Thursday, January 29, 2015

Souvenir released at Madison Square Garden for PM Modi’s visit

(This article appeared in the souvenir released at Madison Square Garden for Prime Minister Modi’s visit. Emphases added)

When Shri Narendra Damodardas Modi gave his first speech in parliament he spoke of the end of 1200 years of slavery. Indeed it felt that India had arisen to a new dawn, a “tryst with destiny” that it had not quite kept when it awoke to the midnight hour in 1947.  When an extraordinary man from a very ordinary background took oath as the Prime Minister of India at the culmination of the world’s largest election, not many Indians remained unmoved.

Not that his journey was easy. It had all the makings of a hero’s tale. The story of a young boy who sold tea, who lived in a one room house, who swam a crocodile infested lake, captured the imagination. The diligent karyakarta, the worker, who evaded arrest during the dark hours of the emergency by passing off as a Sikh, and the popular community organizer who became the Chief Minister of Gujarat as a first time Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA). In all Indian epics there is a period of exile, of separation, of trial by fire. Rama had vanvasa, fourteen years of wilderness, Arjuna endured exile and before Modi could be Prime Minister he too underwent years of trial by fire.

Modi’s agni-pariksha came after the dark days of violence in Gujarat. There was hardly a politician in India more vilified in an internationally orchestrated campaign of calumny fanned by a partisan elite. Witnesses were coerced, false accounts paraded, quotes were made up all with the intent to get one man. Though the Gujarat administration under Modi put up one of the most robust responses against communal violence in modern India, the motivated campaign continuously built upon referencing its own falsehoods.  The law courts and ultimately, the people’s court, repeatedly sided with truth and justice. As his party’s campaign slogan famously said, the more mud you throw, the more the lotus will bloom. And bloom it did as Modi overcame the barriers of the English-class of India, which looked down upon someone who did not speak the Queen’s English, the campaign of hate, the barriers of poverty and caste and captured the people’s heart and imagination.
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On Modi’s election campaign, his connect with the people of India was palpable. Here was a politician who was not lecturing the people but empathizing with their sorrows and difficulties. Not reading from a script but reading the audience. And unlike most of those who had ruled India since independence, he did not need to do photo ops outside a poor man’s hut, or “poverty tourism” as he labelled it, he had experienced deprivation first hand.

Of course, victory is the start, not the end of the challenges. India’s problems are vast, compounded by an archaic colonial state apparatus that was never intended for the benefit of India’s people. The Indian state remains a colonial state. It was designed for a singular purpose—extortion and control. The officer at the district level is called a ‘collector’, marking his primary function. The bureaucrats were trained to identify with the civilization of the rulers and look down on the natives. The elected representatives acted like feudal lords. We gained independence but we never became free. Since the system — executive, judiciary, police — was never designed for us, we found ways to get around, to circumvent it, to corrupt it. We never dismantled the colonial state to create a Government for the people. The dynastic rule at the top of the pyramid was embedded into the status quo, its courtiers and darbaris keeping the masses at bay with the dangers of Hindutva and the glories of English while sipping Chianti in Lutyen’s Delhi.

Here was a politician who was not lecturing the people but empathizing with their sorrows and difficulties.

With Modi at its helm, India has embarked on the journey of reconnecting with its civilizational roots. But as Swami Vivekanda famously said, you cannot teach the Gita to a hungry man. So Modi is rightly focused on economic growth as a priority.  It is best to understand India as a redeveloping nation. Just a few hundred years ago it was one of the richest countries and with forward looking policies and clear thinking there is little reason why it cannot get there again. This is an area where Indian Americans, can make significant contributions. India needs investments across the board, from capital to human talent and NRIs and PIOs can play an important part.

From the ramparts of the Red Fort Prime Minister Modi declared himself to be a servant of the people. A tireless worker, the effect of his personal work ethic is reverberating across his ministers and bureaucrats. Rather than sauntering in towards noon-time after a game of golf officials are expected to show up on time to office.  Rather than leaving at 5 pm, they are seen working till 9 or 10 pm. Clearly the Prime Minister’s seriousness about making the change is rubbing off.
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While Modi was in the US, there are a few things he could take away from there. One is studying the effectiveness of local government in the US. While the people of India have voted for transformative government at the national level, most of their problems are local. People end up calling their MP for problems like water, sewage, sanitation and roads.  This is because government in India remains highly centralized as was intentionally setup by the British. Revenue and expenses are not managed locally. The local police is responsive in the US because it reports to the city mayor who is elected directly by the people. The accountability loop is small. There is no gargantuan state-level bureaucracy as in India where the police hierarchy reports all the way to the chief minister.  The same is true for public schooling. Many people in the US send their children to public schools since they function reasonably well, unlike in India, where anyone who can afford it, looks to send their children to private schools. The schools, too, are locally managed and locally funded, making them far more responsive and accountable to the people. In India, schools are part of the state-level structure and teachers look at rural areas as “hardship postings”. Democratizing and decentralizing government functions in India is essential.

With Modi at its helm, India has embarked on the journey of reconnecting with its civilizational roots.

The second issue is that of language. Many prosperous countries around the world teach engineering, medicine, law and business in their own languages. In India, English is required to practice in the Supreme Court and most High Courts and for all professional education. This has become a barrier for India’s progress. English is an asset but the country needs to also provide equal opportunities for Indian language learners.

The opportunity we have and the dream we see is not just of a change of government but a restoration of our civilizational trajectory. India was a center of learning. There are records of conferences happening in Kashmir where scholars from South East Asia and China participated. Indians sought after knowledge and evidence of that is still found in the Indians that populate the US as professors, doctors and scientists. And we are entrepreneurial as Indians running everything from hotels to Silicon Valley startups to fortune 500 corporations’ show. For too long, the Indian system itself has suppressed the genius of the Indian people.  In a world riven by religious strife, the ancient pluralism and the notion of sarve bhavantu sukhina, let all be happy, shows a path. Millions of Americans today practice yoga, but that is just the tip of the iceberg of Indian wisdom in how to lead a healthy, happy, balanced life in harmony with the planet. With the ascension of Modi as Prime Minister, people of Indian origin throughout the world sense the possibility of India resuming its path of knowledge and wealth creation and the guru of spiritual wisdom. The world will be better for it.
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The author can be followed on Twitter @sankrant and blogs at

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Significance of Hindu Society

Hindu society is the only significant society in the world today which presents a continuity of cultural existence and functioning since times immemorial.Most other societies known to human history-East and West, North and South-have suffered a sudden interruption and undergone a traumatic transformation due to the invasion and victory of latter-day ideologies-Christianity, Islam, Communism. The pre-Christian, pre-Islamic and pre-Communist cultural creations of these societies are now to be met only in libraries and museums, thanks to the labours of antiquarian scholars.
Hindu culture can meet the same frightful fate if there were no Hindu society to sustain it. This is the point which is not always remembered even by those who take pride in Hindu culture.
There are many Hindus who cherish the great spiritual traditions of Hinduism and its scriptures like the Gita and the Upanishads in which that tradition is enshrined. But they do not cherish with an equal enthusiasm the Hindu society which has honoured and preserved these traditions and scriptures down the ages.
Again, there are many Hindus who proclaim with great confidence that Sanãtana Dharma that is Hinduism can never die. This is true in a sense. There will always be individuals in non-Hindu societies who will recover the mystique of Sanãtana Dharma through their efforts at self-discovery. But Sanãtana Dharma will surely suffer an eclipse and no more inform mankind at large with its message, if there is no Hindu society to sustain it.
Lastly, there are many Hindus who are legitimately proud of Hindu art, architecture, sculpture, music, painting, dance, drama, literature, linguistics, lexicography, and so on.  But they seldom take into account the fact that this great wealth of artistic, literary and scientific heritage, will die if Hindu society which created it is no more there to preserve, protect and perpetuate it.
But the death of Hindu society is no longer an eventuality which cannot be envisaged. This great society is now besieged by the same dark and deadly forces which have overwhelmed and obliterated many ancient societies. Suffering from a loss of its elan, it has become a house divided within itself. And its beneficiaries no more seem to be interested in its survival because they have fallen victims to hostile propaganda. They have developed towards it an attitude of utter indifference, if not downright contempt. Let no Hindu worth his salt remain complacent. Hindu society is in mortal danger as never before.It would be relevant to recall the history of Hindu society in order to put the record straight. For, there is very little in that record which invites indifference or contempt, and a good deal which deserves honour and homage.
A word about misunderstandings first. At one time the dominant school of Western historians and their Indian disciples, for whom Hindu history commenced with Alexander�s invasion, presented this history as a series of successful foreign invasions to which Hindu India invariably succumbed. They even invented an Aryan invasion of India in the second millennium BC to round up their cherished image of this country as some sort of a free for all into which any adventurer could descend and dwell at will.

There was a time, not very long ago, when Hindu culture was a revered culture throughout the civilized world. Its seers and sages, its mystics and monks, its scholars and scientists, its missionaries and merchants took its message to the farthest corners of world-East Africa, Egypt and Ethiopia; Sumeria, Assyria, Babylonia, Chaldea and Iran; Burma, China, Japan, Korea and Mongolia; Indochina, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand; Pacific Islands, West Indies, Mexico, Peru and Columbia; Asia Minor, Central Asia, Greece and Rome. The history of a hundred cultures and nations provides evidence of this hoary heritage in their religions and philosophies, languages and literatures, sciences and technologies, manners and mores.
True, the Hindus never constructed a strong, centralised state, like that of ancient Iran and Rome, which could tyrannise over its constituent units and invade the neighbouring countries. Yet their society was a strong, steadfast and stupendous creation based on a highly decentralised yet a cohesive social fabric made of organic units such as the clan (kula), caste (jãti), village (grãma), town (nigam), metropolis (nagar), country (janapada) and empire (sãmrãjya). Imperial systems rose and fell. But the infrastructure survived the test of time and remained vigorous and vibrant till very recent times.
Greek historians who accompanied and followed Alexander tell us that before this adventurer led his short-lived raid against the republics on the Punjab and Sindh, only two other foreign invaders had had the courage to cast covetous eyes on India. Queen Semiramis of Babylonia in the 8th Century and Cyrus the Great of Iran in the 6th Century BC attacked India with vast armies but were defeated at the borders and made to flee with very few survivors.
Plutarch leaves us in no doubt that Alexander himself had to beat a hasty retreat from the banks of the river Beas which, baffled by the brave resistance from a series of small republics, his armies refused to cross. And his successor in East Asia, Seleucus Nicator, was soon humbled and not only made to cede conquered Indian territory but also pay homage to the Indian emperor by a matrimonial alliance.
But the wheel of time turns. The Hindus lost some of their vigour and vitality and vigilance, and neglected the art of warfare which was acquiring new dimensions in neighbouring lands. The Scythians, the Kushanas and the Hunas who stormed in after the disintegration of the Mauryan and the Gupta empires did succeed in conquering and ruling over large parts of northern and western India. This spell of foreign rule, however, was rather short-lived. All these invaders were not only defeated by the rising tide of Hindu heroism but also absorbed and integrated into the vast complex of Hindu society and culture.
This triumphal course of Hindu history suffered a severe setback only with the advent of the Muslim invaders in the middle of the 7th Century AD. The Hindus were now faced with an adversary who was not only qualitatively superior in the art of warfare but also armed with an ideology which was altogether alien and uncompromisingly inimical to the basic premises of the Hindu weltanschaung. The war which the Hindus had to wage against this new adversary was ceaseless and long-drawn-out. The armies of the Arab Caliphate which had humbled the Persian and the Byzantine empires, which had conquered vast territories stretching from the Hindukush to the Atlantic Ocean, and which had converted to Islam vast populations en masse, could not advance beyond Sindh in spite of repeated invasions. The Ghaznavids, the Ghoris, the Khaljis, the Tughlaqs and the Mughals who followed fared much better and succeeded in establishing imperial dynasties which ruled over large parts of India for several centuries. But Hindu resistance did not cease for a day. The Rajputs, the Vijayanagar Empire, the Marathas, the Bundelas, the Jats and the Sikhs rose in fierce revolt, one after another, till the fabric of Muslim rule was destroyed and dispersed by the middle of the 18th Century. And the number of converts which Islam-considering its political power and intentions-could win during its long spell of seven centuries was rather small.
This victory of the Hindus over the Islamic hordes could not be consolidated due to the intervention of the British invader who wielded not only an unprecedented superiority in the art of warfare but also a much subtler weapon of diplomacy. The Hindus were enslaved once again. The British also brought with them, in the form of Christianity, an ideology which too was altogether alien and intensely inimical to the basic tenets of the Hindu way of life.
Fortunately for the Hindus, Christianity in the West including Britain was soon overwhelmed by the rising tide of humanism, rationalism and universalism inspired by the revival of the Greek heritage. Christianity, therefore, could not obtain an unbridled sway in the counsels of the British rulers as Islam was able to do in the courts of the Muslim kings. It was only under an earlier invader from the West, the Portuguese, that Christianity was able to harass the Hindus for some time and in some areas.
The struggle against the British invader was also not as long-drawn-out as against the Muslim marauders. The rise of liberal democracy in Britain was a great help to the Hindu freedom fighters. None-the-less, the battle had to be fought on many fronts, revolutionary and constitutional, violent the non-violent. It is a point of some pride for the Hindus that their struggle for freedom inspired similar struggles in many countries of Asia and Africa, and that the dawn of Indian independence in 1947 heralded an era of independence for many an enslaved nation.
A society which has survived invaders who devastated and ultimately destroyed so many ancient societies, should be rightly regarded as the wonder of world history. The foreign invasions of India have been brought into bolder relief by the very fact that Hindu society defeated and dispersed all of them in the final round. Only that society can boast of freedom from foreign invasions which has lost its identity, body and soul, into that of the conqueror. Such a society leaves no successors who retain a racial or cultural memory, and who can spread out in national homage a roll of honour for its heroes. With all its weaknesses, Hindu society has never been such an imbecile society.
In the normal course, the Hindus who had such a glorious history should have come into their own after 1947 and resumed their career of newer cultural creations. But the balance-sheet of this saga of struggle and sacrifice for freedom has not turned out to be favourable to the Hindus. They have lost to an alienated section of their own race some of the hallowed lands which were at one time the very cradle of Hindu culture and civilisation. And they are no longer the honoured citizens even in their own homeland. A permanent stigma seems to have stuck to the terms Hindu and Hinduism. These have now become terms of abuse in the mouth of that very elite which the Hindu millions have raised to the pinnacle of power and prestige with their blood, sweat and tears.
How did this happen?
I have come to the conclusion that the Muslim and British invasions of India, though defeated and dispersed, have yet managed to crystallise certain residues-psychological and intellectual-which a battered Hindu society is finding it very difficult to digest. These residues are now in active alliance with powerful international forces, and are being aided and abetted on a scale which an impoverished Hindu society cannot match. And, lastly, although at loggerheads amongst themselves, these residues have forged a united front which is holding Hindu society under siege. The danger is as much from within as from without.
What are these residues of foreign invasions which are holding Hindu society under siege?
The Muslim invasion of India crystallised one residue which we shall name as Islamism. The British invasion, on the other hand, gave us two residues which we have named Christianism and Macaulayism. We shall analyse their roles in India and their alliances with international forces, one by one, before we present a picture of the united front they have forged to fight the Hindus all along the line.

By Sh. Sitaran Goel 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Indian nationalism can only be Hindu?

by   Virendra Parekh   on 27 Jul 2013  
The secularist lobby has predictably lost no time in pouncing upon Narendra Modi for describing himself as a Hindu Nationalist. Modi sought to explain (hedge?) the assertion by separating the two words before joining them. “I am nationalist. I’m patriotic. Nothing is wrong. I am born Hindu. Nothing is wrong. So I’m a Hindu nationalist. So yes, you can say I’m a Hindu nationalist because I’m a born Hindu,” he told Reuters.

That has cut no ice with secularist hounds in media and politics for whom the word ‘Hindu’ is anathema. The orchestrated cacophony is part of the Congress strategy of keeping the spotlight on BJP and Modi and away from its own shameful record of corruption, misdeeds and economic mismanagement.

Yet, it would be a good idea to take up the standard secularist slogans and expose them to be the self-serving falsehoods that they are. Portrayal of Hindu nationalism as something dangerous and divisive is one such falsehood.

The charge was led by Salman Khurshid, India’s minister for external affairs. Khurshid is a Muslim and, therefore, by definition, secular. An Arabic name is probably the highest secular credential one can have in India. But Khurshid has strengthened his credentials with his own efforts. Way back in 2001, he appeared in court as counsel pleading for the Islamic terrorist outfit Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), since reincarnated as Indian Mujahideen.

With this impressive background Khurshid thought it fit to pontificate: “Religion can’t have nation. Religion has no identity. Nation has an identity. Nationalism falls in a different category than religion.” (Zee News, Friday, July 12, 2013).

This is the standard line of Indian secularists. MJ Akbar, usually far more balanced and patriotic than the likes of Khurshid, agrees with him on this: “religion is ineffective as a basis for nationhood. Pakistan is a good example. Indeed, if religion worked as glue, why on earth would there be 22 Arab nations?” (Sunday Times, 21/7/2013)

The short response would be that while this applies to Islam, it does not apply to Hinduism. Religion with its division of mankind into ‘Us’ and ‘Them’ (believers vs. non-believers, Christians vs. Heathens, Momins vs. Kaffirs) and an agenda of world conquest is a Semitic enterprise. It is this agenda which brings it in perpetual conflict with its neighbours. 

Hinduism is not a religion in the Abrahamic sense. By its very nature, Hinduism is syncretic, accommodative and assimilative. “Hinduism is more a way of life than a form of thought. While it allows absolute liberty in the world of thought, it enjoins a very strict code of practice. The theist and the atheist, the sceptic and the agnostic, may all be Hindus if only they accepted the Hindu system of culture and life… Hinduism insists not on religious conformity but on an ethical and spiritual outlook in life... Hinduism insists on a moral life and draws into a fellowship all those who feel themselves bound by the claims that the moral law or Dharma makes upon them. Hinduism is not a sect but a fellowship of all who accept the law of right and earnestly seek for the truth.” (S Radhakrishnan, Hindu View of Life)

Dharma in all its manifestation in life and society is the basis of India’s nationhood. At social level, it expressed itself as a civilisation. India’s unity which encompasses and permeates all its bewildering diversity is rooted in its culture and civilisation. Founded on the sound principles of svabhava, svadharma and svarajya and nurtured by numerous regions and communities within a common framework of spiritual and moral values, it has proved more abiding and durable than mere political unity. Take it out, and India will be reduced to a geographical expression and Indian society, a loose conglomeration of disparate groups (linguistic, ethnic) sans any principle of unity.  

That civilisation in turn is centred on the spiritual tradition known as Sanatan Dharma. Just as the word ‘Religion’ is narrow to capture the essence of Dharma, the word ‘Nation’ with its exclusivist connotations is too inadequate to capture the meaning of Rashtra, a word which first occurs in the Veda. Asmin rashtre brahmano brahmvarchaso jaayataam… says the Veda (may in this country be born Brahmins with spiritual powers.) Prádur bhutó’ smi rashtre’smin kírtim riddhim dadátu me (I am born in this rashtra. May it give me fame and prosperity).

This intimate connection between Rashtra and Dharma has been an unbroken tradition through millennia. Hindu Rashtra is co-terminus with Dharma or its external manifestation: civilisation. Bharatavarsha is where Bharatiya civilisation prevails. For several centuries, the words Vidharmi and Videshi were synonymous in India.

The Mahabharata carries a complete picture of this cultural unity in its tîrtha-yãtrã-parva, which is part of the larger Vana-parva. The Ramayana, the Puranas and the Dharmashastras paint the same portrait of an ancient land, every spot of which is related to some sacred memory or the other. The Jainagama and the Tripitaka speak again and again of sixteen Mahajanapadas, which spanned the spread of Bharatavarsha in the life-time of Bhagvan Mahavira and the Buddha. Even a dry compendium on grammar, the Ashtadhyayi of Panini, provides a near complete count of all the Janapadas in ancient India.

As Sita Ram Goel noted, “it was this feeling of being at home everywhere in the country which took the Adi Shankaracharya from the southernmost tip to the farthest corners of Bharatavarsha in North and East and West and helped him found (or revive) the four foremost dhãmas at Badrinath, Dvaraka, Shrungeri and Puri. There is no count of sadhus and sannyasins and house-holders who have travelled ever since on the trail blazed by that great acharya. Six and a half centuries later, Guru Nanak Dev followed in the footsteps of the Pandavas and the Shankaracharya in search of spiritual company. Chaitanyadeva who lived in the 16th century and Swami Vivekananda who came towards the end of the 19th, roamed over the same route, feeling similarly at home everywhere”. (Muslim Separatism: Causes and Consequences).

Throughout its long and chequered history, India has always been regarded as the land of Hindus, both by Indians and others.

Three facts need to be noted here.

First, if you take out the Hindu element from Indian history, culture and society, the remainder will no longer be Indian. What will remain, say, of Indian literature if everything contributed by Hindus is taken out?

Second, history shows that every part or region of Bharatvarsha where Hinduism declined, Hindu civilisation was eclipsed and Hindus became a minority, that part or region eventually seceded from India. Witness Afghanistan and Pakistan including the modern Bangladesh.

Third, every secessionist movement in India in the last hundred years has been anti-Hindu in its origin and intent - be it the Akali agitation in the early part of the twentieth century, Dravidian movement of Ramaswamy Naicker, Muslim League’s violent pursuit of Pakistan, Khalistani movement led by Bhindranwale, tribal separatism in the northeast. Even today, separatist movements exist only where Hindus are in a minority. On the other hand, there is not a single organization, movement or leader which calls itself Hindu and yet is separatist. Hindus cannot secede from India because they constitute India, they are India. It is Hindus who have imparted Indianness to India.

All the three facts remain unaltered whether you define Hindu as a community, religion, civilisation or a way of life; these are anyway overlapping, concentric categories.

Hindus and Hindus alone can claim that there can be no India without them. No other community can make such a claim.

This view of India as the country of Hindus is now unmentionable. Almost as a corollary, the national resolve to fight fissiparous tendencies and separatist movements has weakened unbelievably.

To say that Hinduism must be at the core of Indian nationalism does not require or even imply negation or belittling of non-Hindus in national life. What it does imply, however, is that anything anti-Hindu cannot be national: mosques (or churches) standing at the site of demolished temples, conversions, separatism, to name a few. Moreover, what is Hindu may be national, but it does not ipso facto become wholesome or desirable. Over the centuries, Hindu society has developed serious weaknesses of character and these have to be fought relentlessly.

Nehruvian Secularism can never be the basis of the Indian nation. No soldier has courted martyrdom shouting ‘Secularism ki Jai’; thousands have by invoking their gods. That is why modern savants have been unequivocal and eloquent in defining Hinduism as the essence of Indianness.

When therefore it is said that India shall rise, it is the Sanatan Dharma that shall be great.
When it is said that India shall expand and extend herself, it is the Sanatan Dharma that shall expand and extend itself over the world. It is for the Dharma and by the Dharma that India exists. I say that it is the Sanatan Dharma which for us is nationalism. This Hindu nation was born with the Sanatan Dharma, with it it moves and with it it grows. When the Sanatan Dharma declines, then the nation declines, and if the Sanatan Dharma were capable of perishing, with the Sanatan Dharma it would perish”. (Uttarpara Speech, Aurobindo Ghosh, Chandernagore, 1919)

Swami Vivekananda, whose 150th Birth Centenary is being observed by the nation including the Government of which Salman Khurshid is part, repeatedly declared India as a Hindu nation. In fact, the central premise of Swami Vivekananda’s entire life was that the essence of India lay in religion; that the religion of our people was the Hindu dharma; that this was the lever by which India was to be reawakened and that the truths the Hindu seers had uncovered were that pearl of inestimable value which it is India’s mission to give to the world.

What about non-Hindus living in India, secularists would ask? Indian society can live comfortably with any amount of diversity in modes of worship, dress code, food habits and social manners. The problem of Indian society is not diversity, but the presence of elements who refuse to be assimilated, who demand respect and tolerance as a matter of right but refuse to show respect and tolerance to others and who dream of and work for replacing this healthy social diversity with a uniformity of their choice. The secularists are clueless about the problem, let alone the solution.

Consider the irony. India’s secularism was meant to deny legitimacy to Islamic and other varieties of separatism. It has ended up denying legitimacy to its age-old civilization which has formed the basis of its nationhood since time immemorial. That is why today we feel powerless against fissiparous and subversive tendencies of all hues. Nothing shows up better the intellectual and political bankruptcy of a borrowed and distorted idea that has been elevated to the status of Government of India’s official religion.

Concluding, I cannot resist the temptation to remind Salman Khurshid of his book, “At Home in India; A Statement of Indian Muslims” (1986). In 1984, wrote Khurshid, when Sikhs were massacred in Delhi, “there was terrible satisfaction among the Muslims, who have not completely forgotten the Partition’s unpleasant aftermath. Hindus and Sikhs were alike paying for their sins. They were paying for the blood they had drawn in 1947”.

Cut to circa 2013: “Religion has no identity...”