Church and state

Videos: Why mixing religion and politics is a bad idea

Yogi Adityanath's appointment as UP Chief Minister marks a strong turn by the BJP towards communal politics.

On Saturday, the Bhartiya Janata Party announced that Adityanath, the head priest of the Gorakhnath temple, would become the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. His appointment came in spite of his viciously anti-Muslim rhetoric and a slew of criminal cases. It signalled that the BJP doesn’t set much stock in its own development plank.

Adityanath is so controversial that even staunch supporters of the BJP don’t care much for him. “Yogi and Sadhvi should be thrown out of the party for speaking nonsense,” Anupam Kher said at the Telegraph Debate in March 2016 (video below).

Many contemporary examples of theocratic states embody science fiction author Robert Heinlein’s maxim, “Almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so.”

Adityanath did his best to make that a reality during his five terms in Parliament. According to a 2014 profile in the Business Standard, Adityanath sponsored five Bills as an MP which included a national law banning cow slaughter and one to change the country’s name from “India that is Bharat” to “Bharat that is Hindustan”.

India isn’t alone in attempting to battle history and belief. Over the decades, the US has also been trying to prove that it is a multi-religious state. “Whatever we once were, we are no longer just a Christian nation,” former US President Barack Obama begins in this speech (below) from 2006. “We are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation and a nation of non-believers.”

And despite his strong religious beliefs, he goes on to add why the distinction between legislation and religion must be maintained: “Democracy demands that the religiously motivated translate their concerns into universal, rather than religion-specific, values. It requires that their proposals be subject to argument, and amenable to reason. I may be opposed to abortion for religious reasons, but if I seek to pass a law banning the practice, I cannot simply point to the teachings of my church or evoke God’s will. I have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those with no faith at all.”


Prominent British author and atheist too wasn’t a big fan of the attempting to mix religion and politics. In a 2007 talk, author Christopher Hitchens explains why a separation of religion is necessary.


Comedians, too, have found rich fodder in this debate.

“I’m completely in favour of the separation of Church and State,” said US comic artist George Carlin about the subject. “My idea is that these two institutions screw us up enough on their own, so both of them together is certain death.”

In 2013, comedians Jane Lynch and Jordan Peele sang a breakup song (below) dressed up as Church and State, respectively. “We’ll never see eye to eye, so let’s just say goodbye,” goes the refrain.

We welcome your comments at
Sponsored Content BY 

Inspiration for the lazy, the casual and the gourmet home chefs alike

Discover, or rediscover the daily delight in food, one ingredient at a time.

It is known that home chefs can be arranged in a pyramid - the lazy ones at the bottom, the casual cooks in the middle and the gourmet experts at the top. While the challenges differ with each level, great solutions exist to make every meal an experience, regardless of the kind of cook you are. This guide to creating delightful food has something for everyone.

The lazy, hassled home chefs

You can ease into cooking by putting together meals that require minimal technique. Salads are a good place to start. Experiment with seasonal and exotic fruits and vegetables, tender vegetables and herbs, and artisanal breads as sides for a fresh, healthy and surprisingly gourmet experience.

Don’t be dismayed if you’re a non-vegetarian. There are still meals that require next-to-no prep. Think sausages that can easily be fried or grilled and cold cuts that pack a flavour punch. Health-conscious people can look for additive-free, preservative-free meat, bromate free bread and produce from free-range farms for assurance of quality. For variety, you can even put together a great Middle Eastern platter with fresh hummus and other dips.

For the casual cooks looking to impress

So, you can cook a decent meal but are looking to give your food that X-factor? To liven up regular dishes, experiment with superfoods which make your meals nutritious and novel. Try combinations like oats chila, quinoa or couscous upmas or a sprinkle of chia seeds in your breakfast pudding. Look for quality imports and efficient distribution for maximum retention of nutrients in superfoods.

Skilled enough to host people? An upgrade from basic ingredients is the most visible sign of your culinary progression. Experiment with exotic herbs like parsley, rosemary and sage as garnishing for intriguing flavours in your soups and salads. For lip-smacking desserts, use exotic fruits like kiwi, dragon fruit, acai berries and rambutan – your guests will be delighted.

For the perfectionist gourmet chefs

You’re quite the culinary expert in your circles, but want to leap to the next level? At the core of a successful gourmet creation lie the best ingredients. Seek a delicatessen which gives you only the freshest and most diverse range of ingredients. You’ll notice the difference in flavours as you move from garlic powder to actual garlic, and from chilli powder to real paprika in your preparations.

From the basic to the exotic, whatever ingredients you seek to implement the tips we just gave you are available at Godrej Nature’s Basket, the best store for fresh, quality ingredients. As the video below shows, their online and offline stores source and serves a wide variety of foods - fruits & vegetables, authentic delicatessen, the finest meats, irresistible bakery products, ready-to-cook sauces, healthy snacks and more.


Health-conscious people can also be assured of unmatched quality. You can choose from pesticide free offerings, organic fruits and vegetables, steroid-free meats, first catch of the day fish and seafood, bromate free bread and the best dairy and cheese from all over the world.

With their collection of hors d’oeuvre, artisanal breads, confectionary and desserts, there’s really no limit to what you can achieve daily in your kitchen. What’s more, all these high-quality products come at great, affordable prices.

To elevate your cooking and discover a world where food is a delight every day, click here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Godrej Nature’s Basket and not by the Scroll editorial team.