Freedom of expression is the foundation stone of any democratic dispensation, and tolerance is the basic ingredient of any progressive society. Claimant of largest democracy often fumbles on these fundamental tenets. Rough treatment that a senior politician got on his recent book is just one of the indicators of how well entrenched extremism is in India. The event can be extrapolated to deduce as to what kind of treatment an ordinary citizen could be getting on day-to-day matters while striving to survive in prevalent interfaith environment. Jaswant Singh has indeed done a courageous feat by responding to his conscience and breaking the lifelong bondage that was based on an intellectual compromise. It is commendable that he chose to speak his heart out and did not bow to the pressures of expediency. Undoubtedly, Mr Singh is a victim of intellectual extremism so galore in Indian socio-political environment. During these moments of personal agony our all sympathies are with Jaswant Singh. It must have brought him a lot of pain as he discovers the actual face of his party after a lifelong association with it. He was not as lucky as L K Advani, who escaped a similar fate a couple of years ago. As Pakistan became an overt nuclear weapons state in response to Indian nuclear explosions of 1998, decision to create Pakistan was a follow up to unfair and arrogant treatment meted out by a brief rule by Congress led governments, which were formed after the first elections under the Government of India Act, 1935. These elections had brought a sweeping victory for All India Congress. However, this party failed miserably to stand up to the occasion and create an environment of national cohesion and integration. This rule (read misrule) did not last very long, and these dispensations were soon shown the door. However, the very episode left lasting scars and forced the Muslim League to ponder over the creation of an independent Muslim state. As independent (united) India was envisaged to be a democratic entity, on the basis of one person one vote; the fate of Muslims was expected to be of perpetual suffering as a marginalised minority. Moreover, the ongoing pungent smelling movements like Shudhi (forced conversion) and Sangthan (excommunication) etc by the predecessors of BJP were pointing towards horrific prospects for the minorities, especially Muslims, even at socio-cultural level. Under these circumstances, it did not really need an Einstein to discover the future of Muslims in undivided India. Anyway, it is unfortunate that a senior leader, Jaswant Singh, of a mainstream political party has been marginalised by the party itself. This party has ruled India twice and is rightfully waiting to take another turn in due course. Pakistan phobia is indeed a bipartition phenomenon in the political landscape of India. Both mainstream parties remain in a perpetual competition to surpass each other in Pakistan bashing; nevertheless BJP has generally been a step ahead of Congress. Singh was, indeed, one of the saner voices of BJP. Landmark speech by Quaid-i-Azam in the Constituent Assembly on August 11, 1947 was a trend-setting discourse, guaranteeing equal political rights to every citizen of Pakistan and guaranteeing them the freedom to practice their respective religious tenets. This speech was delivered when the objective of Pakistan had been achieved. Under all circumstances leaders achieving such monumental objectives get swayed, they tend to become arrogant and utter rhetoric. Not so in the case of our Great Leader. He sounds worried about minorities and assures them equal political rights. If at all there is an appellate forum within BJP, Jaswant Singh should present the text of this speech in his defence. It is because of anti-Pakistan mindset that, there has been a significant rise of right wing influence in all the domains of Indian decision-making mechanism. This has significantly contributed towards perpetuation of phobia based Pakistan policy; and unfortunately now it is a sustained feature irrespective of the political party at the helm of affairs. This dysfunction has resulted in sabotaging many substantial and purposeful bilateral initiatives. In addition to formal levels, this attitude has permeated into informal tiers as well. Social life is equally plagued by such sentiments. Prejudice is displayed against movies covering the era of Muslim rulers over India. Pakistani players and artists are roughed up in India as a matter of routine. However, intellectual strangulation of own scholars is a recent phenomenon indicative of qualitative rise in the intolerance sentiment aimed at allowing the promotion of only tainted (read Saffron) version of History. Jaswant Singh is expected to visit Pakistan for his book launching ceremony during the last quarter of this year. Book is expected to be well received in Pakistan. Courtesy inadvertent publicity done by BJP, book is already on high demand. This book is also expected to interest the research scholars on both sides of the great divide. It is high time to condemn intellectual extremism, for it leads towards nurturing and perpetuation of extremism in all its ugly forms and its manifestations in various formats. Intellectual extremism is as dangerous as religious/ethnic extremism, indeed former provides the requisite food of thought for the manifestation of latter types. The writer is a retired air officer of the Pakistan Air Force E-mail: