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On Hindutva terrorism

January 27, 2013

This joint public statement, signed by 34 citizens whose names are given at the end, was put out on 25 January

Swami Aseemanand (second from right): Terrorist?

Swami Aseemanand (second from right): Terrorist?

While one may or may not agree with the terminology employed by the Home Minister in his recent speech at Jaipur, we feel that for long prejudice has ruled investigations, obscuring the role of organizations and their multiple affiliates in planning and executing of attacks and bombings in the country. The veneer of ‘nationalism’ — narrow, exclusionary and based on hatred for minorities as it is– cannot hide the violence that Sangh and its affiliates beget and peddle. 

Civil rights groups have been arguing for long that the investigations into bomb blasts and terror attacks have degenerated into communal witch-hunts. Bomb blasts are followed predictably by mass arrests of Muslim youth, raids in Muslim-dominated localities, detentions, arrests and torture; media trials, charge sheets and prosecution based on custodial confessions and little real evidence. It has been assumed, and accepted widely, that no further proof of guilt need be offered than the fact that the accused belonged to a particular community. Leads which pointed to the hands of groups affiliated to Sangh organisations and their complicity in planning and executing acts of terror were ignored, never seriously pursued. The agencies, showing their abject bias, instead chose to pursue the beaten track of investigating Islamic terrorist organizations such—despite clear evidence pointing in the opposite direction. This was true of Nanded blasts in 2006, as well as of Mecca Masjid and Ajmer Sharif bombings.

The only exception was Maharashtra ATS chief Hemant Karkare, who had, as far back as 2008 conclusively brought into the public domain the nefarious designs of Abhinav Bharat and its foot soldiers of hate: (Sadhvi) Pragya Singh of the ABVP, serving army officer Col. Purohit, and Sunil Joshi, Indresh and Swami Aseemanand belonging to the RSS. Karkare had communicated to the Hyderabad Police the sensational claim by Col. Purohit that he had procured RDX from an army inventory when he was posted in Jammu and Kashmir in 2006. The Hyderabad Police however ignored his messages, having already detained close to 70 youth belonging to the Muslim community.

We demand that:

·         Although the Indian government has belatedly acknowledged the heinous terrorist acts of the Sangh groups we feel that a genuine probe must also perforce encompass a thorough enquiry into the terror nexus straddling Abhinav Bharat, RSS, VHP, BJP and Bajrang Dal leaders together with sections of the Indian intelligence and security agencies who deliberately subverted the probes as well as the due process of law.

·       It must also be investigated whether the network of Hindutva terrorists have been provided not just political but also financial and logistical support by various governments

·         There must be a thorough investigation into the foreign sources of funding of the Hindutva organizations.

We hope that the acknowledgement of Hindutva terror will not remain a statement only but that the investigations will be seriously and sincerely pursued.

Signatories

1.      Manisha Sethi and Ahmed Sohaib, Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association

2.      Shabnam Hashmi, Act Now for Harmony and Democracy (ANHAD)

3.      Mahtab Alam, People’s Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL)

4.      Mansi Sharma, Activist, Delhi

5.      Subhash Gatade, Activist and Author, Godse’s Children: Hindutva Terror in India

6.      Rajeev Yadav, Adv. Mohd. Shoaib and Shahnawaz Alam, Rihai Manch, UP

7.      Amit sen Gupta, Senior Journalist, Delhi

8.      Abu Zafar, Journalist, Delhi

9.       Harsh Kapoor, South Asian Citizens Web

10.   Seema Mustafa, Senior Journalist, Delhi

11.  Ram Puniyani, Activist and Author, Mumbai

12.  Sukumar Muralidharan, Senior Journalist

13.  Syed Zafar Mehdi, Journalist

14.  Dr. John Dayal, All India Christian Council

15.  Prof. Kamal Mitra Chenoy, JNU

16.  Navaid Hamid, Member, National Integration Council, GoI

17.  Prof Anuradha Chenoy, JNU

18.  Saba Naqvi, Senior Journalist, Delhi

19.  Wilfred Dcosta, Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF)

20.  Harsh Dobhal, Human Rights Law Network (HRLN)

21.  Kaviata Krishnan, All India Progressive Women Association (AIPWA)

22.  Badri Raina, Author and former Prof. Delhi University

23.  Prof. Mohan Rao, JNU

24.  Dr. Peggy Mohan, Linguist and Author

25.  Dr. MMP Singh, Janwadi Lekhak Sangh

26.  Dr. Rekha Awasthi, Author

27.   Asad Zaidi, Three Essays Collective

28.  Subodh Lal, Activist and Author

29.  Shereen Ratnagar, Historian

30.  Ashok Vajpeyi, Author

31.  K N Panikkar, Historian and Author

32.  Prof. Jairus Banaji, Historian

33.  Vinay Bhatt, Activist

34.  Shaheen Nazar, Senior Journalist

9 Comments leave one →
  1. January 27, 2013 7:38 AM

    Add my name to this list too:
    Priyanka Ladha, professional

  2. chinnamasti@gmail.com permalink
    January 27, 2013 10:39 AM

    hey cool. Put my name in there at No. 35 slot:
    Chinnamasti Devi, Sociologist

  3. Manish permalink
    January 27, 2013 4:00 PM

    So, a ruling Chief Minister from the main Opposition party can be clearly seen with a terror suspect. Is he answerable at all? This man become deaf and dumb when questioned about the lives lost in the Gujarat Election. Makes me wonder if there is a separate constitution of Gujarat, which allows it’s public office bearers to become dumb when it suits them.
    Such a shame!!

  4. January 27, 2013 7:13 PM

    Is there a reason you termed it “Hindutva Terror”? Do terrorists have religion?

    • Shourav permalink
      January 28, 2013 1:44 PM

      Hindutva does not mean Hinduism; Hindutva is an ideology.

    • saadat permalink
      January 28, 2013 2:56 PM

      Is Hindutva a religion? It is absolute political ideollogy and only has the relation with Hate.

      • sktomer permalink
        January 28, 2013 8:08 PM

        What term do you suggest for Islamic terrorism?

  5. nick permalink
    January 28, 2013 12:59 AM

    isnt saying hindutva terror just as communal as targeting muslims as the first line of investigation against any kind of bombing/attack?

    why is communalism against the majority not just that. In fact an argument can be made that statistically speaking investigating a Muslim angle to any sort of terrorist activity is not communal taking into consideration the population of India, victim profile in these attacks, successful convictions of the known suspects and a host of other factors.

    In that spirit this letter/article is more communal and than anything else.

  6. brahma permalink
    January 31, 2013 11:56 PM

    You would have made a more pertinent point if you had asked for throrough investigation of all acts of terrorism. Why not just say that the government should investigate and bring to book all those responsible in all acts of terror,including the ones you have mentioned, that it should expose their networks and their sources of funds? Would it have made the whole point any less relevant? But no. You had to qualify. Hindutva terror! And you think you have made amends for what Shinde said.

    You people just want to make some noise and grab eyeballs. But I dont blame you. Those on the fringes always make the most noise. And seriously man, you dont need to get signatures from people to make a point.

    The RSS could put up pleas in its favour and have them signed by 5 million people. Would that strengthen its case? Amusing.

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