Hindu's are very peace loving. This could never happen.
That episode says as much about the religious tolerance of Indian society as would the deaths of 10-12 people who were shot dead in the south western part of USofA, just after 9-11, because they were wearing turbans ;)
Of course, there are fanatics all over the world and Indians are no ultra-saintly people just because they won their independence in a non-violent way and dont seem to engage in wars all the time, unless being compelled to.
But I do agree that the world's largest democracy needs to have a higher standard for judgement of its secular credentials, and I bet its trying hard.. by giving a better representation to its minorities in governing the nation, than any other country on this planet.
(no offense meant but) isnt it a fact that few Americans might endorse a black or a jewish person to rule their country ? Is it because many religious Christians think of non-christians as un-saved "heathens" who will burn in hell ? ;)
From my experience and probably many fellow Indians would attest to this, Indian Hindus get along well with people of most religions, Sikhs, Christians and Buddhists. For example, the country wouldnt mind a local born Christian or a Sikh as their prime minister, its not uncommon for Hindus to go to their Christian friends' churches and celebrate Xmas with them, for instance.
Hindus dont have bad notions about christians or their religion as such, though some of them are wary of christian missionaries since they do alter local demographies.. but if you ask me how peer-to-peer relations are between Oridnary Hindus and ordinary church going christian people, they couldnt be better.. Afterall, most Indian born Christians are as patriotic as their Hindu or Sikh brothers and wouldnt flinch to defend their nation, if need be. Many of my Indian christian friends have their brothers or dads in Indian Air force, and they are quite patriotic. Infact, those who came to US to study dont buy Pakistani made rice, just like us (even I tried their rice once or twice, but most of my Indian christian friends never did) ;)
The problem Hindus have with muslims is cultural and also got something to do with the fact that historically, there is too much bad blood between the two faiths..
But you gotta keep this in mind : the concept of India in itself was an attempt to heal those wounds inflicted by historical animosities between Hindus and Muslims.
And even Muslim integration into Indian mainstream has already begun, though many might disagree with me.. afterall, its a fact that none of India's 150 million plus muslims have joined al-qaeda or any anti-American terrorist group (though I bet there are some pockets where Muslims do seem a bit anti-US, but thats nothing compared to how anti-Americanism is entrenched in Pakistani culture).
Overall, India is "alrite" on the tolerance aspect, it could be better, but atleast the mainstream culture doesnt accept fanaticism blindly. There are some right wing fanatics or left wing fanatics but they dont damage credibility of Indian secular character as such ;) atleast not too much.
to Meanwest Texan : Do you think I'm gonna burn in hell because I dont belong to your faith ? :(