Kamal Haasan is an actor, who has recently announced his wish to get in politics, sparked a controversy stating that the right-wing groups resort to violence. In his weekly column, Haasan wrote, “In the past, Hindu, right-wing groups would not indulge in violence. They would hold a dialogue with opponents. But now they resort to violence. In reply to those claiming that Hindus cannot be found guilty in terror-related cases, “right wing cannot challenge talk of Hindu terrorists because terror has spread into their camp as well. He also added that “Hindus are losing faith in ‘Satyameva Jayate’ and instead subscribing to ‘might is right’.” Recently, he had asked fans to be ready for “a big announcement” on his birthday on November 7. However, the actor later clarified that he will not be launching his party on that day. He had met Arvind Kejriwal at his home in Chennai claiming that he had taken the Delhi Chief Minister’s advice on crowd funding and recruiting “young, fresh faces” for his political party. He had met many political leaders of different party, he had very categorically cleared that his colour of choice is not “saffron” – a tilted reference to the BJP and RSS.
Anyways, Indian politicians have historically played this terrorism card well. These days Indian Muslims are at radar, they are called as ISI and its agents in India. Muslims pay the price for Indian qualms and Hindu chauvinism. This is what happened following the bomb explosion in Hyderabad on February 21, 2013, that killed 16 people. Scores of people were arrested; many of them are the same Muslim youth those were arrested after the Mecca Masjid blast in the city on May 18, 2007. After being tortured for months, they were all set free for complete lack of evidence. This is what happened in many such cases. I am not saying Muslims cannot be terrorists. The fact is that, all Muslims are not terrorists but many terrorists those who got caught or taken responsibilities for terror act are Muslims. Terrorists across the globe are Islamic terrorists. But that should not be the reason for denial that no other religion can get in terror act. Look at Burma, the most non-violent community following Buddhism has resorted to violence. The Rohingyas have been denied Burmese citizenship since the enactment of a 1982 citizenship law. The law created three categories of citizenship: citizenship, associate citizenship, and naturalised citizenship. In the recent past, they were butchered in Burma. Whenever things go extreme the violence takes birth, may it be anything or anyone. Terrorist may not have religion but terrorism has it. Most of the terror acts are religious attacks.
India has series of religious extremism; Abhinav Bharat, Bajrang Dal, GFP Ramdir Sena, a militant Hindu nationalist group in Nepal.
Nathuram Godse is an advocate of Hindu nationalism who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi. 2008 attacks on Christians in southern Karnataka is the wave of attacks directed against Christian churches and prayer halls in Mangalore and the surrounding area of southern Karnataka by Sri Ram Sena. In January 2013, Indian Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde accused Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and Bharatiya Janata Party for setting up camps to train Hindu Terrorism. A chargesheet filed on 2006 Malegaon bombings in 2013 put the blame on the Hindu extremist group Abhinav Bharat. But later on everyone of these accused got acquitted due to lack of evidences. These are the groups born out of reaction to action. If every day you carry out bomb blast, kill people, one has to react. They keep nation ahead of any God, but in Islam is Allah above all? Since September 11, 2001, the world’s attention has properly been focused on the violence of Islamic extremism, but there are also major violent trends in Hindu extremism that have largely been ignored in the United States because those attacks are limited to India and the community here, they are not global maniac. Rather majorly Hindu is known across the globe for non-violence and patience.
One reason for our lack of attention here is that India is not a religiously illiberal state like Saudi Arabia or Iran, and in fact faces its own threats from Islamist militants in Indian-controlled Kashmir, as well as Islamist terrorist attacks throughout the country, most notably the dramatic storming of the Indian parliament in 2001 and the deadly bombing in Bombay that killed 52 people in August 2003. India is a strong ally in the war on terrorism and continues to have strong democratic traditions and institutions. It has developed friendlier relations with America and Israel. The Indian government has also slackened the previously heavily regulated economy to produce one of the highest growth rates in the world, and the Bombay stock market rose 50 per cent in 2003. Yet despite these strengths, there is a much factional hatred in India and it is expressed in frequent, sometimes violence.
In the past decade, some selective extremist Hindus have increased their attacks on Christians, until there are now several hundred per year. The brutal violence visited on Muslims in Gujarat in February 2002 also brought the dangers of Hindu extremism to world attention. Between one and two thousand Muslims were massacred after Muslims reportedly set fire to a train carrying Hindu nationalists, killing several dozens of people. Again these attacks were reactions to action by other communities. Till how long one can really tolerate the atrocities? One has to retaliate and answer back. Since India is the world’s largest democracy, good relations with India are important to the U.S. It is also a growing trading partner, a possible geopolitical counterweight to China, and a strong U.S. ally in the war on terrorism. But the growth of often-violent Hindu nationalism threatens India’s tolerant traditions and pluralistic democracy. If religious extremism continues to grow, it will, as we have learned elsewhere, drag India’s democracy, economy, and foreign policy down with it.
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