Saturday, October 25, 2008

Hindutva terrorism now

For many years now there has been suspicion that some extremist Hindu groups were also involved in terrorist attacks. Several unexplained attacks such as the Mecca Masjid blasts in Hyderabad, or the attack on a cemetery near Malegaon were believed to be their handiwork. The recent developments provide an answer of sorts. The authorities need to investigate the case thoroughly because they have been somewhat lax now because of their bias which assumed that all acts of terrorism were executed by Muslims. This comment appeared in Mail Today October 25, 2008

Terrorism’s new face is alarming

THE allegations about Hindu organisations being involved in the terror strikes in Malegaon and Naded ( Maharashtra), Modasa ( Gujarat) and Kanpur ( Uttar Pradesh) proves the oft- repeated statement that terrorists have no religion.
The problem is that in India, despite the activities of the United Liberation Front of Assam, presumably made up of Hindus, and the Khalistani terrorists, nominally Sikhs, the police forces work under the blithe assumption that all terrorists are Muslims. It is true that those whose perverted understanding of the Islamic faith has led them to kill and maim innocents have been prominent in recent years, but even a cursory study will reveal that terrorism is nothing but a particularly ruthless tactic born out of a perversion of beliefs, whether based on religion or nationalism.
Perhaps the most important lesson from the Maharashtra and Gujarat arrests is that the police need to keep an open mind when they are confronted with a terrorist act. Investigation must lead to conclusions and not the other way around. Pre- conceived notions about the nature of terrorism has perhaps been a reason why both the intelligence agencies and the police forces have been slow to realise that a very serious situation has arisen with regard to the Hindu chauvinist organisations like the Bajrang Dal and the many vahinis which have been working up mayhem in Orissa and Karnataka.
This is perhaps a good time for the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Rashtriya Swyamsevak Sangh to reflect on their politics that seeks to divide communities on the basis of religion. Even while condemning terrorist acts, both have claimed that many of the Hindu organisations are “ nationalists.” The fact of the matter is that not much of a nation will be left if these organisations are not checked immediately.

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