There seems to be some sort of disbelief.....at least in the BJP....that Hindu terrorism could even possibly exist in India. Why would the majority community need its own terrorists is their logic. But the real truth is that the BJP is struggling for an ideology and it still hasnt been able to find one other than Hindutva.
Aseemanand is a classic example of Hindu terrorism. The NIA has recently indicted him and its likely to chargesheet him for the attack on the Samjhauta Express in which about 70 Pakistani tourists (returning home) were killed. Aseemanand prefers to put the title "Swami" in front of his name.....clearly taking protection under a general public sympathy for that title. The Swamis have traditionally had a reputation of being peaceful god-loving people. What better way to protect oneself than by using that title? Or maybe, Aseemanand thought of himself as the only protector of Hindu culture.....just the way the Church has thought in the Christian World. Who gave them this authority? I think its a misconception the BJP has about the power of religion in Indian politics. A belief that sticking to its Hindu ideology.....even to the extent of protecting terrorists.....would give it electoral dividends.
I think its been proven successfully around the world......with the possible exception of the Muslim world.....that free people generally like to keep religion and politics apart. Political parties are best positioned basis either their economic agendas (socialists, communists, right and left wings etc). So the Republicans have liberal economic views (lower taxes, reduce size of government) while the Democrats are more conservative. Likewise, the Congress and BJP are "rightists" (support free enterprise by nature) while the Left has the opposite ideology. There is of course also the religious dimension.....so Republics are conservative on religious ideology (attend Sunday mass, oppose abortion etc) while the Democrats are liberal. Likewise, the Congress and Left are liberals while the BJP and the Sangh Parivar are conservatives. But no where has a political discussion.....an office of power.....been won purely on the basis of religion.
The BJP tried this unsuccessfully for many years since Ayodhya. The highest number of seats it reached was 183 in the late 1990s. It continued with its religious ideology during its tenure in office till 2004. Thereafter, it has fallen to just 116 seats in the present House. One would imagine that the BJP would have learnt its lessons. However, the reality is different. It does not want to give up on its Hindu supporters. At the same time, it wants to attract the liberals in India. In Marketing terminology, the party has falled between two stools.
The BJP's rejection of the possibility of Hindu terror means several things. It possibly represents real politics. Catering to its core constituency....the traditional Hindus will improves its seats count. It could also represent poor political strategy. The BJP continues to be confused between its Hindutva positioning and its more liberal and urban imagery. Further, it could show that the BJP believes in different rules for different people.....Islamic terrorism is obvious to them and should be condemned but Hindu terrorism is simply not possible and should be ignored. None of this does the BJP any good.
The real truth is that the BJP is trapped in its ideology. They dare not complain about Hindu terrorism for fear of offending their core constituency. But every time they defend, they dent their own appeal to the people who want to go beyond religion. The BJP has had a good economic agenda in the past......Its time it realized the limitations of Hindutva and focused instead on its economic agenda. Till that happens, BJP will continue to suffer and Hindu terrorism will continue to grow.