28 February, 2021

Dear Shri Advani

As a proud Hindu and a proud Indian, I feel vilified by you. You have reduced the great Sanatana philosophy to a Taliban-style Hindutva

Dear Shri Advani
I was asked to write about whether it was a daunting experience for me, an independent, to contest against you, a mighty prime ministerial candidate. I choose to write a letter to you instead. By the time you read this, the election results will be out. You will either have lost or won. Either way, what I have to say to you will stand.

I am a post-Independence Indian. I was brought up to value and treasure my unique Indianness, to value our Constitution, which gives equal rights to all Indians, irrespective of belief, culture, practice or language. I learnt to revel in the differences that made us a rainbow country. We are a salad-like melange of cultures and not a soup where all variations get reduced to a homogeneous pulp—this, to me, is our greatest strength.

Instead of the hunger, thirst and soul-chilling deprivations that our people still suffer, you talk of swords and trishuls. Instead of the lynching of Dalits and the rape of thousands of women and girls, you speak of building temples and destroying mosques. Instead of...

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