Following on from the recent decision by Penguin India to withdraw Wendy Doniger's book The Hindus: An Alternative History as a result of legal pressure from fundamentalists, Sunny Hundal has a fascinating yet troubling piece in the Independent on the rise of Hindu nationalism.

With the Hindu nationalist BJP party, led by the controversial Narendra Mohdi, currently leading the polls ahead of April's national elections, Hundal writes that the growing influence of extremist politicians could have serious local and global implications:

Hindus don't have a reputation for religious extremism, but over the past 25 years an increasingly aggressive movement has grown and started flexing its muscles. The list of authors who have faced ruinous lawsuits, had books banned or lives threatened in India is growing alarmingly long. (Not all of the bans relate to Hindu groups; Muslims and Christians have demanded censorship, too.)

It is also less understood that the rise of this movement in India has been partly fuelled by activists in the UK and US, who in turn have pushed similar agendas. If Modi is voted in as prime minister, there are fears that his election would have repercussions not only in India but abroad, too.

Read more at the Indpendent.