Destruction of India as shared space for all faiths

M.J. Akbar in Deccan Herald:

“Dr Manmohan Singh said, on his return from France, that incidents in Orissa had shamed India before the world. That is important, but far less important than the fact that the violence in Orissa has shamed Indians in India….

“The Bajrang Dal’s violence in Orissa shames me because it represents the destruction of the idea of India as shared space for all faiths, with each Indian guaranteed equal rights. This too is a form of terrorism.

“It has been pointed out that some of the conversion literature distributed by missionaries — for instance, a booklet titled Satya Darshini, where remarks have been made about Urvashi, Vashistha and Lord Krishna — is offensive.

“If that is so, there is a democratic way of addressing such issues. Who gave any fundamentalist the right to rape and kill? Governments that have tolerated this will suffer not only the shame of present censure but also the whiplash of public anger in the next elections.”

Read the full article: Parallel streams of anger