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Washington focuses on Hindutva terrorism  (Saturday, 17 January, 2004)
US contemplating to initiate action against Hindu extremists groups under Executive Order 13224, Section 219 of INA and Section 140(d)(2) of FRA Act, 1988-89 - Hindu Students Council of America, VHP America, Shiv Sena, RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal, Durga Vahini etc., fall under US Legislations for Foreign Terror Organiztions - RSS, Bajrang Dal jointly training Hindu militants arriving from US, Europe, Austria, Africa and South East Asia at Sarojini Nagar near Lucknow - Ex-Indian Generals engaged by Hindutva to train militants - US observers point out Sangh Parivar’s
anti-Christian, Muslim activities

From Sandra Johnson
Special to The Daily Mail

WASHINGTON, D.C.—While the Indian leadership, despite extending peace initiatives to Islamabad, is constantly raising the issue of Muslim militancy and alleges Pakistan of sponsoring Muslim extremists in the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir, the US officials concerned here at the DC are focusing on the issue of constantly increasing Hindu militancy and are contemplating upon opting for a strong action against Hindu fanatic groups and Hindutva laboratories, a new source of global terrorism reveal the latest findings of The Daily Mail Investigation Cell (DMIC). According to well-placed official sources, Washington and its allies in global anti-terror war have now very strongly started believing that Hindutva Brotherhood and other Hindu fanatic groups, particularly those, attached to Sangh Parivar are getting organized on the pattern of Taliban and Hindutva network has got all the potential to become even more lethal than Al-Qaeda and other Muslim extremists' militant groups. Announcement of formation of suicide squads by Bal Thackeray, Bombay-based Chief of Hindu fanatics' outfit Shiv Sena, last year, was more than enough to ring the alarm bells at Washington after which the US and other Western agencies recommended a strong and timely action against such Hindu groups. US believes that if not checked and stopped timely, these Hindu extremists can become a permanent threat to the world peace and the ongoing global anti-terror war will have to open another front and this time in a nuclear State with every possibility of nuke weapons landing into the hands of these extremists, having deep roots in Indian Armed Forces and Delhi nuclear command infrastructure. The US believes that if Pakistani President Musharraf, despite existence of strong Muslim fanatics' group in the Islamic Republic was able to manage the elimination of religious terrorism and militancy then Vajpayee's BJP government should also follow the same policy against Hindu extremists. But in wake of existence of a number of Hindu extremists' political parties in the coalition government of BJP, top US officials are not ready to buy that the Vajpayee government would be able to take a solid step in this direction and thus they recommend a direct US action under the relevant legislations.
Highly credible diplomatic sources revealed that a number of Indian organization involved in saffron terrorism, religious bigotry and hate mongering politics are under strict scrutiny of the United States with some likely to be placed on the State Department’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) as well as blocking of their assets and finances and fund raising in terms of the Executive Order 13224.
The DMIC findings indicate that although new saffron organizations are having mushroom growth in India on a routine basis under the patronage of the BJP government and the Sangh Parivar umbrella of Hindutva like-minded groups, the organizations particularly being watched are the RSS, VHP including VHP America, Bajrang Dal, Durga Vahini, Shiv Sena, Hindutva Unity, Hindutva Brotherhood, Soldiers of Hindutva, Saffron Tigers, Hindu Jagran Manch, Hindu Student Council of America, American Hindus against Defamation (AHAD) and Savarkar Darshan.

The above groups fall under the definite of terrorist organization under numerous US legislations such as Section 140 (d) (2) of Foreign Relations Authorization Act 1988-89 which defines “terrorism as premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against non combatant targets by sub national groups…” or Chapter 8 of INA which describes engagement in terrorist activity including community, inciting to commit, plan or gather information on potential targets and soliciting funds for a terrorist activity as culpable offences under US law. Section 2l (d) (i) of Executive Order also defines terrorism as a violent act dangerous to human life, property or infrastructure.
According to DMIC findings RSS and Bajrang Dal have joint terrorist training camps at several locations in India where large number of Hindu trainees even come from
USA, Europe, Australia, Africa and South East Asia. These trainees are imparted ‘Shakha’ (daily military regime and discipline) preparing them for ‘Dharma’ Yudh (Religious Holy War).
DMIC investigations revealed that one such terrorist training camp is at Sarojini Nagar in Awadh region near Lucknow. Bajrang Dal, RSS and subsidiary groups’ terrorists are trained in use of fire arms, explosive, knives, daggers, trishuls (Hindu religious javelin having three prongs) guerrilla warfare, sabotage, booby trapping, ambush and surprise attack tactics, close quarter encounters and assault techniques, as well as combat with minimal use of weapons such as clubs and martial arts. Even women of Durga Vahini are trained in these camps though their main training centre is in Kampur. Over a 100,000 terrorists have been trained to a high degree of sophistication in these camps while those who have received preliminary training are countless. The training is imparted by former Special Commando Group personnel of Indian Armed Forces, many of whom got premature retirement after lucrative offers from RSS and BD. The Chief Trainer and Instructor at Sarojini Nagar is also said to be a retired military personal formerly belonging to the Elite Commandos Squad of Indian Army, Sardar Bhupendra Singh. The Bajrang Dal convener in Uttar Pardesh state Bihari Mishra is also reportedly responsible for the camp. A target of training 200,000 has been set for mid-2004. Most trainees are students and youth with some as young as 8 to 13 years old.
Highly credible diplomatic sources confided to the DMIC that the US has been much concerned on the phenomenal rise in Hindu fundamentalism since the BJP’s coming into power in India. Last year the State Department in the report noted that Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee and Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Advani were both members of RSS, which is known for its bigoted religious and cultural agenda. Citing various incidences of victimization and terrorising of the Christian and Muslim minorities the report had expressed concern over the decision of the then Indian Home Minister L. K. Advani to participate in the controversial Agra rally which had called to ban all foreign Churches and formation of a national Christian Church under the control of the government. Many observers in US have pointed that the Sangh Parivar groups call for ban on conversion to any religion except Hinduism and at the same time they profess openly to reconvert those who adopted any religion other than Hinduism, through use of all means including force and financial blockade. According to its own claims VHP reconverted 5000 tribal Christians to Hinduism in Sundargarh district of Orissa state alone, during the last two years. It is pertinent that Sundargarh is one of the Bajrang Dal strongholds where numerous incidences of terrorizing and victimization of Christian tribal folks have been reported. The element of coercion in these re-conversions cannot be therefore ruled out.

Nonetheless the real concern started following the spate of grisly unabated terrorism under the patronage of
Union and State government in the Indian State of Gujarat since the end of February 2002. According to DMIC findings the US officials made strong talk with their Indian counterparts during conversations not reported to media, over the unabated rise of Saffron terrorism and the exceptional proliferation of Hindu extremist militant organizations, while the State Department kept a low key public profile on the matter. The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USIRF) on the other hand took cognizance of the crimes committed against the humanity in the name of religion by the Sangh Parivar Hindu fundamentalists and held a hearing on Gujarat violence on June 10 this year. The USIRF Commissioner Ms Felice Gaer also took strong note of the incitement and twist to the violence in Gujarat by the VHP of Ameirca Inc. to portray the Hindus as the victims. In a damage control exercise the VHPA’s President Jyotish Parekh hastily sent a letter to Ms. Gaer in which he called ‘killing of Muslims as well as Hindus despicable”. Noteworthy is the fact that the official press release of VHPA, still maintains “condemnation of 58 Hindus at the hands of Muslims in Sabarmati Express and despicable aftermath without mentioning the victimization of Muslims by Hindu militants”. It thus attempts to create an impression that Hindus suffered in the aftermath also. By inference this VHPA’s position implied that the carnage in Gujarat was a reaction to the Godhra incidence and hence justified. This is further deplorable since India’s own forensic lab has established that the fire on the Sabarmati Express was started from within the compartment, which incidentally only had Hindu passengers in it.
In her opening remarks USIRF Commissioner Ms. Felice Gaer expressed concern over the reports including that of India’s own National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) that the communal violence in Gujarat was carefully planned ahead by the government of Gujarat in which, members of state cabinet and police force were fully implicated. She expressed serious concern over the association of increased violence against the minorities with the rise in Hindu nationalist groups in India. She conveyed the disquiet of the Commission that the “US government had not spoken out forcefully against attacks on Muslims in Gujarat”.
The testimony of Robert M. Hathaway representative of Woodrow Wilson Think Tank was very revealing. Hathaway disclosed that though in public posture the US kept a low key on the Gujarat violence, in comparison to Japan and Europe, the US officials separately made strong representation to the Indians over the daylight terrorism by the Hindu fanatics. He nonetheless called on the Congressmen particularly known as India sympathizers to speak out their dismay and condemnation of the tragedy. He pointed that there was a direct linkage between the international war against terrorism and the Gujarat mayhem. He stressed that inaction by the US government (over the rising terrorism by the Hindu fanatics) “would strengthen the belief of many in the Islamic world that Americans somehow value a Muslim life less that of other religions and the present war was not directed against terrorism but Islam”. Therefore the US aimed to “utilize the tragedies of September 11 to carry out long-desired plans to repress Islamic world.” Hathaway disclosed to the Commission his grave horrific encounter with a senior Indian official who “expressed no remorse over the violence nor recognized that a great tragedy had taken place.” The official in fact tried to justify the violence as a natural cause and effect reaction of the Hindu community and attempted to shift responsibility on the so called cross border Jihadis.
Hathaway recommended an official inquiry into financial transactions involving of US anti-terrorism laws and other statues by Indians residents in the US and Americans of Indian origin in transferring substantial sums of money to groups and organizations in Gujarat and else-where in India that are directly linked to violence over there. He also recommended inquiry into fund raising activities in the
United States by groups implicated in violence in Gujarat. He quoted that responsible sources who believed that the funds raised and sent from the US were being used to promote religious bigotry and called for action in banning fund-raising by such groups in line with the action taken in respect of similar groups in other countries. Interestingly the official fund raising appeal by Bajrang Dal and VHP calls on the Hindu community to donate generously and at least “five per cent of their income to Hindu movements that will ensure that Hinduism will prosper in spite of attacks from Islam and Christianity”.
Other speakers testified that nien out of every 10 dollars spend by the Hindu fanatics to carry out
Gujarat carnage came from sources in the United States and Europe. The Sangh Parivar has been successfully running the pogrom of terror to establish a Hindu ‘Rashtra’ (State) in India whose ethos are based on Hindu supremacy and where Muslims and Christians are rank outsiders. Ms Teesta Setalvad eferred the “recent state-sponsored genocide of Muslims as a brutal expression of this ideology of an exclusive Hindu state that has no place and accords no equal citizenship to other confessions of faith”.
DMIC investigations have revealed the there is a remarkable similarity between the Aryan chauvinism of Hitler’s Hazi party, Mussolini’s Fascist Party and the ideology of the Hindutva organizations of Sangh Parivar and their affiliates. In fact the founder of RSS Dr Keshav Rao Baliran Hedgewar was impressed by Hitler and even went to
Europe to meet him. He could not have an audience with Hitler but managed to meet Mussolini of Italy. It was on the pattern of the pogrom of these two of his ‘ideologues’ that Hedgewar based the organization and regimen of his RSS. VHP was later formed in 1966 as a social and cultural wing of RSS but to act as a political pressure group in India and abroad. The use of Aryan symbol of racial chauvinism Swastika by Hindutva organizations is only a tip of the iceberg in this regard. Noteworthy is also the use of Nazi oath of allegiance “Loyalty is our Honour” by some Hindutva organizations while drafting new members. Of interest is also their slogan “Hinduize the politics and militarize the Hindus”.
In its propaganda campaign to establish bona fide nature of charitable work VHP America professes that it was a non-profit tax-exempt organization. One of the so-called charitable works listed by VHPA is the sponsoring of Ekal Vidyata (mythological religious schools) in nook and corners of India. In fact thousands of such schools have been opened in India through financing of VHPA and other VHP branches worldwide. Now these Ekal Vidyatas are nothing more than the Hindutva hate laboratories according to many independent reports including that of Human Rights Watch and even India’s own National Human Rights Commission. HRW assesses the two schemes of ‘vidya sahaks’ and ‘edal vidya’ as the heart of Sangh Parivar’s pogrom of “saffronisation” process. In Gujarat alone the state government hand-picked 20,000 RSS diehards and appointed them teachers in the state run schools replacing the incumbents. Alongisde the ‘saffronisation’ of state education system is the programme of private Ekal Vidyata schools. These schools and education outfits are no more then hate churning and indoctrinating joints. The State of Gujarat has been changed the school textbooks and curriculum from 1998 onwards replacing them with hate-filled texts against the minority communities accusing them of undermining the divine ‘Dharma’ (religion) of Hinduism by converting Hindus of lower caste and economic strata to other religions. Many observers in the US are regarding these mythological schools as worst than the Taliban sponsored Madaris and recommending a concrete action to stop their sponsorship to indicate even handed approach of US towards extremism. They regard these schools as volcanoes of bigotry about to explode and having effects even beyond India. The schools and ‘vidhyata’ teachers systematically ostracize and ghettoize Christian and Muslim children reminding one of the similar treatments meted onto the Jewish children in the Nazi Germany.
One looks at the VHP’s so-called “Points of Hindu Agenda” makes its Aryan racial jingoist clear. The very first point describes the establishment of Aryavarta (
Land of Aryans) or Arya Rashstra (State of Arvans) as the prime objective of VHP and calls on the like minded Groups and political parties to support this cause. The Agenda deplores the secularist elements within India and regards ‘Hindutva’ and nationalism as synonymous. It seeks to establish Gau-Seva (cow serving) Ministries at Union and State level to oversee complete ban on slaughter of cows and their progeny. The agenda calls for banning conversion to any religion other then Hinduism and stoppage of remittance fund provision to missionaries involved in conversion activities. At the same time it wants to make teaching of Hindu culture and dharma (religion) compulsory, thereby defying the fundamental human right of choice of religion. Simultaneously, it declares the activities related to ‘pooja’ (Hindu Prayers), construction of Mandirs (Hindu Prayer Centres) exempt from payment of government taxes. It also calls for enactment of Hindu blasphemy laws to make any activity deemed disrespectable or undesirable to Hindu faith and culture a penal offence. Further it wants to withdraw all constitutional privileges, rights and quotas granted to minorities, scheduled castes (castes other then Aryan castes) scheduled tribes (Adivasis) and other depressed classes. The Minority Commission of India, established since the time of British to ensure protection and realization of basic rights of minorities is also sought to be disbanded.
The VHP stalwarts like Sandhya Jain openly accuse involvement of “American interest in violation of (what he calls) religious freedom in India and blames Sonia Gandhi of playing to American gallery in visiting Christian Dang. Community (following its victimization by the Bajrang Dal Hindu zealots). He accuses the Church of fanning the centuries’ old caste and class difference in India to proselytize. Another Hindutva ideologue Amberish K Diwanji professes that ‘Christians cannot face Islamic anger and consider Hindus a soft target. He propagates a conspiracy theory according to which “the US wanted to destabilize the (Indian) central government” and hatching an “international conspiracy to defame Hindu parties”. He alleges that the Joshua 2000 at Colorado Sprints USA set aim at working on the scheduled castes and Vanvasi (forest/bush tribes) to convert large magnitudes to Christianity. He goes on to accuse the “US missionaries and their clients in
India as sponsors of secessionist movements and terrorism”. The propagation of hate and bigotry keeps no limits in case of subsidiary organizations such as Bajrang Dal Hindutva Brotherhood, Savarkar Dharshan etc. One such leader Jawan Karthik of Bajrang Dakl regards that the only solution to “Muslim-Christian Problem” is “to have a supper diabolic offensive forcing them to accept Hinduism”. He calls on the “Hindus to Militarize and place a ban on recruitment of other faiths to enter into Indian Army”. He argues that it was “immaterial whose government was in power, the community that hand majority in the Armed Forces will decide the future identity of Hindustan.” These Groups’ bring in mythological references from Hindu religion books such as Ramayan, Mahabharat, etc. calling for ‘Dharma Yudha’ (religious Holy war) against Muslims and Christians. Human Rights Watch has also cited such tendencies of RSS, BD and like-minded groups in its reports stating: “Western thoughts and civilization are perceived as enemies of Hindu culture. Religions like Islam and Christianity are depicted as alien to India. RSS wanted the entire gamut of social life to be designed on the rock bed of Hinduism. A goal now collectively pursued by Sangh Parivar”.
In their odium and hate these Groups do not even spare the India’s spiritual and founding father Gandhi. They call his principles as bogus. In words of K. S. Sukarshan a prominent RSS leader, “Hindu Vedas” (religious teachings) tell us that if a man slaps you and you do not retaliate with two slaps you are not worthy of being called a man. These Hindutva leaders even go to the extent of regarding Gandhi’s assassin Nathuramji Godse as a towering warrior of Hinduism.
Another target of the abhorrence of the Sangh Parivar group is the saintly figure of Mother Teressa who devoted her life to the betterment of Indian poor leaving her country of birth to settle there. VHP accusses Mother Teressa of proselytizing and converting Hindus to Christianity under the garb of charity. They blame her of projecting a poor image of India in order to raise large funds abroad. Mother Terrassa is further accused of squandering charity money on her treatment abroad. Perhaps most outrageous of the allegations is her having links with criminals and mobsters. Ridiculously she is also blamed of projecting a poor image of India even after her death as tens of thousands of reports who turned up to cover her funeral flashed India’s poverty to the entire world.
However, getting the wind of possible action from the US and a backlash from the other countries, the Indian government has advised these saffron groups to be more discrete and covert in their separations lest they face the wrath of international community. Further a number of anti-US materials have been made out of open circulation and removed from the websites of these groups in order to prevent direct confrontation with USA. Such materials are now circulated only to the sworn members of the Groups.

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