By J N Raina
This is no baby talk. These words of ‘wisdom’ that “Hindu terror groups could pose a bigger threat to India than Muslim militant groups like the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT)” are coming from the mouth of Rahul Gandhi, the icon of the Indian National Congress (INC). Great-grandson of India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru is stuck-up with the belief that “honey moon period” for the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) was over, obviously for lack of proper leadership.
His fears are justified. He knows the ins and outs of the Congress, and is obtrusively blaming the leadership of his mother Sonia Gandhi, the high-flown Chairperson of the UPA, which is united superficially but bereft of progressive ideals.
In a leaked U S diplomatic cable, Sonia Gandhi has been described as “someone who never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity to show real leadership”. How appropriate these words are. It has been amply made clear in the cable, put out by WikiLeaks that “ …Sonia Gandhi has been unable to show principled leadership”. It is understandable. That is expected from Sonia Gandhi, whose roots are not embedded in the Indian culture. It gives credence to the belief that that Sonia Gandhi is more powerful—who exhibits her prowess—than Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. All important decisions are taken by her, and PM is agreeable to all. The country has never been so mired in multifarious scams. New Delhi lacks proper leadership. Till it happens, the Congress will have to endure.
Mind-numbingly, Rahul Gandhi, the scion of the Nehru-Gandhi family, in an uncanny manner, created an unnecessary fuss by the outpouring of these chauvinist remarks. Nothing can be more outrageous. In a political conversation with the US Ambassador Timothy Roemer, he has made it known that although “ there was evidence of ‘some’ support for LeT among certain elements in India’s indigenous Muslim community, the bigger threat may be the growth of radicalized Hindu groups, which create religious tensions and political confrontations with the Muslim community”. These are wild allegations against the peaceful Hindu community, comprising 80 per cent of India’s population. They are not warlike.
Rahul Gandhi’s grand-mother Indira Gandhi was never paranoid about the ‘radicalized’ community. She would never blame them in such a roughshod manner for the ills of the nation. On the contrary, these groups were utilized at election time to garner Hindu votes. Even Rajiv Gandhi would never pass on such objectionable remarks churlishly. Rahul’s bete noire, Varun Gandhi, his first cousin, on the contrary, has been asking the Indians to “rise above caste; to build a united Hindu society”. This is the difference in upbringing. Rahul has lost his cultural moorings.
What a comparison between the hydra-headed LeT and the so-called ‘radicalized Hindu groups’. There is a Himalayan difference. Rahul’s background about LeT is succinct. Even a child knows it is the creation of ISI to dismember India. Its subversive pan-Islamic role is well-known internationally. On the contrary, the RSS is nationalist to the core, an organization wedded to India’s unity.
If some elements in the RSS have turned bigots, there must be some reason. Intrinsically, they have lost patience with the Indian authorities for their failure to combat Pakistan-sponsored terrorism, continuing for 30 years. Who is at fault? Who created Sant Bindranwallah and subsequently the Sikh terrorism, which boomeranged on the Congress. Who alienated the Sikh community and at what cost? Who killed nearly 7000 Sikhs in the wake of Indira Gandhi’s assassination by a Sikh guard? (Still she did not blame the community). It is only the government’s inefficiency to tackle Islamic terrorism which has led to the stray incidents of bomb blasts at Ajmer and Hyderabad. The Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) is a well-knit homegrown terrorist organization, acting as a surrogate for the ISI , LeT and Jaish-e-Mohammad.
Several hundred Hindus have been killed in a series of bomb blasts in India, engineered by ISI, in collaboration with LeT during the past 20 years. Reac-tion was expected from the majority Hindu community, even belatedly. Those who killed Sikhs were Congress goons, not radicalized Hindus. Even after partition, lakhs of Hindus in Pakistan and Bangladesh have either been killed, converted or forced to flee.
Rahul Gandhi however admits in the cable that ‘homegrown extremist front has been reacting to terror attacks coming from Pakistan or from Islamic groups in India…’. His diabolical statement is a slur on India’s secular traditions and Indian democracy. While the same Roemer cable written on Jan 9, 2009, has quoted then U S Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher as telling then India’s Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon that the US had told Pakistan to ‘eliminate LeT’, Rahul has pitifully considered Hindu radicals more dangerous to India, thus denigrating Hindu community. Had it been so, there would have been anarchy in India, as was witnessed in Iraq, Afghanistan and now in Pakistan, where Muslims are being killed in hundreds on daily basis.
As if Rahul’s revelations were not enough, Dighvijaya Singh went a step further in tarnishing the image of India by comparing the attitude of Hindus towards Muslims with that of Nazis towards Jews. What a shameful comparisons. His allegations that RSS was instilling violence and hatred thro-ugh Sh-ishu mandirs is preposterous. He has failed to mention about mad-rassas, run by Islamic institutions, where pupils are openly taught to kill ‘kafirs’ (non-believers). In a 32-page booklet : “ The Muslims’ Belief” , students are told : “ It is our opinion that whoever claims the acceptability of any existing religion today—other than Islam— such as Judaism, Christianity and so forth, is a non-believer. He should be asked to repent; if he does not, he must be killed as an apostate because he is rejecting the Quran”. The booklet has been distributed by the Jeddah D’awah Centre, Jeddah.
Israel has snubbed Dighvijaya Singh for making such a comparison. It has warned that ‘without entering into a political debate, no comparison can be made with the Nazi holocaust in which six million Jews were massacred solely because they were Jews’.
Let Rahul Gandhi narrate to people in the next elections that Hindus are more dangerous and see the result. Signals are already discernible from Bihar Congress cannot revive on the old plank of dividing people on the basis of caste and religion. The party should have learnt a lesson from Bihar polls where people ignored communal politics. The party should not misread people’s verdict in Bihar. Instead of salvaging the image of the Congress, Dighvijaya Singh and Rahul Gandhi together have been slamming the BJP. They have succumbed to the worst kind of debased politics, provoking one community against the other. Its only agenda is to destroy the opposition and attack the RSS, which is engaged in rebuilding India. The Congress is just helping Pakistan in slamming India. Earlier, Singh raised controversy by suggesting that slain ATS Chief Hemant Karkare had received threats from extremist Hindu groups, which he sadly connected with the 2611 Mumbai attack. He can stoop so low. Even then Minority Affairs Minister A R Antulay had charged that Karkare could have become a victim of ‘terrorism or terrorism plus something’. What does this all indicate? It is on the basis of these assumptions and presumption that the US had come to believe that the Congress had ‘backed’ the ‘outlandish’ conspiracy theory over the death of Karkare in 2611 attack for ‘crass political gains’. Then U S Ambassador to India David Mulford in a cable to Washington had observed that the “Congress had made a cynical political calculations to boast the conspiracy theory”.
*(The writer is a senior most journalist based at Pune)