Human Rights

Saffron terror: official admission

Home Minister P Chidambrum was not addressing humdrum ‘aam aadmi’ when he talked about the saffron terrorism. He was addressing the director generals of Police of all the states of India. Therefore, the meeting assumed importance because it was the venue where the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh addressed the following day.

Why had the home minister to be so categorical about saffron terrorism? Already Hindu terrorism had created such a furor when Malegaon 2008 exploded on the national scene. Remember what LK Advani and others of his ilk said and did then. Therefore, Chidambram took a more realistic epithet to define the groups. In the first place those suspected and accused or even arrested in Nanded, Malegaon, Purna, Parbhani, Jalna, Goa, Modasa, Mecca mosque, Ajmer, Samjhauta Express are all from the Sangh Parivar which is known as “saffron group” or family. They include members of RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal, Abhinav Bharat, Sanatan Sansthan, etc. They belong to one family.

What prompted the home minister to go public does not need much deciphering as it was widely seen now than ever before that there were clear attempts to shield the guilty and throw the blame on Muslims. Who did this? Obviously, the police and the investigation agencies and even the National Security Advisor Mr Narayanan. When the public domain is seized of the truth, you cannot go on beating the dead horse believing that there was just one and one organization, that SIMI and only SIMI with its many aliases was the whole and sole terrorist organization. After every two years the government re-imposes ban on it. It went on the nerves of the judge of the previous tribunal who told the government to give at least one instance where SIMI was clearly involved. The judge asked the government to lift the ban but then the government again re-imposed the ban not by citing any solid proof but mere allegations.

In contrast, the proof in Malegaon 2008 was undeniable. Hemant Karkare was a dedicated and professional officer who looked at the matter in a very objective manner. He had told his assistants that if the suspect was a Hindu they should check it not once but thrice and make sure they had enough proof.

We cannot always rush the attorney general of India and the chairman of the National Human Rights Commission to Geneva to plead with the UN Human Rights Commission not to go public about what was happening in India, as PM Vajpayee did when he rushed Soli Sorabji and Justice Verma to hide the shame of Narendra Modi’s Gujarat pogroms of 2002. We have still not accepted that that was also terrorism conducted according to the strategy of the Hindutva laboratory of the state of Gujarat. The world is watching. Due to certain considerations if some have not been so forthcoming in condemnation it should not be taken to mean that such things had not happened, that it was mere Newton’s third law, or that the world is not watching.

The Samjhauta Express case has exposed how even the highest officers played politics to hide terrorism. The Haryana police had almost cracked the case but they were stymied by the Madhya Pardesh police. The accused in Malegaon and Ajmer cases are the ones who were behind the Samjhauta.

The making official of saffron terrorism in the present context should be seen as a belated hint that it is far too late to go on not calling a spade a spade. The new discoveries that the above-mentioned groups had even arranged help from Nepal and Israel, that they had drafted their own constitution, that they had made arrangement for training terrorists with Nepal, that they had used Bhonsla Military School for potential terrorists’ indoctrination and training, that they had even infiltrated the army and the IB. If these are not remarkable and unusual then what phenomenon is?

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

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