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Rising threat of Hindu terrorism and hindu bomb

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  • Adnan Ahmed
    Hindu terrorism is the problem of Indian Muslims and other minorities.. If they wanted to live without Hindu domination, they should have come to Pakistan.

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  • Abdali
    started a topic Rising threat of Hindu terrorism and hindu bomb

    Rising threat of Hindu terrorism and hindu bomb

    Rising threat of Hindu extremism

    By H.D.S. Greenway, 7/12/2002

    HILE THE Western World worries about Islam, the specter of Hindu nationalism carries the potential of threatening the stability of the Indian subcontinent and the world beyond. A bit of bad news out of New Delhi earlier this month was that the hard-line, Pakistan-bashing home minister, Lal Krishna Advani, had been named the number two man in the Indian government and a potential successor to the ailing and aging Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

    Whereas Vajpayee was the human face of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, which has led a coalition government for four years, Advani is more in tune with the party's base of radical nationalists who seek to undermine the secular India of Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi. In addition, Advani's policy towards Pakistan is larded with nuclear threats and bellicosity.

    With tensions between the two nuclear powers still high, any increase in Advani's influence is a blow to compromise with Pakistan over Kashmir and to India's time-honored secular political institutions.

    Many Indians believed that the BJP's secular allies in the ruling coalition would not accept such a hardliner as Advani as Vajpayee's heir, but they have been proved wrong. And while it seemed that Vajpayee was willing to downplay ''Hindutva,'' a concept of exclusive Hindu identity dear to the party's heart, Advani can be expected to emphasize it.

    Like their Muslim extremist counterparts, Hindu nationalists seek to expel Western secularism from their midst, persecuting non-Hindus, trashing hotels that celebrate Valentine's Day or Christmas, and demanding that cities with Islamic names, such as Allahabad, be changed. Other religions - and there are more Muslims in India than there are in Pakistan - are considered offshoots of a basic Hindu entity that should submit to Hindutva. Hindu nationalists rant that Hindi should be the national language, even though millions of Indians speak other native languages.

    The crowning moment of Advani's brand of Hindutva came exactly 10 years ago when an ancient mosque believed to have been built on a Hindu site was torn down by a howling Hindu mob egged on by BJP leaders including Advani. Militants shouting ''Hindustan is for the Hindus'' and ''Death to Muslims'' rioted, and more than 1,000 people were slaughtered, most of them Muslims.

    The recent rioting in Gujarat, in which hundreds of Muslims were killed while the police looked on, came as result of the controversy surrounding the Hindu nationalist demand that a Hindu temple be built where the mosque stood. In a country riven with communal violence, Advani is unusually provocative.

    Most disturbing is Advani's advocacy of nuclear threat. He once said that India's nuclear bomb would ensure that India would triumph in Kashmir. India's much bigger conventional army could have prevailed in any war with Pakistan, but ironically, India's bomb brought forth a Pakistani bomb, and now India's numerical advantage in conventional weapons and troops counts for less.

    Indians have said that their nuclear bomb was as necessary to counterbalance China as Pakistan, but to men like Advani having a nuclear bomb is part of Hindutva and the greater glory of Indian culture and destiny that lost out to the West during colonialism. The feeling of grievance and greatness deprived is as much a part of militant Hindu culture as it is among Islamists.

    When India brought forth its bomb to become a nuclear power, Hindu nationalists talked of it as a Hindu bomb, and they spoke of building a Hindu temple on the desert test site. Many quoted the lines from the Hindu epic, the Bhagavad Gita, that Robert Oppenheimer uttered in Alamogordo at the dawn of the atomic age: ''I have become Death/ The destroyer of worlds.''

    India will not be a safer or a more secular place if Advani comes to rule.

    H.D.S. Greenway's column appears regularly in the Globe.