Mumbai, Jan. 13 -- According to the Oxford Dictionary, a national epic is a poem "embodying a nation's concept of its past history". At the start of this election year, I would like to propose the Sufi poet Jayasi's epic Padamavat for national status. I do so because after reading professor Purushottam Agrawal's commentary on the epic, Padmavat: An Epic Love Story. I agree with his belief that reading it "will help generate a liberal outlook and reconciliatory temperament". Never will the creation of such a temperament be more necessary than after the election. During the campaign, the nation's history will be bitterly contested. Afterwards, there must be a search for reconciliation.

Padmavat is much loved and hence can have considerable i...