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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Is Modi a lone wolf?

In India itself, the hard-line approach to Muslims as terrorists is that other communities who are not Hindus like Christians, Jains, Buddhists and Sikhs are not viewed from the narrow prism of Hindutva. Modi is not a lone wolf, an exceptional lonely person having extreme views against the Muslim minority. As India has been subjected to acts of terrorism by different groups based on different religious identities it is necessary to evolve a comprehensive definition of terrorism.

Modi is not a lone wolf, an exceptional lonely person having extreme views against the Muslim minority which is detrimental to them and proves through his acts of commission and omission during the 2002 genocide of Muslims. He is a part of a pack.

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is an internationally recognized terrorist organization. According to the American think tank Terrorism Research Centre (TRC) based in East Virginia state in the US it is placed in a list of organizations that are all terrorists in essence in the context of the subcontinent. The list shows different shades of terrorism.

Read more: Looking at the terrors that continue to haunt Kashmir

They are religion-based and also secular in essence like the Maoists

While many in India call the others terrorists but it is little-known truth that RSS like ULFA is a Hindu terrorist group and based on the upper caste Hindus known as Swarna.

  1. Al Badr
  2. Al Barq
  3. Al Mansooran
  4. Al Umar Mujahideen
  5. Al-Nasreen
  6. All Tripura Tiger Forces
  7. Asif Raza Commandoes
  8. Harkat ul Ansar
  9. Hizb ul Mujahedin
  10. Islamic Front
  11. Jamaat I Islami [JI]
  12. Jamiat ul Mujahideen (JUM)

13. Jammu and Kashmir Freedom Force

14. Lashkar e Jabbar (LJ)

  1. Mahaz e Azadi
  2. Maoists
  3. Muttahida Jehad Council (MJC)
  4. National Liberation Front of Tripura
  5. People’s War Group (PGW)
  6. Rajneeshee Cult
  7. Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)
  8. Sikh Extremists
  9. Tehrik I Jihad
  10. United Liberation Front of Assam

The appearance of the musclemen of Bajrang Dal at the beginning of the pogroms at Naroda Patia was distinctly a visual proof of that organization’s terrorist orientation. The printouts of Muslim houses and commercial establishments also came from the same quarters. In addition to the mass terrorism, the bomb blasts in Malegaon included perpetrators who were pracharaks (like Modi) of RSS and also members of the Bajrang Dal. In fact, on September 9, 2006, the director-general of police of Maharashtra Dr. Pasricha said that the blasts of the previous day in Malegaon were the work of Banjang Dal.

Despite these valid proofs, there is no sign that the government is anywhere near declaring RSS/BD/VHP as terrorist organizations. India has recommended the US to declare different Muslim groups as terrorists but has never taken up the RSS or BD or VHP as terrorists with the US. This is viscerally relevant because these organizations of India receive enormous funds from the Indians in the US and the European countries, the Indian Diaspora. Sonal Shah and her father have been VHP office holders of America and have sent the money that was redirected from Delhi to Gujarat for the purpose of the holocaust there. The marauders had pouches of dry fruits, drinks, and cash sourced from the same fund.

Read more: How RSS can be described as India’s deep state?

Modi described the pracharaks and volunteers of RSS as pavitra log or “sacred people” in his speech at Varanasi or Benares on Friday, April 18, 2014. He remarked that the RSS was the “biggest nationalistic, social and cultural organization—which has been given a bad name by news traders and people with vested interests.” The news traders to him are the independent media with objective reporting of events. In contrast, the Ahmadabad Sandesh is a patriotic newspaper because it contributed to violence against the Muslims by carrying distorted and biased reportage.

How could the RSS be the biggest nationalistic group when it does not allow minorities in its rank?

Furthermore, its nationalism is Hindu cultural nationalism which excludes the minorities. Its aggressive Hindutva stance on issues is highly poisonous and divisive. A current instance is that of those inveterate adherents of RSS who would not vote Anand Paranjape of Nationalist Congress Party in the Kalyan constituency of the Lok Sabha election. Mumbra is a part of it. The NCP MLA of Mumbra Jitendra Awhad had supported Ishrat Jahan family to fight the case of the fake encounter of 2004 in which Ishrat Jahan was kidnapped and abducted to Ahmadabad and drugged and killed at the instance of Narendra Modi (white-bearded, a euphemism of Gujarat police for their boss) and black-bearded Amit Shah.

The CBI has described Shah as the kingpin, the most crucial person in the operation of trapping the innocent girl and killing her and three others. He was arrested and imprisoned. After spending time in jail he was given bail but forbidden to stay in Gujarat and surprisingly allowed political activism. Can the RSS be called what Modi has said that the cadres of it are good people and not terrorists who “dedicated their lives for the welfare of the downtrodden”? Ishrat Jahan’s family was penurious like the many Dalits who live in Mumbra and elsewhere. Even more noteworthy is that the BJP still views Ishrat Jahan as terrorists while those who ordered her death, precisely Modi and Shah, are scot-free and no one even thinks that they are really terrorists.

Even in 2002, Modi turned the fire accident on Sabarmati Express on February 27 into sabotage by Pakistan without giving any proof. Even after the conviction of the Muslims supposedly involved there is no cogent proof and he has not bothered to make it clear to his fellow Gujaratis how was Pakistan involved. His instruction to the police to let the Hindus exact revenge for three days fits into the strategy evolved by Subramanian Swamy: “What does it mean in the 21st century for Hindus to stand up? I mean by that mental clarity of the Hindus to defend the nation by effective deterrent retaliation.” Modi had told the meeting on the night of February 27 that he wanted to teach Muslims a lesson they would not forget in life by showing them their place.

However, Modi calling Indians as brothers and saying he would not let secularism divide them is hogwash. Swamy also spoke in a similar vein for his strategy which includes mutual work by Hindus and other minorities: “This also entails an intelligent co-option of other religious groups into the Hindu cultural continuum. That is why I advocated that Muslims accept what has been scientifically established by DNA genetic studies, that we have common ancestors and share the hoary Hindu past.” So Muslims must co-opt though not cooperate voluntarily! It was this that compelled Comparative Religion Professor Diana Eck of Harvard to vote against Swamy teaching at Harvard as this is discriminatory.  Modi also discriminates defiantly. She went further that Swamy “clearly crosses the line by demonizing an entire religious community and calling for violence against their sacred places.”

Read more: Yogi Adityanand’s offer of body, mind, wealth and guns smacks seditious

 The controversy of Giriraj Singh also hearkens back to what Swamy had said. Swamy has been the president of the Janta Party, now merged with BJP. “If any Muslim acknowledges his or her Hindu legacy, then we Hindus can accept him or her, others who refuse to acknowledge this can remain in India but should not have voting rights.” What Hukum Singh said in Muzaffarnagar of disenfranchising Muslim refugees is a step further.

In India itself, the hard-line approach to Muslims as terrorists is that other communities who are not Hindus like Christians, Jains, Buddhists and Sikhs are not viewed from the narrow prism of Hindutva. As Swamy justifies: “because they have nothing to do with that terror.” This is a skewed perception of terror for Sonal Shah, her father VHPA official in the US, Amit Shah and the two Kothari brothers who climbed the towers of Babri mosque were all terrorists. Through money, action and support they entered the unholy alliance of terrorists. Amit Shah carried out the order of his boss and told the Gujarat police and their counterpart in Andhra to intercept the bus at Sangli in Maharashtra and arrest Sohrabuddin and Tulsiram Prajapati.

When Kauser Bi intervened Shah contacted Modi and ordered that she too should be arrested. So far Shah has not been named in the Sohrabuddin case. He was arrested because Ayub Rana of Tehelka had furnished the phone call records to show that Shah was in contact with GL Singhal, Vanzara and Modi who had a busy time when Ishrat and the others with her were killed. What other than murder was the topic of discussion among them so early and so continuously? She was just an ordinary poor girl, not a terrorist out to kill anyone let alone heavily guarded Modi and Shah!

Understanding Karan Thapar and Swamy interaction

The quintessence of Hindutva’s stance comes out clearly when Karan Thappar cornered Swamy as he had done Modi in 2007. Karan Thapar: What gives you the feeling that the majority of Hindus agree with you.

Subramanian Swamy: Go and talk to them.

Karan Thapar: What do you mean go and talk to them?

Subramanian Swamy: I would say judging to all the reaction to my article, the Hindus are overwhelmingly in support.

Karan Thapar: Are you saying that Hindus are communal like you are?

Subramanian Swamy: Well it depends how you define communal. If you think that what I have written is communal then I will say that 99 percent are communal.

Karan Thapar: 99 per cent Hindus are communal?

Subramanian Swamy: If your definition of Hindu or Communalism is what you have defined it.

Karan Thapar: Let’s come to the reasons such as why you have this particular view and attitude to Muslims. You say and I’m quoting once again, “Muslims of India are being programmed by a slow reacted process to become radical and thus slide into suicide against Hindus. What proof do you have of this?

Subramanian Swamy: Who has done the Bombay attack?

Karan Thapar: What about Swami Asimanand, what about Col. Purohit what about Pragya Singh Thakur?

Subramanian Swamy: Don’t change the subject. Today there is sufficient evidence that homegrown Muslim individuals have become terrorists.

Karan Thapar: But there is also sufficient evidence of homegrown Hindus becoming terrorists.

Subramanian Swamy: Don’t change the subject, first let’s finish this point. And then I’m coming…I’m ready to take this point, but first, let’s take the first point. That for the first time I find that there is sufficient evidence with our intelligence system that Muslims are being programmed into becoming terrorists.

Karan Thapar: For the sake of argument only. I will accept you are right. In fact why then associate the whole Muslim community because a small fringe lunatic element doing it.(5)

Among the pack-hounding Muslims is Pravin Togadia who told on Saturday, April 19, 2014 “Where we are in majority, we should have the courage to intimidate them by taking the law in our hands.” About the Muslim who had bought a house in a Hindu-dominated Meghaninagar in Bhavnagar district, he issued his fatwa: “Ensure his shop is shut. This is an offensive war strategy..take stones, burn tires and create an atmosphere of rioting.” What a rich Muslim businessman has done, Togadia generalizes for the rest of the Muslims in India:

Read more: Are we on the way to Muslim holocaust?

“First they buy a house at high price and purchase other houses of Hindus at half price. How do we stop this? Take possession of the house and put up a Bajrang Dal board. You will not be hanged if you take possession of the house illegally. Rajiv Gandhi’s killers have not been hanged, none of you are going to be hanged. I have done this in the past and kept possession of the house for a long time by pasting a Bajrang Dal board. Muslims have lost the house and money too.”

Who is the actual father of this hate ideology against Muslims?

Owning houses in “Hindu” areas? It was no other than the Chief Minister Modi who had the act known as the Disturbed Areas Act promulgated to prevent Muslims from buying property in Hindu majority areas in the aftermath of the genocide of 2002. Thousands of Muslims lost their property in the pogroms and could not buy any in the areas of the majority community who hardly lost any house of their own. Indeed, Togadia even gave this also as an incentive:” The VHP leader reportedly incited the gathering to take forcible possession of the house or to pressure the state government to enforce the Disturbed Areas Act, which makes it tough to seek propriety to a member of the minority community in a neighborhood.”

Rubbing salt in the wounds of the Muslim minority which still bleed when they recall the horrors of the holocaust Modi wreaked upon them in 2002, Togadia excelled in his one-upmanship: “I have done it in the past and Muslims have lost both property and money.” By enacting the discriminatory DAA and also ruling Gujarat with impunity in open defiance of what the then President of India KR Narayanan wrote to Prime Minister of India AB Vajpayee for treating Muslims as human beings, Modi led the pack of wolves engaged in outfoxing. Togadia waited for the opportune time to outfox Modi now. This is something Giriraj Singh was doing in Bihar. Singh like the Sangh has not forgiven Advani’s visit to Pakistan.

All these happenings in the backdrop of a general election for Indian Parliament must recall that the 2004 election was fought and lost by the BJP on the issue of the genocide. No other than the PM Vajpayee regretted the loss due to Gujarat’s 2002 carnage. The Sangh [RSS] chose Modi to fight ten years later because his charisma was so enchanting that the Hindutva group felt that by winning the election they would get another clean chit for what had happened then. Thousands of cases are still pending in Gujarat or in the Supreme Court or in Bombay high court. By having Modi at the helms of affairs of the country only he could sweep all the cases under the carpet of the mania for development.

How far Circe will infatuate the youths and the middle class will be clear in about a month’s time. But things have gone too far. It was the war-cry of “Har Har Mahadev” that rang into the ears of the scared Muslims crouching low in their hiding as the hordes descended upon them in 2002. By substituting the name of the god with the architect of the genocide the fans went out of control. Even the Shankaracharya of Varanasi has rattled: “People say no one can stop Modi. But if these activities continue, God will stop Modi.”

Read more: Kashmir teetering on the brink of disaster

So who is still leading the pack?

It is Modi, Togadia is incidental, so is Giriraj Singh. As India has been subjected to acts of terrorism by different groups based on different religious identities it is necessary to evolve a comprehensive definition of terrorism. on the night of April 12, 2014, a crowd of Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad led by fire eater Pravin Togadia had met in protest before the house of a Dawoodi Bohra Muslim who had bought a house at Meghani circle.

Or look at the terrified parent’s plea to a journalist: “No, you cannot use my name or my letters or my story. I have three children. Modi will ruin their lives if people know my views on him.”

“I pleaded with him to reconsider but he would not budge.

“You do not have children. You do not know what it is like to live in Gujarat. You will return to America eventually. Please, you must understand.”

The fear the father of three had is what is called terror. How magnified it was when during the pogroms thousands of parents like him had their children huddle together against the closed door which would give way to the marauding crowd yelling for their blood. It was Modi who had created the situation, manufactured out of the train fire accident.

A leaf from the contemporary incident of terrorism in Kansas in the US would help us provided we are serious about defining terrorism. If we don’t have such a definition how could we deal with the menace? Are we going to be embroiled in the primary stage of name and identifying the scourge? A fresh debate in the US has churned up a working definition of terrorism as “acts of terror are planned attacks that are done to draw attention to some cause, rather than to inflict harm or suffering on a particular identity group.”  It is “orchestrated and often part of a series of events often associated with formal organization or group”

Read more: What led to the great divide of India and Pakistan?

In 2002 the real aim was the renewed movement for building the Ram temple at Ayodhya after a decade of the demolition of the Babri mosque. The movement was fixed for March 15, 2002. For that more and terrifying violence was needed to arouse the anger of the Hindus. The fire accident on the Sabarmati Express through accidental came in handy for a larger purpose.


Mustafa Khan holds a Ph.D. on Mark Twain. He lives in Malegaon Maharashtra, India. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.