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Published in the 16-30 Jun 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

"Saffron death squads as "defence army" 
By I K Shukla

Advani, after loss of power as Hindutva's Home Minister, feels terribly piqued. It is understandable. Given his past achievements (Rath Yatra riots, Babri Demolition, Riots, Hawala-Bribery Scandal, Riots - to name just a few out of scores) he cannot take it lying down, this forced idleness and the looming obsolescence. So he, ever the man of action, in the surreal mode of Bollywood films, has threatened to gherao the central cabinet ministers, tainted (in his eyes) with crime. 

What Advani conveniently fails to remember in his haste is that he himself was too darkly tainted by violence and illicit money grab and yet was a legislator! And Congress, in a derelict forgetfulness, failed to gherao him with his cohort and press for their ouster. I am uncertain whether to compliment or condemn the Congress for this leniency or lapse. It was only one of several such lapses on its part, and that of other political parties, that saw India scourged by the ceaseless series of mayhem and malfeasance in which Hindutva honchos were uniquely adept and obsessively involved. 

Vajpayee has gone pitiably mute, understandably. The flourish of demagoguery at which he excelled was found out for what it was: demagoguery, a verbal acrobat's trickery, unconcerned with people and contemptuous of their problems. He was discovered to have been all along more a mask than a man. As the hardcore RSS man (its Mask) when he allocated the Forest Dept. to JuDeo Singh of Chhatisgarh, whose massive influence in the forest areas spanned several states, he was executing a demonic design: bring back (Ghar Wapasi scheme) the Adivasis and tribal Christians to their fictional home of Hinduism. 

How he subverted the Liberhan Commission, he may have forgotten, but the country has not. He is still in the dock, accused and charged. So, he ill affords posturing as moral inspector. If this is his way to forestall his incarceration and stay in the limelight , even his Ram Lalla may not be able to rescue him from the consequences of his passion for political gambling. Lack of morals, in his kind of politics, is all right. But lack of sanity too? Poor Advani believes he can repeat his rise to glory, again, via rowdy confrontations and communal conflagrations. 

Vajpayee has gone pitiably mute, understandably. The flourish of demagoguery at which he excelled was found out for what it was: demagoguery, a verbal acrobat's trickery, unconcerned with people and contemptuous of their problems. He was discovered to have been all along more a mask than a man. As the hardcore RSS man (its Mask) when he allocated the Forest Dept. to JuDeo Singh of Chhatisgarh, whose massive influence in the forest areas spanned several states, he was executing a demonic design: bring back (Ghar Wapasi scheme) the Adivasis and tribal Christians to their fictional home of Hinduism. 

Ever since, this mean scheme has involved violence, coercion, intimidation, harassment, and complicity of the law and order machinery. Such forced conversions account, according to some estimates, for 35,000 "converts". This is calculated to ensure numerical self-sufficiency of the "Hindu" vote bank, and thus to render the minorities redundant and disposable. The Mask was party to this mayhem, as to the Muslim genocide in Gujarat. Its silence, sinister and sordid, has always been far more lethal than people or the media ever realized. For the record, JuDeo also distinguished himself as a big bribe-taker. Bangaru Laxman, the BJP president in the recent past, was not the lone ranger in the field of collecting illicit money in gunny bags for the glory of Hindutva. He was in the Big League. 

These are the people who proclaim: Hindutva is in danger. They are the ones who profess they would save it. By gang-raping and then burning alive the minority women, by tearing from their wombs the fetuses and throwing them in bonfires, by stealing their household effects, by robbing them of their properties, and all the while shouting Jai Shri Ram, Jai Hanuman, Har Har Mahadev. When did these gods and deities declare themselves to be special patrons and protectors of assassins, arsonists, rapists, robbers, and outlaws? 
Now comes news that the Hindutva brigands have decided to build a Defence Army in the tribal-forest areas, so that with armed musclemen guarding, they may coercively convert several thousand tribals to Hindutva. Shiv and Hanuman temples will be built in all the villages, and daily worship there would be compulsory. The change in the government in New Delhi would not deter them, they have declaimed for the benefit of the Vedic Al Qaeda and Hindu Taliban, and to the consternation of Christians and general citizenry. They call this Defence Army also by another name, Dharma Army. They boasted they have forced the nuns to abandon white and wear saffron saris. All of this, and more of it to follow, ostensibly to extend and glorify Hindutva via conversion. 
This is of a piece with Advani's scheme of gherao. This is fleshing of the design that Mr Mask fabricated towards self-sufficiency of the "Hindu" vote bank. (Remember, he said in Varanasi, that BJP did not need Muslim votes. Inferentially and logically, therefore, they are fit for extirpation). In India, there will be no more citizens, according to Hindu Taliban, only voters and vote banks. In India, there are no problems of poverty, illiteracy, joblessness, shelter, agrarian reform, child labor, malnutrition, Aids, TB, women's oppression, Dalits' plight, farmers' suicides, workers' lowly wages, corrupt bureaucracy, criminal and violent police force, rotten infrastructure, pollution, criminals in politics, etc. Those who agitate over these are neither "Hindu" nor "nationalist". They are farthest from "patriotism" franchised by the Vedic Al Qaeda. 

The AdVani formula of ceaseless confrontation with the UPA is, in his book, conducive to enhancing Hindu militancy and consolidation, to engineering the polarized division of citizens along communal lines, to accelerating the pace of Hinduisation of the polity, and to installing Hindu Rashtra far sooner than anyone ever imagined possible. This will rehabilitate him at the top in the HTaliban hierarchy irresistibly and memorably. His is a calculated gambit, as ever. 

But what he must remember, as too the UPA, is that Christians, and Adivasis, or for that matter other minorities under threat, will have to defend themselves, their homes, their families, their religion, and their existential entity. They may not match the money or muscle power of the Hindu Taliban (Big Business, always committed to status quoist extremism, is pouring money in their coffers, besides the NRIs). But they will not surrender like eunuchs. They will fight for survival and dignity, freedom and justice. Whether they make a rag tag outfit or offer individual resistance, the encounter promises to be bloody. The Vedic Taliban expect the Congress-led government at the Centre to be mute spectator of these blood and fire orgies, because Sonia Gandhi, in the event of police action against the criminals, can be accused of promoting Christianity at the expense of the diabolic cult called Hindutva . 

This perverse calculation and seditious blackmail would not wash. The UPA cannot abdicate its responsibility of protecting Indian citizens, minorities in this case, with prompt action, which may entail decisive and deterrent steps to douse the saffron fires recurrently lit with impunity so far. It will have to devise precautionary and permanent steps to scotch such defiance of law by anti-social vandals and anti-national vigilantes. It will have briskly to preempt the recurrence of such heinous and unconstitutional mayhem. Both administrative and constitutional measures would be needed to curb and contain the mischief-mongers, lumpen extremists, and saffro-terrorists. 
Unless they are made to fear, and cut down to size, they will continue tearing the social fabric at the instigation of the Hindu Taliban who function under scores of names, all of them extremely vicious and violent. By no stretch of linguist jugglery can they be allowed to hide from and escape the dragnet of justice by adopting the subterfuge and flaunting the sobriquet of "cultural organizations". There is nothing cultural about any of them. 
They are unabashedly and overtly political, and that in a noxious way. There can be no place for them in any democracy, unless Saudi Arabia or Nepal be our models. Nor can Latin America's rightist death squads and terrorist paramilitaries be allowed to sprout and spread on India's soil. Such armed bands of gangsters have always been traitors, serving foreign masters and their local toadies, and betraying their own nations as mean mercenaries. They are weasels and Trojan horses. They must be crushed fully and fast. 
Any laxity in the matter would spell disaster for the nation. Foreign powers subsidize these anti-national quislings surreptitiously through several conduits which may not be easy to detect or stanch. They pose a permanent threat to the security and independence of the nation as its fifth column. Let not India be subverted by them at the behest, and for the benefit, of foreign powers. Foreign powers have always fostered extremists of all hues, of all persuasions. 
The plan of AdVanis, UmAbharatis, Joshis, Modis, Togadias, Singhals, Thakerays and Masks, to make UPA governance impossible by daily confrontation on non-issues, must be foiled and frustrated, and nipped in the bud. Time is of essence. It cannot be wasted on hooliganism pre-planned and orchestrated by communalists. Violations of law or defiance of the Constitution by the Vedic Al Qaeda, treated with kid gloves or dilatorily and half-heartedly, would only whet the wrecking appetite of the Rashtra Sanharak Sangh (Destroyers of the Nation). 

How far will they go? An indication is Su(e)Shama pledging ("as a democrat", no less) to be tonsured, like a widow, don white, sleep on the naked floor, and eat only roasted grams, in the event of Sonia being sworn in on May 19 as Prime Minister. It is nothing odd that bereft of power she feels widowed. But is she really a Hindu, or an Indian? Millions would answer in the negative. The same goes for UmAbharti's hastily aborted pilgrimage to Kedarnath on which she was to set out, perhaps fearing dismissal and imprisonment for her role in the Babri demolition. She is doubly, blasphemously, non-Hindu: for aborting the pilgrimage, and for failing to do penance for her sins, which is why people undertake a pilgrimage. That she is a female fake of a sannyasin is the third sin she would have to atone for. 

That both these female fire-eaters have brought shame on Hinduism remains unknown only to them. The rest of India is aghast at their perfidy and perversity. By proving their mettle in demeaning Hinduism, they have asserted that Hindu Taliban can count on them to help destroy India, as stipulated in the devil's blueprint called Hindu Rashtra. 

It would be no surprise if they form the vanguard of wreckers and rioters, Gujarat being their model and motto. Self-immolation is for Buddhists, they are convinced, not for pseudo-Hindus like them.

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