2000 Church bombings of South India
|The neutrality of this article is disputed.|
Please see the relevant discussion on the talk page.
The 2000 Church bombings refers to the serial bombings of churches in the southern Indian states of Karnataka, Goa and Andhra Pradesh by the Islamist extremist group Deendar Anjuman in the year 2000.
- In June, a series of blasts damaged Christian churches in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Goa. A month later, crude bombs were set off in two more churches in Karnataka. In August, police charged members of a Muslim sect, allegedly based in Pakistan, with masterminding the attacks. Human rights activists maintained that the arrests were meant to deflect attention from Hindu hardliners' campaign of anti-Christian violence.
- I do not know. I do not want to comment. Let the truth come out. In a few days, you will hear who are behind these attacks. The country is gong to be shocked when it hears that the attacks against Christians have not been perpetuated by pro-Hindu organisations. Look at the church blast in Bangalore. The police arrested a Muslim fundamentalist. I do feel there is a definite link between the bomb blasts in churches in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Goa. But these blasts were surely not carried out by Sangh Parivar outfits.
- John Joseph, Head of the NCM and a leader of the Pentecost church in India Rediff, 2000
- A series of bomb blasts against Christian churches in South India was automatically blamed on the Hindu nationalists. In that version, the story made headlines around the world: Hindu bomb terror against Christians. Hindu organizations alleged that it was a Pakistani operation, a blame-shifting exercise which only earned them ridicule and contempt. Yet, when two of the terrorists blew themselves up by mistake, their getaway car led the police to their network, and the whole gang was arrested. It turned out to be a Muslim group, Deendar Anjuman, with headquarters in Pakistan. But this was not reported on the front pages in India nor made the topic of flaming editorials; and in the international media, it was not reported at all. In the worldwide perception of Hindu nationalism, the association with raping nuns and bombing churches has stuck.
- Ayodhya, the Finale - Science versus Secularism the Excavations Debate, by Koenraad Elst. 2003; and in : The Problem with Secularism (2007) by K. Elst
- To offset this failure, critics of the BJP tried to make the most of a supposed wave of minor incidents between Hindu tribals and Christians in 1998-2000. There were only a handful of mortal victims, far fewer than the dozens of Christians killed in Pakistan after September 11, 2001, but with the media as amplifiers, an impression of terrible oppression of a poor hapless minority was created. Unfortunately (or rather, fortunately), the key allegations made initially under the international spotlights turned out to be untrue... Indeed, this turned out to be a pattern: all inter-Christian incidents in this period... were suddenly blamed on the evil hand of the Hindus.
This game of blaming the Hindus for the suffering of Christians was so successful that it inspired a third party to try its own hand at it. A series of bomb attacks against churches in South India did take place, wounding some worshipers. It was duly blamed on the Hindutva forces, but the perpetrators turned out to be a Pak-based Muslim organization, the Deendar Anjuman. Please note the chain of guilt here: the Islamic terrorists are of course responsible for their own acts, but they would not have committed these but for the encouragement given to them by the secularists. After all, the latter had proven that any unpleasant incident can successfully be blamed on the Hindus, and that the blame could not be washed off by any amount of official refutation, which would remain under-reported while the original allegation would go on being repeated. This way, the secularists have blood on their hands, viz. the blood of the Christian victims of these Islamic bomb attacks.
- Koenraad Elst: The Struggle for India's Soul A reply to Mira KAMDAR by Dr. Koenraad ELST, in : The Problem with Secularism (2007) by K. Elst
- The misperception of Hindus as bullies and minorities as their victims in turn conditions a distortion of the information flow concerning new instances of communal violence. Thus, when a series of bombs damaged churches in Goa, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh between 21 May and 9 July 2000, Christian and secularist fingers were immediately pointed at the RSS.... simply because everybody "knew" that the RSS is that big bad wolf... But then on 9 July, two of the real perpetrators made a technical mistake, killing themselves and exposing their identitites and the Pakistani origin of their equipment... If I hadn't been a reader of the Indian press for professional reasons, I would not have known that the whole bomb campaign had been the handiwork of a Muslim outfit. For, the Christian and secular press worldwide continued to refer to "Hindu bomb attacks on churches", obviously relaying the stories fed to them by Indian Church sources. A full two months later, Church spokesman John Dayal went before an American Congressional hearing... to reiterate the same old allegations of Hindu bomb attacks. The point here is not the dishonesty of Church spokesmen, but the fact that they correctly expected to get away with repeating their calumny against the RSS... A climate has been created in which every allegation against Hindu activists enjoys a priori credibility while every complaint of Hindu victims is shrugged off or even maligned as hate propaganda... A similar case is the rape of four nuns in Jhabua, also in 1998: in spite of Christian allegations, it turned out that Hindu militancy had nothing to do with the crime and that half of the gang of perpetrators were tribal Christians themselves, yet this "rape of nuns by Hindu fanatics" keeps reappearing in press stories about "Hindu atrocities on Christians".
- Elst, Koenraad (2001). Decolonizing the Hindu mind: Ideological development of Hindu revivalism. New Delhi: Rupa. p. 508-511
- In 1999, they tried to make the most of a spate of incidents between Christians and non-Christian tribals in which a few Christians got killed (mercifully far fewer than the periodic harvest of martyrs in Pakistan). They falsely blamed Hindu activists for some inter-Christian rape cases and for a series of bomb attacks against churches, which turned out to be the handiwork of a Pakistan-based Muslim group, Deendar Anjuman. Before ill-informed but consequential international audiences such as the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, they managed to uphold their original story, but in India the campaign to blame Hindu activists for everything had badly lost its credibility.
- Koenraad Elst: GUJARAT AFTER GODHRA: REAL VIOLENCE, SELECTIVE OUTRAGE (Har-Anand, Delhi, December 2002) EDITED BY PROF. RAMESH N. RAO & DR. KOENRAAD ELST
- A series of bomb attacks on churches, sometimes accompanied by Hindutva pamphlets, seemed to set a new pattern, proving that Hindus are no better than Muslims... But on 17 July the truth came out: members of a Islamic group, Dindar Anjuman (founded in 1924 under the Nizam's patronage in order to convert synthesis-happy Hindus with claims of an underlying unity of all religions), were arrested and found to be in possession of both explosives and home-made Hinidutva pamphlets, and they confessed to having committed the bomb attacks in order to provoke Hindu-Christian hostility (after having similarly desecrated Ambedkar statures to foment clashes between Dalits and the RSS). Expectedly, the Christian information channels which had earlier trumpeted the Hindu aggression were slow in communicating the correction. As usual, the Hindus had been falsely accused of stooping to the same behaviour level as that of their enemies. But as it turned out, they were innocent. Since this might be reckoned as a virtue, all opinion -makers in india and abroad have (so to speak) conspired to keep this out of view.
- Elst, K. (2010). The saffron swastika: The notion of "Hindu fascism". p 773
- The potential for indignation on a national and international scale was clearly enormous, and any hesitation in putting the hated Hindus in the dock was glaringly non-existent. And so, innocent Christians were wounded or maimed by Islamic bombs presented as Hindu bombs. As the Church spokesmen had uttered such fiery indignation against the terrorists when these were assumed to be Hindus, you might have expected them to be just as indignated against the Islamic terrorists as soon as the true story was known. But no, Church fury suddenly became rather more subdued...
- Elst, K. (2010). The saffron swastika: The notion of "Hindu fascism". p 973