Hindu terrorism and its links with Indian army is going on since the days of Savarkar when his followers killed Gandhi but Indians are in denial mode and today their own minister is admitting that Hindu terrorism in India growing.
India’s home minister warned on Wednesday that Hindu extremists posed an increasing risk to national security, dubbing the threat as “saffron terror”.
The colour saffron is associated with Hindu nationalism in India, and some right-wing groups have been linked to militant attacks in the north and west of the country.
However, most major recent attacks, including those in Mumbai in 2008 during which 166 people died, have been blamed on Islamists. “We have recently uncovered a new phenomenon of ‘saffron terror’ and I ask you to be vigilant,” P. Chidambaram told an annual meeting of police chiefs in New Delhi.
Hardline regional parties like the Shiv Sena, which is based in Mumbai, vow to defend Hindu rights in India, but deny they are behind any violent militant activity.
Chidambaram also warned that the government faced a lengthy battle to defeat India’s worsening Maoist insurgency in eastern and central states. Maoist attacks have risen with scores of police and soldiers killed in ambushes since Chidambaram launched a nationwide security offensive last year.
“The people of India understand that the conflict will be a long-drawn one, that patience is the key, that mistakes will be made and that the security forces need material and moral support,” he said. India has almost doubled its homeland security budget to 405 billion rupees (nine billion dollars) since 2008-2009, he added.
The Maoist rebels say they fight against federal and state authorities on behalf of landless tribal groups and poor farmers who have been left behind by economic development.
Indian Defence Minister A K Antony Wednesday said that more high profile indigenous defence equipment were needed by New Delhi government as he termed security scenario in the country as “critical”.
Speaking in the Upper House of the Indian parliament, Rajya Sabha during a Question Hour, the Defence Minister said, “The security situation in the country is critical as we are surrounded by hostile countries. Therefore, we need defence equipment urgently”.
He said the government was encouraging DRDO scientists as well as other agencies to develop high profile indigenous defence equipment. Currently India manufactures 30 per cent of such equipment and depends on imports for the rest, he said adding the government wanted to become self-sufficient in defence production.
“India has faced sanctions on many occasions, but these have only increased our will power. Indian scientists have produced several critical equipment overcoming sanctions,” Antony said.
“The Transfer of Technology (ToT) clause in the contract for procuring equipment is compulsory as we don’t want to remain just a buyer. We are preparing a strong defence base and within a reasonable time, India will be able to produce indigenous equipment. DRDO and other agencies are doing their best, though we cannot expect miracles," Antony said.
The Indian Defence Minister said that to encourage production of indigenous equipment, the government has allowed 26 per cent FDI in the defence sector and 100 per cent participation of private entities in defence production. Earlier only PSUs were allowed to participate in defence production.
Antony said the Defence procurement procedure provides for manufacturing of modern equipment in the country and encouraging Indian industries to participate in manufacturing indigenous equipment.