India is wasting energy on pointless sectarian fights

Source: The Globe and Mail

Amrit Dhillon is a New Delhi-based writer.

You might think that, given the poverty, filth and illiteracy in the country, Indians spend all their time debating how to end those issues.

You’d be wrong.

They prefer to waste their energy on fiddle faddle. After observing recent television and newspaper debates, you begin to think that maybe the country remains a byword for poverty because it just can’t focus its energies on the really pressing problems that deprive Indians of dignity and comfort.

Two debates have dominated public life of late.

The first one is over the Taj Mahal, a symbol of India. A government booklet listing the famous monuments in the state where the Taj Mahal is located omitted to mention it. A cry went up from opponents of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which promotes a Hindu ethos, that the Taj Mahal had been left off the list because it was built by Muslim emperor Shah Jahan.

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