The Calcutta High Court has overturned Mamta Banerjee’s ban on Durga Idol immersion on Muharram. It has allowed the immersion of Durga idols till midnight on all days, starting from September 30 and including October 1, when Muharram processions are taken out. The High Court has directed the state administration to designate separate routes for immersion and Muharram processions to maintain harmony and peace in the state. Additionally, the Bench also turned down the government’s plea to stay the operation of the interim order.
But if you thought that drew the curtain to religion-based politics this festive season then you are grossly mistaken. There is more excitement brewing elsewhere in the nation. The Shiv Sena forcefully shut down 500 meat and chicken shops in Gurgaon for the Navratri. Moreover, the spokesperson of the Gurgaon Wing even warned that “One will have to face consequences in case he does not follow instructions.”
The police officers in the region maintained that they have not come up with any such diktat and no one can take the law into their hands. But the fact remains that there is a forceful shutdown of meat shops. I thought our diet was always a matter of personal choice. But guess our politicians have the absolute ability to turn any issue into a controversy.
But what bothers me, even more, is how are these politicians getting away with it. There is a clear misuse of power to address individual agenda a petty politics. At this rate, it will become increasingly difficult to bring a level playing field in the country. The question is not about whether it is anti-Muslim policy or anti-Hindu. The bigger issue is that religion is being used so blatantly to achieve political ends. Often the administration and its powers are also being bypassed to achieve these ends.
There is an urgent need to put a blanket ban on most of these religion-based biases and policies that are being used to create a social divide. Fundamental rights without its stringent implementation is often an almost futile legislative exercise.