A Moderate Victory

When India's Hindu-Nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) first took office eight years ago, some Indians wondered if it marked the end of their country as a tolerant, secular, democratic nation. After all, the BJP had come to power on the back of a violent and emotive campaign to destroy the Babri mosque at the sacred Hindu site of Ayodhya, so bringing religion into the very heart of politics. Moreover, the BJP was allied to many extreme Hindu-fundamentalist groups. Indeed, it was founded as the political associate of a neofascist paramilitary organization, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

Today, as...

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