Keep religion out of politics: Bhutan daily

Thimphu, Oct 9: Religion should be kept out of politics, a leading Bhutan daily said Tuesday and stressed that religious personalities too should stay away as such “earthly games” are for “lesser mortals”.

Keeping religion out of politics has so far meant keeping out religious personalities from contesting elections, an editorial in Kuensel said.

“There are very strong reasons for that. A well-known religious personality, without any campaigning or promises whatsoever, is likely to beat any of our well-known politicians hands down, any time. This is indicative of the sway or hold religious personalities or religion plays in the lives of the Bhutanese,” it said.

“When to-be politicians visit monasteries and roll the dice, or seek the blessings of a religious personality, before taking a life changing decision like joining politics, what more else is there to say?”

The editorial said that the “more important reason why religion personalities should remain above politics is because it is understood that they have dedicated their lives in the propagation of the dharma; earthly games like politics is for the lesser mortals”.

Religious personalities and institutions staying above politics have also meant that monks registered with any institutions do not have a right to vote.

It admitted that ensuring the separation of religion and politics has been an ongoing debate.

“There have been grey areas and will always be grey areas, considering that religion has always influenced politics and continues to do so.”

IANS