chapter  21
12 Pages

Religion, communalism, and security in post-independence India

ByAinslie T. Embree

When Mahatma Gandhi was criticized for introducing religion into politics during India’s struggle for independence from Great Britain, his answer was that, “If I seem to take part in politics it is only because politics encircle us today like the coil of a snake from which one cannot get out, no matter how much one tries” (Gandhi 1965: 406). It was his devotion to truth that drew him into politics, he insisted, and “those who say that religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion means” (Dalton 1993: 45).