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Moody Responses

A few days ago, Moody's, an American rating agency-type thing, did an analysis on India. The essence of the analysis - or at least, the part which everyone is all up in arms about - is that communal violence in India has to be curbed.

As communal violence goes, India is in pretty bad shape. Between the years of 2004 and 2009, approximately 130 people died every year, with thousands of people being injured. While 130 people may not seem like that many, I invite you to think about how exactly you would feel if one of the 130 was a friend  of yours.

What I don't understand is what all this is in aid of. Now, I personally am not exactly a good, God-fearing Hindu, so no doubt my word will carry little weight where the religious-violence-propagators of this world are concerned, but here's my two cents anyway. While I have nothing against religion in itself, I do have something against the killing in the name of one religion or another. Actually, let me amend that statement - I am against killing for anything at all. There is nothing, in my opinion, worth killing another human being for.

But Moody's, not being a humanitarian organization but an economic one, comes at this issue from a rather different standpoint. What Moody's is saying is that when an investor is investing in something, whether that something be a startup or a country, what s/he is looking for is stability. When there is religious intolerance in a country, there is a large amount of instability. Religious intolerance in a country like India, which has such a large diversity of religions, is an open invitation to anarchy on the part of the religion whose members are not currently in power. In India, that's an awful lot of religions. Also, the people who incite religious violence tend to be rather unstable in themselves, a further deterrent to investors (see what I did there?)

The good news is, Modi is actually listening. When the report came out, Modi suddenly decided to make a speech on the importance of religious tolerance. In my opinion, that's a huge step forward, especially for a chap who was an RSS pracharak. At the end of the day, though, whatever the reasons may be for the end of communal violence, it's definitely going to be good for us.
Image from Vikram Nandwani. I don't know who he is, but I think he's hilarious.

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