“Is there a single incident in history of Hindus engaging in terrorism?” Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked on Monday at an election rally in Wardha, Maharashtra.
If we consider the official religion of some of the terrorists, like the one who killed the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, then the answer will be yes, there were many such incidents. The answer would be in the affirmative even if the question were whether there were terrorists who used terrorism in the name of Hindu religion. But the answer will be a big no if the question is whether all Hindus can be tagged as terrorists.
As a matter of fact, this is applicable to all religions. Indeed, we cannot tag Christians as terrorists for the Holocaust against the Jews. We cannot tag Buddhists as such for the Rohingya massacre in Myanmar. Also, we cannot tag Hindus as terrorists for the 1984 riots against the Sikhs and the 2002 riots against Muslims. Similarly, it is equally rubbish to hold all the Muslims responsible for the terror strike in Pulwama in Kashmir.
It would be a logical fallacy if we paint all the people of a religion with a single brush. The CRPF personnel who were killed in the Pulwama attack show how fallacious such an attempt could be. We have Kashmiri Muslims, Bengali Hindus, Punjabi Sikhs and tribal Jharkhandis among the martyrs.
The Election Commission must not let any political party misuse either the majority religion or any minority religion during the time of elections. Section 123 (3A) of the Representation of the People Act specifically says that ‘the promotion of or attempt to promote feelings of enmity or hatred between different classes of the citizens of India on grounds of religion, race, caste, community or language… for the furtherance of the prospects of the election of any candidate shall be deemed to be corrupt practices.’
The EC must not let any political party violate this act. The history of the British rule in India must be enough for all of us to learn about the danger of the divide and rule policy.