- Subhash Gatade
Note: This article is a chapter of the book ‘Five Years of Saffron Rule in Karnataka’ Edited by Ambrose Pinto S.J., Manak Publications, Delhi, P. 338, 2013
..Here it is enough to point out that Hindutva is not identical with what is vaguely indicated by the term Hinduism. By an "ism" it is generally meant a theory or a code more or less based on spiritual or religious system. But when we attempt to investigate into the essential significance of Hindutva, we do not primarily and certainly not mainly concern ourselves with any particular theocratic or religious dogma or creed..(V.D. Savarkar, Hindutva, Delhi: Bharti Sahitya Sadan, sixth edition, 1989, pp3f)
Violence and terror are an integral part of any exclusivist organisation professing allegiance to a particular faith. In fact, violence or fact of violence and its domineering presence pervading all spheres of social-political life is a guarantee to consolidate the 'faithful', discipline the dissenter and further marginalise the 'other.' This part of South Asia where the unfolding project of democratisation - undertaken after the exit of the colonialists - has faced many hiccups seems to be a fertile ground for proliferation of such formations.
One is witness to the emergence/further consolidation of Sinhala-Buddhist chauvinist groups - trying to further bulldoze Tamil aspirations - in Sri Lanka, or the likes of Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad exerting influence cutting across boundary lines or the likes of HuJi, Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh, Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh - who were once synonyms of terror few years back - trying to regroup their forces in neighbouring Bangladesh. India, which never forgets to pat its back for 'successful democratic transition' has had its own share of violent groups engaged in furthering their own exclusivist agenda. While not much is heard of the Khalistani (Sikh nationalist) groups these days, which had created furore in eighties and nineties; activities and actions of Islamist groups get regular coverage. Hindutva supremacist groups are also found engaged in similar terror acts which are no less deadly or barbaric.
It has been more than a decade that this phenomenon of Hindutva terror - much bigger phenomenon than previously envisaged with- has raised its head again which saw many avoidable deaths. Here we witness activists, workers, Pracharaks of the 'cause' collecting arms, storing explosives, engaging themselves in arms training and making elaborate plans to put it at crowded places to have maximum impact. As noted in a statement by human rights activists, another disturbing aspect of this phenomenon, is that "[f]or long prejudice has ruled investigations, obscuring the role of organizations and their multiple affiliates in planning and executing of attacks and bombings in the country...The agencies, showing their abject bias, instead chose to pursue the beaten track of investigating Islamic terrorist organizations — despite clear evidence pointing in the opposite direction."