What comes to your mind someone mentions the word ‘Saffron’? A colour, a religion, kesar or Indian flag but Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde thinks otherwise, for him, ‘Saffron is the new terror’. Recently Shinde caused a furore with his alleged remarks that BJP and RSS promoted Hindu terror in the country. This was after NIA (National Investigative Agency) declared a list of 10 accused in Samjhauta blasts and other cases. All of them belonged to one particular religion.
Is Shinde right in what he says or it’s just a new political move? Let’s take a close look. The main accused in 2008 Malegaon blasts are Sadhvi Pragya Singh and Lt Col Srikant Purohit, Swami Aseemanand was the main conspirator in 2007 Mecca Masjid blast and in much talked about Samjhauta Blasts case, main accused is Dhan Singh. All the three blasts happened in place where one community is present in large numbers.
Malegaon is a communally sensitive power loom town in Nasik district, Mecca Masjid is a famous mosque in Hyderabad and Samjhauta Express is the train which runs between India and Pakistan, an initiative of peace process between two countries. The motive looked clear. And the investigations revealed that at least 10 among all the accused in these three blasts were associated with RSS in some or the other way.
Sunil Joshi, one of the accused in Samjhauta blast, killed in an encounter was a Pracharak of RSS in Madhya Pradesh, says NIA. Sadhvi Pragya is a spiritual Guru and Swami Aseemanand worked for a small Hindu organisation. But is this evidence enough to suggest that RSS runs terror camps? It may be too early. Then why is Home Minister saying so? Is it because RSS is closely associated with BJP?
If the Home Minister wants to gain some political leverage out of this, then without evidence the comment falls flat, even his own party distanced itself from the comment. Sharad Pawar, the most trusted ally of Congress too criticised Shinde. A day after becoming the BJP President, Rajnath Singh held all India protests against Shinde. Opposition leader in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj came down heavily on Shinde and asked him if he thought that the principal opposition party runs terror camps.
Rajnath Singh has made it clear that his party will continue its “Oust Shinde” campaign even in the budget session of Parliament. He even dared Home Minister to ban RSS and BJP and arrest all their leaders if he finds any evidence against these organisations.
During the protest, Sushma Swaraj said, “Shinde ji if you go to Mahakumbh, you will find only one colour, ‘Saffron, Saffron Saffron’. Is it really the religion or a ploy to attract a certain vote bank? Or he wants to divert the attention of his Ministry’s shortcomings in handling of recent cases such as Delhi gang rape and beheading of Indian soldier on LOC. Terror does not belong to one religion, one country or one colour, it is a worldwide disease.