India's story is of intrinsic interest and importance. By following the story of Gujarat, Americans can begin to understand better than most currently do the political and religious dynamics of the world's most populous democracy, a nuclear power, and a nation that will play an increasingly large role on the world stage. India is typically not well covered by the U. S. media or by education in U. S. schools and colleges. Indian scholars who have written extremely well about their own situation, in books and articles and in a national press that is admirable for its quality and its openness, have little name-recognition in the U. S. and are rarely read. During the ascendancy of the Hindu right, when intelligent diplomatic pressure could have achieved change, U. S. foreign policy was largely indifferent to internal tensions in India, focusing only on the threat of nuclear conflict with Pakistan. American ignorance of India's history and current situation was largely to blame for such omissions. Americans typically follow events in the Middle East rather closely. If one wants to know about Israeli-Palestinian relations, for example, ample material for such an understanding is readily available from daily newspapers, television, and the internet. India is simply not as "present" to the American mind, because it is not as present in the American media. Thus India's own struggle with religious extremism is little known, and the lessons it can teach us are little appreciated.