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Is a “Saffron Front” in the War on Terror Inevitable?

John on November 21, 2008 at 12:11 pm

Militant Hindus continue to incite mob violence on minority Christians in India. The violence began in the Eastern state of Orissa this summer but has now spread to more than a dozen other states. Yesterday, the London Times published an account of a bounty being placed on the lives of Christian pastors in Orissa:

The US-based head of a Christian organisation that runs several orphanages in Orissa – one of India’s poorest regions – claims that Christian leaders are being targeted by Hindu militants and carry a price on their heads. “The going price to kill a pastor is $250 (£170),” Faiz Rahman, the chairman of Good News India, said.

A spokesman for the All-India Christian Council said: “People are being offered rewards to kill, and to destroy churches and Christian properties. They are being offered foreign liquor, chicken, mutton and weapons. They are given petrol and kerosene.”

Meanwhile, the Hindu political leadership has come out in support of individuals, including one Indian Army officer, accused in an earlier bombing:

BJP president Rajnath Singh himself has come out to defend those suspected of the most heinous crimes and said the ongoing investigations into the Malegaon blasts could be a “huge conspiracy”. He said he was convinced that Swami Asimanand, Swami Avdheshanand, Yogi Aditynanath and other religious figures, who have all come under the cloud of India’s anti-terror investigations, were not involved.

“I personally believe that there is a huge conspiracy behind these happenings (the Malegaon investigations)—and do not forget that Maharashtra has a Congress-NCP coalition government and this could be part of the conspiracy. This possibility cannot be ruled out,” Rajnath told Indian Express Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta on a program for the NDTV.

When asked what he would do if religious leaders being linked to Sadhvi Pragya Thakur turn out to be involved in the blasts, Rajnath said, “I’m completely convinced that they are not involved.”

Hindus, it seems, can not be terrorists despite the evidence of the last three months which has left at least 50 (and possibly as many as 200) dead and tens of thousands homeless.

As Hindu mob violence increasingly looks a lot like Muslim mob violence (also against Christians) in Iraq, one wonders whether organized terror be far behind? At least one Catholic priest on the scene in Orissa thinks we’re witnessing an organized campaign even now:

In a letter to the state’s chief minister this past week, Catholic bishops from Orissa charged the Hindu militants of being behind “a calculated and pre-planned master plan to wipe out Christianity” from Kandhamal district, Orissa, and establish a Hindu nation.

What’s the Hindu equivalent of the caliphate?

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Category: Foreign Affairs |

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