Pak did Samjhauta... probe them, Rahul Gandhi, Digvijaya’

Pak did Samjhauta... probe them, Rahul Gandhi, Digvijaya' 

Vandita Mishra 

Jan 18, 2011 

Indresh Kumar began going to the RSS shakha when he was 10; he is seen as one of its most influential office-bearers today. He is a member of the RSS's national executive and founder-mentor to several RSS-supported outfits working in the area of "national security". The spotlight veered to him recently after his name came up during investigations into the "Hindu terror" network, most recently in the confession said to have been made to the CBI by Aseemanand. Indreshji, as he is referred to, was called for questioning by the CBI in December; a joint CBI-NIA questioning is reportedly imminent. 

In an interview with Vandita Mishra, he talks about his work for the RSS and takes on questions of his alleged involvement in the terror conspiracy. Excerpts: 

Recently, after your name came up in the context of "Hindu terror", BJP chief Nitin Gadkari spoke out in your defence. How close are you to him and have there been meetings between the Sangh and the BJP on how best to deal with the allegations? 

Everyone knows me: Advaniji, Sushma, Jaitley, Rajnath, Gadkari. We are all close to each other. We know this is a conspiracy to defame the Sangh. The Sangh has taken a united stand. How can there be so many confessions for the same blasts? If you (the CBI) were wrong earlier, then how can you claim you are right now? 

Aseemanand has made specific references to your alleged involvement in the plot. He cites your meetings with accused like the late Sunil Joshi. He suggests you were mentor and financier to some of these men. 

Aseemanand can confess to what he has done, but how can he speak for others? It is not a confession, then, but a statement. His lawyer too said it was made under pressure. Then, if those who met me do something wrong, how can I be held responsible? In 1984, when Rajiv Gandhi made the statement ("if a big tree falls, the earth shakes"), he was mentor to the Congress. So should he have got the Bharat Ratna or jail? Should the Congress have been banned or should it have remained the ruling party? 

But will you not respond to the allegations against you, now in the public domain? 

If the government has the courage, it should make the investigation public. Let everyone see, I have no fear. Rahul (Gandhi)'s statement (on Hindu terror) outed by Wikileaks will also come within the ambit of such a probe. (So will) Digvijaya Singh's links to probe agencies. Col Purohit and Dayanand Pandey, clearly the government's men, will also be under the purview. The Home Minister, the Defence Minister and the Foreign Minister will be probed for saying Pakistan was responsible for the Samjhauta blasts. They said this to American agencies too. Or, take everything to the court. I will face trial. Instead, you make up stories, torture people. 

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat admitted there were certain elements within the Sangh who were asked to leave. 

Bhagwatji said there is no scope for the violent mindset in the Sangh. That is why, if someone is like that, they can't stay. They went on their own. But now the people are asking: were these people—who have been shown to be involved in the violence— used by the government? The government and government agencies are conspirators. This must be investigated. The court is the real authority. We believe in democracy, judiciary, media, the public. So why play politics? 

How do you view the phenomenon of "Hindu terror"? 

I say that terror should not be linked to religion. It is a sin and a crime to call it Hindu terror. 

But the association of terror with religion has been widely made in the case of Muslims for years now. 

They (Muslims) themselves called it jihad, it was their mistake. Why are you stamping (terror) with a name? 

How would you define your role in the RSS? 

I do routine work for the Sangh. Apart from that, whenever I have seen a significant problem, local or national level, I have tried to meet the challenge by developing new activities. 

What is the nature of these activities? 

I was in Delhi from 1971 to 1983. There was a major flood in 1979. The Sangh organised the Barh Peedhit Sahayata Samiti for rehabilitation. I oversaw the work of airdropping food and medicines and relief material supplied by boat. During the Emergency, there was an underground movement, the Sangh had been banned, and I played an active role in organising the main satyagraha and jan jagran in Delhi. 

I looked after the activity of the Sangh among the youth from 1979 to 1983 in Delhi — on university campuses in JNU, Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi University. The idea was to nationalise the youth mind, and to evoke a spirit of social service. I was sent by the Sangh to J&K and Himachal Pradesh in 1983, and I was there till 2000. During this time, I came in contact with the Tibet freedom movement at Dharamsala. In Dharamsala, we floated a movement with the twin aims of Tibet's independence and the liberation of the Kailash Mansarovar. The Bharat Tibet Sahyog Manch, of which I was founder, was constituted by a group of Indians and Tibetans in 1999. 

With the vision of uniting the Himalayan region, in 2000-2001, I founded the movement called the Himalaya Parivar. (Then), through the Nepal Sanskriti Parishad, we played a role with the government — UPA as well as NDA — to propagate the sanatan parampara. 

In J&K, apart from my work for the rehabilitation of those displaced by terrorism under the aegis of the RSS's Jammu Kashmir Sahayata Samiti, I had an extensive interaction with Muslims. Muslims came forward to set it up but I was the inspiration for the Rashtravadi Muslim Manch in 2002, also called My Hindustan, or Mai Hindustan where 'mai' stands for mother. 

When and how did "national security" become the focus of your activities? 

The idea of FINS, Forum of Integrated National Security, was mine, but it was set up in 2002-03 by about 30-40 people including Bal Desai, advocate, PC Dogra, DGP, Chandigarh, Lt Gen Shekatkar, Lt Gen VM Patil, high court chief justice Kokje, Assam chief secretary Rajkhowa, all retired. Its aim was not to confront but to be a supporting system to any government, regardless of the ruling party. We are an insecure country. We must be made strong and secure. Najma Heptullah is with FINS, and retired air vice marshall H P Singh, Suresh Prabhu and Sheshadhari Chari. We didn't want any branded politicians on board. Our biggest programme is the commemoration of December 13, the day Parliament was attacked, as National Security Pledge Day. FINS published a booklet on the Indo-US nuclear deal and MPs, both BJP and Congress, benefited from it. Silently, we provided effective feedback for both government and Opposition.


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