Violent strain of Hindutva not new: Yechury

New Delhi: A day after Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh commented on the issue of `Sangh terror`, CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury on Friday cited ideologies propounded by freedom fighters V Savarkar and B S Moonje to insist that there was nothing new in the "violent strain" of Hindutva.

Yechury said there was an urgent need to change the mindset that terrorism is associated with people of only one community, and promised to raise the issue of innocent persons targeted in terror-related investigations in the Parliament.

The CPI-M leader was speaking at a day-long conference organised by civil rights groups Anhad and others for highlighting the plight of people who were targeted by security agencies in the aftermath of terror attacks in which the role of some RSS leaders has cropped up recently.

Yechury said his party will raise the issue in the upcoming Parliament session and will demand investigation into the attacks and of redressal of grievances of those unfairly targetted.

"The partition of India happened because the twin radical strains of both Hindutva and Islam were adamant…But despite the fact that India became a secular republic, attempts are being made to convert it into a Hindutva state," Yechury said.

He said there was a history of militant ideology within the RSS and it is wrong to assume that violent tendencies have developed only recently as a reaction to certain provocations.

"The violent strain in Hindutva is very old. The two- nation theory as reminded to us by Digvijay Singh was propounded by Savarkar, who also spoke about militarising Hindu `dharma` and `Hinduising` all politics," he said at the conference which was also attended by the Congress leader.

"There is nothing new about these violent tendencies and it is not that such tendencies have developed out of provocation of recent situations…It is wrong to assume that Hindus cannot be terrorists," he said.

Yechury said in the light of history it is important to be careful and to make sure that a particular community is not stigmatised and that terrorism is not encouraged by targeting innocent youth after every terror incident.

Besides Savarkar, Yechury also cited ideology of B S Moonje who is considered a mentor to RSS founder K B Hedgewar.

Yechury pointed out that Moonje had noted in his diary that he wanted to meet Italian dictator Mussolini, and that after meeting him he established the Central Hindu Military Education Society in 1935.

"This was the place where people like Col Shrikant Purohit took training," Yechury said.

Yechury said there should be "zero tolerance" against terrorism but targetting of innocents is not acceptable.

"The communal violence and rehabilitation law has been in the talk for six years but it is still not ready. It should be brought out quickly," he said.

At the conference, civil society groups raised a number of demands, including that a white paper be released on the number of Muslim youths arrested in the aftermath of recent terror attacks in the country.

The memorandum, to be submitted to the government, also demanded a compensation and rehabilitation package for persons targeted and tortured wrongly in terror cases.

It also demanded that foreign sources of funding of Hindutva organisations be also probed, all police officers involved in torture and illegal detention be suspended and charged, and an apology be issued by the respective state governments to persons who were unfairly targeted in terror cases.

Releasing a book of compilation of testimonies of persons picked up and tortured in terror cases in which the role of RSS was later cropped up, activist Shabnum Hashmi said, "These people can be picked up any time again…There is an infiltration of RSS in every government departments…these random arrests have been made not only in BJP-ruled states but also in the states governed by secular governments."