Thursday, May 27, 2010

Hindu liberals' failure -

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    • R Jagannathan
    R Jagannathan
      • While it is nobody’s case that Hindu terror groups should be treated any differently from the jehadi groups wreaking havoc in the country, there are some essential points of difference, and they need to be noted. One, while the Pakistan-bred terror groups cannot be controlled, the India-based ones, and especially Hindu-linked ones, are easier to rein in for the simple reason that the police will find them easy to infiltrate.

        They can be neutralised in no time, given the political will.

        The same cannot be said for the home-grown Muslim terror groups which sometimes offer tacit support to the likes of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT). Elements in radical Islamic organisations like Simi have been known to work closely with non-Indian terror groups, and the police have so far been unable to infiltrate them, thanks to deep suspicions about police impartiality within the community. Quite obviously, remedying this lacuna should be the first priority of the intelligence and law-enforcement agencies.

    • The second point of difference is the larger root-cause issue. While Pakistan-based terror groups have the annexation of Kashmir and the Islamisation of the world as their ultimate goals, the Hindu militant groups have more limited aims: to consolidate their power base among Hindus in India, preferably through communal polarisation. That they have not succeeded so far is largely the result of the innate good sense of Hindus than any great secular effort. As a group, Hindus tend to be inwardly-focused and less inclined towards millenarian causes.
    • The third point of difference is the uneven nature of Indian secularism. India’s phony secularists believe that majority communalism should be fought with abuse and bluster, but minority communalism should be brushed under the carpet. Harbans Mukhia, a history professor at Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University, has repeatedly made the same point.
    • We need to understand the main reason for this unevenness in the language used by Indian secularists. Many upper class Hindus are ashamed to be Hindus, a factor I spoke about in my last column, too. Thanks to centuries of living under British colonial domination, Hindus lost their self-esteem. The political purpose of the British colonial project was to show Indian culture and achievements as inferior, and to ensure that the upper classes bought this logic and internalised destructive self-criticism.

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