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Padmavati controversy: Why it's time to separate religion from state!
The Padmavati controversy has been raging on in the country for quite some time now. What is most baffling about this entire tamasha is the fact that those who are agitating to ban the movie have not even seen it.

Under the circumstances, how can they conclude that the movie depicts the Rajput queen in poor light? Perhaps they received some inside information about the so-called dance scene? But having experienced the reactions to his movie first-hand, surely, Bhansali is not fool enough to retain such scenes in his movie, assuming that the scene was there in the first place.

All said and done, demanding that a movie that is yet to be released should be banned on the basis of mere conjecture and rumours is ridiculous. There are allegations that the controversy is actually a smoke screen created to divert attention from the Rafael deal which was supposedly tweaked by the Modi government to favour the Ambani brothers.

It is also shocking that the CMs of states like Rajasthan, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh have sided with the agitators on this issue instead of laying down the law. Vasundhara Raje especially seems to have lost her senses. She was in the news only recently for tabling the much-reviled Criminal Laws Ordinance or immunity bill that prohibits filing of corruption cases against officers and politicians unless the government approves of it. All this only shows that reason has fled the country which is increasingly beginning to resemble the nut-house in our vicinity where religious zealots are creating havoc. If the PM continues to maintain silence on such hot-button issues these elements will only be emboldened further.

People who voted the saffron party to power should reflect on what is happening in the country nowadays. Fascism is rearing its ugly head, cutting off space for dissent, throttling voices of protest, and the hate rhetoric is becoming shriller by the day. People are threatening to cut off the head of the film's director and lead actress, yet PM Modi remains silent. This does not create a nice impression of a democratic country's leader.

Perhaps it's time to take a fresh look at the Constitution. India was supposed to be a secular country. But today, both Hindu and Islamic fundamentalism is on the rise fuelled by each other. Perhaps it's time for a complete separation of state from religion. This means no more appeasement of any religious group. The government could begin by banning all religious holidays. Perhaps it is also time to ban quotas since it has backfired with even dominant castes demanding quotas. This way we can turn India into a meritocracy like America and reverse the brain drain. If Modi can push through these steps he is a brave man indeed.

For too long, religion has been dividing us. Today the divisions are becoming deeper and more dangerous. The only way to avoid a conflagration that might destroy our country is to confine religion to people's homes and ensure that it stays clear of politics. Appeasement, whether of the majority or the minority, has to end. Besides, it's very difficult to respect a leader who will not or cannot control his followers, some of whom seem to be clearly insane.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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