The not-so-hid­den dan­gers of vi­o­lent Hindu ex­trem­ism

The Star Early Edition - - LETTERS - Riyaad Dhai

SINCE Septem­ber 11, 2001, the world’s at­ten­tion is fo­cused on the vi­o­lence of Is­lamic ex­trem­ism, but there are also ma­jor vi­o­lent trends in Hindu ex­trem­ism that are largely be­ing ig­nored.

Vi­o­lent at­tacks on re­li­gious mi­nori­ties in In­dia av­er­aged one at­tack per day last year, a ris­ing num­ber that led US Congress mem­bers to plead with In­dia’s lead­ers to con­demn the vi­o­lence.

Some towns and re­gions even passed dis­crim­i­na­tory laws bar­ring Chris­tians, Mus­lims, and Sikhs from liv­ing in­side vil­lage bor­ders, ac­cess­ing public util­i­ties like water wells, or farm­ing nearby lands.

The bru­tal vi­o­lence vis­ited on Mus­lims in Gu­jarat, in Fe­bru­ary 2002, also brought the dan­gers of Hindu ex­trem­ism to the world’s at­ten­tion.

Be­tween 1 000 and 2 000 Mus­lims were mas­sa­cred, af­ter Mus­lims al­legedly set fire to a train car­ry­ing Hindu na­tion­al­ists, killing sev­eral dozen peo­ple.

Hin­duism is in­deed lucky not to be slapped with a 9/11like ter­ror­ism la­bel, de­spite mas­sacres of 3 000 Sikhs in New Delhi by Hindu mobs in just three days.

Thou­sands of Mus­lims were butchered by fa­natic Hin­dus in Gu­jarat within two weeks in 2002. Chris­tian nuns were raped, their churches pil­laged and some of the mis­sion­ar­ies were burnt alive in­clud­ing Reverand Gra­ham Staines.

In the West we have a per­cep­tion of Hin­duism as yoga and meditation, a very peaceful east­ern re­li­gious ide­ol­ogy. And there are mil­lions like that, but there are also rad­i­cal el­e­ments.

No re­li­gion teaches vi­o­lence, but un­for­tu­nately each re­li­gion is in­fested with a small per­cent­age of vi­o­lent in­di­vid­u­als.

Thou­sands of Mus­lims were butchered

Westville, Dur­ban

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