Archives for posts with tag: Hindutva

Asserting that “in spite of my constitutional position, I have been denied fair opportunity to defend myself and my reputation by the Judges Inquiry Committee”, Sikkim High Court Chief Justice P D Dinakaran, who is facing False probe on charges of corruption and misconduct, today resigned from his post.

In a two-page resignation letter to Chief Justice of India S H Kapadia “sneaking suspicion that my misfortune was because of circumstances of my birth in the socially oppressed (Dalit family) and underprivileged section of the society”.

He said that he was resigning “in order to maintain the dignity of the office” and “to prove that I do not have any lust for the office, position and the power and to prove that I do not want to adopt any dilatory tactics”.

On March 16, a three-member committee of jurists comprising Supreme Court Judge Aftab Alam, Karnataka High Court CJ J S Khehar and eminent jurist P P Rao had issued a chargesheet levelling 16 charges of corruption and irregularities against Dinakaran.

Later, based on Dinakaran’s appeal, Hindutva Terrorist minded jurist P P  Rao was replaced by jurist Mohan Gopal in the panel.

I could not accommodate undesirable politically motivated requests/ demands while upholding my oath of office to render justice without fear or favour in the course of administration of justice, I have been very calculatively targeted at the instance of the vested interests (of Hindutva Terror minded),” his letter says.

Saying he had no faith in the panel, Dinakaran says, “..It is also obvious that hearing before the committee is just an empty formality. Hence, I have lost confidence of getting fair hearing and justice even before the reconstituted committee. In above factual background I am unable to repose any faith and confidence in the committee and in the procedure being adopted by them. I am, therefore, of the firm view that there would not be any gainful purpose in appearing before the committee in spite of my innocence.”

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The Norwegian christian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik writes in a manifesto that he acquired some 8,000 e-mail addresses of “cultural conservatives” not just across Europe but North America, Australia, South Africa, Armenia, Israel, and India – ensuring scrutiny of anti-Muslim groups far beyond Europe.

Mr. Breivik’s primary goal is to remove Muslims from Europe. But his manifesto invites the possibility for cooperation with Jewish groups in Israel, Buddhists in China, and Hindu nationalist groups in India to contain Islam.

“It is essential that the European and Indian resistance movements learn from each other and cooperate as much as possible. Our goals are more or less identical,” he wrote.

In the case of India, there is significant overlap between Breivik’s rhetoric and strains of Hindu nationalism – or Hindutva – on the question of coexistence with Muslims. Human rights monitors have long decried such rhetoric in India for creating a milieu for communal violence communal violence, and the Norway incidents are prompting calls here to confront the issue.

“Like Europe’s mainstream right-wing parties, [India’s] BJP has condemned the terrorism of the right (name-shake) – but not the thought system which drives it. Its refusal to engage in serious introspection, or even to unequivocally condemn Hindutva violence, has been nothing short of disgraceful,” writes senior journalist Praveen Swami in today’s edition of The Hindu.

“Liberal parties, including the Congress, have been equally evasive in their critique of both Hindutva and Islamist terrorism,” he adds.

Last week, Breivik detonated a bomb in downtown Oslo and opened fire at a youth camp of the ruling political party, killing at least 76 people. He reportedly said in court today that the rampage was “marketing” for his manifesto, “2083: A European Declaration of Independence.”

The manifesto

Breivik’s 1,500-page manifesto calls preserving traditional European culture by cutting it off from immigration from the Muslim world. While he is against setting up a Christian theocracy, he envisions a revival of Christendom, where the church helps unify Europeans around a shared cultural identity.

With the emergence of Hindutva fascist forces and their alliance with Neo consand Zionists,  India witnessed a sharp increase in the number of research institutes, media houses and lobbying groups.  According to a  study by Think Tanks & Civil Societies Program at the University of Pennsylvania,  India has 422  think tanks, second only to the US, which has over 2,000 such institutions.

Out of 422 recognized Indian think tanks, around 63 are engaged in security research and foreign policy matters,  which are heavily funded by global weapon industry.  India’s Retired spies,  Police officers,  Military personals, Diplomats and Journalists are hired by such  national  security &  foreign policy research institutes which gets enormous fund from  global weapon industry.  These dreaded institutions  are in fact has a hidden agenda.  Behind the veil, they work as the  public relations arm of weapon industry.  They  create fake terror stories with the help of media and intelligence wing,  manipulate explosions  through criminals in areas of tribals, dalits or minorities in order to get public acceptance for weapon contracts.

By creating conflicts in this poor country, Brahmin spin masters get huge commission from the sale of weapons to government forces. To this corrupt bureaucrats,  India’s  ‘National Interest‘ simply means ‘their self Interest’. Their lobbying power bring more wealth to their families as lucrative jobs, citizenship of rich countries and educational opportunities abroad.

Mentionable that India is one of the world’s largest weapons importers. Between 2000 and 2007 India ranked world’s second largest arms importer accounting for 7.5 % of all major weapons transfers.  It stood fourth among the largest military spender in terms of purchasing power in 2007 followed by US, China and Russia.

Over 1,130 companies in 98 countries manufacture arms, ammunitions and components. 90 % of Conventional arms exports in the world are from the permanent five members of the United Nations Security Council namely USA, UK, Russia, China & France. The countries of Africa, Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East hold 51 per cent of the world’s heavy weapons.

The Defence Offset Facilitation Agency estimating the expenditure on the sector at USD 100 billion for next five years. At least 38 court cases relating to arms agreements are still pending against bureaucrats and military officers. Hindu fascist forces currently enjoy upper hand in media, civil service, judiciary, defence and educational streams of Indian society. Sooner or later, 25,000 strong democratic institutions in India will be collapsed and the country will be transformed to a limited democracy under the rule of security regime like Turkey or Israel.  Hindutva’s security centric nationalism never was capable of bringing peace and protection to the life of  our ordinary citizens.

According to Global Peace Index, India currently ranked on bottom, (122 with 2.422 score).  Interestingly, our favourite arms supplier, Israel  is among the worst performer  when it comes to peace ranking. (141).  It reminds a simple fact that the  peace cannot be attained by sophisticated security apparatus.

Further more, India topped  on Asian Risk Prospects -2009,  with the highest political and social risk, scoring 6.87, mainly because of internal and external instability (PERC)

The arrest of right-wing militants in connection with the blast in Ajmer Dargah isn’t surprising and is just another in the series of arrests of members of organisations ranging from Abhinav Bharat to Sanatan Sanstha who have committed a series of bombings in India from Malegaon to Goa.

Headlines in prominent newspapers and leading English channels read like ‘Abhinav Bharat man caught’, ‘Ajmer blast suspects linked to Hindu groups’ or ‘Ajmer blast: Hindu group responsible’.

There is no mention of ‘terrorism’ and suddenly words like suspects and ‘organisation member’ are back in journalistic lingo. Just a recent example because public memory is short:

Bettig mafia responsible for blast in Bagalore stadium during IPL!

During the Indian Premier League (IPL), bombs exploded in the stadium in Bangalore. Soon after, journalists who crave for breakthroughs and first page bylines, were mouthing names of persons involved in the blasts. There were reports that security agencies don’t deny the role of particular persons.

A few days passed and the everybody has forgotte it. Now it seems that it was local betting mafia that was involved in planting bombs in the stadium, and we no longer read any follow-ups or any sort of news. So did it make it less serious if underworld or betting mafia is involved?

The classic case was in Assam where major bomb strikes in which dozens died were ignored when ULFA was involved but once minor blasts occurred and a news agency suspected ‘Islamists’ angle’, it was suddenly prime time news and got repeatedly termed as terrorist attacks.

Just a day ago the Bangladesh government has handed DR Nabla alias Ranjan Daimary, the chief of the militant NDFB, that was involved in serial bombings in Assam in 2008 that caused over a 100 deaths. But the arrest didn’t make big news despite the fact that a terrorist mastermind was caught.

Ironically media perceptions force police and investigative agencies to hurry up in investigations and they throw up names to evade intrusive journos by saying that such group’s involvement is not ruled out. The casualty is truth.

Apart from inefficiency and political reasons, often the cases are not cracked because of these reasons. It’s a fact that had there been a BJP government in Maharashtra, Goa or Rajasthan, the activists of Sanatan Sanstha or Abhinav Bharat may never have been arrested.

Upright officers, political will needed

Though Himanshu Panse’s role in blasts in Marathwada had alerted security agencies, the investigation was closed. Firstly, some officers were soft on the group while others apparently didn’t want to get into controversy. It took an officer of the calibre of Hemant Karkare to unravel this network.

Even in cases of blasts where there was a clear stamp of right-wing radicals, Muslim youths were arrested and put for months in illegal detentions. In Hyderabad, those protesting police action were fired at and many were killed.

The fact is that whether it is Hindutva-inspired fanatic or the Islamist militant, they are equally dangerous for the country. Terrorism and crime should be seen purely as a threat to the nation and not from the prism of religion.

Sadly, this doesn’t happen. When some youths from Azamgarh were arrested, the entire district was demonised. When youths from a particular Muslims-dominated town were arrested, the name of the town ‘Bhatkal‘ was added to their names though it was not their surname.

The aim was to defame the town. It was part of a strategy. Shouldn’t Indore be also termed haven of Hindutva-wadis in India. This peaceful town in Central India has been linked to almost all the major cases of bomb blasts.

Should towns be defamed: Is Indore Hindutva-wadi’s Azamgarh?

Either its Malegaon blast, Mecca Masjid or Ajmer terror strike, the accused are being arrested from Indore. The planning was done here. Even investigation trail in Samjhauta Express case has reached Indore. And the most wanted man, Ramji Kalsangra, whose arrest can unravel the entire group, also hails from here.

It is not that MP police were not aware of Sunil Joshi’s shadowy organisation that was based in Indore. It was also aware of Samir Kulkarni’s Abhinav Bharat that was functioning from MP. But the state police didn’t act then even though local Hindi papers printed tonnes of material.

Kulkarni’s role in planting bombs at Bhopal’s major Islamic gathering of tablighi jamaat that attracts 1 million Muslims was also known but police under BJP rule didn’t act. It is only when CBI and central investigative agencies reached Indore that the activity began.

The unfortunate aspect is that everything in India either gets politicised or communalised.

By Abdul Hannan Siwani Nadvi,

P. Chidambaram’s saffron terrorism remark angered BJP, RSS and their followers. BJP has objection at association of terrorism to particular organization. BJP, which has a long history of blaming whole Muslim community and calling Muslim areas as epicenter of ISI and terrorism, is now objecting at the term.

There are two things that should be clear to everyone: One, associating terrorism to particular community; and second, terrorism of Hindutva.

Common Muslims, Ulema and other Muslim leaders have been demanding for long that terrorism should not be linked to a particular community, or religion. Their repeated demand remained unheeded. Nobody was ready to address their pain and agitations. Everyone was seeing them as liars and cheaters. BJP and its followers were working to add more fuel in it. The result finally ended with the arrest of hundreds of Muslim boys.

Most of them have been acquitted of the terror charges. However, a large number of Muslim boys are still languishing in jails and no one knows when their pain will end and when they will be freed.

As for existence of terrorists in Muslim community, it has been proven many times that Muslim youths are implicated in false terror cases. Acquittal of most of them by the courts in various states where they were arrested is a big evidence of their innocence. The latest example comes from Gujarat where nine people were acquitted by a local court.

Unfortunately, while mere arrest of innocent Muslim youths in terror cases was seen as a matter of security of the country, cases of Hindutva Terrorist carrying out bomb blasts, making bombs and placing it in Muslim areas in the garb of Muslim identity were not taken as a security issue by the police or state and central government. It is seen just an incident that happens everywhere.

The term of terrorism was used with different colors – Islamic terrorism, jihadists and Jihadism– when it was being associated with Muslims. BJP, its allied functionaries and their followers in Media, security agencies and in other government run-offices were busy in blaming Islam and Muslim community for every single, big and small incident related to terrorism without checking the facts and following the clues. It was their great work. No one can deny their role in maligning Muslim community.

BJP’s hue and cry over P Chidambaram‘s statement on saffron terrorism is an effort to cover their terrorism. If today terrorism has no color except black, as Congress clarified with vote bank politics in mind, then why it was silent when Islam and whole Muslim community were being blamed for the menace.

Today, when the term of saffron terrorism or Hindu terrorism is being used, BJP disrupts Parliament. It used immoral ways to express their objection at associating terrorism to Hindutva groups. News channels offices were vandalized. At last, it tried to play its old and very important card saying that it is the insult of Hindu nation.

Modi, who has lost moral right to stay as chief minister of Gujarat where a large number of Indian citizens, most of them Muslims, were killed in riots or encountered later and where the Indian constitution was being paralyzed and where all doors of justice had been closed on Muslims and where a majority of Muslim youths were put into jail, says that Prime Minister should apologize for saffron terror remark. He forgets that his hand is colored with the blood of innocent Muslims.

Members of Bajrang Dal openly brandish weapons, but without any repercussions. [Photo Jammu News Agency]

As for associating the term terrorism to any community, Muslims’ views are very clear from the first day: This term should not be linked to any particular community or religion. There are no differences among Muslims on this in and outside of India.

The second thing is terrorism of Hindutva. Can BJP deny its role in damaging India’s communal harmony? Can BJP deny that various Hindutva groups as an organization or as an individual are involved in bomb blasts? Can BJP deny that those activists and workers who were killed during making bombs were associated with Sangh?

BJP and its leaders are themselves accused in Babri Masjid demolition case and in so many cases of communal violence.

The gravity of the heinous terror attacks carried out by Hindutva activists can be gauged with the fact that they not only targeted Muslim religious places but also used Muslim’s identity and leaved at the site of the attacks, proofs that could indicate to Muslim’s involvement.

Spreading hatred, creating gulf between communities, brainwashing uneducated Hindu youths and inciting them against particular community are very old and common tactics of the game they play.

Challenging court orders, raping constitutions, defying court orders, stopping police and administration form doing their jobs and using religious sentiments to achieve their hateful aim – they do all brazenly.

Their aim, objectives and task are very destructive. Their emergence and supporting them in their destructive role is very harmful to India’s security and its integrity.

Former BJP leader Rithambara with Malegaon bomb accused Pragya Thakur.

No doubt that their network is very strong and their hand is very long. Their political, social and religious groups are active in every corner to check what is happening there and how they can protect themselves from the grip of law. Their work is very old. Their communal minded people are very strong.

Indian security agencies have not been able to prove Muslim’s role in any bomb blast. Acquittal of Muslim boys by the court of charges of terror and waging war against India is a biggest proof.

The failure of Police and security enforcers in proving their charges shows clearly that their mind was set only against Muslims.

BJP banned SIMI when it was leading NDA government at center. The Court once acquitted this organization of the charges leveled against it. There are a large number of cases, in which Muslims came out clean but precious and most important moments of their life were ruined by BJP’s communal politics.

Saffron organizations, on the other hand, have been involved in violence from the first day and now they are involved in making bombs and executing bomb blasts. They used retired Indian army officers and personals for their destructive projects.

Fair investigation of some terrorist attacks confirms the role of Hindutva brigades while other attacks are in need to be investigated honestly not as a matter of Hindus and Muslims but for the sake of India’s integrity and its security.

At last, the important question is: Are Indian citizens ready to accept Hindutva terrorism and their communal project? Can India survive with existence of such destructive objectives? Is protection of Hindutva more important than India’s security?

How long saffron organizations will get free hand to bring bad name to the country? Today or tomorrow it will come into discussion and every Indian will be forced to think on that point.

Ram Puniyani

Image by Joe Athialy via Flickr

The book is essentially a compilation of articles and essays written by scholars and activists on the acts of terror indulged in by the Hindutva forces. The book intends on violating the myth that all terrorist acts are carried out only by Muslims.

This book brings out evidence of acts of terrorism carried out by Hindutva outfits from all over India. It will help us to critically reflect at terrorism and trend of branding and criminalizing a community. This book neatly puts terrorism into perspective along with exploring the complicit role of the state in a democracy in the perpetuation of such outfits and acts which leads to the stigmatization and discrimination against one community. It exposes the threat of the Hindutva outfits that are using systematized force and violence which proves detrimental to peace and communal violence.

Table of Contents

Preface

  1. In Lieu of Introduction: Terrorism: Scapegoats and Holy Cows

– Ram Puniyani

  1. Saffron Terror – Subhash Gatade
  2. Malegaon, Modassa and Mehrauli Blasts

– Subhash Gatade

  1. MOssad, CIA connection to Mumbai Terror attacks

– Yoginder Sikand

  1. And Now Hindu Terrorists

– Asghar Ali Engineer

  1. Resurgent Hindutva Terror in Goa

– Subhash Gatade

  1. Jehadi and Sadhvi

– Ram Puniyani

  1. Rise of Hindutva Terrorism

– Praveen Swami

  1. Madhay Pradesh: Refuge of terrorists

– L.S. Hardenia

  1. Is RSS a Terrorist Organization

– Ram Puniyani

  1. From Murder Mystery to Spy Thriller: The Continuing Saga of The Mumbai Terror Attacks

– Raveena Hansa

  1. Book Review; Who killed Karkare: Real Face of Terrorism in India

– M. Zeyaul Haque

Appendix

1.1  A report on the attack on RSS Headquarters in Nagpur June 2006:

– Justice Kolse Patil, Dr. Suresh Khairnar

1.2  A report on bomb blast at the house of prominent RSS activist in Nanded, Maharashtra

– by Dr. Suresh Khairnar, Ahmad Kadar and Arvind Ghosh, Secular Citizen’s Forum & PUCL, Nagpur, May 2006

Hindutva Terrorist Chief Pravin Togadia

Frustrated by the dilution of hardcore Hindutva ideology, fringe groups in the Sangh Parivar turn to militancy.

V. SREENIVASA MURTHY

Pravin Togadia, The Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s international general secretary. Hard-line Hindutva positions of leaders like him have encouraged the adventurism of those like Pragya Singh Thakur and Lt Col Shrikant Purohit.

THE recent revelations about Hindutva terror strikes in various parts of the country have added a new dimension to the political and organisationalcrisis faced currently by the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS)-led Sangh Parivar.

A senior Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader with a penchant for flaunting Marxian terminology in his individual interactions described the situation as follows: “For the past five years or so the RSS has tried to develop concrete organisational mechanisms to fight revisionism in the ranks of different Sangh Parivar organisations, particularly the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). But the revelations in these so-called Hindutva terror cases do indicate that the Sangh Parivar as a whole needs to keep a watch on sectarian tendencies too in a section of the rank and file. That has indeed added to the burden of our tasks in the short, medium and long term.”

The VHP leader’s assessment is at variance with the official statements of the Sangh Parivar leadership on the Hindutva terror cases ranging from the Malegaon blasts of 2006 to the Goa blasts of 2009. Leaders of the various outfits of the Hindutva combine, including RSS sarsanghchalak Mohan Madhukar Bhagwat and BJP spokesperson Ravishankar Prasad, have maintained that the Sangh Parivar has nothing do with any of the terror attacks. Both Bhagwatand Prasad went to the extent of stating that Congress governments at the Centre and in many States had falsely implicated Sangh Parivar activists in these cases as part of a “deliberate and malicious political ploy”to equate Hindutva organisations with jehadi outfits.

This difference in the public postures of the RSS and BJP top brass with the privately expressed assessment of the Sangh Parivar leadership comesas no surprise to observers of the Sangh Parivar’s political and organisational methods. The art of multi-speak is built into the very structure of the Sangh Parivar. The different outfits and their leadership have practised thisas an effective tool in their political and organisational strategy since the mid-1980s, the period when the Ram Janmabhoomi agitation in Ayodhya peaked.

The strategy was put to telling use during the lead-up to the demolition of the Babri Masjid in December 1992, when the then BJP government of Kalyan Singh in Uttar Pradesh promised to protect the structure and then feigned helplessness as armed kar sevaks of the Sangh Parivar demolished the masjid. The so-called extremist wings of the Sangh Parivar,such as the VHP, then claimed victory in the demolition while some BJP leaders, including Lal Krishna Advani, maintained that they were saddened by it.

Divergent opinions

Themulti-speak has generally been nuanced and orchestrated, but there have been occasions when the expression of divergent opinions has gone out of its structured parameters. Such “straying” has happened even on the question ofsectarian influences within the Hindutva combine. One striking example of this can be found in the letter written by B.L. Sharma alias Prem to Advani in 1997, when he resigned as the BJP’s Lok Sabha member from East Delhi. Sharma accused the BJP of forsaking the core principles of the Sangh Parivar and seeking power through unacceptable compromises, even with pro-Islamic elements. Sharma went on to visualise deliverance to the Hindu community through an insurrection in the armed forces.

Similarly, the VHP’s current international general secretary, Pravin Togadia, made bold in 2001 to criticise the internal security policies of then BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre. In the wake of the attack on Parliament House in December 2001, Togadia announced at a VHP conclave in Mathura that the organisation would form groups of vigilantes across the country to keeptabs on suspiciousactivities and people on the lines of the civil society vigilantism Israel practises with the active collaboration of Mossad, its intelligence agency.

Sharma’s proposal of “army intervention” or Togadia’s Mossad-style civil society vigilantism was never formally followed up by the Sangh Parivar. However, these ideas find expression in the activities of the Hindutva terror groups. Investigations by national and State-level agencies into the activities of organisations such asAbhinav Bharat, the Rashtriya Jagran Manch and Sanatan Sanstha reveal that former or serving army officers, fascinated by the ideology of Hindutva, have played a major part in rearing and organising these outfits.

A. MAHESH KUMAR/AP

RSS sarsanghchalak Mohan Madhukar Bhagwat. He maintains that the Sangh Parivar has nothing to do with any of the terror attacks.

The organisations and their leaders, such as Major Ramesh Upadhyay (retd), Lt Col Shrikant Prasad Purohit and Swami Dayanand Pandey,have also tried to promote civil society vigilantism as propagated by Togadia. Investigation records show that they actually cultivated international organisations with Israeli and other connections.

A key piece of evidence in this regard came through the recordings in Swami Dayanand Pandey’s laptop. The recordings revealed not only the planning that went into the 2008 Malegaon blasts but also the fact that Abhinav Bharat’s leadership was in talks with groups based in Nepal and Israel to achieve the goal of establishing a “pure” Hindu Rashtra.

Obviously, none of this was sanctioned formally by the Sangh Parivar or its leadership. But the fact remains that these groups were inspired by and were literally following some of the ideas raised by some senior Sangh Parivar leaders.

The VHP leader who admitted to the presence of “sectarian tendencies” came up with some reasoning too. In his view, a number of“revisionist” ideological aberrations had contributed greatly to the rise of these tendencies. Hence, the Sangh Parivar’s primary battle in this regard should be against the root cause, he opined. For many VHP leaders, all the problems that have come to afflict the Sangh Parivar, especially the BJP, arose during the six-year stint in power from 1998 to 2004.

The VHP leader said these years andthe run-up to them marked a phase of compromises on issues relating to ideology and political practice, such as the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya, abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution, and advocacy of a uniform civil code.

He explained: “All these compromises were made as part of tactical electoral adjustments to win over allies, who were expected to be convinced about the Sangh Parivar’spositions over a period of time. Not only did nothing of that sort happen,but our cadre witnessed a substantial reduction in the moral and political authority of our leaders along with the toning down of Hindutva slogans. Many Sangh Parivar functionaries became attuned to the privileges and trappings of power. This departure from core Sangh Parivar values, in terms of both politics and organisational discipline, must have angered some of the rank and file and contributed to the strengthening of sectarian tendencies in them. That is why we want to keep the fight against the root cause at the centre of all political and organisational revival initiatives.”

PTI

Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur with then BJP president Rajnath Singh (extreme right), Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan (left) and others when they met to condole the death of Laxman Singh Gaud, a member of the State Assembly, in a car accident in February 2008.

In fact, the VHP has consistently highlighted the issue of corruption within other organisations, especially the BJP, in the Hindutva combine.. VHP leaders such as Togadia have been openly critical of even Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who is widely considered to be an aggressive Hindutva leader on account of the 2002 genocide against Muslims in the State. Modi is rated by Togadia and his supporters as a person who has compromised with industrialists and big business houses.

Leaders such as Togadia and Ashok Singhal have stated repeatedly that the political philosophy of Hindutva is aimed at helping the “conventionally meek Hindu community to overcome this meekness and match it with the aggression of minority communities like Muslims”. Togadia holds the view that “when leaders of Hindutva organisations give up this historical position, we have no option but to oppose it”. Clearly, the hard-line Hindutva positions of leaders like Togadia, too, have encouraged the adventurism of those like Pragya Singh Thakur and Lt Col Shrikant Purohit.

“Tasks ahead”

Significantly, in 2004, a document aimed at correcting ideological aberrations was formulated under the direction of the RSS and presented at the Mumbai national executive of the BJP, held from June 22 to June 24, 2004. That 42-page document, titled “Tasks Ahead: Immediate and Long-Term”, claimed to have formulated “the main tasks before the party in fulfilment of its resolve to re-energise itself in a comprehensive manner, in order to be able to successfully deal with both the immediate and long-term challenges before the party”. The thrust of this document, too, was on correcting the so-called revisionist tendencies. There was no mention at all of possible extremist or sectarian deviations from the Hindutva cadre and leadership.

The document stated:“Quantitative expansion brings in its wake qualitative deficiencies, which, if unchecked and uncorrected, can hinder further growth and even cause decline. However, an organisation that is aware of its purpose of existence and continually reminds itself of the goal for which it was founded never fails to study these shortcomings and to overcome them by applying necessary correctives. During the period of the party’s phenomenal growth since the late 1980s many shortcomings have surfaced in the organisation. These are inconsistent with our party’s ideals and objectives, with our distinctive ideology, and also with our guiding organisational principles and canons.”

The document went on to state that there had been “an erosion of commitment” to the principles of collective leadership, cooperation and commitment at various levels of the party. “Individualism, lack of consultation and coordination, and absence of camaraderie are taking root, diluting the effectiveness of the party’s activities.” It also said that there was a “rapidly gathering impression that acts of indiscipline will be condoned and that even serious cases of anti-party activities will be overlooked” and that this“has done immense damage to the health of our organisation”.

The document pointed out that promoting individual commitments within the party at the cost of larger political and ideological interests had become widespread and that this had encouraged negative tendencies such as sycophancy, nepotism and corruption.

V. SUDERSHAN

Former BJP Presidents Rajnath Singh and L.K. Advani. “Rajnath Singh’s elevation [as president in 2005, replacing Advani] was seen as one of the most important rectification initiatives in the post-2004 period, but nothing came of it,” says a senior RSS leader.

According to a senior RSS leader from Uttar Pradesh, Rajnath Singh was asked to take over as BJP president from Advani in 2005 with the clear brief that he would implement the tasks listed in the document, and he was removed from the post in 2009 as he had failed to carry them out. “In fact, Rajnath Singh’s elevation was seen as one of the most important rectification initiatives in the post-2004 period, but nothing came of it,” said the Lucknow-based senior RSS leader.

Obviously, the current BJP president,Nitin Gadkari, too, has a brief from the RSS to carry out these tasks. While there is a general consensus within the higher echelons of the Sangh Parivar that it is too early to make an overall assessment of Gadkari’s performance, there is also the view that his stint so far – since December 2009 – has not been very inspiring in terms of correcting political and organisational deficiencies.

Gadkari’sdependence on established power and pressure groups in the organisational hierarchy to take decisions has been criticised widely within the Sangh Parivar. Still,he has the backing of the RSS leadership at this point of time, essentially on account of the argument that he needs more time to set things in order.

However, thewidespread impression within the rank and file of various Sangh Parivar organisations and among serious observers of the Parivar is that even top leaders of the RSS, including sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat, will not be able to give Gadkari too long a rope.

“The context created by the revelations about the so-called Hindutva terror attacks and the extremist tendencies they signify underscore this impression,” said Lucknow-based political analyst Indra Bhushan Singh.

He is of the view that the present context makes it imperative for Gadkari to act fast, at least to create the impression that he is taking steps to advance the interests of the saffron party politically and organisationally. This would essentially involve an assertion of Hindutva in one way or the other.

In actual terms, says Indra Bhushan Singh, this will be directed more against the so-called revisionist tendencies, highlighted both by the VHP leader and in the 2004 document, and less against the so-called sectarian tendencies, which in a way are only a continuation of the original thrust of Hindutva politics.