Wednesday, August 25, 2010

SAFFRON TERROR: DEBATE ON BARKHA DUTT'S SHOW ON NDTV

B.RAMAN


"The Buck Stops Here " talk show of NDTV anchored by Ms.Barkha Dutt had an interesting discussion on August 25,2010, on the passing reference to the recently noticed phenomenon of "Saffron Terror" made by Shri P.Chidambaram, the Home Minister, while inaugurating a conference of Directors-General of Police at New Delhi the same day.


2.The discussion was balanced and free of accusations and counter-accusations. It was refreshing to note that all the participants, including Shri Swapan Dasgupta, shared the concern of Shri Chidambaram over this phenomenon. There was no attempt to deny the fact that some Hindu elements, known to be close to the ideology of the Hindu nationalist group, are suspected of involvement in acts of terrorism against members of our Muslim community and that there was a need for a thorough investigation into this.

3.The debate, while refreshingly balanced and free of ideological polemic, was incomplete in some important respects. I myself , in my writings and speeches, have refrained from naming this phenomenon "Saffron" or "Hindutva" or Hindu terror since I felt that such characterisations could politicise the investigation and prosecution and aggravate the divide between the Hindus and the Muslims. I , therefore, prefer calling the phenomenon "Hindu reprisal terrorism".

4. In the relations between the Hindus and the Muslims, there have always been acts of reprisal during communal riots in different parts of the country, but those were acts of reprisal committed in the heat of the moment at the height of the riots.What we have been seeing since the Malegaon blasts on September 8,2006, are some pre-meditated acts of reprisal by some members of the Hindu community against Muslim soft targets. These are deliberate acts meant to punish Indian Muslims for the acts committed by some Pakistani terrorist organisations sponsored by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)----- with or without the help of Indian Muslims belonging to the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).

5.The Malegaon blasts of September 8,2006, constituted in my view the first act of reprisal terrorism by some Hindus against innocent Muslims. While almost everybody was blaming the ISI and its Pakistani surrogates for the blasts, in an article written on September 10,2006---two days after the blasts--- I said inter alia: " While one should not be surprised if the Malegon blasts also turn out to be the work of jihadi terrorists, one should not rule out at this stage the possibility of the involvement of non-Muslims, keeping in view the long history of tensions between the Muslims and the Hindus in Malegaon.....It also needs to be underlined that any ill-advised actions by angry elements of the Hindu community to give vent to their anger over the continuing acts of terrorism, by indulging in reprisal attacks against innocent members of the Muslim community would be detrimental to our national interests and could contribute to an unbridgeable divide between the two communities. The Government should act with equal firmness against whoever indulges in acts of terrorism/, irrespective of the community---Muslim or Hindu--to which he or she belongs. There cannot be one law for the Muslims and another for non-Muslims ."
( http://www.southasiaanalysis.org/%5Cpapers20%5Cpaper1945.html )

6. Subsequently, I wrote as follows in my book titled "Terrorism---Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow" published in June 2008: "The conventional wisdom was that the Muslims were now being deliberately targeted by the jihadi organizations in order to provoke them against the Government and the Hindus. I do not subscribe to this wisdom. It is important to keep an open mind while investigating these targeted attacks on Indian Muslims and one should not jump to the conclusion that the LET or the HUJI must have been involved. We owe it to our Muslims, most of whom have kept away from Al Qaeda and other pan-Islamic organizations, to see that these cases of targeted attacks on Muslims are thoroughly investigated instead of coming to a facile conclusion that jihadi organizations must be behind them."

7. Two aspects of the phenomenon of Hindu reprisal terrorism worry me. The first is the attempt of the Hindus allegedly involved to punish the Indian Muslims for the acts of the ISI and its jihadi surrogates. The second is the alleged involvement of some ideologically motivated members of the security forces in these reprisal attacks. One saw a worrisome combination of religious and military elements coming together to hit out at our Muslim community. This showed the beginning of a possible ideological penetration of sections of our security forces by Hindu nationalist elements.

8. There are many---including myself--- who have long been saying that we will not be able to deal with jihadi terrorism unless we hit out at Pakistan, but , at the same time, we have been strongly advising against any retaliatory action in our own territory against our own people who are perceived as being sympathetic to the ISI-sponsored jihadis from Pakistan. The investigations into the Malegaon blasts and some other incidents have brought out that there are possibly elements in our security bureacracy who seem to believe that acts of reprisal against our own Muslims would be as justified as retaliatory attacks against Pakistan. This is a dangerous idea that needs to be eradicated ruthlessly.

9. As I had pointed out in a recent article, US investigators seem to believe that jihadi organizations from Pakistan were involved in the terrorist attacks in the Mecca Masjid of Hyderabad and on the Samjotha Express. If they are correct, the contention of our investigators that some of the arrested Hindus were involved in the Mecca Masjid blast stands disproved. Our investigators are still to make a headway in the Samjotha express case. The contradictions in the conclusions of the US and Indian investigators show that while there may be prima facie evidence against the arrested Hindus in some of the cases, there are others in which the evidence is not strong enough.

10.There is a need for a three-pronged action by the Government----- firstly, a thorough investigation of the pending cases against the arrested Hindus and their prosecution, if warranted; secondly, reconciliation of the differences in the Mecca Masjid case and , thirdly, action against serving and retired members of the security bureaucracy who encourage openly or covertly acts of reprisal against our Muslim co-citizens. ( 26-8-10)


( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-mail: seventyone2@gmail.com )

9 comments:

ravinder said...

Ramanji,

Agree with you. If Hindus, in the long run have to avoid a fate that has befallen Pakistan, then we must deal with the terrorist elements absolutely ruthlessly, Hindu or Muslim.

regards
Ravinder

Anjaneya said...

Raman ji,

Till now every Sonia dynasty minion like PC, MMS etc were saying that "atankavad ka koi mazhab nahi hota" but suddenly they are talking of saffron terror. How did the magical religious affiliation come now? Is it any wonder that more politically aware and activist members of the Hindutva nationalist group take to these channels when they are finding themselves increasingly hemmed in from all fronts? See the way Vishwanathan anand is being ill treated. See the way NaMo is being hounded. It is not the newly discovered species of "Saffron terror" that is the trouble, it is the government at the center that is driving the wedge.

Anjaneya said...

MMS wants first rights on resources for mozzies, loses sleep due to a Dr held in australia, sleeps welll while sarabjit is in jail, sleeps well when Dow gets away scot free, sleeps well when bharatiya interests are compromised. if we had a chess champion with a different religion, government would have fallen over itself to award him. jai ho to minority appeasement.

Raghu said...

Minority appeasement has been in uninterrupted flow since the days o0f Gandhi.
Nathuram Godse's statement itself is a long record of that appeasement.
Whether it is the takeover of Hindu temples by the state, denial of Hindu rights, constant insult to Hindus in newspapers, magazines, tv and also movies, deliberate marginalization of Hindu history, complete lack of justice in numerous riots which are always begun by the muslims, deliberate obfuscation in the Ram Janmabhoomi case, rampant money power and underhand tactics in conversion of Hindus ...the list is simply endless.Every instance is documented and clear.
The role of the Communists and the Congress in all of the above is undeniable.Even the Punjab problem was clearly the Handiwork of the Congress. The current situation regarding Naxals is clearly an extension of communism.
It is in fact a wonder that this :Hindu reprisal terrorism" has not occurred earlier or with greater intensity and speaks volumes for the self-restraint of the Hindus.
At present, I do not see any attempt to redress these issues. Change occurs when: (1) there is no alternative (2) somebody has the intelligence to see the consequences and takes remedial steps.

nri2008 said...

Dear Ramanji

From your current article it appears that USA has more evidence in these cases against hand of Jihadi elements than the Indian investigators. USA appears to protect Pakistan as usual!

Warm Regards

Ram

Sarang said...

http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2010/08/usaid_leader_in_paki.php

Sir, does this mean that the US has now started couting the Jihadi organizations directly? What are the implications for India? Should we trust the US anymore? Shouldn't we demand some answers from Ă“bamamamama when he is in India?

Its futile to expect the servile UPA to question the intentions of the US...they would rather see India burning than doubt the US's intentions...but perhaps public pressure can force the PM to atleast breach the topic with Obamamamama

Sarang said...

Sorry, the link will not disply properly....just go to:

www.longwarjournal.com

and the article is the first or second on the home-page

ravinder said...

Ramanji,

See the angst amongst Hindus.

I didnt say this earlier for a reason.

But what and who is gonna do something about the tongue terrorism of Barkha Dutt.
Remember the live TV coverage that we were told was one of the reasons for the delay in action by Defence forces.
Sir even if Hindus forget seeking an eye for an eye, can you say something about the 7 fishermen killed by Ummah. Can you say something about the professional rapists of Gujrat caught just an year or two back. or about the shipload of arms reported to be caught off the Bengladesh coast, the report of which was made by exactly one channel in India and even that report somehow got buried, who buried these reports and why?

Ramanji, we do take you seriously. That does not mean we dont take our own judgement seriously.

Any Hindu found indulging in terrorism should definately be dealt with ruthlessly but what about the lying in the media. Which part of government takes care of that.

Hindus have not relied on governments to make what they made they are not relying on government even today.

MIKI said...

HELLO MY DEAR SECULARIST:ANSWER ME?
1.EVEN YOU TOUCH A INSECT IT BITES BACK,OUR ARYAN RACE(NOT USING "HINDU"-NAME GIVEN BY MUSLIMS WHILE CROSSING INDUS RIVER HAS BEEN HUMILIATED FROM 7TH CENTURY.....
2.LEAVE THE PAST,WHY "EVERY MUSLIM IS NOT A TERRORIST BUT EVERY TERRORIST IS MUSLIM"
3.1947 WAS A BLUNDER...IF PAKISTAN CREATION WAS RIGHT THEN THIS HAS TO BE "HINDU-STHAN"OR SHOULDHAD BEENELSE UNITED SECULAR INDIA
4.MUSLIMS GOT PAKISTAN,BANGLA AND KASHMIR....."WHAT HINDUS GET.....BOMB BLASTS EVERYDAY,DEMOGRAPHIC CHANGES....
THIS IS NOT INDIA OF "COWARD GANDHI" MIND YOU ALL GENERATIONSHAVE CHNGED.."THIS IS BHARAT OF SH. S.C.BOSE,CHANDERSHEKHER AZAD.. WATER HAS CROSSED OUR NECK...EITHER NOW WE DIE OR LIVE WITH SELF-RESPET"
"GARV SE KHO MIN HINDU HOON" IN LAL CHOWK,KASHMIR..CAN YOU SO CALLED SECULR PEOPLE...BUT ONE DAY INDIN YOUTH WILL.
NOT GAINT MUSLIMS...BUT WARNING...SWORD HAS TO BE ANSWERED BY SWORD...PLEASE LIVE IN PEACE....OTHERWISE LEAVE OUR COUNTRY...FOR GODS SAKE...HOW MUCH KILLING WILL YOU DO?
"VANDE MATRA"-BY AN ARYAN