Historic opportunity for Modi  


Sir: India was declared a secular state in its written constitution and it is every Indian's duty to uphold this declaration. After a landslide electoral triumph by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), some Muslims are worried that their place in India could become even more tenuous. In the interests of the nation, it is a historic opportunity for the BJP’s prime minister-designate Narendra Modi to shape the country’s future. He should bury the past, especially since his image has been tarnished with deadly riots in his home state of Gujarat that killed hundreds of people, most of them Muslims. He needs to offer a powerful balancing message to all India’s citizens along the lines of its founder, Mahatma Gandhi: “I swear by my religion, I will die for it. But it is my personal affair. The State has nothing to do with it.”