Is there such a thing as ‘Hindu terrorism’? By Francois Gautier

Is there such a thing as ‘Hindu terrorism’, as the arrest of Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur for the Malegaon blasts may tend to prove? Well, I guess I was asked to write this column because I am one of that rare breed of foreign correspondents — a lover of Hindus! A born Frenchman, Catholic-educated and non-Hindu, I do hope I’ll be given some credit for my opinions, which are not the product of my parents’ ideas, my education or my atavism, but garnered from 25 years of reporting in South Asia (for Le Journal de Geneve and Le Figaro).
In the early 1980s, when I started freelancing in south India, doing photo features on Kalaripayattu, the Ayyappa festival, or the Ayyanars, I slowly realised that the genius of this country lies in its Hindu ethos, in the true spirituality behind Hinduism. The average Hindu you meet in a million villages possesses this simple, innate spirituality and accepts your diversity, whether you are Christian or Muslim, Jain or Arab, French or Chinese. It is this Hinduness that makes the Indian Christian different from, say, a French Christian, or the Indian Muslim unlike a Saudi Muslim. I also learnt that Hindus not only believed that the divine could manifest itself at different times, under different names, using different scriptures (not to mention the wonderful avatar concept, the perfect answer to 21st century religious strife) but that they had also given refuge to persecuted minorities from across the world—Syrian Christians, Parsis, Jews, Armenians, and today, Tibetans.
In 3,500 years of existence, Hindus have never militarily invaded another country, never tried to impose their religion on others by force or induced conversions. You cannot find anybody less fundamentalist than a Hindu in the world and it saddens me when I see the Indian and western press equating terrorist groups like SIMI, which blow up innocent civilians, with ordinary, angry Hindus who burn churches without killing anybody. We know also that most of these communal incidents often involve persons from the same groups—often Dalits and tribals—some of who have converted to Christianity and others not. However reprehensible the destruction of Babri Masjid, no Muslim was killed in the process; compare this to the ‘vengeance’ bombings of 1993 in Bombay, which wiped out hundreds of innocents, mostly Hindus. Yet the Babri Masjid destruction is often described by journalists as the more horrible act of the two. We also remember how Sharad Pawar, when he was chief minister of Maharashtra in 1993, lied about a bomb that was supposed to have gone off in a Muslim locality of Bombay.
I have never been politically correct, but have always written what I have discovered while reporting. Let me then be straightforward about this so-called Hindu terror. Hindus, since the first Arab invasions, have been at the receiving end of terrorism, whether it was by Timur, who killed 1,00,000 Hindus in a single day in 1399, or by the Portuguese Inquisition which crucified Brahmins in Goa. Today, Hindus are still being targeted: there were one million Hindus in the Kashmir valley in 1900; only a few hundred remain, the rest having fled in terror. Blasts after blasts have killed hundreds of innocent Hindus all over India in the last four years. Hindus, the overwhelming majority community of this country, are being made fun of, are despised, are deprived of the most basic facilities for one of their most sacred pilgrimages in Amarnath while their government heavily sponsors the Haj. They see their brothers and sisters converted to Christianity through inducements and financial traps, see a harmless 84-year-old swami and a sadhvi brutally murdered. Their gods are blasphemed. So sometimes, enough is enough.

At some point, after years or even centuries of submitting like sheep to slaughter, Hindus—whom the Mahatma once gently called cowards—erupt in uncontrolled fury. And it hurts badly. It happened in Gujarat. It happened in Jammu, then in Kandhamal, Mangalore, and Malegaon. It may happen again elsewhere. What should be understood is that this is a spontaneous revolution on the ground, by ordinary Hindus, without any planning from the political leadership. Therefore, the BJP, instead of acting embarrassed, should not disown those who choose other means to let their anguished voices be heard.
There are about a billion Hindus, one in every six persons on this planet. They form one of the most successful, law-abiding and integrated communities in the world today. Can you call them terrorists?
Francois Gautier


One thought on “Is there such a thing as ‘Hindu terrorism’? By Francois Gautier

  1. All India Multilingual Brahmin Federation (Akhil Bharatiya Bahubhashyia Brahmin Mahasangha)lead by Shri Moreswar Ghaisas Guruji, President has submitted detail Memorandum (in Hindi) to the Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh on 8th May,2012 at Parliament House, New Delhi after Great Conclave (Mahakumbh) at Ramlila Maidan, New Delhi in 27-29 April 2012.

    The following is the English translation of the Memorandum to the Prime Minister

    In co-Operation
    Akhil Bharatiya Bahubhashyia Prashuram Sarva Bhashiya
    Brahmin Mahasangha Brahmin Sangha Nagpur
    (Regd.No.3728/4 Dt.26/7/2011 {Regd.No.Maharastra/733/08 (Nagpur)}
    B-197, 3rd Floor, Duggal Colony
    Khanpur Devali Road, New Delhi-110 062

    Vedacharya Moreswar Vinayak Ghaisas Guruji
    (Mob.: 09423568021)
    Date: 27 April,2012
    Hon’ble Prime Minister
    Govt. of India, New Delhi

    Sub: Letter of demands /intimations of Bahubashiya Brahman Mahasangha (Multilingual Brahmin Federation)
    Dear Sir,
    Pray in welcome, Joi Bharat, Bondemataram.
    Respected Prime Minister Sir, Representatives of Brahmin residing in whole of India has assembled to make a great conclave (Mahakumbh) at New Delhi, the capital city of India. Such great conclave (Mahakumbh) is being organized for the first time in India. We are all speaking in different languages. But in terms of carrying culture and bearing heritage, we the all Brahmins are celebrating such a great conclave of the community, because of the fact that such a great conclave of Brahmins has never happened earlier after independence. Enduring all sufferings, Brahmins never thought of their own community. But now time has come. The issues that have surfaced before the community must get urgent attention so that avenues for the upcoming generations can be extended for the wellbeing of the community in addition to national welfare. For the reason, we are placing all those issues before the merited Prime Minister like you. We hope you will lend a hand with us on paying solemn attention in considering and disposing these issues.
    India is a sovereign democratic republic where discrimination has no value. We are all its children. A thought on its wellbeing is also our birth right. We are concern because our ancestors and forefathers represented and sacrificed for the nation in its construction and growth. We the Brahmins as representatives of the Brahmin community wish to meet you. That Brahmin community from 1857 to the independence of the nation took top role, leadership and had sacrifice or got martyrdom with delight or cooperates to construct the nation. They had never talked separatism or they had cooperated with the separatist forces, nor they had encouraged or had admitted such thoughts.
    For the independence of nation, Basudev Balbant Phalke, Mangal Pandey, Shaheed Rajguru, Chandrasekhar Azad, Tantiya Tope, Shaheed Bholaram Shastry, Nanasaheb Peswa, Maharani Laksmibhai, Swatantravir Savarkar, Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Guru of Mahatma Gandhi -Gopal Krishna Gokhle, Pt. Madan Mohan Malavya, Ramanand Tewary, Vasant Kanhare, Chapekar Bandhu, Chakravorty Gopalachari, Comrade Sripad Amrit Dange, Motilal Nehru, Sarvapalli Dr. Radhakrishnan had to sacrifice. At present this society is in the grip of adverse affects of reservation. Now let us end reservation and provide reservation to the economically backward only.
    India is land of eternal culture where whole world is considered its family. Customs of virtuous conduct (sodachar) is reflected through upholding phrases like “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” (whole world is one family), “krinvanto vishwam aaryam” (civilize the world by destroying the non-liberal and jealous ones), “ekam sat, viprAH bahudhA vadanti” (All is One, theologians call It by many names), sangcchadran sanbaDrhatam (let us work in united manner) are few examples. Such Veda is considered the original basis of the world. The Brahmins had cosseted these on gathering their essence. Five years back, United Nations had declared these as the world treasure. Such Vedas in Sanskrit should be declared as national sacred texts of prayers (prachya grantha).
    In whole of India in length and breadth, people who are familiar with the knowledge of Vedas are running Veda Pathshalas in Gurukul system (residential school where Sishyas/ learners live in the house of Guru or teachers) in respective houses. They are running these institutes with their own strength. The Government of India is providing grants to run Madrasas. Similarly assistance and grants should be extended to all the Veda Pathshalas run by individuals.
    Brahmins are now in the grip of problem not only one but in multiple aspects. We demand establishment of Brahmin Welfare Commission to address our problems.
    In India, official holidays are declared to observe anniversary of the founder of every community. Similarly anniversary of the deity of the Brahmins Bhagawan Parashuram should be declared national holiday. The Bhagawan Parashuram Arms Ammunition Institute should also be established in the country.
    Whole world praises Doctrines of Chanakya. Not only that, research has been undertaken on Doctrines of Chanakhya abroad. India is not only the birth place of Chanakya but also his work place. Chanakya had sacrificed his whole life for the nation. The Doctrines of Chanakya Research Institute/ University should be established in the name of such towering personality.
    Brahmins are in the auspicious land of India from its construction. Brahmins are extending its service for the welfare and progress of the nation. But after independence, backward class have been arranged to bring to the forefront. Initially such arrangement was for few years which are being extended repeatedly time to time. Now reservation has reached to 51 per cent. Such a situation cannot be endured. Basically its bad effects are reflected on the general caste. Also economically backward class of general castes are pushed to the extreme end of the wall and reached in a retrograde condition of sufferings. These are against the human natural justice. Government can decide or give as much it can or as much years of reservation it can. But economically backward general class should not be over looked. Decide principles of reservation to the economically backward class also immediately. Because brilliancy of individual is being killed to the merited students of upper caste. This is a precarious situation for the nation.
    Brahmin society is regularly paying tax to the Government of India and to the state governments. With these money, other communities are being provided financial benefits by the government. As a similar gesture, interest free loan facility should be extended to the students going for higher education in the country or abroad and for the purpose, Brahmin community demands establishment of Financial Development Board in the name of Chanakya.
    Education has been conferred as fundamental right as per policy of the Government of India which is praise worthy endeavor. But the intelligent children of the Brahmin community who gets more than 70 to 90 percent in various examinations are deprived of getting admission in Engineering, medical or excellent education institutes like IIT because of being Brahmin.
    For that reason, separate colleges should be established for the children of other communities who are outside the purview of existing reservation. Else we should be given authority to establish such colleges in private sector.
    There are many learned persons in India who are traditionally learning Veda and Shastras in Sanskrit, on maintaining distinctive culture and tradition. They are doing these as their avocation of their life. There is Rajya Sabha besides Lok Sabha In the democratic system of India. President of India’s Excellency nominates learned persons in similarly situated respective fields. Till date, people from most of the fields are being nominated in the Rajya Sabha, but persons learned in Veda, Shastras are never been nominated in the Rajya Sabha. We demand the regular nomination of such faculty to Rajya Sabha to uphold its glory.
    We are not only hopeful but believe that you will understandingly consider our demands and will take rightful decisions for the benefit of the nation.

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