Archives for posts with tag: Sangh Parivar

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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hindu terrorist victim in Orissa

Example of Hindutva Terrorism,

Meena Kandasamy is the emerging face of Indian literature. She is from Chennai. She is basically a teacher and teaches college students about the nuances of poetry and literature. She is an established poetess now. Besides she is a social activist, writerblogger, peace activist and a fine human beingwith a heart that beats. She likes to describe herself as a woman writer who is obsessed with revolutionary Dr.Ambedkar’s message of caste annihilation. Below it we present one of her article published in Boloji.com.

Doing It Everyday – 5

This denial of space in the mainstream, this marginalization is being exploited by the Sangh Parivar. For instance, reliable sources claim that the Akhil Bharateeya Vidyarthi Parishad Terror Cell (ABVP—the Students Wing of the Sangh Parivar Terrorism) has a large contingent of Dalit students, who are tempted into joining by the offer of ‘prestigious positions’ within that organization. Keeping an eye on future vote-banks and prospective card-carriers the RSS never makes a wrong move in its political expansion. Towards this end, icons of Dalit identity are systematically brought into the pale of saffron. For instance, in Coimbatore, on 10th July 2004, the RSS-ABVP Terrorist conducted an ‘Ekalavya 2004’ function to give free notebooks to poor Dalit students. Color photographs of Dr.Ambedkar adorn the covers of Vijaya Bharatam on April 14th. Remarking on this phenomenon, Teltumbde observes:

“The co-optation process started from the systematic inclusion of the greatest dalit icon-Babasaheb Ambedkar into the Sangh Pariwar icons. They made him Pratah Smaraniya and variously propagated as though he was a staunch Hindutva Terrorist. They started celebrating his birth anniversaries, organizing festivals and seminars; publishing books with systematic vision of saffronizing him. Although, they chose the day of his death anniversary for their infamous demolition of the Babri Masjid, they have been celebrating the demolition day with the images of Ram and Ambedkar placed alongside. For gullible dalit masses reared on symbolism by the degenerate post-Ambedkar dalit leadership, the cooptation of Ambedkar meant change in attitude of the Brahmin camp. If Ambedkar symbolized concern for dalits, Sangh Pariwar did not lack in resources in making exhibitionist demonstration of this concern. It helped certain eager dalit elites to cross over to the resource rich Sangh Pariwar. Although, dalit masses did not follow these opportunist dalit elites it certainly helped in softening the anti-dalit image of the Sangh Pariwar and at the same time blurring the dalit identity.”

The same has been true of the Tamil Nadu example too. Here the Sangh Parivar prides itself in its ability to fund movements led by Dalits who are made to speak of the need to return to Hindutva. Such disgruntled sections and breakaway minor leaders from a most-backward caste party or a Dalit party were immediately bestowed with BJP tickets to parliamentary elections: Two of the five BJP candidates contesting from Tamil Nadu in the 2004 General Elections had such a ‘deserter’ background. Though they had earlier been models of militancy and staunch opponents of Hindutva, position and the dream of power could change their perspective overnight.

But people aren’t as easily turn-coat as politicians, and overnight changes in the worldview cannot be incorporated into the masses. Their percolation into Dalit lives is slower, but nevertheless vigorous, as can be seen from the sudden spate of building separate temples in Dalit areas. This not only gives them new Gods to pray too, but also subverts the eradication of the remnant forms of untouchability. Estimates given by the VHP, peg this number of new temples at 120, but it is just the tip of the iceberg. All over Tamil Nadu, the actual number of made-by-Sangh-Parivar temples might be a hundred times more, for a temple is, more often than not an idol, holy ash and kumkum, and someone to attend to it on holy days.

We need to also mention here that such participation of dalits in Hindtuva rituals/ celebrations has done nothing to remove untouchability or casteist oppression and discriminaton. Caste crimes are as crude, and as stark as ever. This is because despite all the wooing of the Dalits, the Sangh Parivar always tacitly aligns with the oppressors. Its largest following and economic support are from the castes that have a history of oppressive and caste-supremacist behavior. In southern Tamil Nadu, the RSS-VHP-Hindu Munnani finds its mutual counterpart in the Thevar community dreaded for its claims of aggressive masculinity and caste supremacy. That is why Praveen Togadia planned to do a Trishul Diksha at Madurai during the birthday celebrations of Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar organized by the Thevar Peravai. Similarly, Fuller notes that Maravars (another oppressor caste) had the maximum participation in the Vinayaka Chaturthi. This consolidation of caste-interests, also makes the Sangh Parivar a power block, giving the illusion of its being capable of swaying Hindu interests.

Wooing the Women

Like all movements of religious fundamentalism, the Sangh Parivar uses women as tools and makes them upholders of morality and decency. Their teachings implore women to understand the greatness of chastity and the need for unswerving loyalty to their family. The family here is the central agent of control, and women are required to adjust and not revolt against its authority. Women are portrayed as the custodians of culture and upholders of tradition—so, women’s liberation is to the Sangh a ghost of a riddle, an un-asked question that anyway requires no answers.

In the Tamil Nadu context, the Rashtriyasevika Samiti and the Sewa Bharati are the women wings of the saffron brigade. Here too, festivals are the key to mobilization of women. The report of the International Initiative for Justice on the Gujarat carnage notes:

“The Sangh Combine has strategically drawn in large numbers of women into its campaigns by using religious festivals as a focal point. From such innocuous beginnings, it has systematically incorporated women into its hate-filled mobilization against Muslims and has even distributed trishuls among them. Violence against women from Muslim communities was unprecedented during the Gujarat carnage and women from Hindu communities participated actively in the violence.”

The same thing has been happening in Tamil Nadu for the past two decades. I am not being portentous, although Gujarat has not yet been replicated, that day is not faraway in Tamil Nadu. Here is an excerpt from the book, RSS: A Vision in Action,

“[T]raditionally, Hindu women have been the repositories of piety and devotion. Tamilnadu VHP has made pioneering efforts in this respect and the response they are receiving is truly remarkable.”

Now the back-scratching is complete. The RSS publication praises the remarkable VHP. Drum-rolls please, before we proceed to read the pioneering efforts.

“During the freedom struggle, Mahakavi Subrahmanya Bharati made use of this tradition for rousing national consciousness among women. Now, VHP has picked up the thread. During Navarathri, 1,008 deepa-poojas are regularly organized throughout the state. The spontaneous response from women-folk can be gauged by the fact that in 1987, 148,645 ladies partook in 2,842 deepa-poojas in 243 places.”

Close to one and a half-lakh women had participated in such deepa poojas as early as in 1987. Imagine the numbers today, seventeen long years since then, with the Hindutva government at the centre, alliance with the ruling parties and other favorable circumstances. A similar festival is the paal-kudam (milk pot), where large numbers of women carry milk pots for the purpose of abhisekha to temples. The minimum number is 108, the maximum so far has been 1008. Such continued holding of Deepa Poojas (in Tamil they are called Thiruvilakku Poojas) gives the women the power to participate outside the domestic sphere. This entry into the public domain gains them additional respectability in their homes. Though women take active part in all the festivals, such unique, women-only festivals give them an enhanced sense of femininity and womanhood.

On the local level, women are consolidated using activities that require them to get together and meet often such as the bhajan mandalis. Also, the practice of observing fasts, is generally more incumbent on the women of the Sangh Parivar. Apart from the health and hygiene reasons to which they stake claim; fasting, is indicative of moving towards purity, towards an ideal of self-control and sense-control. Such an emphasis on the elimination of craving and desire, aids in their project of the complete desexualization of women. They are wrapped up in protectionist discourses. Only the reproductive role is stressed time and again: matri-shakti underlines the womb: there is a control over the bodies for the project of begetting proud and valiant sons for the Hindu Rashtra.

The introduction of festivals like Raksha Bandhan into a state that had never heard of the custom, let alone practiced it, pinpoints the role of the Sangh Parivar in transforming an upper-caste North Indian tradition into a universal celebration. The fact that it is one of the six-recognized celebrations of the RSS highlights its importance in their agenda of Hindu Rashtra. (Unfortunately for the Sangh, the introduction of the Rakhi culture, results in much hilarity. Popular girls buy rakhis by the dozen, which they tie to the hands of interested men whom they want to keep at bay. A simple piece of thread can transform prospective boyfriend into protective brother, a kind of magic that can otherwise never be achieved.) In the larger, real picture it seems a grim, painful tradition because it projects women as people who need protection.

Throughout the ideology of the Sangh, we find this constant reiteration that women, like children are weak people. So the patriarchy of the Parivar romps home with its protectionist policies. Perhaps this is aimed at according a greater masculinity to the men of the Sangh.

Children are enticed into the Sangh Parivar by the tinkering of the syllabus and the tarnishing of fresh minds. Schools run by the Hindutva forces are made to observe religious functions and rituals, students are made to stage patriotic (read Hindutva) plays.

One also needs to look at the maintenance of separate identities for women: they are generally not included in the masculine Vinayaka Chaturthi processions but in the ultra-feminine paal kudam, the deepa poojas, the fasting, the bhajan mandalis. Nothing that will affect her, nothing that will allow her to assert herself, or even assert her body. This perhaps arises out of the very low opinion of women that the reactionary Parivar holds. As an example, the then Deputy Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Hari Shankar Bhabra is reported to have said, ‘Why talk of humans, even gods cannot be sure of woman’s character.’

If ideology can take the Sangh Parivar thus far, crucially cunning strategies can take them farther. Their newest targets are the Self-Help Groups (SHGs) run by women. In July 2004, 5000 women marched the streets of Coimbatore city under the banner of the Seva Bharati. All these women belonged to Self-Help Groups and are economically powerful, as well as being socially well connected. In 2003, 30,000 women running SHGs participated in an RSS function arranged for them at Kanyakumari. Apart from such consolidation of women with social awareness, the orange order reaches out to the simple womenfolk too through rath-yatras. In Tamil Nadu, it is not the powerful Durga Vahini that woos the women, but softer icons of patriarchy like Sharada Ma and the Mother of Pondicherry Ashram.

Now we have seen how the Dalits and women are being enticed into entering the Sangh Parivar in the Tamil Nadu context. Such a massive project of Hindutvaization is possible only because of the active support of the state machinery.

The manifesto appeared on line yesterday 

About Brahmin nationalism he writes:

Saffronisation is a political neologism (after the saffron robes of the Brahmin clerics), used to refer to the policy of right-wing Brahmin nationalism (or Hindutva) which seeks to make the Indian state into a “Hindu nation” . These nationalist movements are also called Sanatana Dharma movements(untouchability, caste rule etc….)A related term, the Saffron Brigade, is used as a descriptor of people and organisations in India that promote Hindu nationalism such as the Sangh Parivar by their critics, who allege a militant Hindu agenda. The Sanatana Dharma movements or Brahmin nationalists in general are suffering from the same persecution by the Indian cultural Marxists as their European cousins. ………Marxists bring equal status for low caste peoples. 

The only positive thing about the Brahmin right wing is that they dominate the streets. They do not tolerate the muslims (in politics and high economy) and often riot and attack Muslims when things get out of control. This behaviour is nonetheless counterproductive. Because instead of attacking the Muslims they should target the category A and B traitors in India and consolidate military cells and actively seek the overthrow of the cultural Marxist government.
India will continue to wither and die unless the Brahmin nationalists consolidate properly and strike to win. 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.
The PCCTS, Knights Templar support the Sanatana Dharma movements and Indian nationalists in general.

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)

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.

First-hand accounts from the men who plotted and executed the genocide in Ahmedabad, Vadodara and Sabarkantha. Mayhem was meticulously planned and carried out by VHP-Bajrang Dal cadres across Muslim localities.

Overview

NARENDRA MODI visited Godhra on the day of the burning of coach S-6 of the Sabarmati Express. His outburst provided the first sign to Sangh workers that the time to corner the Muslims had come

THAT VERY NIGHT, top BJP and Sangh leaders met at Ahmedabad, Vadodara and Godhra, and gave the green signal for an all-out assault on Muslims across the state

A STRATEGY was devised on how to shield the attackers from the law after the riots. Prominent lawyers were briefed and senior police officers taken into confidence. The cadres were told Modi was squarely behind them

THE MOBILISATION of the under castes, something the Sangh had been engaged in for years, dovetailed into the deep penetration Hindutva already had among Gujarat’s higher castes. Godhra provided the perfect spark to fuse them together

FROM THE very outset, the police played partisan, often joining the mobs. Officers who tried to do their duty found their hands tied. The complicity was led by then Ahmedabad Commissioner PC Pandey, who ensured compliance by a swathe of junior officers

WEAPONS, FROM BOMBS to guns to trishuls, were either manufactured and distributed by Sangh workers themselves, or smuggled through Sangh channels from all over India. The Bajrang Dal and the VHP already had a large cache of firearms and daggers

BJP AND SANGH LEADERS led the bloodthirsty mobs through Ahmedabad’s bylanes, Sabarkantha’s villages, Vadodara’s localities. The police stood guard to the mayhem

BJP MLA MAYABEN KODNANI drove around Ahmedabad’s Naroda locality all day, directing the mobs. VHP leaders Atul Vaid and Bharat Teli did the same at the Gulbarg Housing Society. None of them ever went to jail

FIRE WAS THE MOST FAVOURED weapon in the rioters’ hands. That cremation is considered un-Islamic fuelled their frenzy to burn. Petrol and kerosene were lavishly used, as were the victims’ own gas cylinders

BABU BAJRANGI reveals he collected 23 revolvers from Hindus in Naroda Patiya. He called VHP general secretary Jaideep Patel 11 times and informed Gordhan Zadaphia, the then minister of state for home, about the death toll

GOVERNMENT COUNSEL before the Nanavati-Shah Commission, Arvind Pandya, himself worships Modi and describes Justice Shah as “our man”. Nanavati’s own report on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots is gathering dust till today.

A Cold Eclipse

THERE WAS no spontaneity to what happened in Gujarat post- Godhra. This was no uncontrived, unplanned, unprompted communal violence. This was a pogrom. This was genocide.

In a planned, coldly strategic manner, Muslim neighbourhoods across both urban and rural Gujarat were targeted. Large sections of Hindus were united under a single objective: to kill Muslims, wherever and by whatever means, preferably by first stabbing and mutilating them, and then by setting on fire what remained, whether dead or alive. During the course of the TEHELKA sting, many accused said they preferred burning Muslims alive over other forms of death since cremation is considered unacceptable in Islam.

For three days after the February 27 fire on the Sabarmati Express at Godhra, Gujarat’s BJP government receded from public view and let the armed mercenaries of Hindu organisations take over. For three days, absolute anarchy reigned. Execution squads were formed, composed of the dedicated cadre of Hindu organisations — the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the Bajrang Dal, the Kisan Sangh, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad and the Bharatiya Janata Party. Masjids and dargahs were destroyed across the state. Seventy-three Muslim religious places were torched in Ahmedabad alone, 55 in Sabarkantha, 22 in Vadodara.

The architects of Gujarat’s greatest shame were of two sorts. There were the coolheaded strategists, the conspirators, who plotted the carnage from behind the scenes. And there were the foot soldiers, the members of the saffron army, drugged on the vicious agenda of so-called Hindutva, who went out and looted, raped and killed. On occasion, the planners were also sometimes emboldened to go out and participate in the massacres.


Ahmedabad: Carnage Capital

ASHISH KHETAN

 

In Naroda, Gulbarg, Kalupur and Dariyapur, murderous mobs armed to the teeth obeyed the Sangh Parivar’s every word

Muslims who had begged police to protect them the day before huddle in the wreckage of their burned out homes in Ahmedabad
Photo: Ami Vitale

THE MOST horrifying massacre of the Gujarat riots was the one at Naroda Gaon and Naroda Patiya localities in Ahmedabad. A local Bajrang Dal leader, Babu Bajrangi, was one of the main conspirators. He started planning the massacre soon after the news of the Sabarmati incident broke. Starting in the evening of February 27, firearms and inflammable material were collected; Bajrangi also formed a select team, drawn from the cadre of the VHP and the Bajrang Dal. Members of the Chhara community, a denotified criminal tribe, were also roped in. TEHELKA spoke to two of them, Suresh Richard and Prakash Rathod. Both believed, and were made to believe, that by killing Muslims they were doing a great service to Hinduism.

On February 28, 2002, Bajrangi marshalled a murderous mob through the narrow bylanes of Naroda Patiya and Naroda Gaon. Egging the mob on was also local BJP MLA Mayaben Kodnani, who is also a doctor. Both Richard and Rathod have been recorded on TEHELKA’s spycam saying that Kodnani drove around Naroda all through the day, urging the mob to hunt Muslims down and kill them. Kodnani’s trusted lieutenant, BJP member Bipin Panchal, was also present with his own small band of followers, armed to the teeth. All through the massacre, Bajrangi and VHP state general secretary Jaideep Patel were on the phone with each other. Bajrangi did not reveal whether Patel was also involved in the planning. However, he did say that the death toll was being communicated to Patel at regular intervals. Several survivors from Naroda Gaon have identified Patel as the leader of the Naroda mob.

At the end of the day the total “score” — as Bajrangi chose to term estimates of the number of Muslims killed — in Naroda was well over at least 200. This figure has not been acknowledged by the state government; officially, 105 people were killed at Naroda Patiya and Naroda Gaon. Naroda, however, was far from the only Ahmedabad locality to be turned into a mass incinerator. A few kilometres away, VHP leaders were leading a frenzied mob at Meghaninagar. The target was a housing society called Gulbarg, a building inhabited by Muslims.

TEHELKA stung three participants in the carnage — Mangilal Jain, Prahlad Raju and Madan Chawal — all three local petty traders and all three with cases against them for their part in the riots. They said they and other members of the mob had been led by VHP leaders Atul Vaid and Bharat Teli, both of whom were named as accused in the FIR but were subsequently cleared of all charges when the police filed the chargesheet. Chawal gave a graphic description of how he and his accomplices first hacked former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri apart limb from limb, and then made a heap of his body parts, which they set on fire.

The official death toll of the Gulbarg massacre stood at 39, but the accused told TEHELKA that the actual number of those killed was much higher. Apart from the housing society’s residents, the dead also included Muslims who lived in nearby slums who had taken shelter in the building. TEHELKA also spoke to VHP leaders Rajendra Vyas and Ramesh Dave, who planned attacks on Muslims in Kalupur and Dariyapur, among Ahmedabad’s most communally sensitive areas. Ahmedabad city VHP president Rajendra Vyas, who was also in charge of the ill-fated Sabarmati Express, said that on the day of the fire on the train that killed 59 karsevaks, he had told the VHP cadre that “the Muslims had played a one-day match and given us a target of 60 runs. We shall now have to play a test match and we won’t stop until we score 600.”

Vyas, who lives in Kalupur, was recorded on the TEHELKA camera stating that he himself had shot dead five Muslims and had burned down nine Muslim houses. Ramesh Dave was the VHP’s point man in Dariyapur. He said he and his fellow planners had targeted and killed Muslims who had been in their sights for over 20 years — “chun-chun ke maara is baar (we specifically hunted them down)”. Dave also claimed that along with a friend, he had arranged for about 10 small firearms.

Vadodara: Charred City

THOUGH NOTHING could be compared to the violence unleashed in Ahmedabad, Muslims in Vadodara — the second largest city in Gujarat — were also assaulted in a phased manner. The first round, which started on February 27 itself, lasted until March 2, with the worst incident taking place on March 1, when 14 persons were burnt alive at the Best Bakery in Hanuman Tekri. Thereafter there was violence between March 15-20 and, following this, between April 25-May 2, with some incidents taking place in the intervening period, especially on March 25.

Almost every major Muslim locality of the city was attacked. Kisanwadi, Sama, Ashabiwi Chawl, Madhavpur II, Makkarpura, Audhootnagar, Raghovpura, Noor Park, Karelibagh, Gotri village, Hajimiyan ka Sara, Hanuman Tekri, Roshannagar, Panigate, Taiwada and Macchipith were among the areas where Hindu mobs went on a rampage. Hundreds of Muslim homes and businesses were looted and torched. In Sama, a relatively new part of Vadodara with a predominantly Hindu population, a mob of around 20 people attacked the residence of Prof JS Bandukwala, a professor of physics at the Maharaja Sayajirao University (MSU) and a respected figure in Vadodara, on the morning of February 28. The mob left after Prof Bandukwala and his daughter managed to take shelter in their Hindu neighbour’s house.

However, on the following day, March 1, a larger mob, armed with gas cylinders among other weaponry, launched a second assault and succeeded in torching Bandukwala’s house. The homes of two other prominent Muslim bureaucrats in the area were burned down. TEHELKA stung a rioter, Dhimant Bhatt, who was in the mob that torched these three homes. Bhatt is an accountant by profession — he is the chief accountant and auditor of MSU — but his real vocation is to inflict damage on Muslims.

Besides being a university employee, he also works as a personal assistant to the current Vadodara BJP MP Jayaben Thakkar. Bhatt revealed that on the night of the Sabarmati Express incident, a meeting was convened of Vadodara’s top BJP, RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal and ABVP functionaries. Bhatt, who is also an RSS member, was present at the meeting, which is where, he says, a strategy of attacking Muslims was outlined. A plan for providing legal assistance to Hindus who may face legal action after the riots was also chalked out at the same meeting.

TEHELKA met another Vadodara BJP leader, Deepak Shah, who not only corroborated what Bhatt told us but also gave the name of the farmhouse where the meeting took place — Narmada Farmhouse. Shah, who is also a member of the Syndicate of the MSU, also corroborated what Babu Bajrangi had boasted of in Ahmedabad — that saffron organizations used lower-caste Hindus for carrying out anti-Muslim attacks.