India's former Foreign, Defence and Finance Minister and a founding member/stalwart of the Hindu fundamentalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Jaswant Singh was expelled from the basic membership of his party for writing a book, Jinnah: India, Partition, Independence. He had revisited the last days of the British Raj and the attitudes and roles of Hindu and Muslim leaders, towards independence. In a related TV interview on CNN-IBN he explained that his book was objectively reached and written. He said his views are different from those generally held by the Indian self-styled secular intellectual and political elite. He admitted that Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah is being unfairly demonised in India and as he is impressed by the personality of Jinnah, which was of "great character and determination and sufficiently attractive," therefore he took up the task of writing a book about him, which took five years. While replying to a question he said that Jinnah "not only fought against the British but also fought resolutely and unrelentingly for the interest of the Muslims....as he wanted a space for the Muslims of India." In the same interview he called Quaid, "the great man, because he created something out of the nothing and stood up against the mighty Congress party and the British, who didn't like him." According to the Indian newspaper The Hindu, Jaswant Singh's Jinnah is, "an impressive, personally attractive, intellectually brilliant, freedom-loving, politically iron-willed, tactically unstoppable figure." His book also answers a number of historic misrepresentations, by the Indian writers and historians. He highlights the rigidity of Congress leaders, Gandhi, Nehru and Patel, who were not prepared to grant any role for the Muslims of post-British India. On his dismissal, tearful Singh said that he regretted that he was not even heard before taking such a drastic action - no one wanted to even listen what he had to say in his defence. For the BJP, it was enough that he had dared to portray the founder of Pakistan, as a great man and a leader of calibre. Earlier, in 2005, BJP reprimanded L.K Advani for saying, during his visit to Karachi that Jinnah was a secular, against the belief held amongst most of the Indians that he was a "religious bigot" of some sort. Advani writes in his memories, My Country My Life: "I could well understand if some ordinary people had felt surprised and even upset, at seeing headlines in TV news bulletins or newspapers that said, 'Advani calls Jinnah secular'. But what pained me is that some people thought I had committed a serious ideological heresy even before acquainting themselves with full facts and background information." BJP, being the second largest party, represents a significant Indian public opinion. Twice, it formed governments at the national level, in 1998 and then in 1999, with Atal Bihari Vajpayee as its prime minister and completed its five years term. In spite of its defeat in the national elections of 2009, it was able to form governments in eight states, including the important state of Gujarat. In Maharashtra (the second largest and the richest state), which includes India's largest city, Mumbai, BJP along with Shiv Sena (a fundamentalist Hindu outfit) has a strong representation. India contradicts itself in a big way, when in spite of repeated rhetoric of being the world's largest secular democracy, the basis of intolerance and twisted socio-cultural ethos, remains well entrenched, and strong as ever, in the Indian psyche and society. In front of the world view, India exposed its secularism and democratic culture, when under one pretext or the other, the largest political party Congress and various other groups along with Hindu bloggers on the Web, joined the chorus of condemning Mr Singh, for presenting a true portrait of the Indian history. They aim for the skull of Jaswant Singh, just for having a different historic perception. The current Indian society presents, even after more than 62 years of independence, a portrait of intolerance and religious chauvinism. In spite of being not so democratic, no one in Pakistan acted in a similar manner when Ayesha Jalal presented the Indian interpretation of history - in fact she has been awarded a medal by the present government, for her "scholarly" deeds. The hostile reaction to Jaswant Singh's views is not different in content, from the findings of the 2006 Sachar Committee on the status of Muslims. It reveals a pathetic data on the plight and fear of the Indian Muslims. For example, although Muslims are 13.4 percent of India's population but are only 3 percent in Indian Administrative Services, 1.8 percent in the Foreign Service and 4 percent in the Police Service. One of the findings of the report reads: "The communal content of school textbooks, as well as, the school ethos has been a major cause for concern for Muslims....Many schools are culturally hostile and Muslim students experience an atmosphere of marginalisation and discrimination. A growing communal mindset among large number of school teachers adds to the 'hostile' school atmosphere. The distrust levels can be gauged from the fact that people actually believe that schools in some states have been given instructions to not let Muslim students pass in examinations. It is also alleged that it is not easy for Muslims to get jobs as teachers. Besides, Muslim teachers are often treated badly. The transfer of Muslim teachers to schools at a great distance is not uncommon. Discriminatory stoppage of salaries of Muslim teachers has also been alleged. It has been reported that in some locations, Hindu parents refuse to let their children go to schools where there are Muslim teachers." It came as no surprise when this book was banned by notorious Narendra Damodardas Modi, the Chief Minister of Gujarat State. He has been an active member of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), an extremist Hindu outfit, known for its intolerance and bigotry towards the Muslims. In 2008, he was refused a visa to visit the US for his March 2002 state sponsored, planned, and merciless massacre of the innocent and unarmed Muslim men, women and children. According to Indian official figures, 790 Muslims were killed, 2,548 injured, 223 reported missing and 100,000 had to take refuge in relief camps. Pakistan came into being as a result of centuries old socio-economic dynamics and contradictions of the Indian society, where religion placed a pivotal part. Religion plays an imperative role to determine certain patterns of social behaviours and norms and that is where two communities, living side by side were yet so far apart, in their attitudes and outlook. Quaid-i-Azam became an indispensible trigger in the decisive phase of the history of the Indian Muslims. It was because of Quaid's honesty, righteousness and integrity, and on the other hand, religious bias of the Congress leaders, as Jaswant Singh writes, that Pakistan was created. The writer is a scholar at the Middle East Institute, Washington DC