In tune with the secular ideals

Dear Editor,
This refers to your editorial, “Good riddance” (January 17, 2018). The Centre must be congratulated for its decision to use Haj subsidy for the education of girls. This decision is not only in tune with the secular ideals of the Indian Constitution but also with its welfare directives. The government needs now to take complementary steps by stopping other pilgrim subsidies as well like those involving pilgrimage to Amarnath, Manasarovar etc. and use the money fruitfully like giving girl students educational scholarships. Such a complementary step must be taken to underscore the secular and welfare character of the Haj decision.
Politics should rule over religion and not vice versa. The MPs should have authority to take final decisions on so called religious practices like teen-talaq, dahez or pataka. If politics gets controlled by religion then the latter will drag our society backwards. We have enough evidence in history that proves without a shadow of a doubt that religion after mixing with politics produces poison.
Given that we have recently been made to taste high levels of such toxicity in the laboratory of Syria, we must be very cautious if an assembly election in the twenty-first century India has been reduced to a temple-hopping competition. Political leaders in a democratic country like ours are supposed to detoxify political environment by strictly adhering to the basic tenets of our Constitution.
Sujit De, Kolkata