Human Rights

Saffron terror: colour overshadows gravity of threats

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After Islamic terrorism and Muslim fundamentalists, a new term has been officially acknowledged by home ministry as saffron terror, which is debated and has been mired into controversy because of its colour and not because of the threat perception. Now it becomes clear that if one points finger at someone he must also know that three of his own fingers are pointing towards him. BJP and Sangh earlier had begun a tirade against Islamic terrorism and Muslim fundamentalist but now they find themselves painted in a different colour.

Home Minister P Chidambaram, while inaugurating a three day conference of directors general and inspectors general of police, said “There is no let up in the attempts to radicalise young men and women in India. Besides, there is the recently uncovered phenomenon of saffron terrorism that has been implicated in many bomb blasts of the past. My advice to you is that we must remain ever vigilant and continue to build, at the central and state levels, our capacity in counter-terrorism,” Meanwhile Congress after analysing its political fallout has tried to downplay home minister’s use of saffron terror by saying that terrorism has no colour and the only colour it has is black. BJP and Shiv Sena disrupted the proceeding of the parliament and also demanded resignation of home minister. BJP leader Arun Jaitely said that the home minister should refrain from linking terrorism with religion. He is trying to fight an imaginary terrorism. Ram Bilas Paswan has supported home minister over the issue and demanded firm action and also sought to ban RSS, VHP and Bajrang Dal at the earliest. But what is more worrisome is the fact that the Congress party is also divided over Chidambaram’s saffron terror remark which may discourage home minister to take a tough stand on the threat perceived by him

With the recent developments leading to terror charges on RSS and its affiliates not only terrorism has been redefined but also turned the direction and methods of the investigation. Earlier behind every blast that took place in our country the needle of suspicion unfailingly was pointed towards a particular community even before the investigation began. Few parroted lines during press conference by our concerned ministers and officials after each and every blast. Recently, Ram Bilas Paswan has aptly said “Blaming everything upon the Muslims and creating conspiracies is not the solution. Men in saffron create conspiracies and innocent Muslims are arrested, this won’t end terrorism rather increase it.” Now the onus lies on our home minister to have the same yardstick for terrorism, no matter what colour, sex, creed and religion they are attached to. Till date Chidambaram is firm on his statements and he believes that the term has served the purpose.

If we draw inferences from history that in the year 1930, the Indian National Congress for the first time hoisted the tricolour as the national flag, the then RSS ideologue M. S Golwalker wrote letter to his cadre, which summarises the intention of the RSS in the long run. In his letter, he urged his cadre to raise a saffron national flag and that would be the actual national flag and the entire country will bow before the saffron flag. Saffron flag is still considered by the RSS as the flag for the Hindu Rashtra. Sangh activists on 31 October1991 hoisted a saffron flag on the dome of the Babri structure to demonstrate their dominance. Notably, this year the new BJP chief Nitin Gadkari hoisted the national flag at the local BJP office in Nagpur on Independence Day instead of party headquarters in New Delhi. It is for the first time in 25 years that the party president did not hoist the tricolour at 11 Ashoka Road, New Delhi (BJP headquarter). Earlier, Gadkari had also said to hoist BJP flag on the Red Fort. Some may believe or think that Gadkari was trying to give a message to the RSS headquarter that he is moving in the right direction as outlined by MS Golwalkar.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-30 September 2010 on page no. 11

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