ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Extremism of All Colours

Juli Gittinger’s, “Saffron Terror: Splinter or Symptom?” (EPW, 10 September 2011) made interesting reading. Yes, India’s ageold pluralistic but Unitarian ethos and what the author simply calls “secular nationalism” is at the crossroads, not because of outside forces but due to indigenous ideo logies feeding upon communalism, political hatred, extremism and above all vested interests. The splinter groups mentioned by the author are not the only ones responsible for the apparent cracks in the mutual understanding among Indians of diverse religions and ethnicities. The reality is that from one end of the country to the other there have evolved a plethora of extremist ideologies and saffron, green, and red brigades, and terror factories of all colours. The writer argues that the target of saffron terror is not the Muslim community but secular nationalism. I believe the target of all kinds of terror in this country is the common citizen because it is the aam aadmi who bears the brunt of every wrongful activity, be it the recent Delhi High Court blast or uncontrolled inflation.

Adfar Rashid Shah

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