Turn your attention now to the most beautiful state in India where, this past June, several years of peace and (a relative) stability were disturbed and destroyed by a competitive communalism. A few hectares of land asked for by a temple board sparked protests by the residents of the Kashmir Valley; in exchange, the residents of Jammu blocked the highways and paralysed the state administration. The conflict escalated: mass meetings were held in the Valley calling for azadi, mass meetings were held in Jammu demanding justice and self-respect.
Lest we forget, 2008 also saw the renewal of sectarian protests based on identities other than religion. The MPs of the Telangana Rashtra Samiti resigned their posts; the cadres of the United Liberation Front of Asom set off a series of bombs. The activities of ULFA and the TRS pale into insignificance in comparison to the activities, also in 2008, of that other parochial body, the Maharashtra Navnirman Samiti. For the Mumbai that the terrorists attacked in November was also the Mumbai which Raj Thackeray and his goons had sought, just a few weeks previously, to purge of ‘outsiders’ to the city.