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The Resistible Rise of Hindu Fascism

In the 1930s, Hitler rose to power as the world focussed on Mussolini's African wars and Japan's invasion of China. As the world concentrates on the war in Iraq, it should keep a watchful eye on India, suggests the novelist Arundhati Roy, because a form of Hindu fascism is growing ever stronger in the subcontinent.

One night a year ago, a friend called me. Weeping, she told me of her friend, a woman caught by a mob, her stomach ripped open and stuffed with burning rags. What Hindu scripture preaches this?

India's Prime Minister, A. B. Vajpayee, justified that deed as part of the retaliation meted out by outraged Hindus against the Muslim "terrorists" who had incinerated 58 Hindus on a train to Godhra. What Koran verse required those travellers to be roasted alive?

The more India's Hindus and Muslims call attention to their differences by slaughtering each other, the less there is that distinguishes them. They worship at the same altar, apostles of the same murderous god, whoever he is.