OPINION

BJP and terrorism

The editorial “Ugly defence of the indefensible” (Nov. 20) and the article “BJP and the challenge of terrorism” (Nov. 19) were brilliant analyses of the communal politics of the Bharatiya Janata Party, the political front of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. The passionate certitude with which the party claims that no Hindu can be a terrorist is juvenile.

L.K. Advani who has expressed deep anguish at the alleged torture of Sadhvi Pragnya Singh Thakur by the ATS has said nothing about the Andhra Pradesh government’s move to compensate the Muslim youth who were wrongly arrested for their alleged involvement in the Mecca Masjid blast. Mr. Advani should not forget that he is aspiring to become the Prime Minister of a secular democracy, not a Hindu country.

A. Faizur Rahman,

Chennai

It is a shame that the saffron brigade is exasperatedly trying to deny a link between the Hindutva agenda and the Malegaon blasts accused. Contrary to usual assertions by the security agencies — that Islamist outfits are behind most terrorist strikes — it has emerged that many bomb blasts are most likely the handiwork of Hindutva groups bent on violent revenge.

Perhaps the most important lesson for the police in the Malegaon episode is that they need to be objective while dealing with terrorism. Investigation must lead to conclusions. Not the other way round.

T. Marx,

Puducherry

The editorial (Nov. 20) is the best I have read in recent times. The BJP’s power-mongers believe that with the elections approaching, the party must orchestrate a campaign that the UPA is guilty of coining the term ‘Hindu terrorism,’ while it does not believe in communalising terrorism at all.

Arun Kumar Patnaik,

Hyderabad

The sangh parivar’s double standards on terrorism and violence are nothing new. Be it terrorism or religious conversions, the saffron forces have always spoken in two voices posing Hinduism as peace-loving and other religions as violent or coercive. Malegaon is only one aspect of the larger picture — politics of hate and terror. The BJP is exposing itself and it is a good sign.

N. Divakar,

Mysore

The BJP leaders’ abrupt change of tack, after initially distancing themselves from Pragnya Thakur, is surprising. To please their RSS mentors in Nagpur, they have made the sadhvi and Lt. Col. Shrikant Purohit heroes. Mr. Advani cannot be blamed for his about-turn because he knows that without the RSS nod, he cannot fulfil his ambition of occupying the Prime Minister’s chair.

Capt. T. Raju (retd.),

Secunderabad

The cartoon (Nov. 20) is an apt portrayal of the BJP’s double standards of advocating trial-free declaration of innocence of the Hindutva accused and an insistence on trial-less conviction of those accused of jihadi terror through laws such as POTA.

Praveen Swami has brought out the diabolic plot of the Hindutva brigade to organise bomb blasts and present them as Islamist terrorism (Nov. 20) under the suspected safety net of the sangh parivar. Can this escape the scrutiny of our masses?

Kasim Sait,

Chennai

It seems to be the sangh parivar’s case that if a Hindu throws a bomb on innocent people, it is an act of nationalism and if a Muslim does the same thing, it is an act of terrorism.

In the latter instance, the accused should be subject to the most draconian laws such as POTA and, if possible, eliminated in a police encounter. But if the accused is a Hindu, he or she should be given protection under the law.

T.V. Shankar Narayanan,

Hosur

It is indeed a pity that a national party has chosen to defend the Malegaon blasts accused and found the most opportunistic grounds to do so. The BJP’s image has taken a severe beating, perhaps beyond recovery in the near future.

Seshagiri Row Karry,

Hyderabad

The BJP doublespeak is nothing new. The sangh parivar has mastered the art. The moot point is: how far is it willing to dig into the rut? The latest statement from the parivar is that Hindus cannot be terrorists. Whereas all Muslims are potential terrorists. At least, they harbour anti-national sentiments.

Even the basic tenets of law — that a person is presumed innocent until proved guilty or an accused has the right to defend himself — need not be followed when those involved are the parivar’s adversaries. Its attitude is: we will abide by the law as long as it is in our favour and it suits us. Even when the court acquits a person, it continues with its tirade. The ABVP’s protest against S.A.R. Geelani during a seminar in Delhi is a case in point.

Biju Mathew,

New Delhi

There is no question that all terrorists should be tried under stringent laws, irrespective of their religious affiliation. That said, I want to point out that every party and media house has double standards. There was hardly any hue and cry when political leaders questioned the authenticity of the Batla House police encounter. Why, then, is questioning the methods of ATS inappropriate when a sadhvi and other Malegaon blasts accused allege custodial torture? It is this lack of balance in reporting that makes everything look like a political stunt.

K. Natarajan,

Hyderabad

The Malegaon blasts represent the Hindutva backlash. This new-found method of retaliation may eventually spin out of control and be taken over by wayward splinter groups. More worrying is the alleged infiltration of Hindutva elements in the armed forces. It may lead to a nexus of the ISI-jihadi type. There would be little redemption thereafter. The political class should act without delay and eschew partisan agenda.

R. Narayanan,

Ghaziabad

No religion should be maligned for the misdeeds of its followers. Religion is inherited by a person, and not chosen after careful deliberation. In the hustle and bustle of daily life, few people strive to unearth the truth. They view religion as only an identity. Some of them are drawn to the charismatic extremist leaders and willingly become a pawn in their hands. Any ideology is capable of producing fanatics under these conditions. Haven’t we heard of environmental terrorists?

Thehseen Zakir,

Kochi

Recommended for you