(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
January 23, 2011
62ND REPUBLIC DAY
Strengthen Secular Democracy
AS we go to press, communal passions continue to be stoked by the BJP whose youth wing insists on hoisting the Tricolour at Srinagar’s Lal Chowk on Republic Day, January 26. The argument that since Jammu & Kashmir is an integral part of India, there should be no objections to hoisting the national flag is more than misleading. By this very same logic, every inch of land of our country is an integral part of India. The fact that the BJP chooses to make an issue of hoisting the flag in Srinagar alone, not elsewhere, is, clearly, aimed at gaining political mileage by sharpening communal polarisation.
Some of BJP’s allies in the NDA have publicly asked it to desist from such a move, which instead of strengthening peace that has arrived in the Valley due to the diligent efforts of the people, will hamper it further. However, it is precisely such fomenting of communal unrest that the BJP seeks as the vehicle for its political journey.
Way back in 1992, the BJP’s then newly elected president, Murali Manohar Joshi, embarked on a similar yatra and hoisted the national flag with a handful of swayamsewaks including Narendra Modi and a huge battery of security personnel that was meant to put his stamp on the party by demarcating from the earlier BJP president, L K Advani’s infamous `rath yatra’ to Ayodhya that left behind a trial of communal riots and bloodshed paving the way for the eventual demolition of the Babri Masjid.
In Jammu & Kashmir, the RSS/BJP have continuously fished in troubled waters seeking political advantage by sharpening communal polarisation. The Amarnath yatra movement that it spearheaded in 2008 resulted in widespread dislocation of normal life and strengthened the alienation between the two religious communities and between Jammu and the Srinagar valley. One of the key RSS personnel, who had allegedly played an important role in this movement, Indresh Kumar, is now in the spotlight of CBI investigations into the Hindutva terror network. He has been named in a confession said to have been made before a Magistrate by Aseemanand, a key accused jailed for the 2007 Hyderabad Mecca Masjid blast that killed nine people. The RSS/BJP, of course, predictably decried this confession as having been obtained under coercion.
This confession has been reported widely in the media laying bare an explosive story about the involvement of some Hindutva leaders with RSS links, including Aseemanand in planning and executing a series of terror attacks. These attacks include the Hyderabad terrorist blasts of May 18, 2007, the terrorist attack at the Dargah in Ajmer on November 11, 2007, terror attacks in Malegaon, first at Idgah in September 8, 2006 and again on September 29, 2008 and the blasts in the bogeys of the Samjhauta Express on February 18, 2007.
Through these columns in the past, we had repeatedly exposed the mechanics of the Hindutva terror network. While doing so, we had stated that terrorism in India is not religion-specific and all types of terror are unacceptable and the country must unitedly display a zero tolerance for such terrorism.
Many a Muslim youth who are routinely rounded up after such terror attacks continue to languish in jail even after the exposure of this Hindutva terror network and its role in these four acts of terrorism. The pending judicial proceedings against them needs to be speeded up and they be released in accordance with the principles of law and justice. The Supreme Court recently hearing petitions seeking a judicial enquiry into an alleged encounter killing of a Maoist had observed, “Our Republic cannot bare the stain to kill its own children”. The apex court, being the custodian of our secular democratic constitution, must surely mean all our children irrespective of their religion, caste or creed. In this very spirit, all those detained in custody on suspicion of involvement in these terror attacks must be provided justice urgently.
There can be no compromise on upholding and strengthening the secular democratic character of our Republic. Let us declare to redouble this resolve on this 62nd Republic Day.
(January 19, 2010)