The politics of religion

Mamata Banerjee called for an end to hatred and communalism

As she sounded the bugle for the 2019 elections

She addressed around 2 lakh people after Eid prayers

And called for harmony, saying she respects all communities and religions

One out of three voters in Bengal are Muslim

By one Trinamool leader’s estimate, half of the state’s seats could be decided by Muslim votes

Her speech comes at a time when crimes against Dalits and Muslims seem to be on the rise

And a lack of representation in government could be part of the problem

There are only 24 Muslim members of parliament

That’s the lowest representation since Independence

And less than 3.5% of administration and police services are Muslim

The Union home ministry earlier called for Muslim officers in stations near large Muslim communities…

But there were only 1.08 lakh Muslim officers, out of 16.6 lakh police in 2012

Would a more diverse parliament and administration help curb hate crimes in India?