Protests are being organized and
threats to stall the proceedings of next Lok Sabha session are
being dished out to oppose the Home Minister Sushil Kukar Shinde’s
statement about the Hindu terrorism, its links with BJP and RSS.
(23 Jan 2013). There are two major components of this statement.
One is the use of the prefix Hindu for terrorism, and two about
RSS-BJP links with terror training camps. What Shinde called Hindu
terrorism has also been called Saffron terrorism or Hindutva
terrorism. This prefix is to point out to acts of terror indulged
in by the likes of Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, Swami Aseemanand,
Col. Prasad Shrikant Purohit, Kalsangara, Sunil Joshi and many
like them who were either actively associated with the ideology of
Hindutva, or even were organizationally associated with RSS.
Others were at that time or previously linked with some progeny of
RSS like ABVP, Bajrang Dal etc. Many of them were part of
organizations like Sanatan Sanstha, Abhinav Bhararat, who again
aim at the goal of Hindu Nation or are ideologically inspired by
the agenda of RSS.
The home minister’s remarks are based on investigations done Anti
Terror Squads of different states and by National Investigation
Agency. Earlier the announcement was made by the former Union home
minister P. Chidambaram, in July 2010, to Parliament that the
National Investigation Agency (NIA) will probe the terrorist
attacks on the Samjhauta Express and examine the conspiracy behind
the attack, including the links of the accused in terrorist
attacks at Malegaon (September 8, 2006), Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad
(May 18, 2007) and at the Ajmer dargah (October 11, 2007). He had
used the word Saffron terror.
Various such acts of terror in which these people have been
involved have been coming to light from last ten years or so. In
2003, in Parbani, Jalna and Jalgaon districts of Maharashtra; in
2005, in Mau district of Uttar Pradesh; in 2006, in Nanded; in
January 2008, at the RSS office in Tenkasi, Tirunelveli; in August
2008, in Kanpur etc. Few of the details of some of these acts are
On 6th April 2006 two Bajrang Dal workers died when making the
bombs. The place where they died belonged to the RSS worker and
saffron flag was hoisted atop the hose. There was also a board of
Bajrang Dal Nanded Branch on the wall of the house.
In Thane on 4th June 2008, two Hindu Jagran Samiti workers were
arrested for planting the bombs in the basement of Gadkari
Rangayatan, due to which 7 people got injured. The same group was
involved in the blasts in Vashi, Panvel also.
In Goa a bomb kept in a scooter went off on the eve of Divali
(17th Oct 2009) in Margao. It killed Malgonda Patil and seriously
injured Yogesh Naik. Another bomb was detected in Sancoale in a
truck carrying 40 youth for Narkasur competition. Both the
activists belonged to Sanatan Sanstha. The second aim of this
blast was to create communal tension in Margao, which has a
history of communal violence. This group takes inspiration from
Savarkar (Hindu Mahasabha) and Hedgewar (RSS) and indoctrinates
its members into hating Christians and Muslims.
On 24th August 2008 two Bajrang Dal activists died in Kanpur,
while making bombs. The Kanpur zone IGP S.N. Singh stated that
their investigations have revealed that this group was planning
massive explosions all over the state.
Indian Express, 23 Oct 2008 reports that those involved in the
bomb blast in Malegaon and Modasa (Sept 2008) had links with Akhil
Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad. Similarly in Tenkasi, Tamil Nadu pipe
bomb attack on RSS office (Jan.2008) was projected to have been
done by Jehadi Muslims.
The common pattern of these acts of terror has been twofold. One,
that in few of such cases the activists related to Bajrang Dal or
fellow travellers were killed while making the bombs. Second these
acts of terror were targeted to kill the Muslims, so these acts
were organized at times when the Muslims congregations take place,
at the time of namaz or festivals like Shab-e-Barat in Malegaon,
or in Ajmer Sharif where they come in large numbers or Samjhauta
express where the major number of travellers is Muslims.
While in the initial phase police authorities working under the
prejudice that ‘all terrorists are Muslims’ misdirected their
probe, the probe came on the proper track after the Malegaon
blasts when the motor cycle of Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, the
former activist of Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad, a wing of
RSS, came under the scanner and her links with many of those who
have been named above and are currently in jail, came to the
surface. These facts came to light due to the initiative and
immaculate investigation done by the then chief of Maharashtra ATS,
Hemant Karkare. Karkare pursued the investigation professionally
putting together the threads due to which today most of them are
in jails. While pursuing these investigations Karkare came under
immense pressure from the politicians belonging to BJP and its
close cousin, Shiv Sena. During this time Narendra Modi said that
Hemant Karkare is an anti National, (Deshdrohi) and Bal Thackeray
in his Saamana wrote that’ we spit on the face of Karkare.’ Later
Karkare got killed in the Mumbai terror attack of 26/11, 2006.
The people involved in some way were associated to the affiliates
of RSS or RSS itself. Mr. Singh, Home secretary has given some of
the names from RSS stable who have been allegedly involved in acts
1. Sunil Joshi (dead), he was an “activist of RSS” in dewas and
Mhow from 1990s to 2003.
2. Sandeep Dange (absconding), He was “RSS pracharak” in Mhow,
Indore, Uttarkashi and Sajhapur from 1990s to 2006.
3. Lokesh Sharma (arrested) He was RSS ‘nagar karyavahak’ in
4. Swami Assemanand (arrested), He was “associated with RSS wing
Vanavashi Kalyan Parishad” in Dang, Gujarat in 1990s to 2007.
4. Rajender alias Samunder (arrested), He was “RSS Varg Vistarak.”
5. Mukesh Vasani (arrested), He was an “activist of RSS” in Godhra.
6. Devender Gupta (arrested), was a “RSS pracharak” in Mhow and
7. Chandrasekhar Leve (arrested), was a “RSS pracharak” in
Shajhanpur in 2007.
8. Kamal Chouhan (arrested), was a “RSS activist.”
9. Ramji Kalsangra (absconding), was a “RSS associate”.
This is in addition to Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, Swami Dayanand
Pandey, Lt Col Prasad Shrikant Purohit, Retd Major Upadhyay, who
have been close to them.
While some beans were spilled by many of these accused the whole
picture was pieced together by Swami Aseemanand, when he decided
to confess in front of the magistrate. In his confession Swami
gave the details of the whole set up raised under his coordination
and involving many RSS workers and their associates. The major
reason for this whole planning as per him was to counter the
Islamic terrorism as witnessed in Sankat Mochan temple etc. and
second goal of theirs’ was to pave the path of Hindu nation.
The later investigation of ATS and now NIA has unearthed the
linkages due to which these activists are cooling their heels in
jails. Meanwhile in the wake of most of these terror blasts many a
Muslim youth were arrested, some of whom were later released for
the lack of any credible evidence. So this whole series of
terrorists are Hindus. Does this then justify to label this type
of terrorism as Hindu terrorism? By no means! Shinde is wrong to
label this terrorism as Hindu terrorism.
Is the term ‘saffron terrorism’ correct? No way. This term was
used by many including the then Home minister P. Chidambaram in
the wake of the investigations done by Hemant Karkar in the case
of Malegaon blasts. While one does not approve the term Hindu
terrorism or saffron terrorism at all, one will like to see the
background in which this term came to be used.
The RSS routinely adopts resolutions seeking to “curb Islamic
terrorism with an iron hand”. The term Islamic terrorism was first
coined by American media in the light of 9/11 act of terror. This
was the first major attempt to label an act of terror with
religion. This became the most popular word and all and sundry
resorted to this word time and over again. This was a deliberate
mischief by US to target the Muslims and thereby get legitimacy to
launch attacks in the West Asia to control over the oil resources.
In India also large section of media picked it up. RSS and its
progeny in particular highlighted the religious nature of this
terrorism, and the word Jehadi terrorism was the common one to be
used. In a way associating terrorism with religion became a
dominant norm and it became part of popular perception.
In this backdrop when the acts of terror done by many Hindus came
to light, it somehow came to be labelled with prefix Hindu or
Saffron. Term Islamic terrorism and Jehadi terrorism is as much
wrong as the term Hindu or saffron terror. The right word for
first one may be Al Qaeda type of terrorism and for the second,
Hindutva terrorism. Here again using Hindutva terrorism is fraught
with some misunderstanding. As such Hindutva is a politics aiming
at creation of a Hindu nation but due to its containing the word
Hindu in it, it is also taken to be a religion in popular
understanding. So the dilemma for Shinde! How to label this group
of terror deeds? Probably one will like to make it clear that it
is Hindutva terrorism, it has nothing to do with Hindu religion
and the difference between the terms Hindu (a religion) and
Hindutva (a politics) needs to be made clear in popular parlance.
So it’s hypocritical to make the intense noise while the word
Hindu-saffron terrorism is used. Same set of people are using the
word Islamic terrorism, Jehadi terrorism and propagating that all
terrorists are Muslims. One has to know that the phenomenon of
terror has been promoted in the Madrassas specially set up by
America in Pakistan to indoctrinate the Muslim youth and bring up
Al Qaeda type formations. So why demonize Islam, Muslims and use
the term Jehadi terrorism? Both such abuses of religion run
parallel to each other.
What about the statement that training camps run by RSS and BJP?
In all fairness one conceded that the training camps run by RSS
have gone to give the training in rifles but the training centres
of bomb making and use are not directly conducted by RSS-BJP.
Surely these activities are done by those associated with RSS-BJP.
One can’t take lightly the picture making rounds on social media,
which shows Rajnath Singh and Shivrajsingh Chowhan with Sadhvi
Pragya Thakur. One also can’t dismiss the fact that Lal Krishna
Advani and Sushma Swaraj had gone to see the prime minister to
plead the case of Pragya Singh Thakur in particular. One cant
ignore that those running these training camps had or were
associated with RSS in some way, actively at that time or in the
So all this protests and threats of BJP, threats to disrupt the
session of Parliament are their usual political tactics and do not
have any meaning, as their indirect or direct association with the
terrorists is so much obvious. What Shinde is stating is factual
but terminology is confused, and that’s not due to his own fault.
We as a society have not been able to come to coin correct
terminologies for different acts of terror anyway, so why get away
with using the word Jehadi terrorism and haul Mr. Shinde to the
coals for such a use of the term.?