Expressing unhappiness at the current political scenario, Shankaracharya of Puri Swami Sri Nischalananda Saraswati on Monday called for a change in the election process and urged political parties to introspect and do away with the election process where money played an important role.
The Shankaracharya, who is on a two-day tour of the city to give religious discourses, claimed that no political party was working for the poor. "Political parties hanker only after money, power and prestige. They should refrain from cheap politics," he said.
Pained at politicisation of religion and the controversies involving self-styled spiritual gurus, Shankaracharya told HT, "There are not many genuine saints these days. If a 'saint' has the BJP backing, he is considered good. Political parties are appointing their sympathisers as Shankaracharayas, which is a dangerous trend that needs to be checked at once."
He advocated radical changes in the election process and called the move to reject a candidate in
the election a welcome step.
"Nowadays, elections and politics have become the game of the high and mighty. In elections, people spend crores, making it difficult for a person with integrity to get into politics. All political parties need to introspect and ensure that only people with a clean image are fielded," he added.
Asked to comment on Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi, he said, "Both need to introspect and first try to win over the confidence of people and bring in radical changes in their respective parties."
Replying to a query whether he would support Modi, he said, "I do not support any individual or a party. Whoever works for the welfare of society and Hindu religion will get my support."
Speaking on Asaram, he said, "Asaram was glorified by the electronic media and fell a victim to it. 'Swamis' who have no recognition in the field of religion fall from followers' esteem because of their misdeeds."