Sunanda K. Datta-Ray in The Telegraph:
This latest development presents India with a stark challenge. The desecration of St James Church in Bangalore, the murder of a nun and priest in Uttarakhand, rape, lynchings, vandalism, and the bomb blasts only three days before Id-ul-Fitr in Muslim-dominated towns suggest one of two explanations. Either they reflect a spreading popular mood or they are the handiwork of criminals. The state must decide and respond accordingly.
Happily, there are still pockets of tranquillity left in the country. No echo of violence in Kandhamal or Karnataka or of explosions in Mehrauli, Malegaon and Modasa disturbs the serenity of Guwahati’s Ward Memorial Church. In a further manifestation of the secularism that Jawaharlal Nehru dreamt of but Indira Gandhi institutionalized with her controversial 42nd amendment, the pastor is called Aziz-ul Haque. Yet, recalling the charges that were levelled against missionaries during Assam’s “Bangal kheda” movement long before the illegal influx from East Pakistan or Bangladesh, the American Baptist, William Ward, after whom the church was named long after his death in 1873, might have met Graham Staines’s fate if he had been living today and happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.