Hindu dharma is implicitly at odds with monotheistic intolerance. What is happening in India is a new historical awakening... Indian intellectuals, who want to be secure in their liberal beliefs, may not understand what is going on. But every other Indian knows precisely what is happening: deep down he knows that a larger response is emerging even if at times this response appears in his eyes to be threatening.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

NIC for Hindu-bashing

The National Integration Council meet on Monday (Oct. 13, 2008) called by the UPA Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh turned out to be a platform for Hindu-bashing. The UPA in pursuit of its communal agenda perhaps wanted it to be that way. It used the occasion to polarise further, divide the society and sent out a message to the divisive elements across the country on the eve of the election that they have a saviour in the UPA.

The Prime Minister set the agenda for the NIC by launching a highly partisan attack on Hindu communalism and exploring possibilities for banning some Hindu organisations which according to him were behind the violence in Orissa, Karnataka and Assam. He totally overlooked the terror attacks, illegal evangelism with foreign fund and infiltration from Bangladesh, which were at the root of national unrest. And he turned the NIC into a venue for ultra-communal elements from the Muslim and Christian outfits to launch an orchestrated tirade against Hindus. It looked as if the only problem confronting the country is that it is still Hindu majority. And the purpose, it seemed, was to warn the Hindus and reassure the minorities.

For the Prime Minister who was fighting shy of including terrorism in the agenda paper for the NIC meet—after repeated demand from the BJP chief ministers he reluctantly added extremism as an appendix for discussion— terrorism and communalism are the two sides of the same coin. By making such a prognosis not only did he try to justify and dilute the terrorist threat but communalise the whole issue as one between Hindus and the rest.

When we talk of terror we mean the threat to national security from foreign-funded jehadi groups, Maoists and North-East extremists waging a war against the state. For a country that has suffered the killing of over 8000 innocent citizens including infants and maiming of as many in innumerable serial terror attacks under UPA, there is no doubt about the identity of the perpetrators of the crime. The country is witness to the pusillanimous inaction and diabolic duplicity of the UPA in the face of this national threat. A coalition that entertains in its cabinet such toxic assets as the bosom friends and defenders of terror outfits like SIMI has no right to talk about national integration. Every action of the UPA government in the last four and a half years has been geared to strengthen the enemies of national unity. By its actions and calculated inactions this government has tried to divide the society in all possible ways. It is natural that it calls a NIC meeting and there is no mention of terrorism in the agenda. It is eager to convey to the terror outfits that in this government they have a friend.

Or how does one explain the Prime Minister’s shameless attempt to trivialise the danger from terrorism by stressing that the Government must “ensure in trying to counter terrorism wrong methods and means are not adopted?” But no caution or proof is needed when the UPA makes unjustified allegations on nationalist organisations. It is as if the government is under pressure from parties like the BJP to act tough on terror but because of its better understanding the former is resisting all that. He also tried to convey a sly message that a particular community was being targeted. It is the Government that has always adopted a policy that any decisive action against terrorists and their hideout will upset the Muslims. Every time the Prime Minister expresses his sneaking sympathy for terrorists by threatening security forces to be careful not to hurt the susceptibilities of the Muslim community while conducting anti-terror operations, announcing financial compensations for the families of jehadis killed in encounters and staying up nights agonising about the plight of terror suspects he contributes to the communalisation of the threat.

With only few months left for the national election the UPA treated the NIC as a launching pad for its poll campaign. It tried to reassure the evangelists freedom to proselytise at will and jehadis a free run over the national landscape. That is the message the UPA tried to emphasise further by making such biased, onesided, communal propaganda from that forum. In fact not only that the NIC proved a divisive effort but it undermined the sanctity of the body itself. It is high time the NIC is dissolved as it has lost the goal for which it was originally constituted.

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