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  • Lawrence Rinaldi

    I arrived in India in January 1966 and was soon made aware of communal violence against Muslims. I left at the end of 1967 having seen the rise of Hindu nationalism in political parties. Living in a rural area in Rajasthan. It was terrifying. Christians and Muslims were seen as former Dalits and not worthy of respect or protection from the society. I lived in a rural area, made Indian friends and learned a working knowledge of Hindi. Most of my friends were Hindus but I spoke often to Muslims. The corruption of the police and seeing the workings of the socialistic government of Indira Gandhi was all new to me. I have followed events in India for over fifty years, made four trips back for weddings and visits. I speak to Indian students, often in Hindi, most of whom are urban and advantaged in Indian society. The rural India I knew is foreign to them although we understand the cultural fundamentals. This fundamental religious movement has been weaponized worldwide and exploited by politicians for their own benefit.

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