ISSN: (Online) 2321 -4155
ISSN: (Print) 2320 -7000

VOLUME : 4, ISSUE : 1-4, January-December, 2016 (ISSN No. : 2321-4155)
Interplay of Religion & Politics in Ladakh
Lobzang Chosdup
The paper attempts to analyse the interplay of religion and politics in Ladakh. The region of Ladakh has been influenced by two major religions, Islam and Buddhism. The paper focuses only on the role of Buddhist Monasteries in politics and does not deal with the role Islam plays in the politics of Ladakh. At the outset, it analyses the role of religion in politics ever since Ladakh was politically integrated under the new structures and institutions of the Jammu and Kashmir state following overthrowing of monarchical form of government. Further, the history of participation of religious leaders in the political processes has been delineated. These leaders also articulated the regional aspirations of Ladakh. It examines the role of Ladakh Buddhist Association (LBA) in the politics of Ladakh, how secular leaders have used religious organisation like LBA for vote bank politics, personal interests and communal agendas. It looks into how the post-Lama leaders used religious sentiments for political interests and power during elections. Lastly, the paper argues about the changing role of religion in politics, the emergence of confrontation between politicians and monks as well as change of LBA’s role from politics to more religious and social work.
Autonomy, Bakula Rinpoche, culture, democratisation, identity, Ladakh Hill Council, LBA, religion, sectarianism, secularism.