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Hindu Fascist Violence against Christians,Muslims,Sikhs
and minorities in India

1

"It is a matter of deep humiliation to confess that we are a house divided against itself that we Hindus and Mussul-

mans are fying at one another. It is a matter of still deeper humiliation that we Hindus regard several million of our
own kith and kin as too degraded even for our touch."

M.K. Gandhi's address to the US through Columbia Broadcasting System in 1930s:

Such discrimination, as noted by Gandhi himself, forced many Dalits to convert to Islam, in the hope of
gaining some social standing in the society that refuses to consider them human otherwise. But the VHP led
Hindu right took this to be an unforgivable sin. To abandon their religion and that too for Islam outraged the
hardliners to the core. The VHP saw this as a serious threat to its notion of Hinduism.

India, the world's largest secular democracy is everything but that. This rhetoric sounds good but only for
so long. It becomes nauseating when this hypocrisy takes such toll that humans are openly butchered in the
streets while the government prides itself to be a representative of those very people.

Prologue

Indian history of the past sixty years has been marred by religious, political and communal violences. An
interesting trend to note is that only certain religious issues become prominent in politics; causing agitation
and leading to communal riots. This essay attempts to ascertain the sociological, psychological, economic, and
political explanations for incidents of communal violence, in Gujarat, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Bengal, Maha-
rashtra, Orrissa and Delhi in India.

The frst major riots that occurred in India between Hindus and Muslims after the bloodshed of partition in

1947 can be traced back to as long as 1961, in Jabalpur a central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. (sic) They
were followed by riots in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh with periodic violence erupting elsewhere.

Similarly, thousands of Sikhs were murdered in Delhi in 1984. The assassination of Prime Minister Indira

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Gandhi at the hands of two Sikh bodyguards triggered that violence; a response from Sikhs at the killing of
innocent worshippers at the holy shrine when the Indian Army stormed into the temple with full force under
her orders. But the roots of present day violence can be best traced to the 1980's.

Gujarat riots of 2002 were another horror story where thousands of Muslims were burnt alive, raped and

slaughtered by Hindu fascists in the frst genocide of 21st century. The recent anti- Christian violence in India

is being viewed by the world with concern as it is a sign of how quickly such violence can spiral out of control.
The last thing the world want is another incident similar to the Gujarat riots of 2002 or the destruction of

Babri Masjid of 1992, which gave way to months of ferce unrest.

Following the demolition of Babri masjid in 1992, some 2000 people were killed in communal riots in Ayod-
hya, Bombay and beyond. Hindu hardliner parties, including the Vishwa Hindu Prashad (VHP) and Bharatiya
Janata Party (BJP) - used Ayodhya as a rallying call to Hindus throughout India. They said the 16th century
mosque at the site was located on the birthplace of the Hindu Lord Rama and that a temple had to be built
there. The temple till date has not come up but the memories of the destruction of the mosque still haunt the
minorities in India.

Some analysts blame the Hindu-Muslim rioting in India on the Muslim movement for an independent Paki-
stan which sharpened the divisions on religious lines and saw millions of Muslims slaughtered in 1947 by Hin-
du fascists. But deeper analysis prove this hypothesis wrong as Hindu religious intolerance has not remained

confned to Muslims only. Other minorities including Christians, Sikhs and lower caste Hindus, otherwise

known as dalits, have also borne the brunt of the fascist Hindu ideology that fuels this violence. The problem
is much bigger than what is taken to be in explaining these disturbing tendencies. In all the above mentioned
incidents what remains consistent is the fact that the aggressors are always fundamentalist Hindus, who seek

justifcation of their horrendous sins in divine rulings. Thus this mindset can be best made sense of with an

understanding of Hinduism itself.

“Inequality is the soul of Hinduism,” wrote Ambedkar. He characterized the oppressive caste system as the tyr-

anny of Hinduism. After spending a lifetime in a crusade against the oppressive Hinduism, Ambedkar fnally

renounced Hinduism, and converted to Buddhism and exhorted his followers to do the same. It is an irony

Hindu mob is beating a helpless Sikh dur-
ing violence against Sikhs in Delhi in1980.

Sikhs burnt alive in the streets of Delhi. (1980)

10

Setting Indi a on Fire

that BJP and other Sangh Parivar outfts are

now trying to prove him right by their fas-
cist violence against Indian minorities. Some
claim that India was a country that preached
non-violence ever since the Vedic period.
This also sounds ironic especially when to-
day's India has become a conundrum of vio-
lence with BJP-led Saffron Brigade trying to
create a Hindu Rashtra. This has resulted in
terrible and outrageous violence against the
minorities living in India, which in actuality
expose and challenge the secular credentials
of India.

The new wave of attacks against Christians
was triggered by the killing of a Hindu lead-
er, Swami Laxanananda Saraswati, along with

fve other people at Tumudibandh, Kandha-

mal District, in Orissa on 23 August 2008.

The rebellious Maoist Naxalite groups
prominent in this region have claimed re-
sponsibility for the murder of Swami and
his followers. In addition, the state police
authorities have stated that the killing was
carried out by the Maoists. However, leaders
of certain fundamentalist Hindu organiza-
tions like the Bajrang Dal and Durga Vahini
blamed Christians for these killings. Despite
the condemnation expressed by Christian
groups and churches at the killing of the
Swami and his associates and their demand
for the culprits to be caught and punished,
in retaliation, the extremist Hindu organi-
zations have engaged in a series of attacks
against Christians throughout the Sate of
Orissa.

The minority Christians in Orissa have been experiencing various forms of atrocities in recent weeks includ-
ing looting, destruction of churches and church-run institutions, brutal attacks against priests, rape of nuns,
church workers and other members of the Christian community, most of whom are Dalits and Adivasis

(tribals). Reports from various sources confrmed that at least ffty thousand Christians in Orissa have been
displaced; hundreds of Christians have fed their homes and taken refuge in forests; many others are living in

as many as eighteen relief camps, which offer them only so much relief in the wake of the mayhem that has
wrecked their lives.

This is the man, a terrorist of Bajrang Dal who with that
weapon in his hand had split/pierced the womb of the Mus-
lim woman in Gujrat and slaughtered her unborn baby as
well with her with this same weapon. The picture with the
weapon having blood on it was published by press then.

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The plight of the victims and survivors of this communal carnage, the fear and trauma they are experienc-

ing, the poor and unhygienic facilities in the government-run relief camps, the ineffciency of government

machinery in tackling the violence, continue to be a serious concern. The upsurge of religious extremism in
Orissa in recent weeks has left many Christians in Orissa virtually defenseless.

Insight into the communal violence in India

Though Hindutva ideologues often try and confuse matters by claiming that India is already a Hindu Rashtra,
which translated in English means a "Hindu nation", they know that their model of Indian society, if it is to
come about, requires the prior establishment of a Hindu state under Sangh control, which in coordination
with the RSS, alone can dramatically reshape the Indian society/polity demanded by a proper Hindu Rashtra.
But there are only two routes to achieving such radicals strong state power — through an electorate to secure
an absolute or near-absolute majority for the BJP in Parliament; or bypassing altogether the constitutional-
electoral route and carrying out an authoritarian coup either of a military-police kind, or a civilian unconstitu-
tional coup of the Emergency-type. Through this a dominant but minority party comes to power in a coalition
through elections but then overthrows all democratic-electoral restraints and establishes its authoritarian state.
Fascism in Germany and Italy combined the electoral and unconstitutional processes and attained central
control in this manner.

Gujrat is being used as a rallying point by BJP, RSS, Bajrang Dal, Durga Vahini, Balidani Dasta of Bajrang
Dal, Shiv Sena and Vishav Hindu Parishad. Taking it to be the starting point, they wish to take their malicious
agenda forward to Orissa and beyond.

Organized violence against Christians in India

This new wave of organized violence against Christians, which started in Orissa, has now spread to other
States such as Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala. Attacks launched by Hindu extremist groups against

House belonging to Christian family burnt to ashes. Thousands of houses of Christians
were burnt by Fanatic Hindus during recent violence in Orissa and other states of India

12

the Christians are considered as a well thought-
out plot and just one link in a long chain of
events that have continued to strain commu-
nal harmony and inter-religious relations in the
country. Although the attacks against Christians
are interpreted as religious violence, in most cir-
cumstances the under current is based on socio-
economic factors. Christians in the country have
been repeatedly accused of encouraging conver-
sion to Christianity. Various Churches have been

unequivocal in their offcial documents and

statements and have insisted that conversion
to Christianity by force or fraudulent means is
strictly prohibited.

What the constitution of India says?

Contrary to what the Indian constitution states in terms of protecting minority rights, Hindu militant groups
are trying to replicate the example of Bajrang Dal. The Bajrang Dal was set up in 1984 as the youth arm of the
Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Mr Prakash Sharma was made its Kanpur unit convener. At that time, it was “active
only in a few districts of Uttar Pradesh. Today it has some 1.3 million activists spread across most of the States
and the aim is to cover every district of the country. The Bajrang Dal leader denied that his organization was
involved in the violence against Christians in Kandhamal district of Orissa or in Mangalore and elsewhere in
Karnataka, although the Karnataka unit chief Mahendra Kumar, had issued a statement accepting its role. Mr.
Sharma listed the tasks before the Dal as “seva” (service of the people) and “suraksha” (protection). Its volun-
teers were given tough physical training to help them protect themselves and the people. He insisted that they

were not trained in frearms, and were trained only in “aiming with air guns for which we run regular camps.”

Mr Sharma very openly and nonchalantly admitted that the minorities can only live in a Hindu Rashtra if they
stop preaching their religion. “We do not say do not go to mosques or churches. But conversion must be stopped. We have
re-converted to Hinduism through the Ghar Vapasi (home-coming) programme about 10,000-15,000 people since I became
Bajrang Dal convener in 2002.”

Here is another chilling reality that somehow is escaping the Government of India. The violence and threats
against the Christians/minorities of India is an assault on the Constitution of India. The Indian Constitution
declares India to be a “sovereign socialist secular democratic republic” which secures to all citizens “justice;
liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship; and equality of status and opportunity”. Under
articles 14, 15 and 16 of the Indian Constitution, discrimination based on religion is prohibited. Article 25
guarantees the right to freely practice and propagate religion. In addition to these constitutional guarantees at
the domestic level, India is also party to several international treaties that stipulate human rights obligations.
Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights establishes the right to freedom of
thought, conscience and religion.

Article 26 bar discrimination on the grounds of religion while Article 27 stipulates that in “those states in
which ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities exist, persons belonging to such minorities shall not be denied

Cross at stakes - Many Churches destroyed in Orissa recently

Setting Indi a on Fire

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the right, in community with the other members of
their group, to enjoy their own culture, to profess and
practice their own religion...”.

India now has seven states, which have legislation ban-
ning religious conversions. The seven Indian states with
anti-conversion legislation (known as the Freedom of
Religion Acts), include Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh,
Orissa, Arunachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and
Himachal Pradesh. Hindu extremists commonly use
anti-conversion legislation to falsely accuse Christians
of converting people through force or allurement; thus
justifying subsequent attacks on Christians. They also

defect prosecution away from themselves by pressing

charges of “forcible conversion” without any evidence.

The response of the church in India

Atrocities committed against Christians are horrendous
and their unspeakable state is no less than a nightmare.
In August 2008, a crowd of up to 4,000 Hindu militants
attacked the Brethren in Christ Girls Hostel at Nuagoan, one of nine such facilities funded through the Schol-
arship Program for International Children’s Education (SPICE). The mob set the hostel and church ablaze,

destroyed its water tank, and demolished the campus. Ten policemen who were on guard at the hostel fed

when they saw the approaching crowd. Staff, girls, and local believers, some of whom were beaten, managed

to fee. The Cuttack-based offces of the Brethren in Christ Church in India were also a target, and several pas-

tors and church planters lost all their belongings when their homes were looted and burned. People, including
pastors, who had to take refuge in forests, lost everything. They are without food and clothes and at
risk of snake bites and malaria.

The Churches and Christian leaders in India have been making persistent efforts for appealing to people to
strive for peace and reconciliation. The call given by the Untied Christian Forum comprised of the National
Council of Churches in India, the Catholic Bishops Conference of India and the Evangelical Fellowship of
India to observe a Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace and Reconciliation was very well received by Christians
all over the country. People at large have appreciated the efforts by various churches to promote and restore
trust and goodwill among people of all religions and communities. The Church leaders in India appealed to all
members of Christian community in the country to work for the welfare of all sections of people in society

in spite of such horrifc experiences of violence and death of some members of the community.

The World Council of Churches is deeply disturbed by these developments of religious violence in Orissa
and has expressed its concern in a letter by the General Secretary addressed to the Prime Minister of India.
A pastoral letter from WCC General Secretary expressing sympathy and solidarity to suffering Christians in
Orissa was sent to WCC member churches in India and the National Council of Churches in India.

Churches being vandalized in Delhi

14

Setting India on Fire

India, Secular?

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh strongly defended India's secular credentials when the European
Union conveyed its “serious concerns” over attacks on Christians in India. “We are a secular state. We are
a multi-religious, multi-cultural nation,” Manmohan Singh said emphatically. “The Constitution guarantees
all citizens of India the right to profess and propagate a religion of their choice,” he said. Manmohan Singh
admitted there have been “sporadic attacks” on Christian shrines but underlined he had already condemned
these incidents as “acts of national shame.” An 'act of national shame,' indeed it was. But such gruesome
violations of human rights demand a more stern response than this. The Indian Prime Minister was covering
it up cosmetically since he had to do it. But the ground realities are absolutely different. As the growing reli-
gious extremism and increasing violence against religious minorities in India is putting the secular credibility
of India at risk.

The reality check India should go in for

Secularism is a term employed most rashly by the Indian National Congress. The Chief Minister of South
Indian state, Tamil Nadu made his mind clear regarding this and launched a scathing attack on the Prime
Minister.

Questioning the secular credentials of India, Karunanidhi alleged that the Congress was neither a true secular
party nor a force that was interested in the country's integration. Referring to the killings of Sikhs in the north
in the wake of assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, he wondered whether the Congress
could be called a secular party. Secularism was not a term to which the Congress alone could claim ownership;
he said asking, "have the people given patta (title deed) to the Congress to use the term?"

Karuna Nidhi had carefully chosen his target when attacking the Congress for he was aware that India has not
been able to free itself of communalism even after more than sixty years of independence, however much
it tries to deny it. If anything, it has been getting worse year after year. There has not been a single year in
post-independence period, which has been free of communal violence though number of incidents may vary.

Indian talks of pluralism, secularism and a great tradition, are made to seem nothing more than a mockery by
the Hinduvta dream of carving out a ‘Hindu Rashtra'.

Now there are few incidents that would stun the readers

In the year 2002 the frst reported riot took place in Kozhikode (Calicut), Kerala on 3rd January. In the clashes
between two communities (Hindus and Muslims) fve persons were killed. The clashes occurred on the ques-
tion of eve teasing. The whole region came in the grip of violence. More than twenty persons were injured

including fve women. Properties worth lakhs of rupees were destroyed. The police had to be heavily deployed

to bring the situation under control. Kerala in India is generally thought to be free of communal violence,
experiencing only occasional frenzy and bout of communal violence. But this time a vicious terror campaign
overtook it, aimed at its Christian community.

Gujarat was next to come under the stretch of communal carnage. Nowhere in history can there be found an

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example of the violence of this kind in India except at the time of partition. The communal carnage in Gu-

jarat shook the entire world. It was diffcult to believe such intense communal frenzy could be incited by the

BJP for its political gains. More than 2000 Muslims were killed most cruelly in this carnage according to very
reliable sources even though Government records show dead to number no more than 1000. What is worse

the Chief Mister Narendra Modi justifed such frenzy and described it as reaction to action in Godhra. And
all this happened with full complicity of the police and bureaucracy. The honest offcers who did not allow

carnage in their areas were instantly transferred by the Modi Government.

Some ministers who led the mobs have been named in FIRs. Many mosques and mausoleums were demol-
ished and ground was leveled. Some accounts maintain about 700 such religious structures were brought
down or severely damaged. Ahmedabad, Baroda, Mehsana and Panchmahal districts were the worst affected
districts covering entire north and central Gujarat. Properties worth more than 10,000 crores were looted or

burnt, though these fgures are disputed. The business loss due to closures and migration of labor is several
times this fgure. Hundreds of Muslim families were totally uprooted. The carnage continued for more than
fve months

On 17th March communal incidents took place in Loharu in Bhivani district of Haryana. Loharu was once
under a Muslim ruler and was know as Nawwaab of Loharu, which explains the considerable number of
Muslims residing in that town. A mob of three hundred incited by the rumor of cow slaughter attacked two
mosques and at least 15 shops and houses belonging to the Muslim minority community were set ablaze.

According to a UNI report quoting the police sources said that a mob of 300 Shiv Sainiks set fre to another

mosque near the railway station also including many shops in Purana Bazar. And in this area all 15-20 shops
and houses belonging to minority were burnt down. The palace of Nawwab of Loharu was also surrounded
by a mob but additional reinforcements were requisitioned from other places which were thus saved from
being damaged.

Next incidents of communal violence took place in three places in Rajasthan in which three persons were
killed on 25th March on the occasion of Muharram. The immediate provocation was the holding of poorna-
huti yagnas (a Hindu religious ritual) and Kirtans (devotional songs) for Rama at various temples on the route
of Tazia processions. Curfew had to be clamped in the town of Gangapur, 80 kms from Sawai Madhopur, in

central Rajasthan where 3 people were killed and 15 injured in police fring.

According to the police violence broke out when activists of the VHP, BJP and Bajrang Dal collected at an

ancient Hanumanji Mandir for a Yagna and Kirtan. The police asked them not to gather but they defed police

orders and began to shout provocative slogans when the Tazia procession came closer to the temple. The

police was compelled to open fre when teargasing and cane charge had no effect.

The Gangapur city has 25% Muslim population and earlier was considered to be the stronghold of SIMI
(Students Islamic Movement of India) in Rajasthan. It has always been prone to minor communal irritations

although this is the frst time that violence has erupted on such a large scale. In different parts of Southern

Rajasthan where the Sangh Parivar has strong presence communal tension was simmering. But the situation
was kept under control.

16

Christians’ massacre starts again

The recent wave of the communal violence in Orissa's Kandhamal district was an 'unprecedented' attack on

the Christian community in India, according to a rights group in its fact-fnding report. 'We are saddened to

acknowledge that the violence in Orissa, which left at least four killed and 730 houses and 95 churches burnt,
will go into the history books as an unprecedented attack on Christians in India,' said Joseph D'Souza, presi-
dent of the All India Christian Council (AICC). “The tragedy is deepened by the fact that the violence was avoidable
if the authorities had enforced the rule of law”.

Bajrang Dal activists have been involved in bomb blasts often blaming it on Muslims, so as to prove their
stance on Muslims being responsible for the terror activities in India. Today spokesmen of the Congress led
UPA Government in India are asking for a ban on Bajrang Dal. The faster it is done the better it would be for
India as a country as there is every reason to believe that it may just implode from within as political parties
like BJP have undertaken a mad, mad cannonball run.

RSS/VHP/Bajrang Dal and its activities

The RSS was founded in 1925 by Keshav Baliram Hegdewar is the ideological fountainhead of the modern
Hindutva movement. Organized around the concept of Shakas, a local cell formation where young men
would gather for physical and ideological training, under the tutelage of a brother or dada, the RSS ideology as

Setting India on Fire

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espousing the national cause was articulated over the next decade or more. Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar, who

was appointed the head of RSS shortly before his death by Hegdewar, clarifed the idea of the nation in his
treatise: "We, or Our Nationhood Defned": We believe that our notions today about the Nation are errone-

ous... It is but proper therefore, at this stage, to understand what the Western Scholars state as the Universal
Nation idea and correct ourselves.

Based on a racial idea of Nation, Golwalkar in praise of Hitler says: To keep up the purity of the Race and its
culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of the Semitic Races - the Jews... Germany
has also shown how well nigh impossible it is for Races and cultures, having differences going to the root, to

be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindustan to learn and proft by”.

These Hindu extremist organizations are also imparting military training to Hindu youth for taking on non-
Hindus. The formal training is now underway to ensure the spread of a militant ideology. The Shiv Sena chief
has condoned the arms training of the Bajrang Dal. He also mentioned that the Indian army is ill-prepared
for war and that his political party, the Shiv Sena also will be arming their cadre.

http://news.indya.com/india2006sena.html At the Sarojini Nagar Camp of Lucknow this is what was re-
leased to media: “The number of people being trained in the Sarojini Nagar camp at present is 100. But according to
the convener of UP branch of Bajrang Dal, Avadh Bihari Mishra, the objective of this camp is to prepare a group of two
thousand trained and active young men who could train a million youth in martial arts and handling of arms in camps at
various places. In addition to this, the objective is also to create such atmosphere and mentality which was seen in the country
at the time of demolition of Babri Masjid.”

Women branch of RSS/Bajrang Dal armed militants

Among the Sangh Parivar’s affliate organizations actively participating in giving training in martial arts are the

RSS’s women’s branch (Rashtriya Sevika Samiti),
the Bajrang Dal and the Bajrang Dal’s women’s
branch (Durga Vahini). Though training camps
and trainings are not new for these organiza-
tions (they have been imparting training in “lathi”
wielding and riot mongering for a long time),
they have now started arming their volunteers in
a military pattern. http://www.milligazette.com/
Archives/01092001/31.htm

Though the current training exercises are being
carried out with air-guns, the Bajrang Dal state
chief Ved Prakash Sachan said he plans to give
volunteers a feel of real guns. “This is the induc-

tion stage. Later we will train our boys with proper guns
and rifes,”
he admitted over the telephone, while
claiming, “This is part of our drill to ensure protection

of Hindus.”

Females activists of Durga Vahini, the women wing of Ba-
jrang Dal are being imparted weapons and sword training at
its camps for taking part in future activities against minorities

18

Sachan is personally supervising the camp, which was not the frst of its kind in the state. According to

him, similar camps have been held in Varanasi, Mathura and Meerut. http://www.rediff.com/news/2000/
jun/25bd.htm

Chronology of terrorist activities by Bajrang Dal, RSS

♦Aug 25, 2008 : Two die in Kanpur when a bomb explodes. It transpires these were Bajrang Dal activ-
ists who were making explosives.
♦Aug-Sept 2008: Spate of attacks on Christians in Orissa and Karnataka. Karnataka unit head Mahen-
dra Kumar arrested. Home ministry says Bajrang Dal is behind the attacks
♦April 2006: Two Bajrang Dal activists die in Nanded while making bombs. Of them included a suspect
of the 2003 Parbhani mosque blasts
♦Jan 1999 : Dal mob led by its local leader, Dara Singh, burnt alive a Christian priest Graham Stains
and his two little sons in Orissa

And the list continues as the saffron assault brigade takes charge of turning India into a Hindu Rashtra. The
Bajrang Dal is said to have been at the forefront of murderous gangs that killed Muslims and burnt their
homes in Gujarat in 2002. On several occasions,
Dal activists have acted as moral police, catching
unmarried couples on Valentine's Day and forc-
ing them to apply sindoor or tie rakhi against their
wishes. The record of Bajrang Dal's lawlessness is
endless. And now the Dal, the 24-year-old sword-
arm of the Hindutva brigade, is in the news again
— as almost always, for wrong reasons. A number
of political leaders have been demanding its ban.

In the middle of September, anti-church violence
erupted in Mangalore where prayer halls of the
evangelist New Life order were attacked. Soon vi-
olence enveloped other denominations, and then
churches in the new economy city of Bangalore
were vandalized. A month earlier similar anti-
Christian attacks rocked Orissa and trouble is still
simmering there.

In the middle of the violence that broke out in Mangalore was the fgure of Mahendra Kumar, Bajrang Dal

"convener" for the state, who claimed responsibility for some of the attacks, said they were a "spontaneous

Hindu upsurge". While the Dal said it was infamed by New Life's "conversion activities", prayer halls were

not the only targets. The Adoration monastery, where nuns live a cloistered life, dedicated to prayer, was not

spared either, its windows broken and crucifx vandalized. Saffron groups and Christian organizations have
clashed over conversions and re-conversions as they jostle for infuence from remote tribal homelands of

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Rajasthan's Banswara to the north-east.

Human Rights report of violence against Christains/Minorities in India by saf-
fron parties

“Christians are the new scapegoat in India's political battles. Without immediate and decisive action by the government,
communal tensions will continue to be exploited for political and economic ends”
,says Smita Narula Researcher, Asia
Division of Human Rights Watch

The problem is that poverty is eating into India and the people are fnding Christianity a lucrative option with

many NGO’s working overnight for conversions. Conversions are not forced upon yet they number highly
due to the desperate living conditions in India which have been worsened by the food shortages. An escape
from death in return of a faith that has only served them humiliation is considered a fair deal by many down-
trodden Indians. It is basically in Northeast of India that includes states like interiors of Assam, Meghalaya,
Nagaland, Manipur and Tripura where conversions have been high. Down South it is Orrissa, Kerala, Karna-
taka where Christain NGO’s have gone overboard with the conversions. And that is irking the saffron parties
since they are seeing this to their own dream of ‘Hindu Rashtra’ and that is where the problem begins.

The Indian government has failed to prevent increasing violence against Christians and is exploiting com-
munal tensions for political ends, Human Rights Watch charged in a report released this month. The 37-page
report, Politics by Other Means: Attacks Against Christians in India, details of violence against Christians in
the months ahead of the country's national parliamentary elections in September and October 1999, and in
the months following electoral victory by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (Indian People's Party,
known as the BJP) in the state of Gujarat. began its rule in mid of March 1998. They include the killings of
priests, the raping of nuns, and the physical destruction of Christian institutions, schools, churches, colleges,
and cemeteries. Thousands of Christians have also been forced to convert to Hinduism.

The report concludes that as with attacks against Muslims in 1992 and 1993, attacks against Christians are part
of a concerted campaign of right-wing Hindu organizations, collectively called the Sangh Parivar, to promote
and exploit communal clashes to increase their political power-base. The movement is supported at the local
level by militant groups who operate with impunity.

Conclusion

When Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati, a charismatic Hindu priest fond of violence against Christian mission-
aries, was shot dead in the eastern state of Orissa in August, police blamed “Naxalite” Maoists. But hardliner
Hindu groups decided Christians were responsible. In an ensuing rampage, dozens of churches were burned,

tens of thousands of Christians fed their homes, and at least 20 people died. By this week the violence had

touched four more states. In Karnataka in the south, 20 churches have been desecrated in a few days.

India’s Hindu majority and its tiny Christian minority mostly rub along peacefully. But since the early 1990s,
the rise of ideological Hindutva (“Hinduness”) and of the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP),
now the main opposition, has seen intermittent outbreaks of sometimes vicious agitation against Christian
missionaries. They are accused of forcibly converting poor Hindus. Gauri Prasad Rath, general secretary of

20

the Vishnu Hindu Parishad, or World Hindu Council, in Orissa, says that the thuggery was caused by, “the
fraudulent conversions Christians are doing. They burned their own churches.”

However the claims of VHP are mere accusations as all the funds Christian organizations get from abroad are
thoroughly monitored by government in India, as opposed to the huge funds Hindu extremist organizations
like VHP, RSS and Bajrand Dal spending on different terrorist activities which have never been audited.

It is true that missionaries are busy in much of India, especially the tribal belt that runs through Orissa. Here,
traditionally nature-worshipping forest dwellers, among India’s poorest people, have found institutional Chris-
tianity, with its free schools and health care, especially attractive. Indeed many church leaders believe that the
proportion of Indian Christians is a couple of percentage points higher than the census reckoning of 2.3%.
In six of the 12 states ruled by the BJP, either on its own or in coalition, laws designed to discourage Hindus
from switching faiths by banning forced conversions have been introduced. Convictions, however, are rare.

Muhammed Shaf Qureshi, chairman of the government-appointed National Commission for Minorities,

says on inquiring as to how many people had been convicted under the state’s 1967 law; the answer was none.

Tensions have been exacerbated by a row over “reservations”, the affrmative-action benefts, such as privi-
leged access to government jobs and education, afforded to low-caste Hindus.

Most Hindu converts to Christianity come from the lower castes but lose these benefts when they switch

faiths. Their calls for inclusion in the system have infuriated many Hindus.

With general elections due by next May, such issues have proved effective rallying cries for Hindu groups
aligned with the BJP. Mr Qureshi points out that Karnataka, scene of some of the worst violence, this year

voted in its frst BJP government. The party is also part of the ruling coalition in Orissa. “This madness”, he

says, “is political.”

Every confict can be explained in more than one way, but historians know that one way of sifting out bad

explanations is to look for plausibility.

Here, we’re being asked to believe that the thousands of extremely poor people who make up the populations
of these relief camps are self-arsonists running a compensation scam. This is not just a bad explanation; it’s
an explanation made in bad faith. What we’re seeing in Orissa is the attempt to replicate Gujarat’s ‘success’
and Golwalkar’s object on a smaller scale.

Thus, Christians are driven out of their homes to live in limbo as destitute, vagrant wards of the State in camps,
or else allowed to return to their villages as neo-Hindus purged of an alien possession. This is, or should be,
unacceptable. The use of murder, rape and arson against civilian communities to achieve a political object (in
this case ethnic cleansing) is a form of terror, and this republic’s government needs to treat it as such.

As the violence spreads to many districts of India against Christians after Orissa episode, other minorities
including Muslism are also being targetted. Just today (October 12, 2008, Sunday) six Muslims of a family
including 3 children were burnt to death at Watoli village Andhra Pardesh district when their house was set

on fre. The village is 13 km far from the communal violence-hit Bhainsa town. Three bodies were charred

beyond recognition, the rest were burnt partially, police said.

Setting India on Fire

21

BrassTacks Policy Papers

Keeping in view the numerous incidents of violence and massacre of minorities at the hands of extremist
Hindus in India, the credentials of being a Secular country are highly questionable.

The slogan of being biggest democracy and a secular country seems only a rhetoric and catchy phrase to bluff
the world.

Though recently US and UN have expressed concern over massacre of Christians by Hindu fanatics in India
but there is a need for more strong a measure to be taken by the international community in this regard.

The world should take notice of the brutalities being meted to minorities including Christians and Muslims
and low cast Dalits by Hindu extremists in India; the matter should be taken for debate in the United Nations
by the world so that these oppressed people of India can get some justice.

Hindu Zionist fascism – the terror needs to be dealt with

*************************

Note: Article was orginally published by Brasstacks on 26th September 2008.

India launched a ruthless media and diplomatic offensive against Pakistan in 2007 after the Samjhuta Express
bombing. After the Mumbai attacks in 2008, Indians took their diplomatic offensive to a whole new level
globalizing the regional issue of terrorism. ISI and Pakistan army were the primary targets. Indians have been
desperately trying to implicate Pakistani security institutions in these attacks since 26/11. Though nothing
could be ever proved against these Pakistani security institutes but it did provide India an opportunity to

corner Pakistan on every global forum. On the other hand, Pakistani foreign offce and artifcially installed

“democratic” government failed splendidly in countering this Indian onslaught on any forum.

All this diplomatic maneuvering by Indians was a mere cover up to conceal the internal home grown terror
inspired by the centuries old Hindutva ideology. It vows to turn India into a united state where only Hindus
would live. All other minorities would have to be converted to Hinduism or must accept the second class
citizens within India.

After four years of Samjhuta Express incident, now Indians’ strategy has blown to their faces. India has been
crying foul and blaming Pakistan for every terror act taking place in India without investigations just like cold-
blooded killing of over 60 Pakistanis in Smajhuta Express blasts which have now been proven to be an act of
terrorism by Indian Saffron brigade. The most shocking aspect of this entire saga is the involvement and close
linkage of Indian army personnel in terrorism and links with Hindu terrorist groups.

Recent revelations and confession of Hindutva terrorists have made Indian case very fragile on Mumbai as
well. Captured RSS terrorists, almost on daily basis, are exposing a new dimension of multiple terrorist attacks
on Indian soil carried out by the Saffron brigade during the last 4 years. Right now, saffron brigade is the big-
gest assets of Indian government to use against Pakistan in her 4th generation warfare against Pakistan.

Current investigations also prove that Saffron brigade has been pursuing its own agenda bypassing Indian
state and its institutes since independence. This is alarming situation for the Indian government and state. Ac-
cording to reports, a plan was hatched to assassinate the Indian vice president as well by the same terrorists.

Saffron Terror

Farzana Shah

A Threat for Global Peace

2

23

BrassTacks Policy Papers

Now as both India and Pakistan are nuclear arch rivals, saffron brigade remains the most signifcant and hid-
den threat to regional and global peace due to its deep penetration in Indian armed forces and governments
and its links with other anti-Pakistan intelligence agencies like Afghan RAMA and Israeli Mossad.

The history of Hindu terrorism is spread far beyond this fresh probe having deep roots leading to post-
Independence era.

Hindutva and its History

Hindutva ideology revolves around the idea of Hindu nationalism but it exists only on the fringes of Hindu-
tva dogma. To the core, Hindutva is an anti-non Hindu, fascist and violent ideology declaring Hinduism the
only acceptable religion in India. This violent religious dogma provides the underpinnings of all the violent
atrocities carried out by the Hindu extremists against the minorities within India particularly against Indian
Muslims.

The rail of Hindu terrorism is decades old. A detailed study of post-Independence India shows the era is full
of incidents involving Hindu extremists in aggravating communal situations, targeting particular communities,
and aiding and abetting riots.

The Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh at the time of Partition, Rajeshwar Dayal in his 1999 memoirs “A Life
of Our Times” states “damning evidence of RSS chief Golwalkar’s plans to conduct a pogrom against Mus-
lims.”

Similarly Mohandas Gandhi’s secretary, Pyarelal Nayyar during those tumultuous times, wrote “It was com-
mon knowledge that the RSS (Hindu militant organization)… had been behind the bulk of the killings in

Burning the cross - Christians under fre!

24

Saffron Terror

Delhi as also in various other parts of India.”

Contrary to claims of Indians that Hindu militant groups of Sangh Parivar gained momentum only since
1990s, various commissions that have looked into communal riots since 1947 have gathered signifcant evi-
dence on the role of the RSS and affliated organizations.

These commissions include the Reddy Commission, which in 1969 looked into rioting in Gujarat; the Justice
Madon Commission, which analysed the riots in Bhiwandi, Maharashtra, in the early 1970s; the Justice Vithay-
athil Commission, which probed the 1971 Tellicherry riots – all of these provide solid details of the involve-
ment of either the RSS or its mass political platform, the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, in fomenting the trouble.

Recently when hundreds of Chris-
tians were massacred by these same
Hindu terrorists, the evangelists and
even Rome was alarmed but terror-
ism against Christians is as old as ter-
rorism against Muslims in India.

The Kanyakumari riots against
Christians in 1982 are another exam-
ple of this terrorism involving once
again Hindu terrorist group RSS.

Justice Venugopal in his report over
these riots in 1982 indicting RSS for
its role in instigating violence against
Christians states that RSS methodol-
ogy was “rousing communal feelings
in the majority community; deepening fear in the majority community; infltrating into the state administra-
tion; training young people of the majority community in the use of weapons; and spreading rumours to
widen communal splits.

The Hindu groups impart armed training to its members which is called shakhas under the rubric of physical
training. Justice Venugopal in his report commenting on armed training said that the aim appeared to be “to
inculcate an attitude of militancy and training for any kind of civil strife”.

Saffron Terror and its Implications

Despite having the historical proofs of presence of home grown religious militant organizations inspired by
Hindutva, Indian governments and state institutions always look outside to fnd perpetrators after every vio-
lent incident on Indian soil. Indian RAW and right wing political parties have been supporting and nurturing
the terrorist groups motivated by Hindutva. For Indian security establishment, it was a quick remedy to unite
profoundly deteriorating Indian nation under a cruel class base system where high level insurgencies have tak-
en over the state in more than 600 districts. Creating an external enemy to keep the country unite was also ap-
pealing for the governments as well so turning a blind eye to Saffron brigade became an essential imperative.

Khalistan in making - the Sikh Massacre

25

BrassTacks Policy Papers

This self created fear monster has served Indian interests over the decades since independence particularly
to blame Pakistan and her security institutions for supporting and conducting terrorist attacks in the India.

But over the time, this self-grown Frankenstein is now has grown too big to be controlled by Indian govern-
ment or its institutions. Now, the Indian politics, media, security institution and law enforcement agencies
have been caught in its clutching hands. It has been come to the light recently that Col. Purohit was not only
involved in the Samjhuta Express and Malegaon bombings but he also hatched a plan to execute Indian vice
president Hameed Ansari to put blame on Pakistan in order to trigger a nuclear war between the two coun-
tries. Though the plan was failed due to some internal differences between the conspirators but this explains
the capability and will of this terror network to pursue their agenda.

Saffron terror network has its own goals at local, regional and global level. On the local level, aim is to sup-
press the minorities particularly the Muslims and Sikhs as both are more prominent.this phase has been un-
derway since August 15, 1947 and so far more than 3.2 million Sikhs; more than 500,000 Muslims; more than
312,500 Christians; over 15,000 Tamils; more than 15,000 civilians of the 7-sister of Assam have been killed
by the Indian army; hundreds of thousand Dalits; hundreds of thousands of Adivaasis or Moolnivasis are
also among the victims.

On the regional level, the goal is to blame Pakistan and ISI for every terrorist attack in India to get more and
more support from within Indian society against Pakistan. This interest of saffron brigade is unanimous with
Delhi’s foreign policy towards Pakistan. This was the main reason why Indian governments knowingly ignore
this threat and now this same network is threatening the existence of India. Igniting communal riots and
violence remains the preferred method of saffron brigade at this level as it paves the way for them to unleash
their terror monster once the situation get burst into fames. Gujrat massacre of 2002 is most graphical mani-
festation of this method where RSS activists killed thousands of Muslims.

In long run, to accomplish the grand agenda of Akhand Baharat by eliminating state of Pakistan and make
India a global dominating player. Pakistan is ultimate challenge for the Hindutva ideology. This goal is also in
line with Delhi’s dreams but Saffron brigade would use its own mechanism for getting this done as it is evident

by the plots of sparking a nuclear confict between Pakistan and India after the assassination of high profle

Indian leader.

Just like Al-Qaeda’s violent ideology, Saffron terror is a real and existential threat to Indian state, regional
peace and global security. It is interesting to note that when Pakistani security forces are busy in a ruthless

and cut-throat war against Al-Qaeda and its affliated terrorist outfts in Western theater, India’s saffron terror

network not only continue to pursuing its agenda of Akhand Baharat with impunity but also enjoy full backing
of powerful circles in the Indian establishment. Indian Intelligence Bureau (IB) intervened in ATS’s investiga-
tions in 2008 when, under the Karkare, during a narco-analysis test Col Purohit confessed having supplied
the RDX used in Samjhuta Express blasts and it was IB which briefed Indian PM that Pakistani ISI carried
out these blasts. No inquiry ever launched to probe why IB wanted to derail the Karkare’s investigations? One
possible reason might be the powers of IB enjoys and close links it has with Indian PM offce. Former Maha-
rashtra police chief, S.M. Mushrif in his book “Who Killed Karkare?” also hinted about a “power establish-
ment” running Delhi’s day to day business instead of Indian PM or Congress.

It would be interesting to see what long term implications Hindutva holds for the Indian state? The picture

26

looks very bleak for India in not so distant future. At local level, Hindutva is tearing apart the national cohe-
sion within India as Hindutva hate speeches are continue to spread among masses enraging both Hindu and

minorities against each other. On regional level, India can suffer nuclear annihilation in a confict with Pakistan

which Saffron brigade is trying to spark which may turn into a full blown global war considering the regional

security profle. India would be once again on receiving end if that happens.

For the frst time Indian political establishment has sensed the threat of saffron terror and now congress lead-
ership is making statements declaring saffron terror the biggest threat but these statements are just for public
and global media consumption. No inquiry at any level within Indian security establishment has been launched

to probe links with Hindutva terror outfts.

Rahul Gandhi, widely expected to be a future Prime Minister of India, was quoted by wikileaks that he be-
lieved the growth of Hindu extremists presented a greater threat to India than Muslim militants.
According to a cable obtained by WikiLeaks, last year Gandhi told the United States Ambassador to New
Delhi, Timothy Roemer:

"Although there was evidence of some support for Laskar-e-Taiba among certain elements in India's indig-
enous Muslim community, the bigger threat may be the growth of radicalised Hindu groups, which create
religious tensions and political confrontations with the Muslim community."

The main opposition party of India BJP was outraged by his comments the testimony of Swami Aseemanand,
which suggests many of those involved in the bombing plots were members of religious organisations such
as the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), has proven that Rahul is right. The RSS is considered the BJP's
ideological parent.

Recent exposure of assassination plot of Indian vice president endorse this as well where RSS leader Indresh
Kumar, sharing close links with Sunil Joshi (Mecca Masjid blasts convicted) and BJP leader B.L Sharma was
named by Indian News services Headlines Today as main conspirators. Indresh is said to be close aide of
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and have immense clout in BJP as well. Exposure also proves that Saffron terror
network has direct ties with Indian political setup as well.

Saffron Terror: From Convictions to Confessions

Indian media and diplomacy has done a spectacular job, presented India as world’s largest secular democracy
where religion has no role in national politics. Nothing can be far from reality. The unfolding reality of saffron
brigade, inspired by violent hindutva ideology, especially after confession by Swami Aseemanand, (the Hindu

religious fgure running an ashram for converting Christians to Hindu in Gujrat) after conviction of serving
Indian army offcers in terrorism, has unearthed the involvement of Hindutva leaders, including himself, in

planning and executing a series of gruesome terror attacks across India. These revelations have terrorized the
world.

On 16 December 2010, Naba Kumar Sarkar, 59 — popularly known as Swami Aseemanand (Hindu pundit)
Aseemanand –had requested the Delhi magistrate Deepak Dabas to record his confession about his involve-
ment in a string of terror attacks. He stated that he was making the confession without any fear, force, coer-
cion or inducement.

Saffron Terror

27

BrassTacks Policy Papers

Swami Aseemanand’s chilling confession

is the frst legal evidence of involvement

of Hindu organization, RSS and its al-
lied groups of Saffron Brigade and In-
dian army personnel, in the Samjhauta
Express massacre, Malegaon blasts,
Mecca Masjid incident and Ajmer Sha-
reef blasts.

On 18 December 2010, Aseemanand
started confession before the magistrate.

“I know I can be sentenced to the death penalty
but I still want to make the confession,”
Asee-
manand said.

He claimed the attacks were launched in response to the actions of Muslim militants. "I told everybody that
we should answer bombs with bombs," Swami Aseemanand. But he could not tell the courts which bombs
he was trying to reply with his own. But his statement is testimonial proof of what Hindutva ideology thinks
of their fellow countrymen only because they belong to a different religion. This statement has exposed the
façade of peace and non-violent ideology of Hinduism and so-called desire of peace in the region and real
hidden motives.

"I suggested that 80 per cent of the people of Malegaon were Muslims and we should explode the frst bomb in Malegaon
itself. I also said that during partition, the Nizam of Hyderabad had wanted to go with Pakistan so Hyderabad was also
a fair target. Then I said that since Hindus also throng [a Suf shrine in] Ajmer we should also explode a bomb in Ajmer
which would deter the Hindus from going there. I also suggested the Aligarh Muslim University as a target."

This confessional statement vividly explains the typical Hindu mindset towards Pakistan. Indeed Indian di-
plomacy with help of national media and Bollywood has done excellent job in concealing this hateful typical
Indian mindset towards Pakistan. Taking advantage of this, hidutva masterminds kept on indoctrinate Indian

youth with their venomous ideas regarding other minorities in India and their status. Essentially, hindutva
vows to convert Buddhists back to Hinduism while Muslim must remain in India only as second class citizens.
This horrifying ideology is tearing apart, already weakened, Indian cohesion on religious basis. Apart from

Swami Aseemanand and a photograph of his 42-page con-
fessional statement presented before the magistrate.

Samjuhta Express Malrgon Mecca Masjid Ajmer Shareef

28

that, there is a clear divide within class based Hindu community as well. Lower caste Hindus (Dalits), since
centuries, has been a subject to atrocities and oppression of higher caste (Brahminy) but with passage of time,
Dalits are now seeking to break this centuries old curse of racist oppression of Brahmin. This is one of main

driving force behind the countless insurgencies going on inside India.

Following are the terror attacks that were carried out by Hindu militant groups but were falsely blamed on
innocent Muslims in India and Pakistani ISI. Dozens of Muslim youth are still languishing in Indian jails after
being accused.

Though there were clear evidences, pointing towards saffron brigade, were available in each terrorist attack
but Indian police, Maharashtra and Andhra police in particular, willingly ignored these evidences and gave the
investigation a communal turn by falsely implicating Muslim youth who were detained, tortured to get custo-
dial confessions which hold no value in court of law. On the other hand, this provided saffron brigade with
an opportunity to unleash more violence against local Muslims.

Indian police in Maharashtra was well aware of saffron terror groups and their possible involvement in vari-
ous terrorist attacks across the country a long before this self-confession by Aseemanand. Account of slain
Maharashtra ATS chief Hemant Karkare’s investigations by Col. Purohit explains in details how local police
has been compromised and penetrated by the hindutva terror brigade. In November 2008, Karkare, taking

SAFFRON TERROR ATTACKS

Samjhauta Express

In February 2007, two frebombs exploded on a train commonly known as the “Friendship Express”, which

travels across the Indo-Pakistani border. Most of the 68 victims and 50 injured were of Pakistani origin. Three
more unexploded suitcase bombs were later found on the train as well.

Mecca Masjid

In May 2007,an attack on the Mecca Masjid , in Hyderabad’s old city, left 14 people dead with fve apparently
killed by police fring on a furious mob after the incident. Swami Aseemanand said that the site was chosen

because the local administrator wanted Hyderabad to be a part of Pakistan during partition.

Malegaon

In September 2008, three bomb blasts killed 37 people in the Muslim-majority city of Malegaon, situated
about 250km northeast of Maharashtra’s state capital, Mumbai. Muslims had been attending prayers when the
bombs exploded in a sacred burial ground, also injuring more than 125 people.

Ajmer Shareef

A famous Muslim shrine in the city of Ajmer in Rajasthan, about 350km southwest of Delhi, was targeted
by bomb attacks in October. Two people were killed and 17 injured near the scared shrine, which houses the
tomb of a 13th-century Suf saint. Swami Aseemanand said the blast was intended to deter Hindus from go-
ing there.

Saffron Terror

29

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daring steps arrested many Hindu terrorists including Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, Dayanand
Pandey, Lt Col Shrikant Purohit and others. He communicated to the Hyderabad police

the shocking fndings of his investigations where Col. Purohit claimed that he stole

RDX explosive from an army depot from Jammau and Kashmir in 2006. But instead of
taking necessary steps, Hyderabad police picked 70 Muslims youths and tortured them
at private farmhouse to extract confessions. Similarly, Haryana ATS team, investigating
the Samjhauta Express blast was fully know that the suitcase carrying the RDX was pur-
chased from Kothari Market in Indore but Haryana ATS appeared too weak to pursue
any further investigations.

It was only after the seizure of 37 audio tapes from Pandey’s laptop that featured all
these people discussing their terror activities when name of Swami Aseemanand came
to light. Aprt from that, the Rajasthan ATS’ recent charge sheet on the 2007 Ajmer Sha-
rif blast, also points to a deep rooted home grown terrorism in India for which Indian
government accused Pakistan as part of her diplomatic offensive.

But despite afore mentioned arrests, majority of the Indians remained in denial mode till date and the down-
trodden Muslims in India paid the price for Hindu terrorism.

In the wake of blasts in Mumbai in 1992, a biased damaging perception was carried by Indians, ever since, that
Muslims hand is behind every terror blast in India. Many of these Muslim boys spent many years in Indian
jails for no crime; some are still languishing inside, with no hope for a future once they are out.

So, what made Assessmand to confess his role in these attacks? certainly not his desire of peace but it was an
encounter with 21 years old Abdul Kaleem in a cell of Indian jail that forced the Hindu mastermind of many
blasts, to confess after Kaleem, through his demeanor and disposition, showed Aseemanand the real meanings
of humanity. Kaleem was put in the jail twice after falsely accused for carrying out bomb blast in Mecca Masjid
in 2007. In his statement he told the Judge,

“Sir, when I was lodged in Chanchalguda district jail in Hyderabad, one of my co-inmates was Kaleem. Dur-
ing my interaction with Kaleem I learnt that he was previously arrested in the Mecca Masjid bomb blast case
and he had to spend about one and- a-half years in prison. During my stay in jail, Kaleem helped me a lot and
used to serve me by bringing water, food, etc for me. I was very moved by Kaleem’s good conduct and my
conscience asked me to do prayschit (penance) by making a confessional statement so that real culprits can be
punished and no innocent has to suffer.”

Making of Swami Aseemanand

A cursory look at the life of Swami and his making-over as a terror master mind rings a bell why the worlds
should be feeling more threatened by rise of Hindutva terrorism as a sleeping monster that could unleashed
destruction upon the world. With more and more educated Hindus joining Hindu militants is an aspect mak-
ing inroads into Indian army which is dangerous specially keeping in the view the ideology of Hindutva that
considers India only belongs to Hindus and there is no place for Non-Hindus.

Swami Aseemanand who’s real name is NABA KUMAR was originally from Kamaarpukar village in Hooghly

ABDUL KALEEM
Muslim boy who
triggered an unlikely
confession in jail

30

district in West Bengal India. In 1971, after completing his BSc (honours) from Hooghly, Naba Kumar went to
Bardman district to pursue his Master in Science.He was involved with RSS activities from school. In 1977, he
started working full-time with the RSS-run Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram in Purulia and Bankura districts. In 1981,
his guru Swami Parmanand rechristened him as Swami Aseemanand.

From 1988 to 1993, he served with the Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram (VKA) at Andaman and Nicobar islands. Be-
tween 1993 and 1997, he toured across India to deliver sermons on Hindu religion among the tribals. In 1997,
he settled down in the Dangs district in Gujarat and started a tribal welfare organization called Shabri Dham
but in reality it was a place to convert Christians to Hindus. Aseemanand was known in the area for his rabid
anti-minority speeches and his relentless campaign against Christian missionaries. VKA is working all over
India with same promise of “saving” Hindu culture and ideology.

There are some shocking rather disturbing aspects of how Swami Aseemanand reached to a level of master-

minding and controlling terrorist outfts. He was a highly educated person holding Master of Science (MS)

degree but it is amazing how such well educated person could not prevent religious violent dogma having sway
over him. Answer lies in the well established mechanism of hindutva indoctrination which begins working
on young minds at very young ages in countless Ashrams spread all over India. These Ashrams build basic
believes of all the students there. This is the reason, why Hindutva ideology has successfully penetrated in In-
dian state politics, military and religious organizations. The whole concept of nationalism and patriotism gets
mixed up with violent hate ideology of hindutva due to hate speeches delivered during the education in these

Ashrams many of which are run by RSS and other militant Hindu outfts. Most of the time, young minds fail

to comprehend what they are actually following; national pride or the religious abhorrence?

Aseemanand is seen as being close to the RSS leadership. In the past, leaders like Gujarat Chief Minister
Narendra Modi, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan, former RSS chief KS Sudarshan
and current chief Mohan Bhagwat have attended religious functions organised by him at Shabri Dham. This
explains the links of Indian politicians and hindutva run terror machine. Penetration of this ideology is more
vivid in Indian army.

Saffron Brigade and Indian army

The links of Indian army with Hindu terrorists groups came to fore when chief of Maharashtra ATS Chief

Hemant Karkare while investigation into the 2008 Malegaon blast frst blew the lid off Hindutva terror cell

and its connections to military establishment.

Lt Col Purohit was arrested by Karkare who was attached with the military intelligence unit at Nashik. This
was the time when a shocking relegations came to light that Indian army serving Lt. Col Purohit was found
involved in planning and providing explosive for attacks on Samjhauta Express. After his confession, many

Indian army serving and retired offcers have been accused and investigated. A brief list is given below.

The exact infuence of hindutva within Indian military remains speculative but involvement of Generals and

military academy in-charge, as in case of Col Jayant Chitale, indicates that these “non-state actors” within
Indian national security infrastructure have considerable powers to execute their own version of “Operation

Northwood”. (CIA planned covert operation during 1960’s to carry out false fag operations to put blame on

USSR and Cuba.) Gen (R ) Hoon and Col Chitale formed maiden suicide bombing squad in the region.

Saffron Terror

HINDUTVA’S DEADLY PLATOON

INDRESH KUMAR, a member of the RSS
Central Committee. Three accused, Swami
Aseemanand, Lokesh Sharma and Shivam
Dhakad, and one witness, Bharat Riteshwar,
have stated before the CBI that Indresh had
mentored and fnanced the RSS pracha-
raks behind Malegaon, Samjhauta Express,
Ajmer and Mecca Masjid terror strikes.

SWAMI ASEEMANAND, the head

of the RSS-affliated Van Vasi Kalyan

Ashram, Shabri Dham in Dangs, Gu-
jarat. He has confessed to playing the
role of an ideologue to the terrorists.
Besides presiding over terror meetings
held in Dangs and Valsad in Gujarat,
he also selected Malgeaon, Ajmer Sha-
rif and Hyderabad as terror targets.

SUNIL JOSHI, a former RSS pracharak
of Mhow district. He was expelled from
the RSS after being accused in the mur-
der of two Congress activists in Madhya
Pradesh in 2006. Along with a few RSS
pracharaks and Hindu radicals from
Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan,
Jammu and Jharkhand, he formed
an inter-state terror infrastructure.

SANDEEP DANGE, a senior RSS
pracharak from Shajapur district near
Indore. Along with Joshi and Ramchan-

dra Kalsangra, he was a key fgure in the

long running conspiracy to bomb Muslim
places of worship and Muslim neigbour-
hoods. He is currently absconding.

RAM CHANDRA KALSANGRA
ALIAS RAMJI, an RSS pracharak from
Madhya Pradesh. He carried out ter-
ror strikes in different places between
December 2002 and 29 September
2008 (when bombs went off simultane-
ously in Malegaon and Modasa). He has
been absconding since October 2008.

SHIVAM DHAKHAD, an RSS activ-
ist and associate of accused Joshi and
Ramji Kalsangra. Along with other
RSS pracharaks, he allegedly took train-
ing in bomb-making in 2005. He also
did the reconnaissance of Aligarh
Muslim University and residence of
Justice UC Banerjee (chairman of the
Godhra commission) for terror strikes.

HINDUTVA’S DEADLY PLATOON

INDRESH KUMAR, a member of the RSS
Central Committee. Three accused, Swami
Aseemanand, Lokesh Sharma and Shivam
Dhakad, and one witness, Bharat Riteshwar,
have stated before the CBI that Indresh had
mentored and fnanced the RSS pracha-
raks behind Malegaon, Samjhauta Express,
Ajmer and Mecca Masjid terror strikes.

SWAMI ASEEMANAND, the head

of the RSS-affliated Van Vasi Kalyan

Ashram, Shabri Dham in Dangs, Gu-
jarat. He has confessed to playing the
role of an ideologue to the terrorists.
Besides presiding over terror meetings
held in Dangs and Valsad in Gujarat,
he also selected Malgeaon, Ajmer Sha-
rif and Hyderabad as terror targets.

SUNIL JOSHI, a former RSS pracharak
of Mhow district. He was expelled from
the RSS after being accused in the mur-
der of two Congress activists in Madhya
Pradesh in 2006. Along with a few RSS
pracharaks and Hindu radicals from
Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan,
Jammu and Jharkhand, he formed
an inter-state terror infrastructure.

SANDEEP DANGE, a senior RSS
pracharak from Shajapur district near
Indore. Along with Joshi and Ramchan-

dra Kalsangra, he was a key fgure in the

long running conspiracy to bomb Muslim
places of worship and Muslim neigbour-
hoods. He is currently absconding.

RAM CHANDRA KALSANGRA
ALIAS RAMJI, an RSS pracharak from
Madhya Pradesh. He carried out ter-
ror strikes in different places between
December 2002 and 29 September
2008 (when bombs went off simultane-
ously in Malegaon and Modasa). He has
been absconding since October 2008.

SHIVAM DHAKHAD, an RSS activ-
ist and associate of accused Joshi and
Ramji Kalsangra. Along with other
RSS pracharaks, he allegedly took train-
ing in bomb-making in 2005. He also
did the reconnaissance of Aligarh
Muslim University and residence of
Justice UC Banerjee (chairman of the
Godhra commission) for terror strikes.

BHARAT RATESWAR ALIAS BHARATB-
HAI, the head of Sri Vivekananda Kendra
Sansthan in Valsad district, Gujarat. As a
close associate of Aseemanand, he participat-
ed in several terror meetings held at his resi-
dence and also at Shabri Dham ashram. He
also travelled with Joshi to Jharkhand and Ut-
tar Pradesh providing logistics for the blasts.

YOGI ADITYANATH, BJP MP from Gora-
khpur. He was contacted by Aseemanand
to provide funds for terrorist activities. Joshi
held a hush-hush meeting with him at his
Gorakhpur residence in 2006, at the time
when the conspiracy to carry out multiple
blasts was underway. According to Asee-
manand, he didn’t give much support.
But he continues to be under suspicion.

DR ASHOK VARSHNAY, RSS prant pracha-
rak of Kanpur. He sheltered key terror ac-
cused and RSS pracharak Devendra Gupta at
Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram and Vishwa Mangal
Gau Gram Yatra in Sitapur, Uttar Pradesh,
while Gupta was on the run. Varshnay has
told investigators that he had shielded
Gupta at the behest of Indresh Kumar.

LT COL SHRIKANT PUROHIT,
a founding member of terror out-

ft Abhinav Bharat. He was posted

with the military intelligence unit at
Nashik. He allegedly tried to draft in
other army offcers in his terror out-
ft. He is accused of supplying RDX

for the 2008 Malegaon blasts.

DEVENDRA GUPTA, the RSS vibhag
pracharak of Muzaffarnagar, Bihar. He
provided logistics to Joshi, Kalsangra
and Dange for terror strikes. He also
harboured Kalsangra and Dange in RSS

offces while they were on the run

LOKESH SHARMA, an RSS worker
and close associate of Joshi, Dange and
Kalsangra. He purchased the two Nokia
handsets that were used to trigger the
bombs at Mecca Masjid and Ajmer Sharif.

33

BrassTacks Policy Papers

These exposures made it clear that either Indian premier intelligence agency, RAW is actively part of it or
has been compromised after cadres of Hindutva penetrate in the agency and are now providing cover to the
activities of organizations like RSS. Without active support of RAW it is not possible to carry out these mas-
sive training programs, coordination among different groups spread all over India and abroad, Only a state
intelligence organization like RAW can make all this happen.

(NOTE: Brasstacks has covered, in detail, the evil nexus between Indian army and Hindutva terrorists ex-
clusively in its September 2010 issue. For more detail please get the issue or visit (http://www.brasstacks.pk)
In all its covert operations carried out, inside Pakistan, RAW always used terrorists trained by Hidutva organi-
zations and in return RAW and intelligence agencies turned a blind eye to whatever these organizations were
doing to the minorities in India be it Muslims, Christians or Sikhs, no one is immune to this dormant infection
of Hindutva in Indian society.

Unfortunately, Karkare was killed mysteriously within frst 15 minutes of 26/11 attacks in Mumbai. It hap-
pened when whole Indian media was buzzed by the claims of Col. Purohit after Karkare shared the fndings

of his investigations. Karkare’s wife and many saner sections of India still doubt the account of his killing
given by Indian government. Many see hand of Hindu militants in eliminating Karkare to cover up facts
about Hindu terrorism and links with Indian army. If true, it would be the biggest testimonial about the vice
grip of Hindutva over Indian state institutions like army.

It was not the frst time some very strong hands in India wanted ATS to stop investigating Saffron brigade.

How strong this cloak and dagger terror cult has become is evident how it covers its tracks after every terrorist
attack it carried out. Col. Chitale was saved back in 2002 by hidden hand when ATS was about to reveal his

connection with terrorist outfts.

The penetration of Indian army by the saffron brigade is so intense that it created an embarrassing situation

Indian Army

Offcer

Has been involved in

Status

Gen (R) J. J Singh

Saffron terror activities till his retire-
ment; Col. Purohit’s statement

Retired

Gen (R) Prem-
nath Hoon

Establishing militant wing of Shiv
Sena while serving in Indian army

Retired

Colonel Jayant ChitaleEstablishing India’s “secular” sui-
cide bombing squad

Retired

Col Shinkar Purohit

Providing RDX explosives for Sam-
jhuta Express blasts

Convicted

Col Raikar Patel

conspiring Malegon and Sam-
jhuta Express attacks

Accused / Investigated

Col Hasmukh

conspiring Malegon and Sam-
jhuta Express attacks

Accused / Investigated

Colonel Bapa-
ditya Dhar

conspiring Malegon and Sam-
jhuta Express attacks

Accused / Investigated

34

for Indian army and its professionalism.

Ex-Indian Army Chief General Kapoor had to state, "Steps are being taken to prevent involvement of its of-

fcers in terror attacks". From this statement it seems that he wanted to say "Steps are being taken to prevent

any clue to be ended in ATS hands in terror attacks." But in the presence of so many Asharams being run by
Hindutva inspired militant organizations, it is not clear how Indian army would able to prevent violent and
religiously motivated elements in its ranks.

It is ironic that why he did not announce a broader inquiry to fnd out remains of this nexus between Indian

military and Hindutva terrorists. But after looking at above facts and history of these relations the absence of
any such inquiry is not surprising.

Why Saffron terror is bigger threat to world peace

There are untiring efforts going on for securing Pakistani nuclear arsenal as it can fall into wrong hands. Paki-

stan army, government, nuclear command authority and every other noticeable public offce has made it clear

over and again that no such threat exists to Pakistani nuclear weapons but the media trial of Pakistani strategic
assets continues to date with no stop in sight in near future. But what international media could not see (or

don’t want to see) how saffron terror has penetrated in the fle and rank of Indian military.

During the investigations, Col. Purohit was heard on the tape saying “We are all on the same plane – Hindu
Rashtra (nation)”. He goes on to claim that “General J.J. Singh (Indian army chief until 2007) is with us”.
This statement, even if remotely true, must have ring alarm bells around the globe. But it looks like that some
powerful circles within international establishment are impetuously determined to build a case against Paki-
stani nuclear weapons while ignoring a much real and gruesome threat of falling of Indian nuclear weapons

to saffron terror network. Saffron brigades reach to offce of Indian army chief ascertained that long term

peace prospects in the region have been endangered immensely.

India had been having civilian governments throughout its history while armed forces have been sidelined in
many issues including nukes which are under the civilian government more than the Indian army.

Now with top ranking offcials of Indian army having links with Hindu hardliner politicians who are fanatics

and running suicide training camps, it is feared that Indian nuclear assets might be slipped into the hands of
these saffron brigade who have been ruthlessly killing Christians, Muslims and Dalits in India.

For the last many years, US is trying to bring Pakistan and India on negotiation table and reconcile between
the two arch rivals to bring peace in the region in particular and in the world in general.

Since India and Pakistan both are nuclear powers and worsening of relations can trigger a deadly nuke war
which will not only affect the region but the world in particular. According to the US defense secretary, Rob-
ert Gates, terrorist groups on the both sides are a big hurdle in normalization of relations between the two
countries. What Mr. Gates failed to see was what both countries are doing in this regard. Pakistan has banned

all such groups, froze their bank accounts and declared them terror outfts but on the other hand situation

on Indian side is alarming where Hindu terror groups are roaming free, enjoying power and sabotaging every
peace effort initiated by Pakistan.

Saffron Terror

35

BrassTacks Policy Papers

It is Pakistan’s diplomatic failure or the sheer brilliance of Indian propaganda team that even the US State
Department was made to call the Samjhuta Express attack a joint operation of the LeT and HUJI. While
Pakistani embassy in Washington was issuing visas to mercenaries bypassing interior ministry and without
taking clearance from Pakistani intelligence agencies, Indians were launching a combined diplomatic offensive
to turn the heat against Pakistani nuclear program using excuse of Indian proxies (TTP/LeJ) taking over the
control.

Pakistan cannot fght against Saffron terror inside India and Indian government and state institutions are al-
ready compromised to a great extend. No one knows who deep the rabbit hole goes. So only option left for
Pakistan right now is to counter Indian moves on diplomatic level and aggressively expose the potential threat
lurking over the region due to saffron terror.

Suggestions

1. Pakistan must launch a counter attack on India on the diplomatic axis. After 9/11, Pakistani diplomacy towards
India took a treacherous U-turn which has been haunting Pakistani security and global perception. These are most
appropriate times to counter Indian propaganda against Pakistan for being the epicenter of terrorism in the world.

After the confession and conviction of Hindutva terrorists it must be the top priority of Pakistani FO. All
Pakistani embassies around the world must have a specialized task force to engage the foreign governments in
this regard and keeping them updated about the potential threats to the global peace Hindutva ideology and

Saffron brigade are posing. The penetration of this violent ideology in the fle and rank of Indian army must

be exposed globally owing the fact that same army also control and manage Indian nuclear arsenal as well.

2. Absence of a ruthless and daring national media policy has remained a critical weakness of Paki-
stani efforts to counter Indian propaganda globally. Pakistani diplomatic efforts to counter Indian moves

against Pakistan, can only succeed if backed by a strong and affrmative media. Exposing real face

of Hindutva is one task for which Pakistan must never count on global media. In this regard, aggres-
sive use of cyber space for a strong counter-attack is most critical imperative at this moment in time.

3. As a counter move, it is the time when Pakistan should knock the UN door and out pres-

sure for declaring all Hindu extremist groups as terror outfts and for complete ban on these. India

case against Pakistan has become too weak now but this opportunity would not remain there for
Pakistan forever, so this is the time to act and make Indians to get the taste of their own medicine.

4. Pakistan must aggressively demand handing over of Hindu terrorists to Pakistan by India who are
responsible for killing of Pakistanis in Samjhauta express and other incidents. If India can demand
similar favor from Pakistan there is nothing stopping Pakistan to reciprocate on the same grounds.

5. Pakistan will also have to cater the plight other non-Hindu minorities facing the menace of Hin-
dutva inside India. Christians, Sikhs, Dalits, Tamils, Adivaasis and Moolnivasis are also among
the victims of saffron terror. Pakistan must highlight the atrocities of saffron brigade against
these minorities as well and Pakistani media must give them a voice to get their right to speak back.

India is a disintegrating state, there are factions inside India fghting for their freedom but they do not have

36

any diplomatic support and this is where Pakistan can bail them out. Indian coercive diplomacy played a key
role in breaking Pakistan in 1971 and now is payback time for them.

Saffron terror is a real threat to global peace and to Pakistan particularly and in the presence of this threat
India is now aggressively working for a permanent seat in UNSC. Indian success in this arena would be a
fatal blow to Pakistani security and to Kashmir cause particularly. India would be in position to dictate terms
and establishing regional and global hegemony using international laws. Pakistan can still impede the Indian
aggressive march in global diplomacy but for that Pakistan will have to change its defensive and apologetic
diplomatic stance towards India. Only an aggressive diplomatic counter offensive against India can safe Paki-
stan’s national interests on military, diplomatic, political and economic axis.

*************************

Note: Article was orginally published in Brasstacks Monthly Security Review. Vol. 1 Number 9 (February, 2011)

Saffron Terror

On September 9 after taking the oath as the 12th President of Pakistan Mr. Asif Ali Zardari opined at a joint
press conference with the Afghan President Hamid Karzai that there could be a forward movement on resolv-
ing the Kashmir issue soon. He said, “Insha Allah, we will have some good news on Kashmir before the general elections
in India slated for next year”
. He further said that the work done through the back-channel diplomacy will also
be part of the drive to solve the Kashmir issue within a year. He did not elaborate upon the Back- Channel
diplomacy but the ever vigilant Sheikh Rashid, a former member of the PML-Q and who has now formed his
own faction the Awami Muslim League, while addressing a public meeting on September 11 had something
startling to reveal that the secret talks were underway in London for the ‘under the table’ deal over Kashmir.

In the recent past some statements of Mr. Zardari that “we should not be held hostage to the Kashmir issue and in-
stead should move on”,
had drawn faks from different quarters in Pakistan and IHK. At the same time the recent

moves of the Indian government for the transfer of some adjacent land to the Amarnaath shrine has added
yet another dimension to the Kashmir problem. It seems a stage is gradually being set for both sides for some
give and take on the Kashmir issue. However, it remains to be seen whether such a give and take will be in fa-
vour of Pakistan and Kashmiris or it would be tantamount to giving India the cake and letting her to eat it too.

The transfer of Kashmiri land to Amarnath Shrine board by India last month has injected a new spirit in the
Kashmiris struggle for self-determination. The sea of Kashmiri people thronging to the roads, participating

in large agitational rallies raising pro-independence, pro-Pakistan slogans and carrying green Pakistani fags,

has sent shivers down the Indian spine.

The land transfer decision followed by the BJP attempt to give it a religious colour worsened the situation

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