Thursday, November 11, 2010


WITH increasing evidence surfacing on the involvement of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) linked people in terror attacks, the RSS appears to have adopted the policy of `offence as the best form of defence’. It has called for nationwide protest actions on November 10 with the participation of its topmost leaders. More on this later.

Media reports revealed that senior leader Indresh Kumar is not the only RSS link to the Ajmer terrorist blast of October 11, 2007. Though Indresh Kumar is named in the chargesheet, he was not named as an accused. However, of the five accused named in the chargesheet filed by the Rajasthan Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) on October 22, 2010, four are reportedly associated with the RSS. A sixth alleged key conspirator who has not been named as an accused only because he is dead, also had RSS connections.

A few weeks after the Malegaon terrorist bomb blast (September 8, 2008), the Maharashtra ATS arrested several people including a Sadhvi and an army officer. This was the first instance in recent times of arrests of people belonging to Hindutva rightwing organisations on charges of anti-national terrorist activities. It is on the basis of subsequent investigations by the CBI and the Rajasthan ATS that the current chargesheet has been framed and filed. Links have been suggested between the Ajmer blasts and the terrorist attacks in the Mecca Masjid at Hyderabad on May 18, 2007. The needle of suspicion also points to the links of the accused in the terrorist attack on the Delhi-Lahore Samjhauta Express on February 18, 2007.

Soon after the Malegaon blasts, at a meeting of the National Integration Council on October 13, 2008, the CPI(M) in its submission drew the attention of the government to the following: “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.” The CPI(M) had urged the government that all these incidents must be thoroughly investigated and the culprits must be booked.

Initially, after the Malegaon arrests, the RSS had reacted in its typical fashion of disowning those arrested. The All India Prachar Pramukh of the RSS, Manmohan Vaidya, had then told the media, “They might have drawn their inspiration from the Sangh ideology but they were not active Sangh members.” This is nothing original. This is precisely what was said about Nathuram Godse following the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. Godse’s brother, however, is on record in an interview to the media, saying that all the brothers in the family were members of the RSS. Some others hold that fringe elements of Hindu fundamentalism, impatient with the political tactics of compromising on core Hindutva issues, are resorting to such terrorist activities. In a similar vein, some other RSS leaders admit to the media that a few `deviant elements’ might have turned to violence and terror but insist that the organisation as a whole cannot be dubbed terrorist. Again, a replication of the RSS stand during the trial of Mahatma Gandhi’s murder. On this basis of such reasoning, the RSS had then said that “terrorism should be dealt with strongly”.

However, now with the latest chargesheets framed and filed clearly establishing their links to these terror attacks, the RSS has changed gear calling for countrywide protests against it being linked to terrorist activities. At a three-day conclave of its Akhil Bharatiya Karyakari Mandal that ended at Jalgaon on October 31, it called for such protests with the participation of its chief in Lucknow and its general secretary in Hyderabad. In a threatening tone, the general secretary said such linking of RSS with terrorism is “resented by Hindu society” and any attempt to defame the “nationalist” RSS will not be tolerated. Clearly, these protests are aimed at pressurising the governments and the investigation agencies from proceeding further.

In these columns, we have repeatedly stated and continue to maintain that terrorism is simply anti-national and, hence, the country should display zero tolerance. Terrorism has no religion. Terrorism of all varieties only feed and strengthen each other seeking to destroy the very unity and integrity of our country. Therefore, the current investigations must proceed unhindered in the interests of our country and action must be taken against individuals and organisations found guilty.

People’s Democracy
Vol. XXXIV, No. 45, November 07, 2010

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