The crucial question that will make or break Narendra Modi and the Sangh parivar and their legacy is simple. Will the new policies set in motion by Modi’s government after the BJP’s remarkable win be conducive to the progress of the nation and the welfare of all its citizens? Can the new idea of India being propagated to replace the Mahatma-Nehru philosophy act as a hurdle to keeping the country together?
Sangh parivar spokespersons say with some justice that the Congress party had often reduced secularism to the concept of using Muslims and other minorities as a votebank to win elections. But that is no excuse for painting a diverse nation with the saffron brush. Nor does it justify the kind of declarations punctuating the political debate with vicious and downright communal rhetoric pigeonholing minorities, Muslims in particular, as lesser beings who must conform to the Hindu idea of nationhood or be penalised.
The reactions of Muslims to the large doses of advice they are receiving from the parivar has...