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18704Re: Statement on Assemananda - AAP website

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  • Mohammad Imran
    Feb 17, 2014
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      Pundits now conduct cautious enquiries on television. Does this revelation mean India is now under attack by "Hindu terrorism"? But to treat this as a new phenomenon is to overlook the bulky corpus of terrorist violence in India that has its roots in explicitly Hindu-political grievances. Why is the attack on a Jewish centre in Mumbai by Pakistani gunmen an example of "Islamic terrorism", but the slaughter of a thousand Muslims by sword-wielding Hindus in Gujarat in 2002 not proof of "Hindu terrorism", particularly when the purpose of the violence was to establish an Hindu state in India? How do we describe attacks on churches, the kidnappings of pastors, the burning to death of a missionary? What do we make of the war-crypehle kasai, phir isai: first the butchers (Muslims), then the Christians? What has prompted this debate over "Hindu terrorism" is not Aseemanand's confession: it is the fact that, in carrying out their violence, his accomplices appropriated methods which, in popular imagination, have become associated exclusively with Islamic terrorism. Detonating bombs in crowded areas: isn't that what Muslims do?


      On Feb 18, 2014, at 3:13 AM, Shaheen Khateeb wrote:

      India must face up to Hindu terrorism

      India's anti-minorities bias is so strong that it has failed to acknowledge the threat posed by Hindu radicalism
      Indian Hindu priests
      The Indian state's pro-Hindu stance has left it unwilling to tackle Hindu extremism. Photograph: Str/AFP/Getty Images

      For far too long, the enduring response of the Indian establishment to Hindu nationalists has rarely surpassed mild scorn. Their organised violent eruptions across the country – slaughtering Muslims and Christians, destroying their places of worship, cutting open pregnant wombs – never seemed sufficient enough to the state to cast them as a meaningful threat to India's national security.


      But the recently leaked confession of a repentant Hindu priest, Swami Aseemanand, confirms what India's security establishment should have uncovered: a series of blasts between 2006 and 2008 were carried out by Hindu outfits. The attacks targeted a predominantly Muslim town and places of Muslim worship elsewhere. Their victims were primarily Muslim. Yet the reflexive reaction of the police was to round up young Muslim men, torture them, extract confessions and declare the cases solved.


      Pundits now conduct cautious enquiries on television. Does this revelation mean India is now under attack by "Hindu terrorism"? But to treat this as a new phenomenon is to overlook the bulky corpus of terrorist violence in India that has its roots in explicitly Hindu-political grievances. Why is the attack on a Jewish centre in Mumbai by Pakistani gunmen an example of "Islamic terrorism", but the slaughter of a thousand Muslims by sword-wielding Hindus in Gujarat in 2002 not proof of "Hindu terrorism", particularly when the purpose of the violence was to establish an Hindu state in India? How do we describe attacks on churches, the kidnappings of pastors, the burning to death of a missionary? What do we make of the war-cry pehle kasai, phir isai: first the butchers (Muslims), then the Christians? What has prompted this debate over "Hindu terrorism" is not Aseemanand's confession: it is the fact that, in carrying out their violence, his accomplices appropriated methods which, in popular imagination, have become associated exclusively with Islamic terrorism. Detonating bombs in crowded areas: isn't that what Muslims do?


      It is when you look at the reactions to non-Hindu extremism that you absorb how strongly majoritarian assumptions inform the state and society's conduct in India. In 2002, the Indian government banned the radical Muslim group Simi (Students' Islamic Movement of India) citing the group's charter, which seeks to establish sharia rule in India, and the terror charges some of its members were facing. But the Hindu radical outfit RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or the National Volunteer Corps) remains open for business – even though it campaigns, very openly, for a Hindu state in India, and its members incite and perpetrate violence against Muslim and Christian minorities. Mahatma Gandhi's assassin was a member of the RSS, as are Aseemanand and his confreres. To get an idea of which of the two groups poses a more immediate threat to India, consider this: the government that banned Simi was headed by the BJP, the political wing of the RSS.


      The principal cause of Hindu radicalism, much like its Muslim counterpart in Pakistan, is the partition of India in 1947. The departing British hacked India apart to accommodate the Muslim League's demand for an exclusive homeland for the subcontinent's Muslims – and so, the Hindu nationalist logic runs, the territory that remained should logically be identified as the land of Hindus. If Pakistan's Muslim majoritarianism crystallised around the bogey of "Hindu raj", the Hindu nationalist project thrives by casting the burden of partition on India's Muslim minorities – fifth columnists whose coreligionists tore India apart by claiming, in spite of a millennium-long sojourn in India, to be foreigners by virtue of their faith.


      For all the saffron calumny, it is impossible to find a community more emphatically committed to India than its Muslims. India's Hindus never had to make a choice. The Muslims did. Consider what an ordinary Muslim family in 1947 would have had to deal with: terrified by the violence that the partition had unleashed, their coreligionists were fleeing in the millions to Pakistan; Hindu and Sikh fanatics were actively seeking out Muslims for slaughter and rape; the possibility of being betrayed by neighbours and friends was far from remote. Sardar Patel, the second most powerful functionary in the Indian government, was openly hostile to Muslims – hostility which no doubt would have been seen by many Hindus as tacit endorsement of their actions. Amidst all this, the sole authoritative source of reassurance would have been the distant pledges of a better tomorrow by Jawaharlal Nehru. The Muslims who remained, who refused to vacate the hell that was India despite the blandishments of paradise next door in Pakistan, affirmed their faith in India with their lives.


      After all this, it is staggering that the Hindu right gets away so easily by routinely humiliating Indian Muslims. From demographics to diet, personal laws to places of worship, Muslims are suspect in everything they do. Adding a dash of foreign authority, glamour and fuel to this unbridled bigotry is the lavatorial "scholarship" of frustrated European converts to Hinduism such as François Gautier and Koenraad Elst. Misfits in their own societies, they have flourished by exploiting communal tensions in a miserably poor country. What the Muslims did to Hindus was worse than the Jewish Holocaust explains one, while the other warns Hindus that they are being outbred by Muslims. The JNU historian Tanika Sarkar was perhaps right in identifying "penis envy and anxiety about emasculation" among the principal reasons for anti-Muslim bigotry.


      The Indian state has failed appallingly in its obligations to Muslim citizens. There are 150 million Muslims in India, but as the government's own figures show, only 4% are graduates, 5% have public employment, an overwhelming majority remain locked out of public institutions, and their access to government loans and education is severely restricted. If this institutional exclusion should breed resentment, and the resentment produce violence, no one will hesitate to call it another instance of Islamic terrorism. But when self-pitying Hindus massacre minorities and detonate bombs in the midst of Muslim crowds, we are expected to be polite. No, let us call it what it actually is: Hindu terrorism.



      On Sun, Feb 16, 2014 at 11:53 PM, Mohammad Imran <dalibagh@...> wrote:



      Statement on Assemananda

      Aseemananda, the main accused in the acts of terrorism of bombing the Samjhauta Express (February2007), Hyderabad Mecca Masjid (May 2007), Ajmer Dargah (October 2007) and two attacks in Malegaon (September 2006 and September 2008)—which together took the lives of 119 people— in an interview to Caravan magazine, has made startling revelations saying that the top leadership of the RSS had sanctioned his participation in these acts of terror. Aseemananda has also revealed how affiliated organizations of the Sangh Parivar have been involved in planning and orchestrating violence on Christians’ in the Dangs district of Gujarat and elsewhere in the country. These revelations coming in the wake of organized acts of lumpen violence by organizations like the Sri Ram Sena,Indian Mujahideen, Shiv Sena, MNS, VHP, Bajrang Dal, Hindu Rashtra Sena and other religious extremist organizations point to an extremely disturbing trend of using violence & terror to achieve communal objectives. If such violent tendencies and organizations are not checked, they will come to pose a serious threat tothe unity in diversity of the country and indeed to the social fabric of the country.

      According to the interview carried in Caravan magazine, Aseemananda has said that senior leaders of the RSS Indresh Kumar and Mohan Bhagwat (current head of the RSS) came to meet Aseemamanda in Dangs, Gujarat in July 2005 to discuss his plans to bomb Muslim public places, and said the following to him: “Swamiji, if you do this we will be at ease with it. Nothing wrong will happen then. Criminalisation nahin hoga (It will not be criminalised). If you do it, then people won’t say that we did a crime for the sake of committing a crime. It will be connected to the ideology. This is very important for Hindus. Please do this. You have our blessings.”

      In the interview, Aseemananda has also said that Modi came and met him when Keshubhai Patel was CM of Gujarat, and had ordered the arrests of some of Aseemananda’s men (at the instance of LK Advani) for their involvement in communal riots. According to Aseemananda, Modi told him ““I know what Keshubhai is doing to you. Swamiji there is no comparison to what you are doing. You are doing the real work.Now it has been decided that I will be the CM. Let me come and then I will do your work. Rest easy”. While talking about the communal riots of February/March 2002, Aseemananda has said that the attacks on Muslims in Panchmahal district was organized directly by him, and that he received lots of financial and personal support from Modi for his actions in the Dangs, after Modi became CM again in October 2002.

      Aseemananda’s revelations are extremely disturbing, since they point towards a systematic collusion between terrorist elements, the top leadership of the Sangh, and the CM of a state. Yet, the BJP and RSS have chosen to dismiss these serious questions by saying that the entire interview is concocted and a ‘pack of lies’. This is in spite of the fact that Caravan magazine has made audio recordings of the entire interview with Aseemananda public, and the audio recordings clearly show that Aseemananda has indeed said everything of his own volition, with complete freedom. The evidence thus lays bare the hypocrisy of the RSS and the BJP, which constantly talk about the safety and integrity of the nation, and at the same time support anti‐national, divisive activities of the most violent and dangerous kind.

      We must remember that India is a diverse country consisting of people of many religions, castes, communities and such diversity is an asset which needs to be celebrated in the country. It is therefore important for all people in the country to be wary of and indeed shun such organizations which have become abreeding ground for spreading hatred and propagating the use of violence against those that they disagree with or whom they consider to be different. Such organizations, ironically, call themselves nationalist but actually pose a serious threat to the unity and integrity of our nation itself.

      The top leadership of the BJP, including Mr. Modi himself owe their origins to the RSS and acknowledge that they draw their inspiration and much of their cadre from the RSS and its affiliated organizations within the Sanghparivar. In these circumstances, the following questions need to be asked of the BJP and its leadership.

      1.Do they not regard such violent and indeed terrorist activities allegedly engaged in by members of the RSS, to be anti‐national or not?

      2.Do they not regard the organized attempts by such organizations to spew venom and spread hatred against members of other communities to be anti‐national, and a threat to the integrity of the nation?

      3. Will the BJP and its leaders not ask its members to shun such violent and divisive organizations and their activities?

      4.What action does the leadership and the state governments of the BJP propose to take against the violent and divisive activities of its sister organizations?



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