The Times of India does it again – VII

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Opinion/EDITORIAL_COMMENT__Say_No_To_Terror/articleshow/3709820.cms#write

Comments posted on Times of India website
re: TOI Editorial – Say no to Terror

 

You Wrote:

“BJP president Rajnath Singh has not done his party any good by defending the accused in the Malegaon blasts.”
 
Just because Advani and others are resorting to ‘no comment’ on the arrests of so many Sangh Parivar operatives, how you can play naïve and say, as if Rajnath is against the party or against the consensus in the party. Beside how can you presume he is defending the accused; in fact he is defending the whole Sangh Parivar whose credibility as civil society members is in serious jeopardy.

You Wrote:
“Singh, unlike other senior members of his party, has assumed that those arrested by Maharashtra’s anti-terror squad are innocent and has blamed investigators and the Congress party of framing Hindu leaders. His tirade against the investigation is in sharp contrast to the position the BJP has adopted towards terrorism so far. The BJP has always called for strong action against terrorism and castigated the government for not doing enough to curb terrorism. “
Your sermonizing is laughable. The party and its whole crowd thrive on terrorism going back to 1925, when the founders of RSS idolized fascism of Mussolini and Hitler. How can TOI ignore a long history of Sangh Parivar’s terror record? Assassination of Mahatama Gandhi and demolition of Babri Masjid are the most striking achievements of the votaries of violence and terror in the past. How can you expect anything other than their trademark reaction to their being caught in the act? Besides, it is the Times of India that was the first from the mainstream media to use the term ‘reverse terrorism’ in the headline of one of your stories, right after ATS announced the arrest of Sadhvi. It was almost a covert signal to the faithful to follow the aggressive line of defense. Can your editorial advice to BJP convince your average reader that your own credentials are above board in the matter?
Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai
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Full text of the editorial:

BJP president Rajnath Singh has not done his party any good by defending the accused in the Malegaon blasts. Singh, unlike other senior members  

 

of his party, has assumed that those arrested by Maharashtra’s anti-terror squad are innocent and has blamedinvestigators and the Congress party of framing Hindu leaders. His tirade against the investigation is in sharp contrast to the position the BJP has adopted towards terrorism so far. The BJP has always called for strong action against terrorism and castigated the government for not doing enough to curb terrorism. The party can’t now accuse investigators of partisanship because some of the accused belong to its ranks. 

The BJP has been in a mode of denial since the ATF arrested Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, formerly with the BJP’s student wing, in the Malegaon blasts case. First, Singh claimed that a believer in cultural nationalism couldn’t be a terrorist. Since then, more sangh parivar activists have been arrested in connection with the blasts. The BJP should wake up to this serious threat to national security from within the sangh parivar’s ranks and not shift the blame to the police. The party should also rein in leaders like Gorakhpur MP Yogi Adityanath who has been issuing provocative statements against the police. Hindu monks are liable to prosecution if found guilty of terrorism like other citizens of this country. The charges could be challenged in the court but party leaders should not slam the arrests as a political conspiracy without evidence. Terrorism of any ideological persuasion is unacceptable and political parties should make that clear to cadres. 

For the BJP, this is a moment of reckoning. The party has to decide whether it wants to protect extremists in its ranks or adopt liberal political views. Singh, unfortunately, seems to prefer the former and his shrill comments resemble those of politicians like Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray who recently called for forming Hindu suicide squads. A national party like the BJP can’t afford to mimic the likes of Thackeray. 

It is up to senior BJP leaders like L K Advani to clarify that there is no ambiguity about the party’s position on terrorism. However, they have been largely silent. As a party expected to be in the running to form the government after the next general elections, the BJP needs to clarify its stand on all forms of terror. The country is waiting.

 

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