Abhinav Bharat, a base of terrorism

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by M.Riaz, Apr 17, 2010.

  1. M.Riaz

    M.Riaz Regular Member

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    My article ‘India Pakistan: hiding behind excuses again?’ (Daily Times, March 4, 2010) got several responses from readers in India. Most of these were in good grace as those from the cultured Indians are expected to be. Some got very angry, almost threatening and looking down on Pakistan. Both kinds of responses are representative of the Indian mindset. Fortunately, the majority is of people with a good balance of mind. But one cannot ignore the minority, as more often than not, it is vociferous and effective. In a nutshell, the hard-hitting letters stressed that Pakistan is a bed of terrorists, and India is a great economic power, which can teach a couple of lessons to Pakistan. They also ignored the possibility of any terror networks in India.

    The purposes of this article is not point scoring. It is meant to have a better understanding of the situation so the people of the two countries can hope to have peaceful relations. There is no denying the fact that India has made remarkable progress in many fields, including economics, culture and infrastructure development. It is true that Pakistan has been plagued by terrorist networks like al Qaeda, the Taliban and others. But it is also true that India has had a strong and substantial homegrown terrorism for a long time and its intention has been to intimidate the minorities, in particular the Muslims and Christians. It also has a dream to dominate the world, a dream common with the Pakistani Taliban. If Pakistan-based Taliban want to force their brand of religion on the world, the Hindutva terrorists want to enforce their brand of Brahmanism on everyone else. So people of both countries need to look at the ground realities and devise a corrective strategy.

    I am bringing to the notice of our readers just one of the Indian organisations, Abhinav Bharat, which has a long history of terror. It is not to be confused with a trust of the same name. The trust disowns the terror organisation. The extremist Abinav Bharat was born before independence. Led by Vinayak Savarkar, initially it called for an ‘armed struggle’ against the British occupation of India. It performed several terrorist acts. Its home was India House in London. The activities of India House did not go unnoticed. By 1909, India House was under surveillance from Scotland Yard and Indian intelligence. Savarkar’s elder brother, Ganesh, was arrested in India in June that year, and was subsequently tried and exiled to the Andamans for publication of seditionist literature. Savarkar’s speeches grew increasingly strident and called for widespread violence, and murder of all Englishmen in India. The culmination of these events was the assassination of Sir William Curzon Wyllie, the political aide-de-camp to the secretary of state to India, by Madanlal Dhingra on the evening of July 1, 1909. Dhingra was arrested and later tried and executed. A number of sources suggested the assassination was in fact Savarkar’s brainchild and that he planned further action in Britain as well as India. In March 1910, Savarkar was arrested and deported to India. In the following year, the police and political sources brought pressure on the residents of India House to leave England. While some of its leaders like Krishna Varma had already fled to Europe, others like Chattopadhyaya moved to Germany. Many others moved to Paris.

    A branch of Abhinav Bharat with the philosophy that arose from the works of Savarkar was consolidated in India in the 1920s. It had an explicit ideology of Hindu nationalism, exemplified by the ‘Hindu Mahasabha’. It was distinct from Gandhi’s devotionalism. Savarkar’s philosophy earned the support of Hindu chauvinism. In recent years, the Abhinav Bharat has been led by Savarkar’s granddaughter Himani Savarkar. This organisation undertook a super active and violent programme after the joining of Lieutenant Colonel Purohit as its main protagonist since 2006.

    Lieutenant Colonel Purohit, during his stint in Jammu and Kashmir, collected a stock of explosives, particularly RDX, and probably hid it in Pune, his hometown. He appeared to have struck an understanding with some other extremist organisations like Bajrang Dal, Vishva Hindu Prishad (VHP) and Jagran Munch. The training to use explosives was provided by Major (retired) Ramesh Upadhyay. The hate speeches are generally carried out by many members including Sameer Kulkarni. A religious cover to the terrorists is provided by the swamis, and the political cover by Sangh Parivar parties like the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Shiv Sena and BJP. The technical and logistic guidance is available from the Intelligence Bureau (IB). The large media network of Sangh Parivar is used to propagate that every terror work is sourced from Pakistan.

    The Abhinav Bharat network has been found involved in several terrorist acts. Of these, the most well known are the ‘Samjhota Express’ blast killing 68 persons, the Ajmer Blast and the Malegaon Blast 2007. In each case, the main targets were Muslims. In the investigations by the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) chief of Maharashtra, Hemant Karkare, the network was identified and 11 members and associates of Abhinav Bharat were arrested. The case was filed in the Nasik court of Maharashtra. The charge-sheet also said that the ultimate aim of the group was to establish a separate Hindu Rashtra with its own constitution. This case is being heard now, but Hemant Karkare was mysteriously killed.

    Unfortunately, terrorism flourishes under the cover of religious or extreme nationalistic movements. The extremists in such movements lead the others astray and bring discredit to their movements. The Talban, Abhinav Bharat, al Qaeda, etc., are basically the same.

    In a democratic set-up, of which India takes pride, there should be firm actions to exercise control. Pakistan also must control but it has a more difficult path because it is not a ‘secular’ state. There are no angels anywhere. We need to learn and work hard to make it possible to live as good humans and serve the humanity. Denial is not the answer to the problem; facing the facts and taking firm action will lead the way to peace.


    dailytimes -
    Naeem Tahir has been associated with performing arts for over 40 years. He was the Chief Executive/Director General of Pakistan’s apex cultural organisation, the Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA). He can be reached at
     
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  3. M.Riaz

    M.Riaz Regular Member

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  4. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    This thread temporarily closed has been opened for the respected members to discuss and argue , and we the management team expect that the discussion will be decent and in sanity and no way it can cross the boundary which is bounded by the Rules and while the members are welcomed for the airing their views kindly allow us to make it clear that whenever the discussion would violate the rule , we will be compelled to act stringent sanning any religion or nationality.

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    Last edited: Apr 18, 2010
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