The delay of centuries is finished were the text of narendra modi, since the indian prime minister set the inspiration stone of a brand new hindu temple in ayodhya a week ago.

It was the greatest desire our childhood, and today it is often carried out was exactly how recep tayyip erdogan put it, immediately before the turkish president led the prayers into the hagia sophia in istanbul on july 24, after its reconversion to a mosque.

Mr modi is a hindu nationalist. mr erdogan is an islamist. the indian and turkish frontrunners appear to be potential competitors in a clash of civilisations. however they are seeking political jobs that are mirror photos.

Both are champions of a brand of politics that seeks to fuse religion, the world therefore the frontrunner. both lead countries with secular constitutions but would you like to place religion right back in the middle of nation and condition.

Mr modi launched his political job into the 1990s, by campaigning the destruction of a mosque at ayodhya and its replacement with a hindu temple an ambition he finally realised the other day. mr erdogan features long required the hagia sophia inaugurated as a basilica in 537, converted into a mosque from 1453 then a museum from 1935 should yet again come to be a muslim place of worship. after 17 years in energy, the turkish frontrunner has actually attained their ambition.

Both frontrunners have actually grandiose views of on their own as refounders oftheir own nations. mr modi calls himself the champion of an innovative new asia. mr erdogan talks of an innovative new turkey. this common language reflects more than a weakness for similar type of marketing-speak.

In rejecting secularism, both indian together with turkish leaders have placed by themselves tacitly incompatible with all the founding dads of the modern-day nations. kemal ataturk, the creator associated with the turkish republic, was an alcohol-drinking secularist. mohandas gandhi, whom led the campaign for indian independency, had been a champion of religious pluralism and ended up being assassinated by a hindu nationalist.

In rejecting secularism, erdogan-supporting islamists and modi-supporting hindu nationalists believe their opted for leaders are going back chicken and asia back once again to their particular genuine religious and cultural roots and from the alien customs associated with the west, championed by secular metropolitan elites. many ardent followers of mr modi and mr erdogan argue that, eventually, the present leaders of asia and turkey should come to be seen as greater and more significant numbers than gandhi or ataturk.

Both mr modi and mr erdogan additionally wish to be leaders of a global faith neighborhood. digital renderings of this brand new temple in ayodhya were beamed onto a huge billboard in days square in ny, apparently as an inspiration to expatriate indians. mr erdogan has reported that resurrection regarding the hagia sophia presents the will of muslims all over the globe.

For just two such important nations to make their backs on secularism and liberal values is considerable itself. nevertheless changes in asia and chicken may also be section of a wider global story of this rise of identity politics at the cost of liberal universalism. this can be an account that, in different methods, is also playing out in asia, russia, the us and europe. it's closely linked to the increase of strongman leaders, which claim become protectors of a faith, a nation or a chosen ethnic group, or some fusion of all three.

In asia, president xi jinpings great restoration of the chinese country involves an ever more ruthless suppression of cultural and spiritual minorities in xinjiang and tibet. in russia, president vladimir putin has actually forged near backlinks aided by the russian orthodox church within his nationalist project. in the usa, donald trump has promised evangelical voters by using him in white home, christianity will have energy.

Current coronavirus-driven economic slump strengthens the urge for strongman leaders to relax and play the identity card. in their first terms in office, mr modi and mr erdogan stressed their qualifications as financial reformers. however with the turkish and indian economies in deep difficulty, both frontrunners require various other means of rallying help.

The ceremonies at ayodhya as well as the hagia sophia had been perfect means of stirring the feelings of these core followers. secular liberals in india and chicken were mostly hesitant in the future in available opposition to these crowd-pleasing measures. in both countries, liberals seem to be aghast at whatever they see as an assault on fundamental liberties, including the freedom associated with the press and freedom of process of law. the process is much more advanced level in chicken, but mr erdogan has been doing energy for ten years longer than mr modi.

Identity politics thrives on unit and distinctions between friends and enemies. usually, the main focus is on opponent within, such as for example spiritual or cultural minorities, or liberal elites.but strongman frontrunners also have to be viewed become difficult using countries opponents offshore. mr erdogan has dedicated turkish troops to wars in libya and syria. mr modi authorised a bombing raid on militant camps in pakistan, just ahead of the 2019 election.

A rejection of secularism and an embrace of identification politics is a potent means of rallying governmental support. but, both home and abroad, furthermore a recipe for dispute.