Subcontinental Drift: Snappy Comeback

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Tuesday, Mar. 13, 2001 | The land of Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru is being lectured on religious tolerance by Afghanistan's Taliban. For this, as with so many recent ignominies, India has Atal Behari Vajpayee to thank. Yet again the Prime Minister's desire to be seen the world statesman has left his country shamed.

The septuagenarian showboating tendencies were tickled when Kabul ordered the destruction of Buddhist icons, including two massive stone Buddhas in Bamiyan. Inspired by the ensuing international outcry, Vajpayee offered to take the statues off the...