Love thy neighbour’s strife? You shall not.

Ramachandra Guha has an excellent piece in The Telegraph today, urging Indians to resist the temptation to triumphantly gloat over their own happy state, and scoff at Pakistan’s miserable plight.

“It has been said of Pakistan that since its birth, it has been bedevilled by its submission to the three As— Allah, the Army, and America. In the first and third of these respects it is, in fact, not very dissimilar to India. For the first four decades of Indian independence, religious bigots had little significance in the social and moral life of the nation. All this changed in the decade of the Eighties.

“The butchering of the Sikhs in 1984 and the killings and forced migration of the Pandits of Kashmir in 1989-90 were two events that punctured holes in India’s claim to be a secular state. So, and far more substantially, did the Ayodhya movement and the rising tide of violence against Muslims that accompanied it. Today, the political influence exercised by Hindu bigots in India is scarcely any less than that enjoyed by Islamic bigots in Pakistan….

“In India, religious extremists mobilize around the name of Ram, rather than Allah. And they are also funded by greenbacks sent by America, albeit by American citizens who claim to be of the same faith as the fanatics at home….

“Rather than sneer and scoff at a neighbour in trouble, they would be advised to look within, to repair and restore our own damaged institutions, to take pause at our own easy indulgence of religious bigots, and, not least, to be vigilant against the inducements and blandishments put before us by an expansionary superpower.”

Read the full article: Neighbourly reflections