In India many ‘well meaning’ followers of Hinduism believe that Hindus will never involve in religion inspired terrorism. Even today a friend talking about Orlando massacre mentioned such a naive belief. He repeated the Hindutva propaganda saying “though all Muslims are not terrorists all terrorists are Muslims”.
“Aren’t you aware of the arrest of a Hindu outfit leader for the cold-blooded murder of the famous rationalist Dabholkar two days ago ? And did you forget the most infamous of all terrorist action in India, the Mahatma Gandhi assassination? “I had to ask.
The question got the expected excuses as reply. Usually such excuses ranges from “that is a fringe group” to “it has nothing to do with ‘real’ Hinduism” and “why should they hurt religious sentiments and provoke believers”.
The truth is, apart from the common occurrences of Hindutva mob violence against minorities, in the last 10-15 years there has been several instances of Hindu outfits being accused to be indulging in under cover terrorist acts. This includes attacks like 2006 Malegaon blasts, Mecca Masjid bombing (Hyderabad), Samjhauta Express bombings and the Ajmer sharif dargah blast. Along with these incidents came the assassinations of rationalist activists, Dabholkar, Pansare and Kalburgi.
Narendra Dabholkar, born in 1945 was a medical doctor who plunged into the difficult arena of social activism after 12 years of medical practice. He was involved in One village One well initiative and founded the Committee for eradication of superstitions.He worked hard to expose godmen and busted many miracles. He was also in forefront in fighting casteism and working for Dalit rights. He was for sometime the Vice President of Federation of Indian rationalists associations, FIRA. He was gunned down by two unknown assailants on August 20th, 2013, while on a morning walk.
Now after three years, a medical doctor and a member of Hindu Janajagruthi samithi, a splinter group of Sanatan Sansta, Dr Virendra Tawde was arrested on Friday for his role in the Dabholkar murder. He is considered by the investigating agencies to be the chief conspirator.
With a Hindutva party in power both in Delhi and Mumbai, many are unsure about delivery of justice in cases were Hindu groups are involved. A spokesman for the Sanatan Sansta had already opined that ” it is sad to see that Hindu organisations were being targeted in spite of a Hindu government being in power”.
Still this arrest has raised the hope of delivery of justice in the family of Dabholkar and fellow rationalists.
For people like my above mentioned friend, their selective blindness to terror acts inspired by Hindutva may sadly continue even if more and more such arrests and convictions occur.