New Delhi: Indicating its discomfort with Home Minister P Chidambaram`s statement on rise in “saffron terrorism”, the Congress Party on Friday made it clear that as per its view terrorism has no colour and the focus should be on eliminating the menace.
Opining that saffron colour has been part of Indian culture and that no one, not the least any political party, can claim its ownership, senior party leader and in charge of the media cell Janardhan Dwivedi said that it is wrong to associate saffron to terrorism and it should be criticised, not identified with any colour.
“Terrorism has no colour, it is only black. Saffron, green, whit or red; terrorism is terrorism,” Dwivedi told mediapersons at the Parliament.
In a clear snub to Home Minister P Chidambaram, Dwivedi also pointed out that in politics and media “words should be chosen carefully”.
This controversy is also about a word, he pointed out.
Earlier in the week, in a statement at the conference of Directors General and Inspectors General of Police, Chidambaram had said a new phenomenon of "saffron terrorism" involved in many bomb blasts has been uncovered.
His comments came against the backdrop of investigators finding links between Hindu extremist outfits and at least five bomb blasts in recent years - at Hyderabad`s Mecca Masjid, at Ajmer, Goa, Malegaon in Maharashtra and Modasa in Gujarat.
Uproar in Rajya Sabha
Today’s clarification from the Congress party came after the Shiv Sena and the BJP created uproar in the Rajya Sabha today over the issue leading to two adjournments of the House.
As soon as the House met for the day, Manohar Joshi (Shiv Sena) raised the issue of Chidambaram’s statement.
"There cannot be Bhagwa (saffron) terrorism," he said demanding that Chidambaram should give names of people connected with terror when making such statements.
He found support in BJP members who shouted slogans like "Hinduo ka apman nahi chalega" (insult to Hindus will not be tolerated).
Chairman Hamid Ansari said no one was being heard with so many people speaking simultaneously and asked the members to allow Question Hour to proceed.
"We have important questions. Please allow Question Hour to proceed," he said as he called Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley to speak on the issue.
But Jaitley could not speak as members in the ruling benches and Lok Janshakti Party leader Ram Vilas Paswan countered him.
Paswan made a reference to RSS` association with terrorism, leading to BJP members rushing into the well shouting slogans like "RSS ka apman nahi chalega (insult to RSS will not be tolerated)."
Ansari first asked members to return to the places but when they did not relent, he adjourned the House for 15 minutes.
When the House reassembled, Jaitley said there was a legitimate grievance among a large section of the House on the use of the expression by the Home Minister.
The country had faced militancy in Punjab, Naxal violence, Kashmir problem and other forms of terrorism but they were never associated with any community or religion, he said.
Jaitley said he expected Chidambaram to come out with a strategy to deal with Maoist violence and the Kashmir problem but instead he raised the issue of "phenomenon of saffron terror."
"He is trying to fight imaginary (saffron) terrorism," he said adding the Home Minister should be advised that he desist from linking communities with terrorism.
Paswan said Chidambaram had made the statement as a responsible minister of the government and saffron terrorism should be dealt firmly.
"The government should ban VHP, Bajrang Dal and RSS," he said leading to an uproar from BJP members, some of whom rushed into the well for the second time.
Ansari said a discussion internal security was slated during the current session and these issues could be raised then.