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Millennium Post

Think before you speak!

Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde’s ‘insensitive’ remarks at the Congress Party’s Chintan Shivir in Jaipur that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) were inciting ‘Hindu terrorism’ has invited criticism not only from members of the majority community but also from major political parties. Ironically, his own political party-Congress also distanced itself from his comments. The time and venue of the revelation indicates that Shinde’s remarks were aimed at wooimg Muslim vote bank in 2014 general elections.

The statement by Shinde backed by External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh provided Pakistan an opportunity to reject New Delhi’s allegation that Islamabad was orchestering terror attacks in India. As expected, Jamaat-ud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed utilised Shinde’s remarks to target India saying that the 9/11 Mumbai and other terror attacks were the handiwork of Hindu terrorists and LeT has no role in it. Following Shinde’s statement, Hafiz Saeed, who heads the JuD, made a demand that India should be declared a terrorist state. Hafiz Sayed also praised the home minister and said, ‘Shinde has spoken the truth finally. We consider this a help from Allah for Pakistan which is always (accused) by India for acts of terrorism.’

While some ministerial colleagues praised Shinde’s disclosure many nationalist Muslims criticised the same for creating disharmony against the communities. In a statement Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind (JuH) general secretary Maulana Mahmood Madani said the JUH and Indian Muslims rejected the term ‘Hindu terror’ as it was not proper to associate any religion or community with terrorism. ‘We are of the belief that terrorism has no religion and community.’ The main opposition BJP and its ideological head the RSS not only rejected Shinde’s remarks that RSS and BJP were promoting ‘Hindu terrorism’ through their training camps, but also demanded an apology from the ruling Congress. BJP Chief Rajnath Singh while criticising Shinde’s statement said the home minister had hurt India’s image by his comments and dared him to ban the RSS and BJP and arrest all their leaders if there was any evidence against these organisations. Questioning the silence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi over the remarks, the BJP chief made it clear that his party will continue its ‘oust-Shinde’ campaign even in the Budget Session of Parliament expected to begin in the third week of next month.

Apart from BJP, and NCP, a key Congress ally termed Shinde’s remarks linking BJP and RSS to Hindu terrorism as ‘wrong’ and ‘improper’. ‘The use of such words is not only wrong but also improper,’ NCP general secretary D P Tripathi said. ‘The NCP believes that any minister in the government, more so the home minister, should refrain from usage of words that seek to link any religion or community to terrorism,’ Tripathi said. Janata Party president Subrmanian Swamy said his comments will only help Pakistan. ‘The statement is aimed at only watering down the Islamic terrorism. I condemn terrorism in any form perpetrated by anyone,’ he told reporters here. Swamy said no one was holding all Muslims to be terrorists and said extremist activities from persons of any faith was condemnable.

The Congress too distanced itself from Shinde’s controversial remarks saying that the party does not endorse identification of such acts with any religion or colour, even as Union Home Secretary R K Singh defended the minister.

A pertinent question arises: if the home ministry has authentic evidence that the RSS and BJP are training youth in camps why is not the government revealing that evidence or dismantaling the alleged camps? We know India lacks courage to attack training camps in Pakistan but at least they should now muster strength to uproot camps if they at all exist in India. It is unfortunate that home minister of world’s largest democracy has leashed a campaign against BJP and RSS without sound evidence. Well, if Shinde has information and evidence he should take action. Being a senior Congress leader and Home Minister Shinde should weigh all aspects before making any statement. There are no two opinions that home minister’s statement has dented India’s spiritual, religious, cultural and civilisational heritage in the eyes of the world.

It is intresting that while the Pakistani ministers are defending the home grown terrorists, Indian Ministers are blaming nationalist parties for patronising terror groups. (IFS)
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