Can Terror have Religious Identity?
Congress President Sonia Gandhi set the tone in the Plenary Session of her party. In her speech she focused on corruption and terrorism. She outlined a five point plan to fight corruption. She said: “Both as a party and a government we must confront corruption head on.” Doubtless somewhere in distant Europe Ottavio Quattrocchi must have silently applauded. Surely the hard working officials involved in organizing the Commonwealth Games and the Spectrum 2G venture would have silently joined him. However it was left to the party’s general secretary Digvijay Singh to elaborate on the emotive issue of terrorism.
Speaking on the political resolution Digvijay Singh made a strong speech attacking saffron terror unleashed by the RSS and BJP. Earlier party president Sonia Gandhi had said that both majority and minority terrorism were equally bad. She forgot to mention that even ideological or leftist terrorism was equally bad. In fact she might have said without fear of contradiction that all terrorism was equally bad. But in practical political terms to equate so-called Hindu terror with so-called Muslim terror is downright stupid. The sheer volume of terror financed and directed by global ideologues distorting Islam in the name of jihad cannot be compared to the as yet strictly limited acts of terror perpetrated by extremists espousing their wacky brand of Hinduism.
Digvijay Singh was equally ridiculous by identifying LK Advani’s misconceived Rath Yatra as the catalyst for current jihadi terrorism. To think that Al Qaeda and Lashkar-e-Tayba would have restrained their activities had the Rath Yatra not occurred betrays a pathetic ignorance of political reality. Nevertheless, it is good that the Congress leaders have targeted the Sangh Parivar for terrorist activity launched by some adherents of its creed. It is always good to nip problems in the bud before they become unmanageable. But is it also good that the Congress has unambiguously criticized so-called Hindu terrorism by dubbing it as saffron terror? Do compulsions of vote bank politics give license to state perception of truth without inhibitions of political correctness? The vast majority of Hindus are appalled by the acts of terror traced to Hindu fanatics and welcome exposure of their crimes. But what if Digvijay Singh’s uninhibited criticism were extended to all sections and parties in order to effectively combat the growing menace of terrorism in India?
Consider the Congress and Christian supporters of terrorism. This scribe has repeatedly drawn attention to the openly acknowledged formal membership of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement (RIM) headquartered in Chicago by the Maoists of Nepal and India. The US authorities deemed the Maoists to be terrorists, yet allowed RIM which affiliates Maoists as members to operate inside America. As for Chinese help to the Maoists, the deep symbiotic relationship between powerful sections of the US establishment with China that led to the subversion of the US and its economic debt running into trillions has been iterated at length earlier.
America is a Christian nation. Most tribals who are exploited by heartless corporate industries and governments inhabiting Maoist infected areas are Christians. Their plight rightly attracts sympathy from the Christian churches and outfits. But for anyone to believe that the highly organized and well equipped terrorist army created by the Maoists is due to exploitation of the tribals is living in a cuckoo land of his own. Digvijay Singh and his boss Sonia Gandhi by their statements are among the host of confused sympathizers who seem to imply this nonsense. The novelist Arundati Roy is the most publicized spokesperson of the Maoist cause. Digvijay of course may be dismissed as a run-of-the-mill sycophant of the dynasty and is therefore of little significance. His cloying appeal to Rahul Gandhi to lead the Congress to victory at the conclusion of his speech at the plenary session said it all. But what about the dynasty?
Applying Digvijay Singh’s as well as his party’s logic to the issue of terror perpetrated by Hindu fanatics should one focus on the facts that Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Arundati Roy are all Christians? That Christian nations America, Britain and Germany are the top three respectively in terms of being the biggest donor countries of foreign funds in India? That USA tops the list with Rs 2,928.30 crore, followed by the UK with Rs 1,268.59 crore and Germany coming third? That the top three receivers of foreign funds are Christian missionaries-supported organizations, the highest amount of foreign fund of Rs 211.62 crore received by World Vision of India in Tamil Nadu, followed by Rural Development Trust in Andhra Pradesh which received Rs 124.79 crore and Believers Church India in Kerala which received Rs 101.68 crore?
Is this how Maoist terrorism should be explained? No, it most decidedly should not! This scribe is acquainted with Christians. Not one sympathizes or justifies Maoist terror. Not one approves of Arundati Roy’s diversion from fiction writing to political commentary related to terrorism. Like the vast majority of ordinary Hindus who deplore terrorism by Hindus, the vast majority of Muslims who deplore terrorism by Muslims, the vast majority of Christians also deplore terrorism by the Maoists regardless of whether they claim to serve the cause of tribals who happen to be Christians.
What our dim witted politicians must realize is that many, many sections of Indian society have genuine grievances. These need to be addressed which the government must do. But these grievances are not the cause of organized terrorism. These provide the excuse and offer the opportunity to hostile foreign forces to provide material and tactical aid to foment organized terrorism in India. It is stupid to compare majority terror and minority terror and attempt to adduce reasons for their growth. Terror is terror. Period. It must be eliminated by effective governance. That is what no political party in the government or in the opposition has even remotely provided.
Both the Congress and the BJP instead of engaging in a silly debate attempting to score points against each other should tell the nation how they intend eliminating black money through corruption which funds home grown terrorism, how they intend stopping collusion of political parties seeking votes with different insurgent terror groups, how they intend creating a federal agency with unified command to fight terror across the nation, and finally how they intend streamlining intelligence gathering and police training to effectively combat terrorism. All parties have nothing to say on these questions. No existing party gives promise of delivering adequate governance to fight terrorism. In the eyes of the public all parties are like one indistinguishable corrupt, criminal, inefficient class. This class must be replaced before things can improve. Only in the ensuing vacuum might a genuine alternative emerge. The public cannot remove this class. Fortunately the politicians are working overtime to destroy each other and themselves. One can only wish them God speed!
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Dr. Rajinder Puri
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