Congress launches frontal attack on ‘insidious’ RSS, BJP

Sunday, December 19, 2010

NEW DELHI - Days after the WikiLeaks disclosures of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s take on Hindu terror, the party Sunday went a step further, launching a fierce attack on the RSS, likening the right-wing group to Nazis for its “hatred” of Muslims and also called for a probe into its terror links. BJP leader L.K. Advani’s controversial 1990 Rath Yatra was also blamed for sowing the seeds of terrorism in India.

The Congress party, both in its political resolution and in party general secretary Digvijay Singh’s speech at its 83d plenary, did not hedge in naming the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the Bharatiya Janata Party or the Vishwa Hindu Parishad.

According to the Congress’ political resolution, adopted at the Burari meet, secularism, the lifeline of Indian democracy “is threatened by the ideology of the BJP and its affiliate organisations like the RSS. The RSS and the VHP are insidious in their effort to break India.”

Singh, attacking the RSS in a high-decibel speech at the plenary, said: “In the 1930s, Hitler’s Nazi party attacked the Jews. Similarly, the RSS ideology wants to capture power by targeting Muslims under the garb of furthering nationalism.” He also said that Advani’s Rath Yatra had created a gulf between Hindus and Muslims.

In the political resolution adopted at the meet, the party said: “The role of fundamentalist organisations in challenging the security of the nation can no longer be ignored.”

“The Indian National Congress calls upon the government to tackle this menace in the strongest possible manner and investigate the links between terrorists and the RSS and its sister organisations that have been uncovered in some recent cases.

“Terrorism from wherever it comes and whatever form it takes must be dealt with firmly and effectively.”

Earlier, opening the plenary, party chief Sonia Gandhi stressed that communal forces were “very dangerous” for the country’s secular credentials.

She said there should be no difference in the government’s dealing with acts of terror instigated by the majority and minority communities.

“Congress makes no distinction between organisations of the majority and minority communities who indulge in communalism and related acts of terrorism. They are all dangerous and must be all defeated,” she said.

Her remarks come days after party general secretary and her son Rahul Gandhi’s remarks — that terror from Hindu radicals may be a bigger threat than support for Islamist groups from some in the Muslim community - triggered a political storm and a war of words between the BJP and the Congress.

“We cannot ignore such elements who provoke people to violent means by using religion. They are very dangerous,” she said.

Digvijay Singh, in his attack on the RSS, alleged that the group had managed to “infiltrate” its cadres into many wings of the government like the bureaucracy, police and the army.

“The Malegaon blast, in which two army officers are accused, has proved that they have even started influencing people inside the army.”

Sadhvi Pragya Thakur and Lt Col S.P. Purohit are among the 11 accused facing trial for the 2008 Malegaon blast in which seven people were killed.

Singh said the RSS was “sowing the seeds of Muslim hatred” in the minds of the new generation through ‘Shishu Mandir’ schools and described it as the “the biggest danger for us”.

The former Madhya Pradesh chief minister said the rise of the RSS-BJP “ideology of violence and hatred” posed the “biggest challenge” before the nation.

Singh, while seconding the political resolution moved by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee at the plenary, said the BJP was “sowing the seeds of division” among the Hindus and Muslims and blamed Advani’s Rath Yatra for giving birth to terrorism in India.

Singh also asked “why all people involved in various bombings like Malegaon, Mecca Masjid and Samjhauta Express had links with” the RSS.

Singh said that the “demolition of the Babri Masjid, the martyrdom of the Babri Masjid is the darkest patch in the history of India. The roots of terrorism in India lie in BJP leader L.K. Advani’s rath yatra. That yatra created a gulf between Hindus and Muslims of India.”

He said when the BJP maintained that all Muslims are not terrorists but all terrorists are Muslims, “can we apply the same logic and say that all Hindus are not terrorists but all Hindu terrorists arrested in various blast cases are RSS activists”.

The Congress leader said the nation needs to take steps to convert into trust the mistrust in the minds of Muslim brothers.

He said the Congress had demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into RSS activist Sunil Joshi’s murder who “is the same person involved in many terror acts”.

“I know (Joshi) because I am from MP. His name has come up during the investigations of the Samjhauta Express blast, Malegaon blast, Mecca Masjid blast, Ajmer Sharif blast… Why is it that all the accused in these terror acts have links with the RSS,” he asked.

“Many of them have been arrested… They are all RSS activists,” he added.

He congratulated Home Minister P. Chidambaram for handing over the Joshi murder case to the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

Filed under: Religion

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