After Failed Ayodhya Attack, Signs That Hindu Radicals Have Declining Influence

July 11, 2005

Source: TIME Asia Magazine

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On July 11, 2005 TIME Asia Magazine reported, "Despite the [attempted] attack [on a contested religious site in Ayodhya] and ensuing protests—far from the worst India has seen—the mood on both sides of the border finally seems to be moving beyond a half-century of confrontation. Today, Indians and Pakistanis meet as friends in business, on movie screens and on the cricket pitch. And in contrast to the murderous outrage that used to follow suspected Islamic attacks on Indian soil, there were no reports of reprisals against Muslims in India last week. Many ascribe this relative amity to the fading appeal of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Hindu nationalist party that won general elections in 1997 and 1998... But since last year's electoral defeat by the Congress Party, the Indian right has disintegrated into factionalism, split between those who continue to revile Pakistan and those, like BJP president Lal Krishna Advani, who think hatred as a political strategy has had its day... Brahma Chellaney, strategic studies professor at the New Delhi-based Center for Policy Research, says this broad change in the Hindu right has helped 'mellow' relations between India and Pakistan. 'Even if there is another major attack, there will be no major reaction in India,' he says. Which is another way of saying: people want peace."