Day 51 – Q 3. In dealing with religious contentious issues, emotional intelligence plays an important role. Comment. 

  • IASbaba
  • August 7, 2020
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Ethics Theory, GS 4, TLP-UPSC Mains Answer Writing
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3. In dealing with religious contentious issues, emotional intelligence plays an important role. Comment. 
धार्मिक विवादास्पद मुद्दों से निपटने में, भावनात्मक बुद्धि एक महत्वपूर्ण भूमिका निभाती है। टिप्पणी करें।

Demand of the question:

It expects students to write both aspects of whether emotional intelligence’s plays a role while dealing with religious contentious issues or not.


Religious contentious issues arise over the teaching of science, certain religious practices, and the depiction of religion or religious figures in culture. In the age of science where a proof of things is essential to prove its existence, some religious belief and practises due to their inhuman nature emphasise the role of emotional intelligence of a person.


Emotional intelligence (EI) refers to ‘the ability to identify one’s own emotions and those of others, harness and apply them to tasks, and to regulate and manage them’.  Due to its direct relation with the emotions of the people, emotional Intelligence is crucial while dealing with religious contentious issues in following ways:  

  • Develops Compassion: EI is the ability to recognize our own and other people’s emotions; Hence, when people of different faiths and belief fights over religious contentious issues EI helps a person to talk-decide and act rationally.
  • EI helps to control negative emotions, it in turn help to reduce the enmity between the people over the contentious religious issues. It also helps a person to protect his/her own religion and respect the other ones too.
  •  As Lord Buddha said “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else: you are the one who gets burned.”
  • Helps to manage relations: As social awareness gets developed due to emotional intelligence, it promotes the felling of compassion and empathy between the people in turn reducing the contention in religious issues.
  • Strong decision making: Self awareness about ones choices, belief, nature helps a person to act decisively if any threat to society occurs due to his/her act of religious practise. it may result in people leaving that religious practise and adopting a modern approach. e.g. Act of Sati was opposed by intellectuals like Raja Rammohan Roy.
  • Conflict resolution: Emotional Intelligence help leaders to influence and mentor others and help in resolving the religious conflicts effectively. 
  • Ability to Bounce Back from trauma: Emotional Intelligence help people and leaders to bounce back quickly after a conflict which resulted in massacre of people due to religious contentious issues.
  • For instance, Killing of Jews over ethno religious issue traumatised many people, but Victor frankle a psychologist and survivor of massacre helped many people to recover from the shock of massacre due to his emotional intelligence.

However sometimes this emotional intelligence is used by some miscreants and it proves to be a double edged sword.

  • A leader who understands mass psychology can utilise any opportunity in the society to incite violence over the issue of religion. As he/she may play with emotions, religious belief  of common people who are not emotionally aware and may spread religious contention in society by inciting them against the people of other religions.
  • A person who understands that many people who have religious belief they are bounded by the hope that god will do better with them if they follow certain religious practises. 
  • Hence, if an emotionally intelligent person if uses his emotional intelligence in other way round and  plunders the common people monetarily  in the name of religion. Then it proves to be harmful to the society.
  • This in turn would not resolve the religious contentious issues but will aggravate the religious contentious issues.


Hence, inculcating emotional intelligence in the people for religious practise plays an  important role by supplementing the rational decision making. It also ensure harmony in the society and promotes respect for other religions in people which prospects better future of society at large.

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