That the Hindutva Brigade shamelessly turns to anything to prop up support is clear when one finds them invoking the name of the Mahatma, one of the earliest victims of the Hindutva terror. Murder someone and then use his legacy! Chilling, Mr. Gautier.
What Gautier has written is not only sickening but also dangerous. Gautier is only half correct when he says "I have never been politically correct"; he is factually not correct either.
Gautier seems utterly confused (or its his deliberate ploy) and wants to spread this confusion about the identities of India, Hindu religion and Hindutva and then tries to defend one using the other. That is a leaf straight out of the books of the Sangh Parivar: it not only equates these three but also demonsises anyone criticising its Hindutva agenda as being anti Hindu and anti national. But Gautier should get his facts right. When he writes about the greatness of this country, it is not about Hindus, but about India. The tolerance he is writing about is not of the Hindutva brigade but of the downtrodden, outcasted, banished, untouchable Indians who make up the vast majority of the Indian nation. These tolerant Indians have no access to the temples and the mainstream Hindu religion, a fact Gautier is either unaware of or is feigning ignorance of. And the vast majority of Indians that belong to every religion, caste or other diverse identities silently suffer the exploitation, malnutrition, poverty, hunger and disease, the problems that do not find any space in the schemes of Gautier and his Hindutva votaries. Hindutva, or the many terms that have been assigned to it over the past 7-8 decades under various exigencies, on th eother hand, has always been known for harbouring and spreading intolerance, from Savarkar's support to the two nation theory and the assassination of the Mahatma to the innumerable acts or arson, rapes, murders, mob violence and even bomb attacks on innocents. And this intolerance is not only directed at other religions but also towards the Adivasis, dalits and such other Indians relegated to the lower strata of the society by the Hindu religion. Not surprising then, the Hindutva became more belligerent and more violent following the decision of the Govt. of India to implement the Mandal commission report. So, the intolerant Hindutva has nothing in common with the tolerant India and the Hindu religion: let us be crystal clear - Hindutva of the RSS variety, Hindu religion and India are not synonyms. And in drumming up support for the intolerant Hindutva extremism by invoking Hindu religion and the Indian way of life, Gautier is doing a great disservice to the Indian nation, a country where is now lives as well as himself, a self proclaimed lover of India and Hinduism. If you indeed love India, Mr. Gautier, get your facts right.
Again Gautier deceives himself when he says 'it hurts' but 'it isn't terror'. And he doesn't care to explain how intentional hurt fails to terrorise. Gautier provides his own, self-serving but dangerous definitions for terrorism that is far from the general understanding of terrorism, This is not surprising at all.
Gautier conveniently juxtaposes bomb blasts of the jehadi terror with 'ordinary, angry Hindus burning churches without killing anybody' and then finds fault with those equating these two. He shifts the Hindutva bombings and mass murders to another paragraph and brackets mob violence, rape, arson, burning, desecrating places of worship, destroying mosques and churches, terrifying people in the name of moral policing as mere acts expression of anguish by angry Hindus and not as acts of terror! According to Gautier, it is okay to destroy anything, as long as the crime is committed by an angry Hindu and no one gets murdered. But the right thinking, peace and freedom loving people of this country have a problem: they see the pattern of violence perpetrated by the Hindutva Brigade as a spectrum - from the terror of moral policing to mob terror, rapes, arson, destroying places of worship and also bombing. If the intention is to hurt, to create fear, and to terrorise, then it is terrorism. It can't be anything else. Bomb for bomb, Hindutva terror is no less than the terror of any other brand; in fact, home bred Hindutva terror has been here far too longer than any other. Gautier and the minority Hindutva Brigade are free to disagree.
The mass murders and pogroms by the Hindutva Brigade find a different and safe place in Gautier' scheme of things. No, this is not terrorism, but it is the Hindus erupting in uncontrolled fury and this should be understood as spontaneous revolution on the ground, by ordinary Hindus, without any planning from the political leadership. Should be understood? By Ordinary Hindus? Without any planning from the political leadership? Gautier does not care to tell us as to why it should be understood the way he wants it to be understood and how he came to the conclusion that these are acts by ordinary Hindus and that there was no planning from the political leadership! Should the Trishul wielding, torching and raping and murdering and bombing Hindutva cadres be considered as ordinary Hindus? What about the well planned attacks under the direct supervision of Advani & Co on Babri Masjid, the Gujarat pogrom, Orissa violence and the recent well coordinated attacks on the churches and places of worship in Karnataka? Politically incorrect Gautier or factually misleading Gautier?
And the most dangerous piece of all: However reprehensible the destruction of Babri Masjid, no Muslim was killed in the process; compare this to the 'vengeance' bombings of 1993 in Bombay, which wiped out hundreds of innocents, mostly Hindus. Yet the Babri Masjid destruction is often described by journalists as the more horrible act of the two. Is Gautier trying to tell us that the bombs were designed specially to kill only the Hindus? Did the bombs that exploded kill only the Hindus or killed all human beings, irrespective of age, sex and religion? And why does Gautier bring in only the Babri Masjid here in comparison? Why not Gujarat, where thousands of Muslims were specifically targeted for rape, murder, butchering and looting, or Orissa where thousands of Christians were targeted for similar atrocities? Why does Gautier find the bombs that can kill anyone more dangerous than these targeted mass murders, often committed with the tacit support of the state and its police?
He has a piece of advice for the BJP too (and the BJP probably does not need this): Therefore, the BJP, instead of acting embarrassed, should not disown those who choose other means to let their anguished voices be heard. Does Gautier 'offer' this right to choose the means to let the anguish out to all other Indians? Is letting out the anguish permitted under the constitution or the law of this land? If not, how do such acts of choosing to let out the anguish in whichever way one deems fit become expressions of patriotism? And how can Gautier equate these elements of the Hindutva Brigade who have no respect for the Constitution and the law of the land with what he calls the most successful, law-abiding and integrated communities in the world today? Being politically incorrect, he does not seem to care.
But just who is Gautier to provide this license to the angry Hindus (read Hindutva Brigade) to erupt in uncontrolled fury? Is he the Constitution or the law enforcing agency or the Parliament? This is India, Mr. Gautier, and the law of the land is catching up with the Hindutva terrorists, Sadhwi, Swami, Purohit or any other. And Gautier's definition of terror is yet to find its place. For now, he can find solace with the fact that his angry Hindus enjoy the covert or overt support of the state in Gujarat, Karnataka and Orissa, but hopefully it is only a question of time before the laws of India will catch up even in these states.
So it is time we put Gautier's piece in its right place:
His argument that Hindus are tolerant - cannot be terrorists - but now have erupted - still cannot be called terrorists has a fatal flaw: The tolerant Hindus are entirely different from the ever intolerant Hindutva brigade. Forever forced to be tolerant, the vast majority of Indians suffer more of the tyranny of the upper castes of the Hindu religion than of the atrocities perpetuated by any other religion or anything else. Those who have erupted are the Hindutva Brigade brainwashed and masterminded by the RSS/BJP combine that is blatantly using the name of the Hindu religion and its sentiments to establish a fascist rule in India. And these acts of uncontrolled fury are acts of terror, acts of lawlessness, acts that are against this country. And the recent arrests of Army officers, in service and retired, on charges of bombing the nation are portents of the dangers of this fascist agenda. Gautier should get his facts right.
It probably serves Francois Gautier to sound different. But do we need a Fancois Gautier to show us the greatness of our land? We know better. We proudly sing Iqbal's Saare Jahan Se Achcha Hindustan Hamara just as we take pride in Shah Jahan's Taj Mahal. There is no India without all its children, no matter what religion. This is not tolerance, this is our heritage, our way of life. Sorry Mr. Gautier, get your facts right.