Kolkata: Religion and politics should be distinct and should not be mixed, spiritual guru Ravi Shankar said here on Saturday.

“Religion and politics should be kept separate. They are both distinct and important but they shouldn’t merge. But politics could be guided by spirituality… for example Mahatma Gandhi was a spiritual person,” Ravi Shankar told the media on the sidelines of the Kolkata Meditates event organised by the Art of Living Foundation.

Asked about the influence of religion on politics, Shankar said his message was: “Spiritualise politics, secularise religion and socialise business”.

Ravi Shankar said it was wrong’’ to dub the entire country as intolerant in the wake of criminal acts.

“In the country, there are criminal acts today and they were there in the past. It is wrong to dub the whole country intolerant. I think it shouldn’t be dubbed as intolerance and the criminal acts must be punished,” he said.

The spiritual guru also advised religious leaders to adopt a broad mindset.

“Religious leaders should not make their followers into fanatics. They should not only think about their own community. They should give them a broad base else terrorism will take over the world which is happening,” he said.

Religious leaders should cultivate a broad mindset and politicians should follow Gandhian principles, said Shankar, adding that narrow mindedness will not work for the country.

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