By Shraddha Sankhe:
On August 26, Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram cautioned the chiefs of State police and security and intelligence officials against continuing attempts to infiltrate militants into the country as well as the phenomenon of “saffron terrorism.” “There is no let-up in the attempts to radicalize 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,” he said.
But just as every statement by the Government is cleverly opposed, the Bhartiya Janta Party and Shiv Sena attacked the Home Minister and demanded an apology on the grounds that-“bhagwa or saffron was part of the Indian flag.”
India heard the Saffron terror bell ring violently in its ears two years ago when two workers accidentally blew themselves up in Nanded in trying to move the bombs to the party house of RSS. This was just the tip of the iceberg as followed was a rude awakening to a destructive thought process of a people-not from across the border. As Journalist Rana Ayub puts it, “Terror that was being spurred by religion as its incendiary trigger”. The common belief among these radicalist was plain-“Only an attack on mosques will safeguard and protect Hindutva”. Yes, saffron attack is a Hindu Terrorism.
The predominantly Muslim town of Malegaon was attacked which led to an alleged belief that the Hindu extremist groups were the perpetrators. After a series of narco-analysis tests, it came to light that even the Muslim groups were involved. Three men accused of theÂ 2006 Malegaon bombings, includingÂ Lt Col Shrikant Purohit of the India army andÂ Pragya Singh Thakur, have been described as representing Saffron terror.Â Purohit was also accused of being involved in theÂ 2007 Samjhauta Express bombings until the role of Pakistani terrorist Asif Zamani was unearthed.
Hyderabad’s Mecca Masjib bombings were a brainchild of the group-Abhinav Bharat, which was alleged to kill RSS President. The Central Forensic Science Laboratory released a video where the same Abhinav Bharat was alleged to be plotting to assassinate the Vice President of India, Hamid Ansari.
Among those involved are- Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, Sameer Kulkarni and a Pune-based retired Major Ramesh Upadhyay, who is alleged to have helped in procuring RDX. The others arrested – Shyam Sahu, Shiv Narayan Kalsangra, Jagdish Mhatre, Rakesh Dattaram Dhonde, Ajay Rahirkar – are all members of various ultra rightwing fundamentalist outfits from different parts of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.
The law enforcement agencies have woken up to a new kind of radical and extreme group that is based on the foundation of religion. The Home Minister’s concerns and the rapid opposition presented by our Politicians create a situation grim.
This takes to a interesting revelation. Islam and Jihad have long been coined with terrorism. “Every terrorist is a Muslim” is wrong.. And the Saffron terror has opened our eyes to the fact that “terrorism knows no religion.”
I believe terrorism in plain speak is nothing but coercion, supported by unnecessary inclusion of religion to support it. But as humans-think and over-analyze, the next generation is determined to unearth more theories so that one day-the water will break. The baby that will be born will be a violent, angry one. And the rest is history.
So the question is- Can’t we teach our kids and neighbors nice things? Sounds very simple? It could be. Religion is confined to families, to God and to us. Can we make those radical-violent persons calm? Can we, as the thinking population ask our State to be considerate and really behave like a Democracy?
If every one is entitled to an opinion and if there is a fundamental right of being heard-why isn’t every group-extremist, religious, other-practicing it?
Terrorism of the world, leave alone India-Hindu/Muslim is an issue that could be tackled with kindness if the State itself shows the correct-moral-secular path. No, this isn’t about religion-I’d reiterate. It is something else that the State-as a Government of India must understand assuming that every statement, Act and law-directly or indirectly could be making some one really angry.
If a certain kid in a class gets violent, the teacher is expected to first calm him down. The problem is- Our elected class monitor-the GOI-passes laws, unruly statements and worse, a punishment to the violent kids of the nation. Why, I pray, can’t we as citizens choose to nip the problem of world terrorism in the bud? You’d ask, what can we, as citizens, do to solve this problem? By asking that question, we could be starting a movement.
Saffron terrorism or whatever the Opposition parties choose to call it, is as painful as any other means of coercion. In addition to strict and religiously indifference laws, the State as a conglomeration of the Ruling and the Opposition parties-instead of expecting apology over a matter so serious, must imbibe a sense of nationalism into the angry minds.