Tuesday, July 26, 2011



Right-thinking Hindus would feel puzzled and concerned over media reports regarding the many references to the Hindutva movement allegedly contained in the writings of Anders Behring Breivik, the 32-year-old Norwegian who carried out an immense carnage in Norway on July 22,2011, resulting in the massacre of nearly 80 Norwegians, many of them young.

2. He had not come to the adverse notice of either the Police or the society before he carried out his carnage. Official investigation and private research after the carnage have brought out that seeds and thoughts of irrationality have been present in him for some time without being noticed by anyone. He had given web expression to his thoughts over a period of time.

3. Irrational thoughts are partly spontaneously born and partly externally stimulated. External stimulation often provides evil addition to such thoughts. Breivik’s thoughts were no exception to this law of nature. He appears to have developed an irrational mind despite his having had the benefit of a good education. This irrationality in him seems to have been aggravated and not diluted by his exposure to religious and cultural influences of other countries through the Internet.

4. One of the many external stimulators to his thinking process seems to have been his exposure to Hindutva thinking and arguments regarding the allegedly negative face of Islam. There were two intense angers gnawing inside him----an anti-Islam one and an anti-liberal one for not seeing through the dangers ---in his perception---posed by Islam.

5. His attempts to convince himself of the dangers allegedly posed by Islam seem to have led him into the web world of Hindutva organisations and ideologues. Their arguments over issues such as the alleged sufferings of Hindus at the hands of Muslims, the dangers of illegal Muslim migration etc appealed to his mind which was already convinced that Islam was evil and he started looking upon the Hindutva ideologues as objective analysts of the evils of Islam.

6. It would be incorrect to jump to the conclusion that his flirting with Hindutva thinking exacerbated his anti-Muslim anger. But it seems to have at least partly convinced him of the rightness of his own analysis. He found justification and rationalisation for his irrational analyses in the thoughts expressed in some of the Hindutva web sites that he frequented.

7. In India, we have had instances of mob irrationality at Ayodhya in 1992 and in Gujarat in 2002, but, fortunately, no instances of irrationality of isolated individuals that led to the kind of carnage witnessed in Norway. With determination, it should be possible to prevent and deal effectively with mob irrationality. We failed to do so at Ayodhya and in Gujarat because the determination to deal effectively was lacking.

8. Even determined Government response may not be able to deal effectively with unexpected outbursts of individual irrationality in moments of real or imaginary anger. This underlines the importance of not propagating and projecting ideology in lingo and terms that could wittingly or unwittingly induce irrationality in individual elements of society by feeding anger instead of diluting it.

9.Instead of rejecting with indignation insinuations of a possible impact of Hindutva thoughts on the mind of the Norwegian, Hindutva ideologues should ponder over their present methods of propagation of their thoughts and arguments and see how ideological arguments can be couched and propagated in a manner that would add to sanity in discourse and not irrationality. ( 27-7-11)

( 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 . Twitter: @SORBONNE75 )


kaizoku1 said...

on what basis does the author say that determination to stop the riots in 2002 was lacking? it's perhaps true for ayodhya, but it's disappointing to see the author resort to tired cliches.

Dr M Ayaz Alam said...
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Broadway said...

I quickly went through "2083 - A European Declaration of Independence"


I was surprised at its historical accuracy. He even briefs the crux of indian politics and vote bank. He cites how india has implemented sharia law and how it has not satisfied the minority community for wanting more. He cites the british and indian muslim nexus during the british raj.

These two para are taken from page 134:
If the name Hindu Kush relates such a horrible genocide of Hindus, why are Hindus ignorant about it? and why the Government of India does not teach them about Hindu Kush? The history and geography curriculum’s in Indian Schools barely even mention Hindu Kush. The horrors of the Jewish holocaust are taught not only in schools in Israel, Europe and USA, but also in Germany; because both Germany and Israel consider the Jewish holocaust a ‘dark chapter’ in the history. The Indian Government instead of giving details of this ‘dark chapter’ in Indian history is busy in whitewash of Moslem atrocities and the Hindu holocaust. In 1982, the National Council of Educational Research and Training issued a directive for the rewriting of school texts. Among other things it stipulated that: ‘Characterisation of the medieval period as a time of conflict between Hindus and Moslems is forbidden’. Thus denial of history or Negationism has become India’s official ‘educational’ policy (21).

Often the official governmental historians brush aside questions such as those that Hindu Kush raises. They argue that the British version is the product of their ‘divide and rule’ policy’ hence their version is not necessarily true. However it must be remembered that the earliest reference of the name Hindu Kush and its literal meaning ‘Hindu Killer’ comes from Ibn Battutah in 1333 AD, and at that time British were nowhere on the Indian scene. Secondly, if the name indeed was a misnomer then the Afghans should have protested against such a barbaric name and the last 660 plus years should have been adequate for a change of name to a more ‘civil’ name. There has been no effort for such a change of name by the Afghans. On the contrary, when the Islamic fundamentalist regime of the Mujahadeens came to power in 1992, tens of thousands of Hindus and Sikhs from Kabul were literally deported, became refugees, and had to pay steep ransom to enter into Pakistan without a visa.

Dr M Ayaz Alam said...

Sir, lets not read too much into Oslo bomber/shooter Anders Behring Breivik's references to Hindutva in his manuscript titled "2083".

1. Lets not view his references to the Hindutva movement in isolation. He quoted any Tom, Dick and Harry who said anything that suited his madness, which you've referred as irrationality.

2. CNN corespondent Nic Robertson interviewed one of his friends, who told that bomber/shooter's friends were aware of his extremist ideas. It was the reason she left him years ago, but perhaps didn't think it was necessary to alert the police. So, certain people were privy to his dangerous ideas, but could not perceive the consequences.

3. No comments

4. point 1

5. point 1

6. point 1

7. Mob irrationality wasn't the case at least in Ayodhya. There was a design in that madness that we all witnessed from start (Advani's Rath Yatra) till finish (demolition of the mosque). It wasn't spontaneous at all. No comment on Gujarat.

What hurts me the most about that Black Sunday in Ayodhya is not the demolition of a mosque, but the irreparable damage it did to the credibility of our claim of being a pluralistic society, which we are and there is NO DOUBT about it. It, however, provided an opportunity to those commentators who for some reason or vested interests wanted to picture the Muslims Indians / Muslim Indians (whatever) as second rate citizens persecuted by the Hindus, which is CERTAINLY NOT THE CASE.

8. Only family and friends can do something (counsellings and if that doesn't help then alerting the authorities) to avert it.

9. I can't agree more on it.

Raj said...
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Raj said...

A fact by fact rebuttal is needed to convince the public why what Andre Breivic wrote in his manifesto are wrong. What can not be rebutted will be considered right. Perhaps, some 'learned' people already know the reasoning why Andre Breivik's assertions are inaccurate - but youngsters and others might not. Can somebody please take this challenge of rebuttal (in a scholarly manner with proper references), instead of expecting everyone to accept the statement that 'Breveik's assertions in his manifesto are all wrong' at its face value?

Sarang said...

One must remember that hatred through education leads to situations like in Nazi Germany and Jihadi Pakistan. India became a secular republic in 1947 and adopted a Constitution that allowed equal citizen status to Hindus, Muslims and all other religions alike. There is no more need to rake up in detail past conflicts between the faiths (other than a cursory information on where and when they took place as in History books)

My Greek friend informed me that their text books omitted Ottoman Turkish atrocities because Turkey is getting close to EU now.

Why spread hate and fear of each other in impressionable young minds when we can easily spread friendship and peace? Having a hateful/biased education policy is a sure recipe for civil war in the long run.

shaan said...
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shaan said...

"alleged sufferings of Hindus at the hands of Muslims" - Why alleged? Did not Hindus suffer at the hands of Muslim invaders?

It is true that we must put the past behind and move towards the future. But the nation's history should be taught and not erased. There is a saying - "If you fail to do the right thing, someone will do it the wrong way".

VAMANAN said...

The Hindus have accepted a whole lot of reforms and are working for a modern India. So are some urban Muslims. When this spreads to most Muslims, India will forge ahead. I think that is what most Hindus want.