The cold glint of saffron madness is upon us

Photo0038The day before yesterday, women and activists screamed as the bulldozers advanced. The intent was single-minded – to raze to the ground the homes of the economically weaker sections of society at one of the large slums in Bangalore. They stalled it for a few hours. I was there.

Between then and now, the homes don’t exist. The activists and women are in prison and all that lies there at the EWS quarters is rubble.

But that doesn’t bother me so much. What bothers me, that I must share, is that I looked into the eyes of the policemen there. What I saw fills me with dread. I saw the cold murderous saffron madness. I came face to face – not with a policeman doing a difficult duty, but an enemy – armed with his eyes and head and rifle – to kill.

Not just to kill – but to kill without compassion. This is then the madness that the Nazis had when they brutally massacred. This is the same madness that happened in Gujarat.

Why are we sanctioning them by calling them the police? These are the people Muslims being ravaged ran to. These were the same people who systematically directed the burning people back to the sainiks.

It is on in Karnataka. The BJP government has not been quiet. It has taken over the police force and now their brutality will grow. In these next few months before the elections, the BJP will work to leave its mark on the state. To forever mark Karnataka as a successful saffron experiment.

The people at the EWS quarters are poor, desperately so. They already lived in pathetic tin houses – houses that no human should live in and houses that no decent society would allow others to live in. And these houses have been razed to to ground in a single day even as people were begging them not to and even as things were still in the house. Yes these things were dirty and old and not worth a second glance (or even a second sniff), but they were somebody’s only possession. These are people who are schedule castes who clean and sell vegetables, who clean the streets, who work as domestic help and construction workers. They go to work every morning. They count up their savings in the evening.

Bangalore continues – with its people whizzing around in fancy cars in fancy clubs. This is the Bangalore without a conscious, a Bangalore without eyes, a Bangalore without soul.

This then is the curse of the poor – that no one wants them, that they will be humiliated, they will be man-handled, they will be arrested, molested, beaten and their rich brethren will roll up their windows and drive past them.

But on that day, I heard the women protest outside the BBMP. I heard their voices – and it was LOUD AND CLEAR. These are not voices that can be suppressed. They will rise and rise and rise to a deafening roar. Then – the world WILL hear.



  1. It was unfortunate you saw the incident with commuanl color. I always that it is politicians and religious laders in India who make all these coooked up stories to get thier political mileage and benefits. You proved me wrong. I dont know exactly what incident you were referring. But if it is the eviction of poeple from slums, it would say it was real estate lobby the primary and only reason for such move. I dont think any other governments would do this better and refer other cases. I would just make another point the force behind that lobby could be from any religion (christain, muslim, hindu)!. It was really disturbing that educated one like you see saffron or any communal colors in police or any others eye. I believe you can see such colors when your eye too filled with some other communal colors. You better heal that disease. Thats not good color for humanity. Poeple like you and me should nourish different debate than those narrow mined people who use religion, caste, gender and other ways to seggregate poeple and make thier own space. Get well soon! 🙂


  2. Dear Arun, please read about the role of the police in the Gujarat communal clashes. The violence was orchestrated and state sponsored.


    • Thank you for reminding Gujarat violence and I remember how state machineries in Gujarat didn’t do their job rightly. But how can you campare this incident with Gujarat. OMG! Its funny you saw saffron in the eyes of police and the way you cooked the story! This is ridiculously outrageous!


      • Dear Arun,
        Drawing a heavy parallel from Gandhiji’s three monkeys – there is a group of Hindus who will see no communalism, hear no communalism and speak no communalism. When it happens, they will pretend ‘as though’ it was something else. You are not alone. Enjoy your self propagating lack of world view while it lasts.


      • I dont think any one need to have a communal world view. One need to be more objective and critical! If one starts sees everything around with communal lens, then there is a huge problem. I agree with you there is a problem of communal politics in India and I am not blind to such communal politics. Its strange that poeple enjoy talking and support such communal politics and that is the feedstock for pliticians and religious leaders. Unfortuantely in India today, no religion and political party is restraint from such communal politics. I startled with your reply that you just called me HINDU! 😉 Excuse dont communalize me and i am not that HINDU you called me! I dont want to be part of your worldview and i am more happy that i dont have that worldview! Yes. I am not alone and there are many progressive poeple in India today dont want communalize each and everythings around. I dont understand why poeple make politics out of religion!


  3. Dear Arun, it is interesting that you say that there is a problem of community politics in India and that you are not blind to it.
    You then act as though it is only politicians and religious leaders who practice this. Politicians and religious leaders dont just emerge from a vacuum. They are put there by people who believe or support that kind of politics or religion.
    It is sad that Hindu communalists explain away their fundamentalist and rabid spewing of venom and hatred by saying that it is there in other religions – It seems that they think it is a competition that they have to win at all costs. It is a silly justification for any religion to practice violence and hatred saying that other religions do it too.
    The so called progressive people you speak about are exactly the monkeys of Gandhi that I speak about. Whether you belong to that category or not is not relevant because you write like you belong to that category.
    If Hindus dont want communalism they should speak out much more openly against those of their religion who practice communalism. The people living at the EWS sites were mainly Muslim and Schedule castes. These are the groups that have been traditionally oppressed by the power hungry, corrupt elites (the majority of whom are brahmins).
    State sponsored terrorism and violence is something that you will see only if you want to see. Apparently you are quite comfortable in your cosy position of believing that everything happens in some random and unrelated paradigm. Read about the history of Gujarat. Those who dont learn from history are bound to repeat it……..


    • Dear Sylvia, At the outset, congratulations for the work you are doing. It is nice to see that.

      Please note the quote from Socrates – “I know that I know nothing”.

      Please be aware of prejudices we all might have as humans. A communist who looks at this event would paint a completly different picture. He would term the issue pertaining to capitalism and consumerism. He could say that it is the mall culture that is causing the issue.

      In similar lines, a language fanatic might view them as people from other state setlling in their city and eating up the resources of their fellow kannadigas. He could rationalize why this need to be done.

      A Mohammadean might view this a hindu oppression agains their fellow people.

      A law maker might view them people living there as corrupt people who make the place less safer to live. One person gave an argument that, it is risky to go late in night to that area.

      One policeman argument was that, hey look they are getting a quarters that is going to be nicely built. I will never be able to get something like that in my lifetime.

      You see, there can be many viewpoints. The problem happens when someone is fully convinced with the reason for the events. Please be cautious about your prejudices.

      “Take no thought of who is right or wrong or who is better than. Be not for or against.” – Bruce Lee


      • Please take note that, by no way this comments is intending to find issue with what you are doing. What you are doing is something that every one have to do. In the sense, be there in the place where things happen and offer their service as much as possible. In addition, provide information on their own views pertaining to the events to those who cannot be there. I really wish that, almost all of us are like you. I am extremely happy to see what you are doing.

        Given that i am happy to see what you are doing, i thought of sharing whatsover i felt about your expressed thoughts. May be those are my prejudices :-). Keep doing your work in the way you feel is correct, don’t bother too much about people who only talk.


      • Dear Vinoth, thanks for sharing your thoughts. You are absolutely right.

        Issues are like the blind men and the elephant. I completely agree with you that there are different dimensions to the issues we face, but I also find that the communal/caste aspect is not at all addressed because people who are in the decision making position are from the so called upper castes.

        They are the ones whose decisions and actions are coloured and prejudiced because of the caste they come from. I find that they have an intrinsic belief that the scheduled caste and tribes and minority communities have lesser rights than they do. I am basically highlighting that.

        Most of the time we talk about the ‘oppressed’ but I want to bring in the ‘oppressor’ as an active player in these dynamics. If I come across as viewing things with a certain lens, then that is by choice.

        Regards, Sylvia


Share your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s