When he dreams, he dreams of flawless escape.

The demonizing of the other was a necessary prelude to mobilizing one’s own forces, and thus to fostering a collective spirit of solidarity in a long-divided Hindu community. Usually, there was much malice aforethought. Sometimes, however, the issue taken up was farcical rather than diabolical. In the summer of 2000, for example, the RSS journal Panchjanya, complained that the three leading male actors in the Hindi film industry (Shah Rukh Kahn, Aamir Khan, and Salman Khan) were all Muslim. The journal saw in this coincidence a dark conspiracy by (apparently) Mafia dons who funded these actors’ films and multinational corporations whose products the actors endorsed. To thwart the conspiracy, Panchjanya called on its readers to promote an up-and-coming actor named Hrithik Roshan, the lone “Hindu” challenger to the monopoly of the Khans. Ramachandra Guha