Sauce for Naxal goose ain’t sauce for RSS gander?

As the confessions of “Swami” Aseemanand, outed by Ashesh Khetan of Tehelka magazine, stick the terror label firmly on the tilak-stained foreheads of the Hindu lunatic fringe, calls to ban the “cultural organisation”, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), have gathered steam even as the BJP beats around the bush.

In the Bombay newspaper, DNA, Parsa Venkateshwar Rao Jr posits the defence for RSS against the defence for  Binayak Sen, the doctor sentenced to life in prison for hobnobbing with Naxals. In other words, how does a society that wants to give the benefit of the doubt to those who kill stop short when it comes to one who saves?

“Even as it is inaccurate and untrue, if not unfair, to call Binayak Sen a Maoist rebel who wants to overthrow the Indian state through violence, it is also inaccurate and untrue to call the RSS a terrorist organisation. For the people who defend Sen against the calumny heaped on him by the state and the right-wingers, it becomes morally obligatory to defend the RSS as a right-wing, retrogressive but not a terrorist organisation.

“Similarly, those who defend the RSS also have to speak by the same token of principled stand to defend Sen as a leftist who is not a terrorist. But the ideological divisions we see all round with regard to Sen and RSS are stark, and facts be damned.

“The fact that the RSS is a right-wing extremist but not a terrorist organisation does not mean that there are no Hindu terrorists, as there are Muslim terrorists. Muslims organisations like Jamaat-e-Hind or Jamiat-Ulema-e-Hind can be dubbed right-wing but not extremist. In the case of the Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), the investigation agencies failed to establish beyond doubt the linkages between individuals who committed acts of terror and those who expressed belief in terror acts even though they may not have been personally involved.”

Read the full article: RSS is retrogressive but not a terror outfit

Cartoon: courtesy E.P. Unny/ The Indian Express

Also read: CHURUMURI POLL: Should the RSS be banned?