The dark side of Hindu nationalism?

November 3, 2008



    The slow peeling of the onion around the involvement of Hindu militants in the Malegaon and Modasa bomb blasts last month in the western states of Maharashtra and Gujarat in September has shown a murky network of religious radicals that may have both implications for India’s politics as well as its anti-terrorist policies.

For years, bombs in India have mostly been blamed on Islamist militants. Even attacks on mosques were often blamed on Islamists seeking to spark communal tensions between India’s majority Hindus and minority Muslims.

Both national and international press  have focused on the growing Indian-born Islamist militants who are trying to attack the Indian state.

A widespread crackdown on suspected Islamist militants following the bomb attacks this year that killed scores of people in several Indian cities led Muslim leaders to accuse authorities of conducting a witch hunt and reinforcing stereotypes about their community

But the recent revelations of possible involvement of Hindu militants in some bomb blasts show that the Indian state could be soon fighting a anti-terrorist war on two fronts. Five people were killed in the Malegaon and Modasa blasts that hit the two Muslim-dominated towns within minutes of each other on Sept. 29.

In a thoughtful article in the Mail Today, Manoj Joshi wrote that a series of mysterious and unresolved attacks in recent years that, with hindsight, may have been the work of Hindu militants.

What is also worrying for India are the links of former army officials in the Malegaon attacks. They have been arrested as part of what police say is a “larger conspiracy.” How deep does this Hindu militancy go?

The Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) appears to be uneasy with these revelations, with reports the suspected in the blasts are linked to the BJP youth wing.

BJP president Rajnath Singh has defended one of the accused in the Malegaon. blasts, breaking a party line that saw the party condemn terrorism and allow the law to take its course.

But outspoken comments by Singh are hardly likely to benefit a party that is fighting crucial state elections this year, seen as a dress rehearsal for general elections due by May, 2009.

Only a month ago the BJP appeared to be on the offensive, attacking the ruling Congress government over its failure to stop serial blasts around Indian cities that have killed scores of people.

Now it appears more on the defensive, uneasy about the possibility Hindus are involved in terrorism.

One thing appears certain. As elections approach, the question of how India deals with violence from its Hindu or Muslim militants will come to the forefront.


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

I will wait to see what B. Raman has got to say in this. Congress has done nothing to control the islamic terror. I think hindus are taking things in their hands. this is not good for anybody. has the government lost its hold ?

Posted by vivek | Report as abusive

Hindu Terrorism. Great, now it gives a reason for all the muslims here to strt pretending that islamic terrrorism never existed. Already we have idiotic comments coming from muslim leaders on how every possible attack in the past was the handiwork of Hindu Terrorists, despite the fact that Muslim terrorists have been arrested and most of them have publically claimed responsibility for the blast.

But you know what, there is Christian Terrorism, Muslims Terrorism and I am glad the Hindus are doing something about the problem now. If spineless governments like Congress come into power, there is no other choice but to go tit for tat and instill fear in the hearts of religion that has murdered and destroyed (at least tried) Hindu civilization for centuries.

Oh and what I find funny is how when Azfal or any other muslim terrorist (who confessed) were on trial the media was jumping left and right about how innocent they were. Right now these ‘Hindu Terrorists’ haven’t even be proven terrorists but everyone has already pasted the tag up there on each headline. Bravo.

Posted by Nikhil Sharma | Report as abusive

One arrest does not make a conspiracy, Mr. Scrutton, even though it may give enough material for a blog.

Posted by Vishnu Shastri | Report as abusive

Hey Nikhil…… When the comment came on Hindus, You started wagging ur tail cross. Gud to hear…. but thats not right. We say Hindu Muslim Bhai-Bhai all the time, Make many good friends, and finally when situations like this come u make them the culprits and stay away from them. Doesnt this seem like we hindus are using them when we need?? This is an odd feeling that was hurting me from long. Militants and terrorists have no religion. They do it for money. And taking all these issues.. Many HINDU politicians are involved in these blasts. Shocked to hear this…. Thats true.

Posted by Rajeev | Report as abusive

dear friends…..poison is poison…honey is honey…….
if it is terrorism try to blame it, try to hate it…….
even if it is muslim-christian-hindu terrorism…….
if rahim kills ram,…or ram kills rahim….. our brothers only getting killed…….try to recognise the seriousness…

Posted by abdul mujeeb | Report as abusive

Nikhil, you talk the language of Islamist militants who murder civilians in the name of Islam. They speak of defending Islam as you speak of defending Hinduism from enemies, even if it means killing women and children.

Both the Islamist bombers and the Sangh parivar bombers (who are linked to the dilly-dallying, always trying to be to-clever-by-half BJP) are terrorists, plain and simple. There is no point in saying my terrorist is a defender of the faith and only reacting while yours is a murderer. Both are wrong.
Justifying terrorism by saying “tit for tat” as Nikhil does is blatantly anti-national and anti-human. Nikhil, what did those Muslim civilians killed in Malegaon and Modasa ever do to you? Nothing. Yet you revel in their blood being split. What kind of a person are you?

Posted by Syed Mansoor | Report as abusive

it isn’t too late to stop this radicalism.just a simple solution is there… stop these muslim and christian evangelists to stop trying to convert hindus by fear and money in that respective order. well india will forget and forgive wht had been done for centuries. no other country in the world does so much for the minorities at the cost of majority.we embrased other religions and we will always.. but wht else does anyone expect when we are being suppressed for centuries!!!! The answer is obvious even to a child…. stop blaming hindus.. start thinking… and before pointing a finger at others don’t forget that the other four fingers point at u….

Posted by raghavan | Report as abusive

dear friends we all know that whatever happened with any Indian was bad either they were hindu or muslim. terror is terror but if we will do like that hindu community kill muslim and muslim community kill hindu if it is going on one day come when there is no existance of India in the world map

lets think beyond this and make our country beautiful peaceful where everyone will be happy

remember together we can and we will make a difference.

Posted by Jahangeer Raj | Report as abusive

Its not appropriate to associate Hindus with terrorism. similarly inappropriate is to call the accused a militant or a terrorist before it is proved with hard evidence. Even if this is proved later and the accused gets a label of terrorists by the vote bank political congress conspirecy, I dont call it tit for tat. Everybody has a right to self defense under law and this is just a act of self defense of Hindu community and self defense against illegal killing fo hindus by muslim fanatics especially when the ruling govt which protects, covers and backs every illegal activities of minor community and by large abandons majority of people in the name of secularism in open.If it is proved the the army personal are involved in this acts, we are proud of such army who stand against muslim fanatics..they are impartial as they are not politiciansm they dont grave for fame or vote bank and they would have done this good deed to control illegal muslim activities in the country.

Posted by Om | Report as abusive

Guys… Terrorism has no caste or creed or religion. And terrorist never belong to any religion! there is no matter of Hindu Terrorist or Islam Terrorist, they are just terrorist!! and all the terrorist doesnt have any right to live in our nation. They should be executed on sight!
They are just another (evil) sect in the society who are against every one no matter whether a person is a Hindu or Muslim or Christian…
It is our (every Indian’s) responsibilty to clean terrorism from our country and make this place a Raamraaj…
Remeber what Gandhiji said?

Posted by Sirigeri Goutam Shetty | Report as abusive

Where in my post did you see me promoting killing of innocent people? What I said is simple. The only thing this ‘Hindu Terrorism’ drama will do is become a scapegoat for Congress and its allies looking for a reason to prove that Islamic terror doesn’t exist in India.

You don’t realise what that will do. We already have madrassas teaching kids bull about their own country. It has started with Kashmir already, seperatists trying to divide the country and getting support through inaction by a spineless government at the center.

What to do? Should Hindus sit and watch while these people destroy Hindustan? Like Buddhism weakened India back when it was the biggest religion? Or maybe you will see more acts of terrorism as a payback and reminder in the end resulting in the loss of innocent lives. Will that make muslims happy? I mean, they sure as hell aren’t interested in accepting facts about terrorists arrested (who freakin confess).

Posted by Nikhil Sharma | Report as abusive

Terrorism: Killing of innocents without provocation.

Terrorism must be condemned irrespective of the religion or origin of perpetrator.

But there is fundamental difference in the reasons of terrorism inflicted by people belonging to Hindu religion and “almost all known” Islamic terrorism:

If a Hindu is involved in acts of terror they perceive themselves to be “provoked” by similar acts by the people in other communities and therefore they “reciprocate”.

When a Muslim commits a terrorist act, he may perceive to be provoked, but their is a transnational sentiment and system which encourages and supports him with material to implement the act.

Remember, there are no Hindu states in this world but you can count a lot Muslim states with islamic constitution.

I would request people to read “The Hindu Rate Of Wrath” by Francois Gautier at name=20081110&fname=BMalegaon+Terror+(F) &sid=2

In the end, I would like to reaffirm that terrorism is condemnable irrespective of the religion of people involved. Histories and fundamental causes are to be studied and addressed “accordingly” to ensure removal of ideology of hate and voilence. But an act of terror, in it’s atomicity, should be treated constitutionally without any bias.

Posted by Varun Gupta | Report as abusive

If we have been crying that Islamists have supported terrorism or jehad and blamed them for being inhuman then why are we not able to accept that even hindus were involved . Lets face the music ! We have to condemn hindu terrorism as well , even if one hindu has contributed in the bomb blast or be it a network its completely wrong . lets not try to defend those terrorist by saying that they were reciprocating to jehad ! A very shameful act .. all i want to say is that may the terrorists be caught soon who killed many innocent muslims and let every body linked with this plot and those masterminds of BJP be behind the bars soon !

Posted by Anti terrorism | Report as abusive

I find reuters and bbc is hell bent on bringing trying to cause unrest in india. earlier they were too interested in talking about kashmir protests and try to hype it . now they are bent on making this bombings an issue. muslims &leftist media were calling bjp vhp as terrorists now they couldn’t prove much and is engaged in new media warfare.

Posted by vivek | Report as abusive

“a thoughtful article in the Mail Today, Manoj Joshi wrote that a series of mysterious and unresolved attacks in recent years that, with hindsight, may have been the work of Hindu militants.”

how is some allegation becomes a thoughtful article ? if the incompetence of law enforcement and home ministry can be transformed to blame hindus then probably in future you will blame many things like poverty, population, environmental pollution on the hindus. Is there any objectivity here ? there were explosions in bangalore,delhi and mumbai and the culprits were never found. But explosions that happened in gujarat were quickly solved due to the commitment from Modi governemnt and efficient coordination of law enforcement. the governments in bangalore and mumbai did not have that commitment. don’t blame it on hindus. hindus dont have the infrastructure and money power unlike muslims who get funded from across the border and saudi arabia . could be a sonia plot to discredit hindus and spread christianity.

Posted by vicky | Report as abusive

Religion spoils everything !!

Posted by learner | Report as abusive

See I agree with Nikhil and also tell my all freinds that this is some how like a consipracy from congress part which are the blood sucker of this country and portrait them like they are saver of country may be some leaders were exception but majorly congress try to do minority based politics and do nothing. and even if Sadhi involved in that blast u canot blame it Hindusim terrorism , its all fake to say this by only one incident media is too bias about this and they just want to prove it mainly NDTV cause of their leftist view some how, Hey i am not against NDTV i am hard core viewer of it and only news channel which i LIke, but still i say this is not a Hindu terrorism some act done by may be one person influnced by thier own terminolgy. Why when terrorist trapped congress do not want to label it ISLAM but in this case they try to use it against BJP which i think will be a major dibacle for those , who do not know that INDIA still is in HINDU and till they are In INDIA they should learn to respect HINDU and the kind of liberty provided in INDIA by constitution to all MINORTY is nowhere so better utilize it proper way rather than start a big issue which can hamper peace in counrty

Posted by Amit Daga | Report as abusive

Friends there is nothing like hindu terrorism or islamic terrorism because there is no religion in the world which supports such kind of activities. In all the religions killing of any innocent human being irrespective of any religion is sin. In Islam it is said that if a person kills any innocent human being it is as such he has killed the whole of the humanity.And I strongly believe in Hinduism for its principles.
The people who do such kind of activities are neither hindus nor muslims, they dont belong to any religious community. Their only motive is to create mischief on earth and seek their own vested interests..

Posted by Zamir Ashraf | Report as abusive

Amit…..and ..Nikil
we are ruled by Hindus and not by Muslims or christians as u think…
I don’t think that congress is a party of minorities..
Check the statistics …

Posted by Sharma | Report as abusive

as v r still developing country and still most people dont eat 3times a day.we should be worried for our country.neither killing muslims nor killing hindus help us to look towards good future.i suggest governments should findout reasons behind what makes people to do that kind of act and try to solve the problems of suppressed people.everybody should stop preaching hatred.

Posted by mujr | Report as abusive

Stuck in the cage of medieval religions ? and promoting or justifying the activities done either by the muslims of the hindus .. equally both are nonsene…. Its high time u guys should realise the religion difference is all in our head .. why dont we try going beyond it for some time ? And moreover “terrorism” is a religion by itself, Hindus, Christans ,muslims, Indians, Pakistanis, Bangaladeshis etc etc have equal memeberships in that club …. Its high time we take a different look at them !

Posted by Arin | Report as abusive

hi guys i just want to say that there is a solution of the problem. People belongs to all comunities, hindu, muslims etc. have to start respecting each other relegion, as it is directed by both religion’s holy books. only after that we can have a place in our heart for other porsons. stop blamming to others and think only about that country, india and about indians, nothing more than that.

Posted by M.Ahsan | Report as abusive

…hey dears…….
when hatred comes in society.that society ruined……
when neighbours began to view each other in basis of religeon…….then what is the need of bombs…guns.. we all dead…already,
when politicians use religeons to promote their publicity this is what going to happen… dont allow others to devide us,….once Colonial powers did that…and we are still suffering…
please dont fall in the trap of some narrow business minded people…please…….

Posted by abdul mujeeb | Report as abusive

hindu chauvinsts are now in great problem who claims of being more nationalist than indian muslims, they are now defending the hindu terrorists , some are telling it mysery to save hindu civilization and some results of sterile congress government, who were blaming that govt. in hope of some votes is risking with country’s security and safety, now the same bloodies want to put country totally insecure just to save their sides , the policy is totally changed now , the coward hindu terrorists used to put their doings on muslim heads to defame the community,mind one thing any person dividing the country on the basis of religion, language or region can never be a nationalist , he can be just enimical to the country, the current opposition should know that actions speak louder than words. jaya hind

Posted by suboor khan | Report as abusive

the present day media should be more vigilant of “what it is highlighting”.Comments like the one from Nikhil should not even find a place in any media. Do not encourage anyone to publicly comment on the lines of community ,caste ,creeed……..whatever separates us from being united humans.Instead get involved in doing good ,and encouraging and discourage evil.Discriminate anything on the basis of whether it is “good” or “bad” but on the basis of caste , community, colour ,creed, place,………

Posted by T R PRASAD | Report as abusive

Friends, Its because of this the way we react to situations its benefitting Politicians to divide and rule the same bludy old formula. Lets stop blaming and fighting each other. Lets try to find the real problem. The real problem is violence, hatredness, misconceptions. Lets hate VIOLENCE and not any group of people (Christian/Hindu/Muslim). Religion is what we believe, its not what we are. We are humans and every human has the right to LIVE. No body has the right to KILL. Incidents like this doesnt KILL religion but KILLs innocent people. Whoever it may be we are all Indians. We are all One nation. Lets try to be in Harmony and PEACE. Afterall who wants VIOLENCE. It hurts everybody.

Posted by peacemaker | Report as abusive

I have one thing to ask all you guys, why is it that Hindus start blaming Hindus at the earliest given opportunity, even the media too…. but Muslims dont seem to do the same at all. Why is it bad to be an assertive Hindu while everybody else can, with no remorse or regret…..

Posted by sanjay | Report as abusive

as said that bomb explosions are blamed on the muslims is nota acorrect statement because in 99%cases culprits were brought to the law and they were the muslims.And coming to the malegoan blasts there are no concrete evidences against hindu organisations so it willbe very e
arly to point a finger towards hindus.BECAUSE A HINDU DOSE NOT BELIEVE IN JEHAD as the muslims does.IT is a real tragedy that hindus are treated as second class citizens in their own mother land by so called secularists ,these black sheeps were out in herds when some antinational animals were gunned down in DELHI recently by DELHI POLICE THERE WAS A LOT OF HUE &cry .INthe end one thing is sure that it is wrong to say that all the muslims are terrorists but it is right that all the terrorists are muslims, it can be seen worldwide.

Posted by sanjay singh chauhan | Report as abusive

well not hindus but the islamic terrorists.. which could be hindus, americans, russians…

Posted by victoria hirko | Report as abusive

I feel the problem can be solved if the Muslims and Christians stop following pseudo secular parties. They should join the BJP and not shun it and then they will have a voice right inside with Indian Nationalists.
The other parties want them as only as a obedient vote bank. It is up to them to act quickly so that there are consensus solutions on all issues.

Posted by kp vidyashankar | Report as abusive

When will we wake up to the reality that terrorists dont have a religion… There only one God and one life…one faith and one religion..thats Humanity.

God Bless All

Posted by Pallavi Arun Verma | Report as abusive

When will we grow up to the reality that Terrorists have no religion…Therez only one God one Religion…Humanity

Posted by Pallavi Arun Verma | Report as abusive

End of the day every sane person knows the Muslim terrorists will cut your throat if they could. So let’s stop pretending, Muslims openly boast of how they will forcibly convert the whole world. They use distractions and arguments just to buy enough time…
If you want to pretend on the outside for political reasons, that’s one thing, just be clear in your mind who is likely to cut your throat.

Posted by Joe Potter | Report as abusive

Some of the posts above make me cringe that these are the so called foward looking educated Indians.If India has to become a world power and not be at the mercy of the elitist countries for the coming centuries then it has to rise above religious hagemony.Though I am a strong supporter of democracy I sometimes really feel that we should get a taste of communism like China (which incidently doesn’t adhere to any religion) to get back to our senses.
Terrorism is a religion in itself and anybody who believes in ‘tit for tat’ or religious jehad(for any religion)has already converted themselves.And if people get converted by ‘money or fear’ then they really do not have faith or belong to any religion. You show them money they would willingly also become athiest.

Posted by Indian | Report as abusive

The changes that are taking place in the world like Australian PM apologizing to the abhorigines,Obama getting elected by a majority in US are unnerving the Hindu zealots and are trying by all means to wrest control of the state machinery under the garb of Nationalism. Humanism doesn’t need any Nationalism. Love your neighbour and give due respect to his views,your country will be at peace.But just because you are in a majority and take it upon yourself the task of transformation of the society in your favour is nothing but majoritarian hooliganism and why at all any individual should be barred from taking up any religion he or she likes?
Religion is nothing but a garb to profiteering be it political, social or economical. Nothing more than that.In the real sense.
If we believe in a Just society why should be able to remove the ugly dirty skins wrapped around our body/soul by the people of previous centuries.Not too exhaustive though.
Religion is the root cause of all evils in the society even if it’s not so at personal level.Real progress will happen only when people get real education and begin to see as new born in a new world and not by aligning themselves with anything that are around them.
Throw the dirty water and the baby too along with the bucket and you will transform. Your transformation is the transformation of the world.Surely someday a world government will be established by our children and none of would be living to see them.How sad it is to fail to establish such in our own period now ?
Open you eyes to reality/possibilities ahead.Our actions based on controlled contrived feelings are just waste of human energy in the big picture and what a colossal loss?

Posted by arumbhu | Report as abusive

you are so true arumbhu (regarding first comment ).

nicely summed up .

Posted by Hridayesh Pushkar | Report as abusive