1st letter caption—5-31

A view of the special laddoo cake weighing 7 kg ordered by the Delhi BJP office, at Bengali Pastry shop in New Delhi on May 22. (IANS photo)

Now that the elections in India have expressed the confidence of the overwhelming majority of the people in the leadership of Narendra Modi and his BJP followers, we should congratulate them for their well-deserved victory and unite, regardless of party preferences, ethnic origins and religions, to cooperate for a better future for all Indian citizens, with less corruption, more employment, family planning, cleaner environment and less poverty.

In spite of its many problems, India, with its Hindu majority (well known for its religious tolerance), continues to shine as a beacon of freedom and refuge for people of all origins and religions, with its secular democratic constitution. At a time when several other countries like Pakistan and Turkey, which started out as secular democracies, have slipped into becoming Islamic republics (like Pakistan) and Islamic dictatorships in practice (like Turkey), the ship of the Indian republic sails steadily through rough waters, on its promises of equal rights for all citizens and respect for all religions.

Even western countries that mostly call themselves secular democracies but have preferential laws for the majority citizens, cannot match up to India, which even gives a bank holiday for at least one holy day for all religions, and even subsidizes religious pilgrimage (Hajj) for its largest minority of Muslim citizens.

Maneck Bhujwala

Huntington Beach, Calif.

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