Saffron Terror is creating much noise these days. Before we go much into it, let’s first have a sound idea about this relatively new phenomenon. To be honest, this Saffron Terror is a wrong name. As terror can never have a religion, colour or community angle to it, we should not call it Saffron Terror or Hindu/Hindutva Terror. Some suggest Hindu radicalization or Right wing extremism to be used but those names don’t give a clear idea about this phenomenon. In brief, these are terror acts (mainly explosion of bombs) to target the Muslims in India and the alleged saffron terrorists do such acts to avenge the killings by the Jihadis, cross border terrorists with the help of extremists in India who happens to be members of the Muslim religion. The so called saffron terrorists vow in the name of Hindutva and hence the name of religion or the colour saffron attached to them.
All the noise these days are because of the ‘confession’ made by one Aseemanand (who is arrested and charged in the connection of Samjhauta Express bomb blast and said to be having master minded other similar blasts in Malegaon, Mecca Masjid etc.) in front of a magistrate. He has said to have taken names of some RSS members and ex-RSS members as well. The RSS and BJP are expectedly embarrassed. They wouldn’t have liked to have all these cases raised when the BJP had so much ammunition to embarrass the govt. The Congress, on the other side, is excited as it can see a ray of hope to get out of serious problems it is facing at the centre. One is in mood of offensive and the other on the defensive. And such conditions always create the politicization of issues and no further facts come out to public.
Clearly, the BJP and RSS are guilty of dodging genuine questions on the issue. It is no secret that these groups openly sympathize with the Hindus and there is absolutely no problem in that as long as it causes no harm to other groups in the country and imbalance in law and order of the country. Only issuing denial press releases or taking legal options don’t help. It creates further doubts and creates an impression that the concerned party wants to hide behind such press releases and legal options. And in our political system, the image matters more than anything else. While RSS chief seemed to have understood it; it was good to see him accepting that extreme elements might have in the organization and they were thrown out before they could turn more violent. The top leaders need to talk straight like their chief and drive the positive points about them. Obviously, a whole organization can’t be declared to be guilty for the act of few of its ex-members. But who will tell this to the common people? Of course, the RSS. But where is that happening? If you are not guilty, talk to the public directly before they create a negative image about you.
BJP has been more immature. By trying to stay away from the topic, it is bringing more public glare towards it. It has been talking much on why the term saffron terror or Hindu terror must not be used and not much on how the country or govt to should fight it. They have been in the denial mode that such a phenomenon exists and make noise on Rahul Gandhi’s statements. When you are asked about A and you answer B, certainly the perception goes against you.
Well, the congress is not better too. The timing of such revelations, sudden pick up in the speed of investigative agencies, selective leak of confessions all these create some doubt on Congress’ intention. Digvijay Singh’s statements even make a stronger case against the Congress. There are enough reasons to believe in BJP’s theory that all these noise are created to shift the focus from the scams and price rise that have humiliated the Congress.
Now, let’s come to the phenomenon itself. It is a well known fact that every religion has its own set of extremists. The core religious beliefs don’t support them simply because majority of the society wants to live in harmony and peace. There is nothing to get amazed when Hindu terror groups (like Abhinav Bharat etc) do some bomb blasts in the name of revenge from Muslims who had performed bomb blasts. Ironically, the Muslim extremists brand their acts to be revenge of Gujarat Riots and Babri demolition and the cycle continues. What the focus of all should be is to demolish such extremism in Hinduism before that becomes bigger and violent like currently the terror by Islamist extremist is. The investigation should focus on how to reach to the culprit efficiently and should treat both Islam and Hindu extremism in the same way. The political system let Maoism and Naxalism go out of hand. If politicization on religious terror goes on, may be it will grow more.
All the groups connected with this phenomenon must realize how worse it would be to let the disharmony between two religions grow just for the sake of politics. The way terror has no religious face, politics also must not have a religious angle. And they must realize it now, in a time when the common man, Hindu or Muslim, is more concerned about leading a peaceful life.
[Originally Posted on my ‘The Viewspaper’ Column here]
About The Viewspaper: The Viewspaper is in simple words the voice of the youth. Launched in August 2007 – The Viewspaper is fast emerged to become India’s largest youth paper. Based on the citizen journalist format it has had around 3000 young people who have contributed to it till now. The Viewspaper has presented at Proto.in which is India’s showcase event for startups. It was also nominated to participate in the Tata NEN – India’s hottest start up competition and was shortlisted for the Manthan Awards in 2008.