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Shirdi Sai Baba, religion and the politics!
The role of religion is to make one righteous and loving. Politics means caring for people and their welfare. When religion and politics don't co-exist then you have corrupt politicians and pseudo-religious leaders - Shri Shri Ravi Shankar
Since last few days there has been a religious controversy that broke out over a statement made by Dwaraka Peeth Shankaracharya Swaroopananda Saraswati against the 19th century mystic Shirdi Sai Baba?s deification that has stirred up millions of followers of both the sides.

Of course, protests reverberated across the country over the Shankaracharya's attack on a much adored seer, whose pictures can be found in every home and workplace. His followers unwaveringly believe that he responses to their prayers and endows with miraculous elucidations to their problems.

Not only are Sai Baba temples cropping up on every street and corner, but many Hindu temples have also put an idol of Sai Baba in addition to other Hindu gods.

A major cause of contention of the Shankaracharya was that Hinduism is governed by the holy Vedas?The Hindu Scriptures, which make no mention of Sai Baba. He questioned how and why Hindus are committing "adharma" by worshipping him, when Muslims don't revere Sai Baba - a Muslim by appearance if not birth - so much.

Since then there has been many ugly things doing rounds in terms of protest and a digging out of History is going on regarding the Sai Baba?s religion.

I must say I?m not a hardcore follower of Shirdi Sai Baba, but I surely have reservations if somebody is pointing out his religious origin, as in reality it hardly matters before faith and devotion.

If we retrace the legend of the nomadic mendicant of Shirdi and dig into the life of Sai Baba who was believed to be a 19th century mystic saint, we can find that he achieved a God like status because of his deeds. He was a simple but saintly figure looked like a quintessential faqir but who enlightened people and tried to bring harmony among them who were under the clutch of wealth, cast, creed and religious differences that time, with his well-known witticism, "Sabka Malik Ek" or "one god governs all".

He helped down trodden by his mystical healing power. For me he was a realised and enlightened soul, who is above any man made divergence like cast and creed or religion.

Isn't a person, who named his abode Dwarkamai and chanted Allah Malik Hai - a true guide of the spiritual path - where all roads lead to one God? Isn't that the ultimate lesson for the humanity?

May be that?s the reason why this idyllic fakir inspired million hearts to follow his teaching. From my personal experience of visiting Shirdi temple I can say the adage ?Jahan ka Badshah Fakir hota hai, wahan ka Fakir Bhi Badshah hota hai? goes perfectly fitting with that holy place.

Again religion is a function of belief and belief is individualistic in nature. For that matter anyone can be worshiped provided he inspires a lot of people by his Godly manners. If people believe in him and worship him, why should there be an objection or furor?

The basic purpose of religion is to facilitate governance in a civic manner. God's realisation is an individual thing. Religion brings in harmony in the society. I definitely have reservation if any one breaks that harmony.

India is a multi-religious country. Such politically motivated statements or controversies (may be both sides have valid reasons in terms of politics and other religious point of views) but it hurts the sentiments of common people and defeats the idea INDIA.

Let?s keep religion and politics separate and let people follow their own faith and devotion and choose their own Gods because ?faith and devotion? has no religion.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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