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Communalism in India and the sub-continent, the cynical misuse of religion for political ends has  been used to mobilise large sections of the people and through this mobilisation gain power. Violence is espoused and used by outfits endorsing this brand of politics. Since 1998, with the Bharatiya Janata Party coming to power –dominating the NDA alliance at the Centre and in many States, especially Gujarat—this has assumed fascist dimensions as the Gujarat Genocide 2002 shows.


Arms training by the Bajrang Dal in camps is insiduously, yet publicly arming Indian civil society, creating a public climate of animosity and threat. Verbal abuse is daily flung at Indian minorities making a mockery of secularism as enshrined in the Indian Constitution.


Quite apart from the real threat faced in some areas by foreign-bred mercenaries, a real and potent threat to the Indian social fabric comes from home-grown terrorists of these outfits who spread terror and venom  to silence entire neighbourhoods into silence.



Communalism in India                                          

A Backgrounder


Fifty-four years ago the UN Declaration of Human Rights came into force worldwide. This time frame, give or take a few years also coincided with the birth of fledgling nation states who emerged from centuries of colonial rule in Asia and Africa.


Within these formulations, many of which consciously, as a result of their individual nationalist struggles chose the democratic option sworn to notions of egalitarianism, the  realisation of individual human rights ought to have been more and more assured. India is a classic example. Our Constitution adopted just two years later after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 10, 1948, is an admirable sister document, of the UN charter reflecting a seriousness and commitment to notions of equity and justice in the context of a democratic and secular order. [1]


The opening declaration of the UDHR compares so closely to the Preamble to the Indian constitution; the UDHR’s Article 2 on non-discrimination on the basis of race, colour, sex, language, language, religion, religion, political or other opinion etc. is ably reflected in our constitution’s Article 15: “Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race caste, sex or place of birth of any of them.”


Similarly the UDHR’s Article 3 on “everyone has a right of life, liberty and security of person” is reflected in Article 6 of the Indian Constitution: “Every human being has the inherent right to life. The rights shall be protected by and under law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life.”


The same comparisons can be found between Articles 7 and 18 of the UDHR that deal with non-discrimination in protection before the law and freedom of religion, thought and conscience and the Indian Constitution’s Articles 14 and 25.


However like in the west, where inherent notions of white supremacy and dominance have allowed racism to exist, or subsist, surface and even flourish within western democracies - side by side with the laudable Bill of Rights and other fundamental freedoms -- inherent inequities among the social and economic strata within the Indian nation state have seriously hampered the deepening of democracy and through this process, the realisation of actual individual human rights to citizens living under the Indian political dispensation. [2]


Poverty, or economic deprivation is undoubtedly the greatest obstacle in the attainment of individual freedoms and genuine liberty. The tragic disparities that Indian society not merely always did have, but appears to have enhanced over fifty years’ of independent governance, are clear pointers to this inescapable reality: that economic dignity and independence go a long way towards exercising choices and living lives that are genuine manifestations of lived, personal liberty.


However within economic disempowerment and inequity in opportunity remain a critical source of denial of basic human rights, increasingly caste and community based disparities and discriminations are the cause also, of not simply denials but serious breaches.


The denial, or rather violently snatching away of the rights of minorities (religious) to life, protection from the law, access to employment, right or residence in any part of India have been insidiously taking place in the country over the last two decades. This erosion has been happening under the increasing social sway of and credence being given to the majoritarian communal ideology of Hindutva —the ideal of a Hindu rashtra (as opposed to a democratic and plural and democratic nation).


The erosion has manifest itself through eating at the very morale and ethic of democratic institutions like the law and order machinery -- the police, the executive and even the judiciary. Increasingly incidences of partisan and biased ways of functioning have been discerned and analysed. In fact, a singular fact of the political functioning of the BJP and it’s cadres when in power has been to infiltrate different segments of the police, judiciary, media and education system with persons avowed to their rigid ideology and worldview. This, therefore, poses the single most serious threat to Indian democracy today. [3]


What is Hindutva?


The ideology of Hindutva can be best summed up in the words of Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar, the second Sarsanghchalak (Chief) of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS):

“The foreign races in Hindustan (read all Muslims and Christian) must either adopt the Hindu culture and language, must learn to respect and hold in reverence (sic) Hindu religion, must entertain no idea but those of the glorification of Hindu race and culture, i.e., of the Hindu nation and must lost their separate existence to merge in the Hindu race, or stay in the country, wholly subordinated to the Hindu Nation, claiming nothing, deserving no privileges far less any preferential treatment - not even citizen’s rights. There is, at least should be, no other course for them to adopt.” (9). [4]


We need to clarify and stress that here was/is not a benevolent philosophy unlike what the Indian Supreme Court has had to say on Hindutva (“calling it a way of life”—judgement in Manohar Joshi case). This is what ‘Guru’ Golwalkar had to say about the prosecution of the Jews in Nazi Germany:

“German race and pride has now become the topic of the day. To keep up the purity of the Race and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of the semitic Races - the Jews. Race pride at its highest has been manifested here. Germany has also shown how well-nigh impossible it is for Races and cultures, having differences going to the root, to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindustan to learn and profit by” (10)[5]


The ideological and political backbone of this movement has been the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). This outfit has, for over seven-eight decades since its formation in 1925, [6]  been working on it’s long term ideal of transforming the Indian democratic state into a hegemonic nation representative of one people, one faith, one language, one culture integrally different from its present form of a representative democracy committed to equity, freedom, justice and non-discrimination. By it’s side has been the Hindu Mahasabha formed in 1906 that has always claimed for itself the self-professed mission of ‘militarising the Hindu nation.’ [7]


The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the organisation founded also on a upper-caste Hindu Brahmin ideology, has been working insidiously at its task through varied front organisations, cultural, educational, labour fronts, womens’ organisations all over the country. It is founded on deep-rooted notions of pitrubhoomi (fatherland, land of ancestors/origin) and punyabhoomi (land of faith, worship).


Implied in these formulations in the crudest sense is the assertion, often violently sent home that “Muslims” and “Christians” are by faith and history, outsiders. So are, of course, the vast majority of other Indians, Dalits, tribals and OBCs.  The narrow Brahmanical (upper caste) outlook views with suspicion those section of the Indian subcontinent’s multifarious population who’s cultures, customs, faiths defy hide bound notions of strict hierarchy and ‘purity’ and impurity.’  In the past two-three decades there have been attempts to give this essentially Brahmanic ideology an all-Hindu orientation.[8]


The emergence of more vociferous outfits like the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal who’s basic agenda is the operation of this ideology through implementing several RSS programmes has enhanced the reach and success of the movement that is today a monster with many fangs. The RSS itself has admitted to having no less that 217 front organizations committed in every way to the programme and orientation of the ideology.[9]


Among the recurrent themes linked critically to this redefinition of Indian nationhood has been the resurgence of a ‘beaten and traumatised Hindu identity’ that has come on to it’s own today and realized it’s aspiration through claims to places of worship that have either a ‘Mughal’ (read ‘Muslim’) past or a collective presence (they are the locales for worship among different sections of different communities representing as they do ‘syncretic’ or ‘liminal’ forms of worship influenced by Sufi Islam. [10]


The well-orchestrated movement for building a temple at Ayodhya on the precise spot where a 400 year-old Mosque stood after demolishing the latter in full public view and defiance of the Indian Constitution on December 6, 1992 [11] has been the recurrent one that echoes in Indian political life even today. The fact that the demolition of the Mosque nearly a decade ago left a bloodstained trail in its wake is also a factor fresh in Indian memory. [12] The techniques of mobilization for an overtly threatening and violent movement have included deliberating confusing masses of the people by using an ostensible religious purpose or function which, in this case have been used for political purposes which include hate speech against religious minorities and actual violent attacks on their person and property.[13] The mahaartis were so carefully used during the Bombay violence of 1992-1993, the shilanyas were used both during the run-up to Ayodhya[14] and are being used again[15] as are the jalabhisheks this time to foment intra-community hatreds in states like Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Gujarat.[16] It is in this context that it is necessary to understand the term used often within the different nation states of the Indian subcontinent –communalism. Not to be confused with communitarism, a simple definition that could be offered is – misusing or manipulating religion and religious symbols for political ends.[17]


Other themes include the constant demonizing of India’s largest minority (Muslims) by questioning their patriotism [18] – this deliberate taunting has often resulted in the outbreaks of violence, and deaths in many parts of the country—and baiting the conservative leadership visibly representing it. [19] A backdrop to this demonisation and subsequent conflict is always the Partition of the subcontinent on religious lines, a result of the assertions of religion-based nationalisms of the Muslim and Hindu variety that resulted in not merely a border being drawn between people’s lives. The severing was brutal taking no less than half a million lives in religious frenzy that was unleashed. [20]

The issue of gender just laws concerning marriage, divorce and maintenance is another recurrent theme within the politics of religious polarization. This has also been cleverly used by the Hindu rightwing to agitate the conservative Muslim male leadership resisting changes in laws governing women. [21] Neither the Hindu right wing that raises this issue in a near sure fire method of provoking the Muslim leadership to irrational assertions and mobilisations[22] nor their Muslim counterparts are concerned of justice and equity for women of all communities. It is a convenient peg to whip up anti-minority sentiment.[23]


Who is the RSS?


The RSS is therefore the ideological and political fountainhead of the ideology called Hindutva, is moreover the father organization of the members of the overall movement including the parliamentary wing that used to be in the past be the Jana Sangh but is today the dominant party in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) that rules India.


The party that heads the coalition that controls the Indian Union government today is the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), that is sworn to this ideology. The senior leaders of the Party that include the present Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee,[24] home minister, L.K.Advani and the architect for distortion of Indian textbooks the minister for human resources development, Murli Manohar Joshi are all trained recruits of the RSS. The BJP has ruled in many states over the past decade and thought he pattern of violence against the religious minorities has shifted from largescale violence to individual attacks against Christian religious persons and their institutions and serious attacks on property of the minorities, the schisms caused in Indian public life and the political discourse by the discourse dominated by the Hindu rightwing run deep and have serious implications for internal peace, progress and even peace on the subcontinent.


The decision of the states of Gujarat in western Indian and Uttar Pradesh in northern India--- state governments controlled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ---to lift the ban on government servants joining the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) raised a nationwide debate in January 2000. In defence of the move, both the BJP, prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and home minister, L.K.Advani then said that the RSS was/is ‘a cultural outfit not a political one.’


What is the RSS?


It can be easily demonstrated by the reading of the carefully collated documentation here that the RSS is not merely a political outfit but a fascist one with a clear goal.[25]


The first active leader of the RSS, M.S. Golwalkar, said as has been mentioned earlier in this paper how he admired the cultural nationalism’ on Adolf Hitler:


(“German national pride has now become the topic of the day. To keep up the purity of the nation and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of the Semitic races – the Jews. National pride at its highest has been manifested here. Germany has also shown how well nigh it is for races and cultures, having differences going to the root, to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindustan to learn and profit by…. From this standpoint sanctioned by experience of shrewd old nations, the non-Hindu in Hindustan must either adopt the Hindu religion, must entertain no idea but the glorification of the Hindu nation i.e. they must not only give up their attitude of intolerance and ingratitude towards this land and its age-long traditions, but must also cultivate the positive attitude of love and devotion instead; in one word, they must cease to be foreigners or may stay in the country wholly subordinate to the Hindu nation claiming nothing, deserving no privileges, far less an preferential treatment, not even citizen’s right.”)


While the fascist intentions of the outfit and the ideology has been known and understood for some years now including as has been quoted from the above excerpts itself, an expose by Italian scholar Marzia Casolari in year 2000 presented a real breakthrough.[26]


“The aversion of the Hindutva forces to those of Italian origin is fairly apparent. Or is it? One needs to thank Italian academic Marzia Casolari, for telling us otherwise.

Casolari, in a brilliant research paper ("Hindutva's Foreign Tie-up in the 1930s. Archival Evidence", Economic and Political Weekly, January 22) has provided evidence of fascist influence on the organizations and leaders of Hindu nationalism. These influences, she demonstrates, were the result of direct contact between Hindu nationalists and members of the Italian fascist state. Although the organizational structure of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)  was apparently independently conceived by Keshav Baliram Hedgewar in 1925, the fascist influence on its growth and emergence through the 1930s and the 1940s, has been ably demonstrated by Casolari. It might be argued that the fascist influence on the Hindutva forces was a passing phenomenon, a mere flirtation. These links then would have nothing to do with the politics of the Hindutva organizations today.


One way of testing this hypothesis would be to examine whether the political and social concerns of the Hindutva forces today are any different from those in the 1930s and whether they are sought to be resolved any differently.

Among other things, Casolari's research shows that B. S. Moonje, a Hindu nationalist leader, who was a friend and mentor of Hedgewar and in whose house Hedgewar was brought up, met Mussolini and "played a crucial role in moulding the RSS along Italian (fascist) lines." In his diaries, writings and speeches, Moonje is eloquent about his Italian experience of meeting Mussolini in Palazzo Venezia in Rome on March 19, 1931, his visits in Rome to the Military College, the Fascist Academy of Physical Education and the fascist youth organizations Balilla and Avanguardisti.


Moonje felt that "The idea of fascism vividly brings out the concept of unity amongst people ... India and particularly Hindu India need some such institution for the military regeneration of the Hindus....Our institution of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh of Nagpur under Hedgewar is of this kind, though quite independently conceived. " Extending the activities of the RSS and the setting up of a military school, the proposed Bhonsla Military School, were at the center of Moonje's plans. Casolari records that Hedgewar and Moonje organized meetings to discuss Mussolini, fascism and its relevance to militarizing Hindus. Her argument is that even if the RSS was independently conceived, the contact with Italian fascism affected its organization and imbued it with a sharper functional character.


One of the ways that the present BJP controlled political dispensation influenced by the RSS has been revealing it’s fascist inclinations is through it’s attempts to introduce a partisan outlook into the Indian army, hitherto known for it’s sterling professionalism.

Between 1998-2000, during the first two years of BJP rule, the Indian army has been made to play host to an RSS religious festival, called the Sindhu Darshan festival, in Leh. The festival is the brainchild of Union home minister, L.K. Advani who on his visit to Ladakh in 1997 discovered that the Indus River flows through Ladakh. Mainline media in India [27]that the infrastructure for the festival was provided by the 3rd infantry division in Ladakh. ‘More than 500 RSS workers, including RSS ideologue Tarun Vijay, attended the Sindhu darshan. Most of them stayed on premises made available by the Army, which also sent troops to erect platforms and pavilions’.[28]


Many army officers, who reluctantly had to participate in the festival this year, were unhappy at the attempt to force a political meeting on armymen. “We’ve no business here. It was purely a political meeting. If they wanted to honour the jawans, they should have come to the units,” one military officer interviewed by the media said.[29]


A more recent example of the pernicious bid to ‘instill a Hindu consciousness’ in the army jawan was reported by another section of the national press in August 1999.[30] ‘Some of the jawans who were injured in Kargil can now recuperate in air-conditioned comfort and read Tulsidas’ Ramcharitmanas at leisure thanks to the VHP.’[31] A VHP brigade led by its president Vishnu Hari Dalmia, working president Ashok Singhal and senior vice-president Giriraj Kishore , visited the Army Base Hospital here (New Delhi) this evening for the installation of 18 air-conditioners the organisation had gifted. They also very thoughtfully used the opportunity to distribute copies of Tulsidas’ epic to the convalescing soldiers. The copies were distributed irrespective of the recipient’s’ religious persuasion’. Incidentally both the Kargil war and this happened on the eve of the last Parliamentary Elections in August-Sept 1999.


Before, but especially after the BJP has been in political charge in New Delhi the whip of the RSS over it’s parliamentary wing, the ruling party in power, the BJP, is effectively displayed through regular political utterances by the RSS functionaries either in approval or disapproval of how the BJP-dominated cabinet functions or on the policy decisions of the government.


This was especially evident in the run up to the last elections (1999) when the RSS presence was covert and obvious on the issues that were confronting the electorate. RSS says poll victory first, temple later’ was the media reading of the policy of the RSS vis a vis it’s parliamentary outfit, the BJP.[32] Contrary to public perception, the RSS is totally at peace with its political wing, BJP over the Ayodhya (Ram) temple issue.


In fact, RSS sources say the top thing on the minds of Hindutva monoliths' top brass is to see Atal Behari Vajpayee back as the Prime Minister, leading a stable government so that the sensitive issue is amicably resolved. `Mr Govindacharya's remarks do not mean that the RSS is angry with Mr Vajpayee, or that its cadres would not work for the party's victory in the coming elections,'' Mr Tupkari emphasised. ``He is capable of evolving a national consensus on the sensitive Temple issue,'' hopes Mamasaheb Ghumre, former vice-president of the VHP and also former editor of Sangh-managed Marathi daily ``Tarun Bharat''. It is clear to the ``Sangh Parivar'' constituents that the BJP in power albiet with its own diluted ideology, is better than any other political alternative. ``The RSS has full faith in Mr Vajpayee. The Temple has better chance of getting built with him in the saddle for five years,'' he adds.[33]


The clout that the parent, RSS has over the present government can be gauged by the following:


·         The RSS was  miffed over Vajpayee's unwillingness to endorse either the anti-Christian tirade of the Vishwa   Hindu Parishad (VHP)

·         or the 'Hinduisation' of school education as mooted by HRD Minister Murli Manohar  Joshi.

·         The high point of the confrontation between the RSS and Vajpayee came at the end of 1998 over the Insurance Bill, which the government passed a year later.

·         The RSS was opposed to permitting foreign companies into the insurance sector, a position which the BJP had shared before it came to power. The RSS made its parivar members, especially the Swadeshi Jagran Manch and  the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), attack the government's policy. BMS leader and long-time RSS activist Dattopant Thengdi even called Vajpayee the worst Prime Minister since Independence!

·         However, in the wake of Kargil and the 1999 electoral victory of the NDA, , the RSS realised that whatever influence it can hope to exercise on government policy and the

     shape of the Indian polity can only be with Vajpayee at the helm. RSS leaders, once    

     critical of Vajpayee, now   only sing his praises!


The mouthpiece of the RSS, in English, is The Organiser. As Organiser editor Seshadri Chari observed, "Vajpayeeji has spent a lifetime in the RSS and known the RSS  leadership for over half a century. They understand each other's minds. The RSS leaders are confident that, within the limitations imposed by a coalition government, Vajpayee will work in the same direction RSS leaders would like." [34]


·         Vajpayee's first major decision as Prime Minister in making India a nuclear power has evidence of his devotion to the RSS agenda. (From the start the Hindu right wing had professed a fascination for the militarisation and nuclearisation of the Indian state.)

·         The decision to set up a committee to review the Constitution is another such instance.

·         After the hijacking episode, Rajendra Singh called Hindus "cowards", not the government which set the terrorists free! Some BJP leaders themselves noted that he was in fact protecting the BJP by heaping blame upon the entire Hindu community rather than the government.


The RSS’ background


Mahatma Gandhi, remembered as the Father of the Nation was assassinated on January 30, 1948 by one Nathuram Godse, member of the Hindu Mahasabha and formerly associated with the RSS. A ban was imposed on the outfit subsequent to the deed.


When a move was initiated by few sympathizers of the RSS within the Congress to lift the ban, the ministry of Home, Government of India through a communiqué dated November 14, 1948 refused. " The information received by the Government of India shows that the activities carried on in various forms and ways by the people associated with the RSS tend to be anti-national and often subversive and violent and that persistent attempts are being made by the RSS to revive an atmosphere in the country which was productive of such disastrous consequences in the past".[35]


The Indian government communique had rejected the RSS’ assurance of wanting to reform itself. "He (Golwalkar) has written letters both to the Prime Minister and the Home Minister explaining, inter alia, that the RSS agrees entirely in the conception of a secular state for India and that it accepts the National Flag of the country and also requesting that the ban imposed on the organization in February should now be lifted. These professions of the RSS leader are, however, quite inconsistent with the practice of his followers and for the reasons already explained above, the Government of India find themselves unable to advise provincial governments to lift the ban. The Prime Minister has, therefore, declined the interview which Mr. Golwalkar had sought".[36]


In a letter to the RSS chief, Golwalkar, on the ban on the RSS following Gandhiji’s assassination, Sardar Vallabhai Patel, India’s first union home minister, had written, “ It was not necessary to spread poison in order to enthuse Hindus and organise for their self-protection. As a final result of their poison, the country had to suffer the sacrifice of the invaluable life of Gandhiji. The RSS man expressed joy and distributed sweets.”[37]


The involvement of RSS functionaries in the incidents of violence against the minorities have been well-documented. Similarly the government counsel appearing in the judicial commission to investigate the ghastly murder by arson of missionary Graham Steins (on Jan 22-23, 1999) and his two sons, found the link between the criminal linked to the deed, Dara Singh and the RSS.


“Dara linked to Sangh: Government counsel”:[38] ‘According to the council’s submission, based on the material on records before it “There is sufficient evidence to suggest that Dara Singh’s association with the RSS and the Bajrang Dal renders the matters open to further inquiry and investigation by the CBI.’ Government counsel, senior advocate of the supreme court, Gopal Subramaniam, and his team of three advocates, noted in their submission, “It appears that even in order to rule out the involvement of any organisation, it is appropriate to that a thorough investigation is undertaken by the CBI. According to the counsel’s report, the material on record based on witness accounts and police record show that Dara Singh was an active member of the Go Suraksha Samiti, a programme sponsored and implemented by the Bajrang Dal and the VHP that he had campaigned for the BJP in the parliamentary elections of 1998. He attended RSS camps he held out himself as a Bajrang Dal activist and that he believed in the strong propagation of Hindutva. [39]


Outfits of the Hindu right wing, except for a few exceptions were not at the forefront of the struggle against British rule. Many of the individuals were seen as collaborators of the British.


The RSS and the Freedom Struggle

·        The RSS kept totally aloof from the many anti-British movements of the 1940s: the individual civil disobedience of 1940-41, the Quit India struggle, Azad Hind Fauj, the 1945-46 upsurges around the INA trials and the Bombay naval mutiny. [40]

·        Yet the early and mid-1940s remained a period of rapid growth, with the number of shakhas doubling between 1940 and ’42, and with 10,000 swayamsevaks being trained by 1945 in Officers Training Camps (now set up in nearly every province). [41]

·        Similar to the Muslim League and the other Hindu communal groups, the RSS, too, benefited from the fact that it was never a target of British wartime repression.[42]

·         But much more important was the way in which Hindu and Muslim communalism were feeding into each other, with the drive for Pakistan making more and more Hindus feel that the RSS was their best, and perhaps only defender. Such sentiments spread particularly among the Hindus of the Muslim-majority province of Punjab, as well UP where there was a highly articulate and aggressive Muslim leadership. A section of the Congress too, has come to consider the RSS a useful bulwark against the increasing intransigence of the Muslim League. [43]

·        In Bengal, the other major Muslim-majority area, in contrast, the already powerful progressive and Left traditions were able to block large scale RSS inroads. Taking the country as a whole, however, recruits were trooping into shakhas, and money, too, was pouring in. [44]

·        It was a time of prosperity for trading groups, with ample opportunities for war contracts and profiteering, and traders have always provided the major social bases for the RSS. Significant inroads seemed to have been made during these years into government services also.[45]

·        The communal holocaust of 1946-47, ushered in Jinnah’s call for direct action and the Great Calcutta Killings of August 1946, was regarded as its ‘finest hour’ by the RSS.[46]

·        Through active participation in riots, relief work in Hindu refugee camps and virulent propaganda, the RSS contributed vastly to the development of a massive fear psychosis among large sections of Hindus about the ‘foreign’ Muslims.[47]

·        The onward march of the RSS was abruptly halted by the impact of the murder of Mahatma Gandhi. Nathuram Godse had left the organisation many years back, but no one could deny that he had been initially trained by it, and RSS rhetoric about ‘appeasement’ of Muslims seemed all but indistinguishable for the justifications offered for the assassination. [48]

·        ON 4 February 1948, the Government of India declared the RSS illegal.[49]

·         The shakhas lay low. Confining themselves to ‘social functions’ and quiet group discussions. The organisation in fact crumbled quiet rapidly, despite its much vaunted discipline and militancy, even though repression was never very severe – much less so than what the Communists were facing in the same period.[50]

·        Eventually the RSS agreed to adopt a written constitution, maintain regular registers of members, not to admit minors without parental permission, and work openly and in the cultural field only.[51]

·        The RSS won back its legality on 12 January 1949 in this way, agreeing to conditions, which were general enough not to seriously hamper its work, but which still represented a humiliating surrender under pressure. [52]

·        The contrast with Communist behavior in the same years is rather illuminating. The RSS leader wrote letters from the jail offering cooperation: Communist opened ‘jail fronts’ to carry on militant confrontations even inside prisons.[53]


The issue came to the fore in March 1999 when a huge controversy exploded after prime minister Vajpayee released, in the presence of then RSS chief, Professor Rajinder Singh,  a commemorative postage stamp to mark the 110th birth anniversary of, "freedom fighter and the founder of the RSS, Dr. KB Hedgewar."[54] 


To know the attitude of the RSS towards Quit India Movement of 1942, one should go through the following statement of Golwalkar, it s second active chief and ideologue: [55] "There are bad results of struggle. The boys became militant after 1920-21 movement. It is not an attempt to throw mud at the leaders. But these are inevitable products after the struggle. The matter is that we could not properly control these results. After 1942, people often started thinking that there was no need to think of the law"…  Shri Guruji continues, " In 1942 also there was strong sentiment in the hearts of many. At that time too the routine work of Sangh continued. Sangh decided not to do anything directly." No publication of Sangh throws any light on what great work Sangh did indirectly. However, it is not at all difficult to know what was this routine work. It was to sharpen and aggravate the division between Hindus and Muslims. And for this the British regularly rewarded them. During the British rule neither RSS nor the Muslim League ever faced any ban.


The party that heads the coalition that the Indian Union government today is run by the political party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), that is sworn to this ideology of majoritarianism, Hindutva. Public discourse is muddled by the pronouncements of their leaders and functionaries who insist that the Hindu nation is by definition tolerant, secular and democratic.[56] However, the ideology in operation both at the level of the central government in India and through rule in five states three years ago, denies minorities their basic rights of the right to life, liberty and dignity.


Both in its ideological construct and its actual operation -- now we have had the sorry privilege of Hindutva-inspired Hindu rashtras in many parts of the country-- demonstrate that this ideology is anti-democratic and violative of the basic tenets of the Indian Constitution.   In theory and applied politics it has denied the basic human rights of a life of equality, freedom and dignity. We have seen clear and continuing evidence of this in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra we have had, or still have in these areas that have had their influence.


Much time and unnecessarily wasteful energy has been spent on discussions of whether or not the Hindutva agenda can be termed fascist. The blatant harking to a superiority of race for one section of the population over others, the artificial “demonising” of the “enemy other” to explain current day problems, wrongs or conflict, the blatant disregard for the rule of law and flaunting violations of it, all through an embracing of violence. What more indicators of fascism do we need?


The crucial difference between today and the situation in India five-ten years ago is this. It is the difference between say, a historical denial of access to resources, employment and self improvement to large sections of our Dalit population (in over 75% of our village even today Dalits cannot draw water from our village wells) and the current day humiliations,  through acts of targetted violence being perpetuated against Indian Muslims and Christians, and justified by lies, that through mass hysteria become weapons of venom and murder.


The Indian Police and Hindutva


The law and order machinery has watched silently as more and more administrative measures that disempower the minorities are adopted and violent attacks on persons and property of the minority community, continue unabated.


In the Randhikpur and Sanjeli incidents in August 1998,  (wherein Muslims were forcibly evicted from their villages) [57] the actions were preceded by Dharamsabhas held by the VHP-Bajrang Dal in full public view as a silent police merely watched. Contemporary records and police station records reveal what was said by these leaders at these Dharamsabhas. “If Muslims want to live here they must live as Hindus!”  And to any member of the police who dare to speak up: Journalists were embargoed form visiting Sanjeli & Randhikpur. [58] Mediapersons attempting to document the trends in Gujarat have been initimidated.


Two years later, for a period of a whole week, bands of the BJP, VHP and the Bajrang Dal went on a rampage after 33 Hindu pilgrims were killed, allegedly by militants in the Kashmir Valley. “We will reply for the killings there with our actions here,”[59] said VHP’s international general secretary that proved to be the signal for men to ‘avenge the killing of the pilgrims by attacking properties and businesses of innocent Muslims of Gujarat”. In six cities of the state they caused a total of Rs. 15 crore worth of damage to the Muslim minority.[60]


The bogey of “forced” conversions by Christians is also a myth that is systematically propagated by forces of the Hindu right to gain public complicity with the violent attacks on Christian nuns, and religious persons. Statistics inform us that Christians who formed 2.6% of population in 1961, 2.4% in 1981 constitute only 2.3% of our population today.[61]


Unfortunately India has had a history of intra-community (communal) violence since Independence and Partition. In report after report of every judicial investigation into post-partition communal riots -- since Jabalpur in 1961—the judiciary has identified right-wing, Hindu exclusivist organisations as responsible for repeated provocation that finally-- after weeks of keeping the atmosphere on the boil--- erupt into violent outbursts.


Independent Research has been carried out into the detailed judicial commission reports set up after violent outbursts in different parts of the country. These include:


·        Jabalpur Riots. 1961. Justice Shivdayal Srivastava’s Report.

·        Ranchi Riots. 1967. Justice Raghubar Dayal’s Report.

·        Ahmedabad Riots. 1969. Justice Jagmohan Reddy’s report.

·        Bombay-Bhiwandi Riots. 1970. Justice D.P. Madon’s Report.

·        Tellicherry Riots. 1971. Justice Joseph Vidyathils Report.

·  Jamshedpur Riots. 1979. Justice Narain Ghosh and Justice Rizvi’s Report.

·   Kanyakumari riots, 1982.

·  Meerut-Maliana. Bhagalpur (1989).

·   Delhi Riots (1984). Justice Ranganath Mishra Commission.

·    Bombay riots (1992-93), Justice B.H. Srikrishna  [63]


What are the patterns that these investigations reveal?


These judicial investigations have revealed that in riot after riot the reports have identified the systematic vitiation and poisoning of the atmosphere has always been through the provocative acts of Hindu communal organisations like the RSS, Jana Sangh, SS, Hindu Munnani, VHP, or Bajrang Dal. [64]


Not only is every riot a replay of these orchestrated lies. The guilty -- though identified by all these wonderful, historic documents, the reports of inquiry commissions -- have gone unpunished.


The analysis has also revealed that each of these judicial investigations have identified, and strongly criticised the conduct of senior officers in uniform who have acted in an utterly partisan way. The Justice Srikrishna report, the most recent document of its kind, has named 15 senior police officers, including one as high-up as the then Joint Police Commissioner, R.D. Tyagi. Incidentally, this officer was rewarded for his conduct during the riots by the SS-BJP combine who made him Mumbai’s police commissioner in October 1995!  On retirement in early 1998, he joined the SS, publicly declaring, “I am a loyal soldier of Balasaheb.” [65]


Apart from this, most recent such indictment, every riot report since 1961 has castigated the complicity and bias visible in the state machinery. Justice Jagmohan Reddy, commenting on the situation in Ahmedabad as far back as 1969 says that while more than half a dozen Muslim places of worship were attacked though they were actually adjoining police lines or police stations whereas not a single Hindu place of worship was similarly destroyed. Or take the comments of Justice Madon on police conduct during the Bhiwandi riots in 1970: “The working of the special investigation squad was a study in discrimination.”[66]


Every example fits in. The Justice Vidyathil inquiry into the Tellichery riots of 1971 has observed, how, in the heat of the moment, two constables in a complete state of frenzy yelled to the Muslim victim: “Go to Pakistan” with two of them getting so carried away as to enter a mosque, beat up the elderly Usmankutty Haji and shatter the tube light, chandelier inside.[67] Meerut, Maliana, Bhagalpur. Same story. The height of course was Mumbai rioters. In the taped wireless messages intercepted by this speaker, policemen were intercepting official communication exhorting their officers not to go to save “landya” areas, not to reach relief there.[68]


Barely two months after the brutal targeting of the Muslim minority in Bombay, Bombay witnessed 13 serial bomb blasts that killed over 300 innocents. After the bomb blasts, things only got worse. In the guise of a displaced national honour, several hundred Muslim families were illegally detained – often women members of alleged accused in the bomb blasts – and then physically stripped and humiliated at the Mahim police station and along the Konkan coast where the RDX was purportedly smuggled in. There are recorded videotaped interviewed with the victims. [69]The torture was systematic. Young men, but women too. Physical assaults and the taunts that accompanied these assaults were,  “Where is your Allah now? Learn to say He Ram.[70]


Over the past decade, responding to this acute bias displaying itself in the conduct of the Indian police forces, senior policemen have been speaking out, boldly identifying the problem and suggesting systemic remedies. [71]


The crux of the analysis of members of the Indian Police Service (IPS) like Mr. Vibhuti Rai (IG, BSF), Padma Rosha, former DG, Jammu and Kashmir,  Julio Ribeiro, former DG, Punjab, Shankar Sen, former chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission is:

·         that where communal riots are not put down firmly within a few hours, the failure must be accepted as a major failure of the state administration and the state must accept responsibility for fully compensating the loss and injury to innocent victims of communal rioting and restoration of their homes and sources of livelihood;


This must be done not as an ad hoc disbursal of charity but as something which citizens are entitled to as of right and according to certain norms laid down beforehand. Indian citizens must have the security of feeling that they are insured against injury.[72]


 The rationale for this sound argument, being articulated by senior echelons of the police force is that –

·        Firstly, mob violence takes place more or less openly in public spaces where the mobs go on the rampage looting, burning, killing, often with live coverage by the media.

·        Secondly, such mobs include large numbers of the inhabitants of those areas. The whole process of inflaming passions of sections of the populace, bringing them out, working them into a frenzy, and then pushing them over the threshold of violence, allows ample opportunity to the administration at every stage. There is nothing covert or surreptitious in such mob violence.

·         The immediate transfer of the SP or the CP responsible for laxity of control in a riot in the area in his jurisdiction and strict punitive action for the failure in containing the violence are also among the suggestions that have emerged.

·        Punishment of the guilty, whether they be the masterminds behind communal outfits who fuel and fan the flames of violence,  the individual rioters themselves or guilty men in uniform is a must if society needs to be given a message that the guilty will be punished, justice will be done and the peace and reconciliation process initiated, facilitated by the political will of the state.[73]



Indian Judiciary


The role of the Indian Judiciary in dealing with or tackling with the phenomenon of majoritarian politics or neo-fascism has been singularly wanting. Considered as the last bastion of Indian democracy, the Indian Judiciary has failed to respond to the insidious and overt perversions and subversions of the law and the Indian Constitution by these majoritation forces of Hindutva.


In the run-up to Dec. 6, 1992, there were conscientious citizens petitioning every forum that they could in an attempt to contain the ultimate event. They were concerned as much about the demolition of the 400 year old Mosque as the violent rhetoric that resulted in systematic and pre-planned violence in Ayodhya and other parts after the event.


On November 30, 1992, one such, through a public interest petition, earnestly pleaded before the Supreme Court of India: “ Do not turn a blind eye, My Lordships, he said. The Kar Sevaks are arriving in their hundreds of thousands at Ayodhya. Look at the kind of speeches being made to mobilise these crowds along the way, whether it is Sadhvi Rithambara or Lal Krishna Advani.[74]

(The latter, L.K. Advani is India’s Home Minister today. He had, exhorted crowds en route to Ayodhya, between December 1-5, 1992, both at Kashi and  Mathura advised the teeming crowds, that, “the kar seva shall be performed with bricks and stones, not bhajans and  kirtans this time.”)[75]


The petitioner brought these points before the apex count, urging the judges to intervene, to be more pro-active, saying it would be naïve to believe that the kar seva could –under all these circumstances-- be peaceful. What did the Court do? It sent an “observer” to watch, who could only have been sorry witness to the demolition and violence!


We have in existence today on our annals a judgment from the apex court giving a clean chit to the philosophy of Hindutva, describing it as a “way of life.” [76] One of the worst judgements in the annals of Indian jurisprudence, is one related to hate speech, dated September 1994.[77]


Following the Bombay riots (1992-1993) committed citizens and lawyers from Mumbai filed another path-breaking, historic, writ petition in the Bombay High Court. Quoting extensively from writings in Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray’s mouthpiece, the Saamna, written before and at the height of violence in 1992-93, the petitioners demanded his arrest by the state. The grounds? [78] Serious and consistent violation of sections 153a and 153b of the IPC that relate to the offence of promoting enmity, hatred and incitement of violence against certain groups.


Before, during and after the outbreak of violence in Bombay, 1992-1993, the organ of the Hindu right wing Shiv Sena, Saamna  had proved itself to be the vehicle to goad and galvanise the mobs of Shiv Sainiks into action to kill minorities and burn and loot their properties. [79] Among the reams of vitriol reeled of by Shi Sena leader, Bal Thackeray through the Saamna is this: “Muslims should draw a lesson from the demolition of the Babri Masjid. Muslims who criticise the demolition are without religion, without a nation.” [80]


What was the Bombay High Court’s response?  Justices Majithia and Dudhat dismissing the petition commented,  “These articles refer to the fissiparous tendencies among Muslims…these articles do not criticise Muslims as a whole but Muslims who are traitors to India.” [81]


The High Court did not recognise that the statements contained in the writings in the Sammna constituted violations of Indian law : 153a and 153b. The Courts came to their decision despite the fact that Bal Thackeray had made a public statement in the course of these hearings revealing his utter contempt for the judiciary and the rule of law.[82]


The Bombay High Court exonerated the hate speech by Bal Thackeray and dismissed the petition. When the petitioners moved the Supreme Court through a Special Leave Petition, the apex court of India threw the appeal out. The SLP had asked for a judicial review.


Eminent jurists and lawyers, the late H. M. Seervai, Soli Sorabjee, Nani Palkhiwala, Fali S. Nariman, Justice Suresh, opined [83] that the judgement of the apex court was wrong in law, a dangerous precedent and should be taken up for review. A 50-pg legal opinion was exclusively authored by the late justice H.M. Seervai for Communalism Combat to establish his point.


Fali S. Nariman, a senior lawyer, was constrained to observe, “When Judges speak, what they say (and, significantly, what they, do not say) sends down strong signals. People listen and shape their actions accordingly. The message conveyed by the judgement lies as much in what it does not say as in what it does. The message clearly is that the intemperate words (of Thackeray) against a particular community likely to cause disharmony will now not only go unpunished, but will not ever suffer a judicial rebuke. This is the single most sinister, most deplorable fallout of the judgement of Justices Majithia and Dudhat (of the Bombay High Court). That all this should not have seen fit to be corrected by the Supreme Court of India when its jurisdiction was invoked, prompts only a plaintive prayer, “Where then, O Lord, shall we turn for the redressal of palpable wrongs?”[84]


Incidentally these developments in India need to be viewed in the light of increasingly intolerant functionings by the police and state governments that justify deaths through encounters[85]. In the past years alone, increasing deaths through shooting have been the norm and many states, including Maharashtra[86] have included draconian preventive detention laws that are a potential and real threat to free speech and basic human rights. In the wake of these developments, taking full advantage of the September 11, 2001, WTC attack and the attack on the Jammu and Kashmir state legislature[87] and the Indian Parliament on December 13, 2001, the Indian government has promulgated a preventive detention ordinance. [88]


In the decade between 1984-5, India had another preventive detention law, The Terrorist and Disruptive Practices Act (TADA) that was noted for both poor rates of conviction and abuse of natural justice and basic lives. Far from targeting terrorists, the law had been used to target dissenting voices, and increasingly in the early and mid-nineties as a tool to silence the religious minorities.[89] In the present atmosphere of ‘nationalist’ hysteria and anti-minority jargon, it is being apprehended that POTO can only do worse. TADA was finally repealed after vehement protests by human rights and civil liberties groups;  a pro-active role played by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). The NHRC has strongly opposed  the imposition of POTO too.[90]


The state and fabric of Indian democracy and the rule of law, today is extremely fragile. International interventions are vital. While the assault is directly from the Hindu right wing, the failure of other ‘secular’ political parties has allowed the sway of these forces. The erosion that we presently witness began its destructive course even under previous governments ruled by avowedly secular parties like the Congress (I), Janata party and the United Front. The Congress (I) in fact, with its cynical disregard to the systemic blows being perpetrated by the venomous leaders outfits sworn to the Hindutva  world view, ignored, pampered and fondled these tendencies allowing them greater and greater legitimacy and sway in civil society each time.


No better example of this can be found than the manner in which the party, in Maharashtra encouraged the shrewd machinations of the Shiv Sena and its chief, Bal Thackeray, who from the launch of his notorious political career, ridiculed democracy as a political choice, scorned debate and dialogue, eschewed violence and just by the way, in the course of his unhindered political career, activity fermented hatred among his followers, urging them through persistent hate propaganda, to kill, attack and loot the homes of first south Indians, then Gujaratis and now, Muslims. [91]

Thackeray and his senior party men stand seriously exposed for their techniques of operation most recently in the Justice B.N.Srikrishna Commission report of Inquiry into the Mumbai riots of December 1992- January 1993. [92]Yet no action was taken against them by the Congress dispensation in the state between 1993 and 1995 when the Congress (I) continued to rule the State.


This document, the Justice Srikrishna report, is one of the finest analyses from a member of the Indian judiciary, a sitting member of the Mumbai High Court of how the politics of hate-mongering actually works. It elaborates in detail how the systematic whipping up of sectarian, communal sentiments among the majority community creates a climate conducive for the complete failure of the state administration -- because the administration itself has become victim of a certain malicious propaganda based on lies and myths, and therefore an agent provocateur in the violence itself --- to intervene and protect lives and property of minorities.  That is how a minor or major incident of communal violence swiftly transforms itself into an all-out, full-fledged pogrom against the minorities.


It happened under a Congress (I) regime here in New Delhi in 1984 when senior Congress leaders were found leading mobs and policemen to attack and kill over 3,000 Sikhs following the assassination of prime minister Indira Gandhi, simply because her assassin belonged to the same religious community.[93] It happened in Mumbai in 1992-93 too.


It is important not to forget that the signals were also visible through the Meerut-Malliana massacres in Uttar Pradesh in 1987 (when the UP state Provincial Armed Constabulary cold-bloodedly gunned down 17 Muslim youths) and thereafter in Bhagalpur a few years later. Here, corpses of over 100 Muslim bodies were hurriedly buried and cauliflower planted over them to obliterate the crime! [94]


It is interesting to see, how, in every single post-Independence (and therefore post-Partition) communal riot on Indian soil as mentioned before, the pattern has been clear.


Despite the clear-cut evidence through this analysis that exposes that most often, these perpetrators of violence and hatred belonged largely to majority communal outfits, the Indian executive ruled by a “secular” Congress(I) has also shown a singular reluctance to act against them or those men in uniform found prime facie guilty of biased conduct. The laxity of the state involves a reluctance to:

(a) Putting down the violence;

(b)        Punishing those guilty of illegal activities and incendiary speeches that prepares fertile ground for the violence to break and

(c)         Punishing the guilty men in uniform who's actions have revealed both criminal action and partisan conduct  

(d)         Rewarding the rare examples of lawful, brave and exemplary conduct.

This is indeed a sorry record for any society or polity interested in strengthening or deepening the values of justice, equality and fairplay among the citizenry.




Report Prepared by

Teesta Setalvad for Sabrang Communications & Publishing Private Limited

Dated January—February 2002







[1] The Communal Threat-A Deepening Challenge to the Struggle for Human Rights, memorial lecture delivered at the Champa-Amiya Rao Foundation, New Delhi, by Teesta Setalvad, December 10, 1998


[3]The Communal Threat-A Deepening Challenge to the Struggle for Human Rights, memorial lecture delivered at the Champa-Amiya Rao Foundation, New Delhi, by Teesta Setalvad, December 10, 1998

[4] We or Our Nationhood Defined, M.S. Golwalkar, founder of the RSS, 1939



[5]We or Our Nationhood Defined, M.S. Golwalkar, founder of the RSS, 1939

[6] Khakhi Shorts and Saffron Flags, Orient Longman, 1993

[7]Hindutva, Veer Savarkar

[8]  Khakhi Shorts and Saffron Flags, Orient Longman, 1993

[9] RSS publication listing Associate Organisations

[10] Denying A Shared Past, Yogi Sikand in Communalism Combat,April 1999

[11] Frontline, December-January 1992-1993

[12] Proceedings before the Liberhan Commission Investigating the Demolition, Rathyatra Retraced,Teesta Setalvad, Communalism Combat, April 2001

[13] Communalism Combat, October 1998, July 2000, November 2001

[14] Bombay’s Shame, Teesta Setalvad in Business India, January 1993

[15] Hindutva Targets the Hinterland, Teesta Setalvad, Communalism Combat, October 2001

[16] Rajasthan, Teesta Setalvad in Communalism Combat,November 2001

[17] Classical definition used by Writers, Academic and Historians over the past decades

[18] Uniform Civil Code or Gender Justice?, Communalism Combat, April 1994

[19] The Shah Bano Controversy, Asghar Ali Engineer, Orient Longman

[20] The Origins of the Partition of India, Anita Inder Singh, Oxford University Press

[21] The Shah Bano Controversy, Asghar Ali Engineer, Orient Longman

[22] Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread, Flavia Agnes, Majlis

[23] Muslim Women-An Attitude Survey in Bombay- ISPCK, Delhi

[24] The Sangh is My Soul, by Atal Behari Vajpayee, prime minister declaring open allegience to the RSS

[25] Confidential Note for Indian Parliamentarians prepared by Sabrang Communications and Pub Pvt Ltd, Jan 2001

[26] The Fascist Convention, Economic and Political Weekly reproduced in Hindustan Times, February 18, 2000, ‘The Other Italian Connection’)


[27] Frontline , Praveen Swami, August 13, 1999

[28] Ibid

[29] Outlook, August 9, 1999.

[30] The Hindustan Times, August 20, 1999:

[31] Ibid.

[32] The Times of India, September 1999

[33] RSS Mounthpieces, Organiser and Panchjaanya, August –October 1999

[34] Ibid

[35] Indian Government Home Ministry Records

[36] Ibid.

[37] Truth Triumphs, distributed by  Sahitya Niketan, Hyderabad –57;published in 1997

[38]The Indian Express, August 15, 1999


[39] The Indian Express, August 15, 1999

[40]  Khakhi Shorts and Saffron Flags, Orient Longman, 1993

[41] Ibid

[42] Ibid

[43] Ibid

[44] Ibid

[45] Ibid

[46] Ibid

[47] Ibid

[48] Ibid

[49]Khakhi Shorts and Saffron Flags, Orient Longman, 1993 

[50] Ibid

[51] Ibid

[52] Ibid

[53] Ibid

[54] Shri Guruji Samagrah Darshan, Vol. IV pp. 39-40.

[55] Shri Guruji Samagrah Darshan, Vol. IV pp. 41

[56] Advani and Other Ideologues in Public Speeches and the Media

[57] People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) Report published in Communalism Combat, October 1998

[58] The Indian Express, Aug 1998 and Gujarat Today, Aug 1998

[59] Press Conference held in Ahmedabad, August 1, 2000

[60] Saffron On the Rampage, Fact Finding Report of PUHR-Sanchetana, etc, Aug-Nov 2000

[61] Census figures from the Tata Statistical Handbook.

[62] Who Is To Blame?,Teesta Setalvad in Communalism Combat, March 1998

[63] Who Is To Blame?Teesta Setalvad in Communalism Combat, March 1998

[64] Ibid

[65] Ibid

[66] Ibid

[67] Ibid

[68] Bombay Brutalised, Teesta Setalvad, Business India,  January 1993; The Pioneer, January 1993

[69] Film for the Human Rights Conference at Vienna, co-produced by Teesta Setalvad, June 1993

[70]  Communalism Combat, December 1994

[71] Interview with Vibhuti Narain Rai in Communalism Combat, February 1995 reproduced in The Times of India, Deccan Chronicle etc.

[72] Hindustan Times and Communalism Combat, 1995

[73] Discussions with National Fora following the Communalism Combat/Teesta Setalvad-led debates that include the National Police Academy, The Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, Political Parties etc.

[74] Media reports, The Indian express, The Hindu November-December 1992.

[75] Business India, Ruchira Gupta, December 1992.

[76] Judgement in Manohar Joshi election petition

[77] Justices Majithia and Dudhat, Bombay High Court exonerating Shiv  Sena chief, Bal Thackeray from hate speech made before and during the brutal violence in Bombay, 1992-1993

[78] JB Desouza and Diip Thakore versus State of Maharashtra, 1993

[79] Ibid

[80] Saamna, December 8, 1992

[81] Bombay high Court judgement delivered in September 1994

[82] He was quoted in his own paper and in the Loksatta on June 28, 1993, stating that  “Mein adalat ke faislon par laghushanka karta hoon. (I piss on the judgments of the courts”

[83] Crime and Punishment, Communalism Combat,  January 1995

[84] Crime and Punishment, Comunalism Combat,  January 1995

[85] Maharashtra and Karnataka Police Commissioners have justified ‘shooting down of persons by the police’ on grounds that this is the only way to get to the underworld, 2001

[86] The Maharashtra Control of Organised Crimes Act, 1999

[87] On October 1, 2001

[88] The Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance, 2001

[89] PUDR Reports, PUCL Reports

[90] NHRC Opinion on POTO, November 2001

[91] Justice Madon Judicial Inquiry Commission Report, Justice B.N.Srikrishna Commission of Inquiry

[92] Justice B.N.Srikrishna Commission of Inquiry

[93] Who Are the Guilty? PUDR-PUCL Report, 1984

[94] PUDR Report into the Incidents


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