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Saffron Terror: An Analysis

By: Bandyopadhyay Arindam
Sep-09-2010
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Recently when he tried to highlight the phenomenon of "Saffron Terror", for a moment one wondered whether our Home Minister, Mr. P Chidambaram was suffering from a selective and specific form of color-blindness and was seeing saffron instead of green, red or white. But soon it became clear that it was not a casual statement or even a cheap political gimmick because despite protest from political opponents and even from members of his own party, he stood firm on his statement and justified that he wanted to make a point and sent home a message.

As such, India"s reputation in countering terrorism is dismal at best but one shudders to imagine of having a malicious Home Minister who is unable and likely unwilling to judge the true color of terrorism.

One may recall that not too long ago, while he was the Finance Minister, Mr. P Chidambaram once commented that India was never a rich country. A more patriotic effort on his part would have enlightened him that in the past two millennia, till the pre- colonial days, India contributed to about a quarter of the world GDP. One would have expected him to know that the numerous invaders of Bharat, throughout the centuries, starting from the Greek Alexander, through the Arabic marauders and down to the European colonials, all came to this country only because they wanted to loot her wealth and riches. America was accidentally "discovered" because Columbus wanted to go to India and that is history.

The most heinous of these invaders of India were off course the nomadic sword wielding barbarians of the Islamic world. Will Durant (1885-1981), American historian, described that the Mohammedan conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history.

Rizwan Salim of New York Tribune, wrote, "Savages at a very low level of civilization and no culture worth the name, from Arabia and west Asia, began entering India from the early century onwards .. demolished countless Hindu temples, shattered uncountable sculpture and idols, plundered innumerable palaces and forts of Hindu kings, killed vast numbers of Hindu men and carried off Hindu women.... many Indians do not seem to recognize that the alien Muslim marauders destroyed the historical evolution of the earth"s most mentally advanced civilization, the most richly imaginative culture, and the most vigorously creative society."

That was the beginning of Islamic terrorism in India and it still continues. Only the names of the terrorist has changed over time from Ghazni, Ghori, bin Qasim, Tughlak, Khilji, Babur to SIMI, LeT, HuJi, JeM, Indian Mujaheddin, Afzal and Kasab in the modern age.

Islamic terror had caused death of an estimated 80-100 million, mostly innocent and unarmed Hindus, over the centuries. Mountains were raised of skulls and bones of Hindus captured and put to death, just for the mere pleasure of killing the kafirs. Over 30000 temples were plundered and grazed.

Later similar terror was systematically planned in the Direct action day and in the Noakhali murders of 1946 and in the estimated 3 million targeted Hindus murders during the Bangladesh war in 1971.

In recent times, India attained the dubious distinction of being one of the worst terror- affected countries. Indians are used to the monotony of terrorist acts - from the numerous serial blasts affecting major cities of India to the burning alive of 59 innocent karsevaks in the Sabarmati Express near Godhra, to the assault on the Indian Parliament house and in the Mumbai carnage of Nov 2008.

As in any act of terror anywhere in the world today, be it New York, London, Madrid Russia, Indonesia or Uganda, it does not take much effort to guess who the perpetrators of the acts are. It is only newsworthy when it is not an Islamic fundamentalist person or group.

It was hoped that after Independence, especially after the havoc of Partition, India would have had learnt a lesson from past and would build a strong nation so that history does not repeat itself. But we watch with horror now that terror has affected much deeper and much higher than our worst imagination. Terror has affected the function at the highest level of the Indian government, which is widely perceived as soft on Islamic terror. It has not only failed utterly to diagnose the problems, formulate concrete plans and strengthen its anti-terror approaches, but it keeps on extending its self defeating principle of pacifying terror and terrorists with a false hope that it will be able to change hearts and all will be well in the end. It shudders to carry out the Supreme Court verdict of Afzal Guru, a convicted criminal in the eyes of the law of the land, in fear of possible retaliation from minorities. The country was seen humiliated on the TV screen all over the world, during the Mumbai carnage of November 2008 and all we have done to restore our pride and honor was to make heaps of dossiers and send them all over the world, with zero effect. Yet our clueless Prime Minister is all too happy to demoralize his own law and order machinery and send good wishes to the leaders of the terrorists, literally begging for peace again and again.

Our administration dances to the tune of separatists, pampers fake activists and even allows itself to be held captive by handful of professional" stone pelters, if they are belonging to minority groups.

Most of our leaders compete amongst themselves, each trying to establish himself more secular and Muslim-loving than the other, each trying to bend back even further and offer more concessions to catch that illusive minority vote bank, wasting national interest down the drain.

The media has long lost its role in nation building. It is either intimidated or sold-out, selling deceptions and half-truths to sensationalize and blatantly misrepresenting facts with the excuse of maintaining communal harmony, so that Muslims are not offended.

This policy of Muslim appeasement has not even spared our security personnel, who are putting their lives on the line of fire daily and die in dozens. They are themselves insecure, not only from being ill-trained and ill equipped, but also from being portrayed as the villain, castigated by the same media and leaders, crying Muslim victimhood, at the drop of a hat.

The only other act of courage that is left behind for these leaders and the media is to expand the story of a few bomb blast and raise the phantom of Hindu or saffron terrorism and incessantly propagandize that, so the inflated image can match the menace of Islamic terrorism.

Recently, Mr. B Raman, former head of the counter-terrorism division of RAW, analyzed the arrest of some Hindus as terrorists and concluded that "according to American investigators the LET and Al Qaeda were responsible for the Samjauta Express blast and the HUJI for the Mecca Masjid blast. If the American investigators, who have better sources in Pakistan, are correct, how can our investigators claim that some arrested Hindus were responsible for these incidents? Justice and fair play demand a thorough investigation into the two different versions that have emerged from Indian and American investigators. While the American investigators have blamed the LET, Al Qaeda and the HUJI, Indian investigators have blamed the Abhinav Bharat. Both cannot be correct."

Thus the Home Minister has not only deliberately and deceptively sanctioned the accusation with his statement even before any verdict has been declared but actually insulted the majority population of the country and the billion plus Hindus of the world"s third largest faith, by purposefully dragging the word saffron into it. He had endorsed the growing suspicion of Hindus that they are unwelcome in their motherland. The mere word "Hindu" is despicable now. To claim to be a Hindu in India is reckoned as inciting "communalism". And by extension, the color "saffron", notwithstanding its presence in the Indian tricolor, is disreputable, because of its association with Hindu religion.

Saffron is considered the sacred color that has been embraced by Sanatan Dharma and the other faiths of Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism, that emanated from this blessed land of Bharat. It symbolizes sacrifice, salvation and renunciation - qualities that had formed the basis of the ancient civilization that still thrives in this land. It is the color donned by sages and saints, including Sankaracharya, and Vivekananda who have graced and blessed us, from time immemorial.

Saffron glorifies our National Flag to emphasize the same characters. Our first President, Dr. S.Radhakrishnan thus explained, ".the saffron color denotes renunciation of disinterestedness. Our leaders must be indifferent to material gains and dedicate themselves to their work. The white in the centre is light, the path of truth to guide our conduct. The green shows our relation to soil, our relation to the plant life here on which all other life depends. The Ashoka Wheel in the center of the white is the wheel of the law of dharma. Truth or satya, dharma or virtue ought to be the controlling principles of those who work under this flag."

Thus, saffron is the color of the truthful and dharmic civilization that originated from India and influenced human evolution over the whole world. Unlike the persecuting, essentially fundamentalist and exclusive faiths of early Judaism, Christianity and Islam, Indic religions like Hinduism and Buddhism have never seeked religious or scriptural sanction of faith based atrocities, have never preached any holy wars, be it crusades or jihads and have never approved proselytizing religious imperialism to justify political or economic oppression of others.

Despite centuries of oppression and terror, The Hindus civilization is still thriving, while all the other ancient civilizations of the Greeks, the Romans, the Egyptians, the Mayans and Aztecs have been destroyed by either Islam or Christianity. True, Hindus were forced to remain second class citizens in their own land, for centuries. But Hindus never shied away from fighting the evil forces and the tyrants. They won some but unfortunately lost more. Despite being deceived numerous times and broken at other times, they did not bend. They retreated into their shell but remained faithful to their dharma, took their destiny on stride and survived centuries - the longest surviving ancient civilization on planet earth. They gave shelters to others similarly oppressed - the Jews, the Syrian Christians and the Zoroastrians. They earned their fame as "tolerant", "nonviolent", "truthful" and "peace-loving" - accolades they cherished as virtues that were not to be sacrificed, even on the threat of destruction and annihilation. They gained their strength from their scriptures and their itihaas, from the collective blessings of their sages and saints and from the cumulated benefits of following the path of dharma and good karma.

They regard their land as their Bharatmata; they hail her as Vande Mataram. And they have learnt to protect her with their lives. For Hindus believe in offering self sacrifice. They know that saffron is also the color of fire which they have been worshipping in the form of Yajna, since Vedic times. They are aware that fire burns but they also believe that fire purifies.

Following independence, Hindus had renewed their hope and expectations, thinking they had sacrificed enough for their independence movement and had suffered enough through partition of their motherland. But they are starting to realize that their struggle to free their civilization and land is not over. They feel captives again, not by aliens anymore, but by a handful of malicious fellow citizens, often Hindus by birth themselves, who are bent upon to eradicate the essential Hindu nature of this country. They are seeing the grip of a conscious, concocted and colluded effort to remove Hindu-ness from all walks of life. In sixty years after partition, the country is slowly getting back to the same pre-partition days when the minorities were calling the shots and the leaders are only too eager to oblige.

There are clearly different sets of standards to deal with Hindus and Muslims now in independent India.

Hindu"s glorified history is suppressed; Muslims century old oppression is rationalized.

"Jai Shri Ram" is a communal call but "There is no other God but Allah" sounds secular to the pacifist"s ears.

Sanskrit is allowed to be lost in oblivion; Urdu and Arabic learning is promoted.

The Government, the leaders, the pseudo-liberals and the media never fail to raise the Babri demolition or the post-Godhra riots in Gujarat as a justification of Muslim angst but conveniently forget the actions that led to the Hindu reactions in the first place.

Hindus are expected not to have any anger and grudge. But Muslim angst has to be compensated at all cost.

Muslim atrocities are rewarded with more concessions; autonomy is contemplated for violent secessionist, while the justified efforts of Hindus, fighting to prevent disintegration of the country, are throttled.

Hindus are not supposed to have any right to resent the centuries of oppression, the deaths and the plunders or to feel for the fellow victims of Islamic terrorism. They are expected to peacefully accept loot and carnage of their property, death of their father or brother or rape of their mother or sister for the sake of communal harmony.

Hindus are expected to accept in silence their exodus in lakhs from Muslim dominated Kashmir (from where now Sikhs are threatened out), but Muslims require special privileges and protection wherever they are minorities even if it is just meant to make them feel good.

Illegal Muslim immigrants are given citizenship to become vote pockets, but Hindu migrants are still refugees after 5 decades of partition?

Disregarding constitutional rights, special advantages are being doled out to Muslims in job and education, just because of their religious affiliation. But the same privileges do not reach the Hindus, even from the poorest economic background.

Hindu temples remain in dilapidated condition while temple money is siphoned off for government expenses? Hindus have to beg for a mere 100 acre of land in Amarnath while unlimited government funds are spent on Haj terminals buildings and trips to Mecca?

Do the Hindus have the right to lament the amputation of their Bharatmata? If Pakistan was curved out for Muslims, is it inappropriate to ask Hindustan for Hindus or at least have equal rights as for Muslims in India? Then how are Hindus expected to react to their Prime Minister"s announcement that Muslims must have first claim to the countries resources?

So was it unexpected that some Hindus would start protesting?

Indeed it is surprising that the saffron fire has not yet motivated many more of the kinds of Kshudiram Bose or Prafulla Chaki, Shivaram Rajguru or Madanlal Dhingra to join the struggle? Perhaps it is symbolic that one of the first revolutions against the British raj was that of the Sanyasis, based on which, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay wrote his famous novel, Anandamath, which gave us the Vande Mataram song and this time one of the main accused in the so called Hindu or saffron terror happens to be a Sadhvi.

When a body is threatened by cancer, a surgeon"s knife is often the best option to save the individual. It is traumatic but life saving, painful but rewarding. Its destruction paves the path of regeneration and re-creation. Hindus believe in the same universal philosophy of destruction and creation. They believe in their God who reincarnates to save the planet from evil and propagate further creation.

Destruction or killing in the name of religion is never initiated by Hindus. But it is wrong to assume that Hindus will tolerate atrocities and adharma eternally for they also believe that acceptance of adharma is not merely cowardice, it is also sinful. To pacify them, they are constantly reminded, Ahimsa Paramo Dharma (Non-violence is the ultimate dharma) but they know there scripture also adds Dharma himsa tathaiva cha. (So too is violence in service of Dharma).

Our history recounts that whenever the need came, Hindus resistance came in the form of a Prithviraj or a Rana Pratap; a Shivaji or a Guru Gobind Singh; a Bhagat Singh or a Subhash Bose. They are considered great sons of the soil. Hindus consider them martyrs, cherish their memories and feel glorified by their self sacrifice. Their resistance to eradicate injustice and oppression is not terror. Their war is dharma-yuddha against evil, like the one that happened in Kurukshetra, where the Lord Krishna himself supervised.

Hindusthan has seen tyrant fanatics like Aurangzeb and traitors like Jaichand before. History will say how the current leaders will be remembered in future.

But one thing is for sure, if the call to save Hindusthan comes again it will be the saffron flag-bearing Hindus who will do or die for it. Hindus will not let it go without a fight.


Bandyopadhyay Arindam

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