"People define themselves in terms of group identities, including religion. People think of themselves in terms of religion, ethnicity, region, caste, class, and other such group characteristics. Politicians cannot ignore this. So secularists find they have to appeal to identity politics of some sort, and communal parties find they have to appeal to secularism of some sort."
This is scary, but you cannot argue against it. It is just idealistic to say that religion and politics cannot mix. The sad fact is that as long as people identify themselves as part of a group, politicians will use that group identity as a political lever. The only way to separate religion and politics is when people no longer care about their religious identities. Sure....like that is ever going to happen!!