Hours after the two women entered Sabarimala, the Hindu terrorists began their handiwork. Mad mobs, including women, began to roam the streets and attack by-passers, in their desperation to foment violence and provoke riots. In Karunagappally, Muslim establishments and shops were singled out for vandalism. The Sangh-backed Sabarimala Action Council called for a hartal today and they have spared no effort to make sure that people are terrorized. Continue reading Hindutva Terror and Left Hegemony: After Women’s Entry into Sabarimala
( Photo Courtesy : Indian Express)
Guest Post by Gurpreet Singh
India which has always claimed to be a victim of terrorism for all these years owe answers for one of the worst terrorist incident that is hardly discussed by the anti terror activists across the world either due to silence over Hindutva violence or Islamophobia that continues to grow in the post 9/11 environment.
Ten years have passed as the families of the victims of Samjhauta blasts continue to wait for justice.
On February 18, 2007 explosions aboard Samjhauta rail express that connects India and Pakistan left 68 people dead and about 50 injured. At least 42 of the victims were Pakistani citizens most of them returning to their home country after visiting relatives in India. The rail service was started to connect the families divided by partition of India and Pakistan in 1947 and promote people to people contact between the neighbouring nations that have gone to two major wars in 1965 and 1971. Continue reading India owes answers to the world for Samjhauta blasts : Gurpreet Singh
Guest post by SHOURJENDRA NATH MUKHERJEE
Please note that this response was first sent to Swarajya Mag, where Prof Paranjpe’s Open letter appeared, but was not published. It was then sent to Kafila.
Dear Prof Paranjape
I am Shourjendra, an MPhil research scholar in the Department of History, DU. I write this letter as a rejoinder to your open letter in response to Maitreyee Shukla. Your open letter was not addressed to me and therefore you can feel free to not reply to my letter.
You sir, seem to reflect a lot of the opinions expressed very strongly by a section of the urban middle classes. Granted, these views are by their very nature not ‘fascist’ but nonetheless they help perpetuate and legitimate the regime in power. You are also one of the most eminent academicians to have sought to engage in these raging debates in the public sphere, and I very strongly appreciate you for this. Your open letter is one such statement and I would like to take this up as an opportunity to critically engage with some of the issues that you have raised. (Since, your statements are mostly uncritical appreciation and endorsement of these ideas, I would regard your statements as statements made by an academician who has paused to think academically.) Continue reading An Open Letter to Prof Makarand Paranjape
The Long Forgotten battle against Hindutva Terror
Not some time ago a very brief write-up by Younus SK had shared news items revealing Hindus posing as Muslims to be committing mischief to whip up anti-Muslim frenzy.
If Amiya Sarkar was found to be behind putting up posters in Kolkata under the name of “Jamaat ul Mujahideen Bangladesh” threatening to bomb West Bengal, a VHP worker Deshraj Singh was arrested by police in Muzaffarnagar for placing slabs of buffalo meat in three Hindu temples, one Sushil Chaudhary was caught for sending threat mails to Rajasthan ministers under the name of ““Indian Mujahideen (IM) terrorist” , a Hindu boy adopting a fake Muslim identity was held by Bangalore police for posting threatening tweets to bomb the city.
Underlining the fact that in all the four cases, which were reported in the month of December itself from different parts of the country, and the manner in which police released them with minor rebuke, without finding any larger terror conspiracy behind their actions convincing ‘us that the men were stressed, depressed or mentally unsound’ it had posed a simple query whether they could be considered ‘random events or an RSS ploy’.
In the backdrop of ascendance of majoritarian forces at the centre and the consequent de-emphasising of battle against Hindutva terror – which had begun albeit half-heartedly under the UPA regime – it needs to be reminded that it is far from over and should be taken to its logical conclusion. Read a recent overview of the menace in ‘fountainink’, a monthly magazine of narrative journalism.
Guest Post by SHARIB ALI
REPEAL UAPA: JTSA REPORT IN PERSPECTIVE, AND BEYOND
The state fabricates terror. There is enough evidence to take it to court on that count. Yet, how does one construe ‘fabrication’- what is implied by it? First, that the state has orchestrated elaborate attacks- violence to terrorize its people for certain legal, electoral and political ends. Second, that it has, through the use of laws like Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) against specific segments of its population has consciously manufactured a state of terror- a collectively imagined perception of threat that the nation faces from a particular people. The ends, always remain the same.
Though there is evidence of the agencies of the state, or actors within them, expressly participating in orchestrating large scale terror attacks (think col. Purohit), it is the latter- where terror within specific communities is manufactured in the eyes of the law and the people- that I deal with here, today. ‘Guilt by Association’ – The JTSA (Jamia Teachers Solidarity Association) report on UAPA cases in Madhya Pradesh, is a crucial case in point.
‘Cat drinks milk with closed eyes and thinks the world is not watching it’
Rare have been occasions in recent times that the RSS, with all its anushangik (affiliated) organisations on their toes, is engaged in dousing the fire in which it has caught itself unawares. Reason being the ‘interview’ of one of its own Pracharaks (wholetimer) turned terrorist named Swami Aseemanand which was published in a leading magazine named ‘Caravan’.(http://www.caravanmagazine.in/reportage/believer). According to the RSS, it is a ‘concocted’ one and has even issued a handwritten letter supposedly written by the interviewee ‘denying’ that any such interview occurred whereas the magazine has stood the ground and has even made transcripts of the said interview and its audio recordings public.
Perhaps with the ‘denial’ by the interviewee the matter should have ended there for the RSS, but this does not seem to be the case. And for reasons which is known to itself, it is trying to ‘clarify’ its stand on various aspects which came up during the interview and is trying to distance itself – once again – from Swami Aseemanand alias Naba Kumar Sarkar, a disciplined activist of the ‘Parivar’ for last more than three decades, who hails from a village in West Bengal. Continue reading Mirror, Mirror on the Wall ! Who Were Those ‘Bad Elements’ Mr Bhagwat?
image : Courtesy – http://www.abplive.in
..[A]seemanand’s description of the plot in which he was involved became increasingly detailed. In our third and fourth interviews, he told me that his terrorist acts were sanctioned by the highest levels of the RSS—all the way up to Mohan Bhagwat, the current RSS chief, who was the organisation’s general secretary at the time. Aseemanand told me that Bhagwat said of the violence, “It’s very important that it be done. But you should not link it to the Sangh.”
Aseemanand told me about a meeting that allegedly took place, in July 2005. ..In a tent pitched by a river several kilometres away from the temple, Bhagwat and Kumar met with Aseemanand and his accomplice Sunil Joshi. Joshi informed Bhagwat of a plan to bomb several Muslim targets around India. According to Aseemanand, both RSS leaders approved, and Bhagwat told him, “You can work on this with Sunil. We will not be involved, but if you are doing this, you can consider us to be with you.”
(Reportage : The Believer: Swami Aseemanand’s radical service to the Sangh, by LEENA GITA REGHUNATH | 1 February 2014, Caravan Magazine, http://www.caravanmagazine.in/reportage/believer)
‘Law is an ass’ a phrase which was used by Charles Dickens in ‘Oliver Twist’ in a completely different context today finds a deep resonance in this part of South Asia. And nothing illustrates this better than the predicament of what is popularly known as Hindutva terror. Continue reading The Unending Amnesia Over Hindutva Terror
Ur-Fascism [Eternal Fascism] is still around us, sometimes in plainclothes. It would be much easier for us if there appeared on the world scene somebody saying, “I want to reopen Auschwitz, I want the Blackshirts to parade again in the Italian squares” Life is not that simple. Ur-Fascism can come back under the most innocent of disguises. Our duty is to uncover it and to point our finger at any of its new instances – everyday, in every part of the world.
Politics in this part of South Asia unfolds itself in very many ways. We have before us a spectrum of regimes ranging from electoral democracies at one end to countries which could be said to be unambiguously authoritarian at the other, and some others with varying mixes of electoral democratic and authoritarian features ‘packed in between.’ Since early 1980s we have also been witness to an emergence of right-wing populist parties and movements throughout a growing number of these countries. Appealing to public anxieties in the wake of rapid economic change, these movements have succeeded in mobilizing and exploiting popular resentments against immigrants, minorities, and the political establishment.
The eighty seven plus year journey of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) – loosely translated as ‘National Volunteer Corps’ – an organisation of Hindu males, working for Hindutva and which wants to usher into Hindu Rashtra can also be looked at in this context. Continue reading Communal Fascism in Action: Coopting the Dalits, Terrorising the Minorities
Indian history is fraught with ruling-class intrigues, which tend to keep the lower classes in a perennial state of confusion. The very fact that this history comes to us in a mythologised form is itself the biggest intrigue, obscuring as it does information about how the vast, diverse masses of the Subcontinent lived through the millennia. Reading Indian history, thus, becomes an exercise in speculation. If it provides one kind of insight for one group, it is capable of being interpreted equally plausibly in the opposite way by another. What eventually reaches the people is a partisan viewpoint at best and bewilderment at worst – a condition under which the ruling classes thrive.
In this context, two books by Subhash Gatade, a committed intellectual and leftist activist, are significant additions to the works of the fast-diminishing community of scholars who continue their work with unstinting commitment in these confusing times. Continue reading Diabolic designs and demonic actions : Review by Anand Teltumbde
The police might have registered a case against Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Praveen Togadia for his provocative speech in Bhokar town on January 22 but it’s nowhere close to arresting him. Mail Today had reported on Thursday that while the police had filed an FIR against Togadia for his speech, they will not arrest him until the state government gives a go ahead.
On Friday, Home Minister R. R. Patil said “It is the prerogative of the concerned investigation officer whether to arrest him or not. As government we don’t interfere in such matters.” Police officials from Nanded said they would be able to arrest Togadia only after the state allows it as it was a “political decision”
(Police can’t arrest Togadia, Mail Today, 9 th Feb 2013)
Mr Praveen Togadia, the international secretary general of VHP (Vishwa Hindu Parishad) is sitting pretty. It has been more than a week that a FIR has been filed against him for his alleged hatespeech in Bhokar town but since then there has been no progress. Continue reading ‘Police Can’t Arrest Togadia’
Why Crimes of Lt Col Purohit Are Being Sanitised ?
Written in different times and under a different context, one discovers that George Orwell’s classic novel 1984, which lampoons authoritarian regimes, is finding strange resonance in today’s India. Readers may be reminded that the Ministry of truth also called ‘minitrue’ – one of the four ministries in Oceania -the fantasy land in the novel, whose job is ‘to engage in any necessary falsification of historical events’ has few slogans written on its wall. It unashamedly declares ‘War Is Peace’, ‘Freedom is Slavery’, ‘Ignorance is Strength’.
As far as my knowledge goes there are no such slogans written on the walls of MHA – ministry of home affairs – here in Delhi whose job is supposed to put a tab on the internal situation of the country, but it appears that it is increasingly moving on similar lines where untruth is packaged and presented as ‘truth’. It is not for nothing that it is finding itself increasingly mired in one controversy after the other. No sooner that it found itself at odds with reality about the illegal abduction of an engineer from Saudi Arabia came the news that it had put its seal of approval on a fake encounter of poor tribals in faraway Chhatisgarh where many other cabinet members of the ruling dispensation had termed it a ‘cold blooded murder of innocents’. But nowhere does its ineptitude seems more blatant if one considers the way it deals with cases of stigmatisation of minorities especially Muslims or for that matter handling cases of what is known as Hindutva terror. Continue reading ‘Patriotic’ Criminal, ‘Nationalist’ Terrorists
Bomb blasts have taken place near the Delhi High Court, in Bombay, Bangalore etc. Within a few hours of such bomb blasts many T V channels started showing news item that Indian Mujahidin or Jaish-e-Mohammed or Harkatul-jihad-e-islam have sent e-mails or SMS claiming responsibility. The names of such alleged organizations will always be Muslim names. Now an e-mail can be sent by any mischievous person, but by showing this on TV channels and next day in the newspapers the tendency is to brand all Muslims in the country as terrorists and bomb throwers…Should the media, wittingly or unwittingly, become part of this policy of divide and rule?
(Justice (retired) Markandey Katju, Chairman of the Press Council of India, October 10, 2011 at a get-together with mediapersons)
What is common between the murder of the leader of a private army of landlords at the hands of his own gang members in faraway Bihar over distribution of booty, the felicitation of a terrorist lodged in jail as ‘living martyr’ (zinda Shaheed) in Punjab or the anointment of a hatemonger as the poster boy of the main opposition party ? Formally speaking there are no connections but if one tries to dig further few subterranean linkages become clear. Whether one agrees or not they exhibit the growing legitimacy of authoritarian, fanatic, exclucivist politics in this part of the subcontinent . Continue reading Once There Was Hindutva Terror ..?
Rahul Gandhi’s answer to that question, given to American diplomats who seem to have his ear more than the people of India, was unequivocal: it’s the Hindu right whose violence he fears more. But fellow-Kafila-ite Subhash Gatade makes the point in an interview to Rediff.com that such violence is difficult to quantify and compare because it takes only a few from a community to perpetrate it:
…one sincerely feels that it is difficult to quantify the relative threats. Remember the period when India witnessed Khalistani terrorism, which involved a fraction of the misguided youth of the Sikh community and the danger it posed to peace and tranquility in the country then. [Link]
The interview discusses his new book, Godse’s Children: Hindutva Terror in India.
…sources who were close to Karkare have said there was indeed a threat perception at that time and the former ATS chief was disturbed over allegations against his family after the Malegaon probe was made public.
However, they said “Karkare was not scared” and that “he was very practical and took adequate measures to ensure his family was safe”. According to sources, Karkare had raised the wall around his house just a week before his death and also brought home a dog. “The wall was raised around the garage-end of the house, as it faced the road outside,” sources said.
An officer, who did not wish to be identified, said, “Soon after the probe, there were news reports alleging various things about his family which disturbed him. He was not scared for his life nor was he the kind to be afraid of consequences of an honest probe. …It was the allegations against his family that disturbed him and he took practical measures to ensure their safety.”
(Indian Express, Posted: Tue Dec 14 2010, 03:31 hrs Mumbai) Continue reading Villain in Life, Hero in Death: Hindutva’s New found Love for Hemant Karkare
It was a murder of an old activist, which the RSS would love to forget. It is a different matter that despite the innumerable ways in which it has tried to banish the memory of the whole incident it has found it very difficult to get away with it. And with the latest exposures in the Ajmer Dargah bomb blast case the whole issue has once again returned to haunt it.
“A former RSS pracharak, who was an accused in the murder of a Congress leader and his son, was shot dead in Dewas town, about 35 kms from Indore, late on Saturday.
Sunil Joshi, 45, was strolling in Chuna Khadan locality when assailants, who used a Maruti van and a two-wheeler, shot him thrice. He was declared dead on arrival in the district hospital.”
(Indian Express, Posted: Mon Dec 31 2007, 00:00 hrs) Continue reading Why RSS Wants to Forget Pracharak Sunil Joshi’s Murder?