Terrorism in India

overview of terrorism in India

Terrorism in India, according to the Home Ministry, poses a significant threat to the people of India. Terrorism found in India includes ethno-nationalist terrorism, religious terrorism, left wing terrorism and narco terrorism.


  • In spite of strong and widespread anti-Muslim feelings, Hindus have shown remarkable patience and forbearance in past instances of Islamic terrorism. There was no retaliation after the numerous selective mass killings of Hindu and Sikh villagers or bus passengers in Jammu and Kashmir, nor after the attacks on Hindu pilgrims there; nor after the Mumbai bomb blasts (March 1993); nor after the bomb attack against a BJP gathering in Coimbatore (February 1998); nor after the attacks on the Parliament buildings of Srinagar and Delhi (September and December 2001). After handfuls, dozens or hundreds of Hindus were massacred, Hindus all over India maintained calm and refused to take their anger out on their Muslim neighbors. This should be kept in mind when assessing the Hindu loss of self-control after the Godhra massacre. In spite of secularist predictions that the communal situation in Gujarat was fast spinning out of control, possibly for good, this Hindu self-restraint re-asserted itself after the Akshardham massacre. ... Strangely, the effective cut-off date for this period of tension was another violent incident: on 24 September 2002, two Muslim terrorists entering the Hindu Swaminarayan shrine of Akshardham in Gandhinagar.
  • What do you mean by communal? If I speak against the terrorism, is it communal?
    • Narendra Modi Speech 14 January 2008 (on YouTube). Speech commemorating the 38th anniversary of Thuglak.
  • He should have remembered, there was [an Islamist] attack on Akshardham temple in September 2002, so many people were killed inside the temple, yet Gujarat maintained peace. Gujarat maintained peace even after serial blasts. There was a time when Gujarat used to have riots over kite flying and cricket matches. Gujarat has not witnessed riots for last 12 years. The children of Gujarat don’t know what is curfew all about? Gujarat has progressed because of peace and harmony. And this is what the nation needs for growth as these things will have catalytic effect in achieving that.
  • Similarly, 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... In each of these cases, the original allegations against Hindus were splashed across the front pages in India and also reported in the world press, whereas the true story, once it came out, was reported on an inside page in India and not at all abroad. Even then, Christian spokesman John Dayal repeated the discredited allegations before the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, and they keep on reappearing in secularist sources. I am not aware of a single secularist who publicly withdrew the allegations and offered apologies for his slander to the maligned Hindus. Nor of one who has drawn attention to Christian violence against Hindus in the same period, such as the abduction of four RSS activists by Christian separatists in Tripura (the four dead bodies were found two years later) or the ethnic cleansing of the Hindu Riang tribe from Christian-majority Mizoram. Even so, the propaganda line of Hindu violence against Christians is no longer pursued with the same vigour, partly because its proponents seem to be embarrassed by their crying wolf a few times too often, and partly because it remains a relatively small affair even if all the allegations had been true... Meanwhile, American Christian Churches are known to fund the conversion of tribals and the subsequent maintenance of christianized communities, some of which have developed separatist and terrorist activities. Given the money power of these Churches and their links with the American political class, checking the destination of American Christian funding in India should be a top priority of US politicians who take the "war on terror" seriously. Indeed, it stands to reason that the financial dependence of outfits like the Tripura National Liberation Front and the National Socialist Council of Nagalim on American funding is near-total. The US government's power to stop Pakistani-supported terrorism is indirect though real; but its power to stop Christian terrorism in India's Northeast is direct and practically complete. However, using this real power in order to stop the real suffering of Indian terror victims doesn't seem to interest Robert Hathaway or Mira Kamdar. As for the Pakistani problem, we again see no sign of an interest on their part in pressurizing the US authorities to make Islamabad stop the jihadic proxy war against India. But at least we should be grateful to the two scholars for making it so clear on what side they are.
    • 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
  • So let's get back to the more eventful Hindu-Muslim relationship. Having discussed the phenomena of street riots and mass terrorism sufficiently for now, let us focus on a third form of communal violence: targeted killings of specified individuals. Like with terrorism, the vast majority of victims in this category of violence have been Hindus. In the months and years after the Mumbai riots of January 1993, a number of Maharashtrian politicians belonging to the BJP and the Shiv Sena have been murdered, mostly by assailants who were never apprehended. In Kerala in the 1990s, dozens of ordinary Hindutva activists have been murdered by the Communists, the dominant party in that state. When I visited the Hindu Munnani office in Chennai in 1996, the building was really impressive, having just been rebuilt and redesigned after a bomb blast. Shortly after, it was destroyed once more in another bomb blast. In this series of attacks on the Hindu Munnani leadership, several activists were killed. And after the Gujarat carnage, the Gujarat Home Minister, Haren Pandya, was murdered by Muslims.
    • 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 Congress made an attempt to defame the entire country in the name of Hindu terror. This is a country where we feed even ants that bite us. They created a false case and booked sadhus and sadhvis. I want to ask: everyone has been acquitted in the Samjhauta case. The court has said that there is no evidence. Shouldn’t The Indian Express ask for accountability of the real accused being left out? Look how they compromised national security for their vote bank politics. CBI (agencies) had arrested them. Where are they? Isn’t it an issue for the country? Those who were caught, even American agencies had said that it was a Lashkar act, Indian agencies certified it. But to certify Hindu terror, saffron terror, you created false cases. Case after case collapsed in courts. But the media is sitting silent. Seculars are silent. The Indian Express is also silent. Why are you silent? At least you should ask about those accused. I think this is a big issue that needs to be in public debate.
    • Amit Shah, Interview, April 21, 2019 Indian Express [1]
  • The Christian-dominated parts of India's North-East have witnessed several instances of Hindu-cleansing. Hindu organizations like the Ramakrishna Mission and the RSS have been targeted for elimination from the region through pressure or violence. In the 1990s, tens of thousands of Riang tribals who rejected conversion were expelled from Christian-dominated Mizoram. The death toll of Hindus eliminated by Christian separatists dwarfs that of the much-publicized Hindu violence against Christians, which has killed only a handful since 1947, including in the supposed "wave" of anti-Christian riots in 1998-99. The killing of Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two sons by Orissa tribals who were angry at the divisive effect of conversions on their society, was front-page news in the whole world and remains a constant point of reference in the dominant discourse on communalism. By contrast, when shortly after that, four RSS workers were kidnapped by Christian separatists in the North-East and their mutilated bodies were subsequently found, it was hardly reported in the Indian press and not at all in the international media.
    • Koenraad Elst: Religious Cleansing of Hindus, 2004, in: Elst, K. The Problem with Secularism (2007)
  • In 2008, Hindutva leader B.L. Sharma 'Prem' held a secret meeting with key members of a terrorist group responsible for a nationwide bombing campaign targeting Muslims. [...] Like's Europe's mainstream right-wing parties, the BJP has condemned the terrorism of the right — but not the thought system which drives it. Its refusal to engage in serious introspection, or even to unequivocally condemn Hindutva violence, has been nothing short of disgraceful. Liberal parties, including the Congress, have been equally evasive in their critique of both Hindutva and Islamist terrorism. Besieged as India is by multiple fundamentalisms, in the throes of a social crisis that runs far deeper than in Europe, with institutions far weaker, it must reflect carefully on Mr. Brevik's story — or run real risks to its survival.
  • Between 12 March 1993 and 11 July 2006, India suffered 18 major terrorist strikes, leading to the deaths of around 1,083 people. Four of these targeted India’s financial capital through serial bombings and train carnage. Over 550 (more than half) of these lives were claimed by just 2 terror attacks on Mumbai (1993 and 2006).
    • Tiwari, D. P., (2019). The great indian conspiracy. London : Bloomsbury Publishing, 2019.
  • If anyone recapitulates the investigation history of NIA through 2009-2010, it was all about introducing a new nonexistent ‘Hindu Terrorism’ concept. In every case assigned to NIA—from the Samjhauta Express Blasts, Malegaon to Ajmer Sharif— they overlooked the first set of evidences and replaced it with evidences supporting the Hindu Terror narrative.
    • Mani, R. V. S. (2018). The myth of Hindu terror: Insider account of Ministry of Home Affairs 2006-2010.
  • A Truck driver running over people in lower Manhattan in 2017 was called deadliest terror attack by The New York Times, but when a suicide bomber attacked the convoy of Indian Security personnel in March 2019 in Kashmir killing 40 paramilitary soldiers, The New York Times chooses to call it an “Explosion”, even after the Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed responsibility for the bombing.
    • About a case of media bias in media reports on terrorism. Analysis of Global Media Coverage of Events in India by A. Parth, in Communicator LVI (4) 125-31, Oct-Dec 2021 . (Mueller et al.; Rashid, 2019). ([2][3])
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