Justice Markandey Katju-
Justice Markandey Katju is a former Judge, Supreme Court of India, and former Chairman, Press Council of India. The views expressed are his own.
However, the makers of the Indian Constitution understood that India was a country of tremendous diversity, with numerous religions, castes, languages, races, cultures, etc. The only way to hold it together was by giving all communities equal respect. Hence they provided for a secular Constitution guaranteeing freedom of religion for all vide Articles 15(1) and 25.
Communalism, i.e. religious hatred, strikes against the very identity and social fabric of India as a country of great diversity. It no doubt existed in India even before the BJP came to power in 2014 with an absolute majority. It was not a creation of Modi or the BJP. Even before 2014 there were communal riots and strife. But before 2014 communalism was largely latent, erupting only occasionally. That was because the Congress or other parties in political power professed secularism ( with an eye on the important Muslim vote bank on which they relied in elections ), and this to some extent checked the communal forces.
After 2014 a paradigm shift has taken place. Now communalism has become open, virulent, and continuous. The BJP knows it will not get Muslim votes ( as Muslims perceive it as their enemy ) and so they attempt to consolidate and get the votes of Hindus, who are 80% of the Indian population. Hindus are normally divided on caste lines, with different castes voting for different parties. But when communal passions are aroused they often tend to unite with the BJP as against the Muslims.
The New York Times has only depicted Indian politics, as perceived by it. One may have a different opinion, but surely the NYT is entitled to its view ( which I personally think is true ). Why all the fuss?