"I would argue the country, as a whole, is still firmly secular, liberal in the Nehruvian idea, which is that we need a country which is open to different religions, to different ethnicities, to different beliefs if we are to stay together"
There is by and large a consensus in India. Including within the BJP or the so-called Hindu Right
There is no voice in the BJP calling for the end of Islam in India
So yes, India is v much multi-cultural, and has space for the so-called "Abrahamic cultures"
But that does NOT make India Nehruvian by any means
A. That Nehru somehow rendered India multi-cultural
B. That Secularism entails separation of church and state
Let's tackle both
Nehru was not the person who rendered India multicultural
India has been a multi ethnic and multi-cultural nation for most of the past 3 millennia. And more so over the past 1000 years
If India were Muslim, or even Christian, it would not have been a multi-religious nation
India has to remain Hindu for it to retain its cultural exceptionalism in the globe
Parts of Greater India that are Muslim (say Pakistan or Bdesh) are not multi-religious
While India is
Because in the Anglo American tradition, secularism stems from a certain skepticism towards religion (if not downright hostility)
Think Hobbes, Locke, Hume, Mill.
None were devout Christians
Not by forces of Enlightenment or religious skepticism of the kind that rendered Europe secular
This is a tenet v central to Anglo American liberalism, as well as to Nehruvians
But the average Indian rejects this totally
So separation of church and state is anathema to most Indians - and not just Hindus
Pakistan & Bangladesh
Did either country remain multi-cultural and multi-religious in a meaningful sense? No
But the continued existence of that freedom entails neither a secular Constitution nor an irreligious state!
Mr Rajan is wrong to conflate religious freedom in India with the Nehruvian "idea of India" (that Indians mostly reject)