Bangalore: Is it ironical when
United States terms India's indigenous terror as Hindu terrorism
as its President Barack Obama preaches a noble concept of
'Terrorism has no religion'. Amidst heated arguments on the
controversial topic of 'saffron terrorism' in the country, the
latest U.S. Congressional report on India says militant Hindu
nationalist groups are planning on launching domestic terrorist
attacks. The report, however, acknowledge that 'Hindu Terrorism'
has became a new and highly controversial phrase in India's
The independent and bipartisan wing of the U.S. Congress, CRS
prepares periodic reports on various issues of interest to the
lawmakers and the India report was made public by the Federation
of American Scientists (FAS). "Even more recent are overt signs
that India is home to militant Hindu nationalist groups intent on
launching domestic terrorist attacks. In September 2008, seven
people were killed by two bomb blasts in Maharashtra's Malegaon, a
hotbed of Hindu-Muslim communal strife," the report said. "Many
Indian observers warned of the danger of a 'militant
majoritarianism' among Hindu nationalists that threatens to rend
the secular fabric of the nation," reports PTI quoting the CSR
The term Saffron Terrorism entered into the public discussions
following the 29 September 2008 western India bombings that killed
8 persons and injuring 80. Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram gave
the spark as he alarmed the chiefs of State police forces,
security and intelligence officials of the new threat of 'saffron
terrorism.' "There is this recently uncovered phenomenon of
saffron terrorism that has been implicated in many bomb blasts of
the past," he said.
According to the whistleblower website WikiLeaks, Congress General
Secretary Rahul Gandhi reportedly told U.S. ambassador Timothy
Roemer that saffron terror worries him more than the terror groups
such as Lashkar-e-Taiba. It quotes Rahul as saying, "there was
evidence of some support (for the LeT) among certain elements in
India's indigenous Muslim community, the bigger threat may be the
growth of radicalized Hindu groups, which create religious
tensions and political confrontations with the Muslim community."
Sonia shared no different view as her son and said the RSS is
sowing the seeds of hatred in the minds of a new generation and
says, "This is the biggest danger for us."
However, Congress' outspoken leader Digvijay Singh objects the use
of saffron terror' phrase and says, "I have objection to the use
of caste, colour and religion to describe terror." "It can be
called 'sangh terrorism' instead of saffron terrorism," he
Home Minister's remark was received with severe criticism from the
main opposition BJP and the Hindu radical outfit RSS. BJP
President Nitin Gadkari said, "A criminal or a terrorist does not
belong to any religion, or caste nor does terrorism have a colour.
By using the term 'saffron terrorism' the Home Minister P.
Chidambaram has insulted Indian culture."
L K Advani lashed out at the congress government for the use of
such a frame and said terrorism should not be tagged to any
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi asked from an apology from
the Prime Minister for the use of saffron terrorism and said, "Is
not there a saffron flag on a temple? Would you call it a centre
of terrorist activity? Swami Vivekanand, Dayanand Saraswati,
Shankracharya, Swami Ramdas and others who have sacrificed for the
country wore saffron clothes. Are you calling them terrorists?
Every Congressman will have to answer this. And the Prime Minister
has to apologies to the people of the country for this."
Spiritual Guru Sri Sri Ravishankar said, "There is nothing like
saffron terrorism. A saint can never be a terrorist, but the
possibility of an extremist being active under the guise of a 'sadhu'
cannot be ruled out."
CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury feels the necessity to change the
mindset of associating terror with religion. "There is need to
change the thought that terrorism is religion-based," he said.
The U.S. report on Hindu terrorism came in as a surprise for many
as it reflects a different picture of India to the world.
Attributing terror attacks to religion, regardless of the color or
caste, should be discouraged.
SiliconIndia is the
Bangalore based news portal.
The above write-up
appeared on its website September 14, 2011