Hardline Indian Hindus become Modi's enemies from within

February 2, 2015 10:25 PM

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RISHIKESH, India (Reuters) - In an ashram near the Ganges river in the Himalayan foothills, Indian priest-turned-politician Sakshi Maharaj mimes rowing a boat to illustrate what will happen if Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government ignores Hindu nationalist demands."Modi will have to be a boatman: one oar must focus on the economy and the other must concentrate on the Hindu agenda," says Maharaj, clad in saffron robes and sitting cross-legged on a bed.

He twirls his bejeweled fingers in the air, explaining that otherwise the boat will spin in circles.The Hindu priest, who has been charged with rioting and inciting communal violence, is the embodiment of hardline religious elements in Modi's party whose strident behavior is dragging on the governme...

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