifetime-perks-for-members
4,-ConverselyDeen/Code, is explained in Quran as to what it IS by simply elaborating what negates it, in its chapter.107: 7 verses and further explains in 89-17 to 20
i, have you seen those who negate The-Deen?
ii, they who despise the helpless and needy,
iii and also advise others to do the same,
iv, woe to those on their prayer mats(for false piety)!
v, who have forgotten their obligations (of righteousness),
vi, but want to be seen as pious ones,
vii, they hinder fair distribution of wealth(thus negating the code ad Deen)!
A regular contributor to New Age Islam, Rashid Samnakay is An Australian-Indian retired Engineer