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The Mosque and the Temple

Courtesy Reuters

Today, everywhere one looks in India one sees political deterioration and religious turmoil. In the northeast, in the state of Assam, the Hindus are trying to expel hundreds of thousands of Muslim immigrants who have been streaming in from impoverished Bangladesh; and, in other parts of the northeast, for some time the Nagas, the Gurkhas, the Mizos, and the Jharkhands have all had secessionist movements afoot. In the northwest, the government has turned Kashmir, which has a predominantly Muslim population, into a virtual police state, thereby stoking its secessionist movement. Similarly, Indira Gandhi's 1984 attack, in Amritsar, on the Golden Temple, the Sikhs' holiest shrine, and the government's military suppression since then of the violent Sikh movement for an independent homeland in Punjab have created an apparently insoluble religious conflict between the Hindus and the Sikhs there, turning that state into an Indian version of Northern Ireland. Throughout the country, in

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