People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 43

November 02, 2008



Defeat This Terror

THE recent arrests of Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur along with two RSS workers S B Sahu and S S Kalsangar has reconfirmed the suspicions, raised in the past, (Communalism Combat, April 2007 following blasts in Nanded) concerning RSS-inspired terrorist Hindu militancy. In addition to these arrests, six others associated, in one way or the other, with the saffron brigade have been detained by Maharashtra’s Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS). Detained, questioned and then released was a retired Colonel S S Raikar, commandant of the Bhonsala Military School, Nasik. These arrests and detentions have come in connection with the September 29 bomb blasts in Malegaon and Modasa.

In these columns in the past, we had repeatedly drawn attention to reports linking some RSS affiliates with various bomb blasts across the country. The CPI(M)’s intervention in the October 13 meeting of the National Integration Council stated: “Police investigations in the past few years have noted the involvement of Bajrang Dal or other RSS organisations in various bomb blasts across the country – in 2003, in Parbani, Jalna and Jalgaon districts of Maharashtra; in 2005, in Mau district of Uttar Pradesh; in 2006, in Nanded; in January 2008, at the RSS office in Tenkasi, Tirunelveli; in August 2008, in Kanpur etc etc. Internal security of our country can be strengthened only when all such cases are also probed impartially and with the same degree of intensity. Given this, action against the Bajrang Dal under the Unlawful Activities Act must be initiated”.

The time has come for all these cases to be thoroughly investigated and to ensure that the guilty are punished. These developments, in fact, have proved the two assertions we have repeatedly made in these columns in the past. First, terrorism has no religion. It is simply anti-national and, hence, non negotiable and not acceptable. Secondly, terrorism of all hues only feed and strengthen each other. In the process, they destroy the very unity and integrity of our country.

The issue of imparting militant training to the Hindus has a long history. It was Savarkar who gave the slogan “Hinduise all politics and militarise Hindudom”. Inspired by this, Dr B S Moonje, mentor of RSS founder Dr Hegdewar, traveled to Italy to meet the fascist dictator, Mussolini. The meeting took place on March 19, 1931. His personal diary notes of March 20 reveal his fascination and admiration of the manner in which Italian fascism was training its youth (read storm-troopers) militarily. Upon return to India, Dr Moonje established the Central Hindu Military Education Society at Nasik in 1935, the precursor to the Bhonsala Military School established in 1937. Golwalkar, in 1939, exults Hitler’s purging of the Jews under Nazi fascism and says that it is “a good lesson for us in Hindustan to learn and profit by”. More recently, following the demolition of the Babri Masjid, the RSS tentacles, VHP and Bajrang Dal, had publicly prided themselves at the training imparted to `kar sevaks’. The then BJP chief minister of Uttar Pradesh publicly stated that he was proud of the kar sevaks who accomplished the job of demolishing the Babri Masjid more speedily and efficiently than any professional contractor.

Seeking to desperately distance themselves from these recent arrests, L K Advani sought to compare Sadhvi Pragya with Nathuram Godse! Claiming that as Godse was not with the RSS when he shot dead Mahatma Gandhi (a claim strongly contested by Nathuram’s brother), so also the RSS cannot be held responsible for the Sadhvi’s actions despite the fact that she was once an activist of the RSS student wing. The point, here, is not the technicality of being a current member. The point has to do with the venomous ideological indoctrination that the RSS and its affiliates undertake which nurtures and promotes such violent militancy.

In this context, the pleas by the RSS and its affiliates to not use the term Hindu militancy or terrorism are, indeed, mysterious. Clearly, no religious community, as a whole, can be held responsible for the terrorist activities of individuals belonging with it. However, should this not apply to all religions? Not according to the RSS. At its recent Akhila Bhaarateeya Karyakaarini Mandali Baitak, October 17-19, 2008, it adopted a resolution titled, `Curb Islamic terrorism with an iron hand’. Apart from such double standards, this resolution showers praise on the police force in Maharashtra and elsewhere particularly on the ATS for “their successful actions”. This is now turning out to be very embarrassing for the RSS as it is the same ATS that has conducted the above mentioned arrests and detentions. The investigations must be speedily concluded and the law of the land must take its course.

This larger pernicious ideological methods of using terror as an instrument of political mobilisation has widened its footprint. The Maharashtra Navanirman Sena’s campaign against the North Indians, now endorsed by the Shiv Sena, is a brazen case in point. Terror whipped up through communal polarisation or regional chauvinism to garner larger electoral support is the surest recipe to tear asunder India’s complex social fabric. It is such politics that need to be defeated. Sharpening communal polarisation as a political instrument to consolidate the so-called `Hindu vote bank’ by the RSS/BJP is the worst expression of `vote bank politics’. To safeguard and strengthen modern India’s secular democratic foundations, it is imperative that such politics are defeated.

(October 29, 2008 )