This morning, the Supreme Court ruled that political parties couldn’t seek votes in the name of caste, creed, and religion. The apex court was reviewing its 1995 ruling that said “Hindutva or Hindu is a way of life” which allowed the use of religion to appeal for votes.
The judgement was passed by a seven-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur. The court said:
“No politician can seek votes in the name of caste, creed or religion. The relationship between man and God is an individual choice, and the state is forbidden from interfering in such an activity.”
The decision comes right ahead of elections in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Uttarakhand, and Manipur.
It would be interesting to see how political parties will now campaign in places like Uttar Pradesh, a state where caste and religion are regularly used to attract voters.
Indians reacted to the news with a combination of support and disbelief:
Whether the ruling can be properly enforced or not remains to be seen, but IMO, this is a great way to start 2017!