The interference of religious leaders in softer and short-term issues like who should sing the Vande Mataram or which temple or mosque should be demolished to make way for development has been accepted by Indian society as a given. We are no longer shocked by restrictions on our freedoms governing marriages, processions, education. But when religious leaders issue a fatwa declaring insurance and earning interest on bank deposits as illegal, it’s time to take stock and realise that these fatwas are human interpretations that may corrode long-term security. Darul Uloom of Deoband, which was responding to a query, is looking at money through the prism of religion. I’d like to turn this around and view religion through the prism of money.
Opinion in The Indian Express, September 04, 2006