India's incomplete democracy

India's incomplete democracy

In April and May, the world's largest democracy elected its latest prime minister, Narendra Modi. Modi has promised to shake up long-standing government corruption and bring prosperity to all of India, as he did to the state of Gujarat as its chief minister.

But it wasn't just a desire for economic reform that helped seal Modi's victory: He is the leader of the zealous Bharatiya Janata Party, and he was ushered into office by a surge of Hindu nationalism and religious fervor. Moreover, his effectiveness as a uniting figure for India is called into question by his inaction in Gujarat in 2002, when he did nothing to stop thousands of Muslims from being massacred or made homeless by...