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Wednesday 29 January 2020

RK Singh: Congress minister Sushil Shinde, not I, coined ‘Hindu terror’

Then a bureaucrat, RK Singh could hardly have set the narrative, he says in his defence, adding it was a coinage by then Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde

New Delhi: On Thursday, Union minister RK Singh hit the Congress back for alleging that it was the prime minister’s present colleague who had coined the term “Hindu terror”. PM Narendra Modi had recently criticised the oldest party of the country for defaming the “peace-loving” community by accusing them of terrorist activities under the UPA rule. To that, the Congress had said it was Singh who had coined the term.

On Thursday, Singh clarified that it was his political boss, the then Home Minister (31 July 2012 – 26 May 2014) Sushilkumar Shinde, who had made a statement that contained the term. “I was then a home secretary,” Singh explained, adding, “Distorting facts is an old habit of the Congress.”

The minister of state for power and renewable energy shared a screenshot of his message while tweeting the lines above.

Singh said the Congress had a habit of making mistakes and, on getting caught red-handed, blaming officers.

Singh gave the example of the coal block scam where a bureaucrat was punished whereas the law could do nothing to the then coal minister. “The same thing had happened in the case of Bofors (kickback scandal),” the minister said.

Even the statement saying Hindus are terrorists was issued by Shinde, Singh alleged. “Now they are trying to pin the blame on me,” he added.

The news archives show that “Hindu terror” or “saffron terror” surfaced first on media in 2007 in the columns of some communist writers. By 2009, foreign columnists like Christophe Jaffrelot had popularised it by harping on the term. In 2010, the term gained currency when P Chidambaram said it.

Sushil Kumar Shinde, India’s Home Minister in the period 31 July 2012 – 26 May 2014

All the cases where some Hindu individual or organisation was accused of committing an act of terror struggled for evidence to substantiate the charge in various courts of law even under the Congress-led UPA government. While no accused could be convicted still, some are now getting acquitted.

In the meantime, Sadhvi Pragya, accused of the bombing of Malegaon, was allegedly paralysed by police torture when she was in the custody of Maharashtra Anti-Terror Squad. Lt Col Purohit is undergoing trial without the court getting incontrovertible evidence against him. And Aseemanand alias Naba Kumar Sarkar has been acquitted in the Samjhauta Express bombing case were initially the accused were Pakistani.

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