Some Saffron To Savour: Shinde’s Terror Talk

By ascribing “generic” religious sentiments to terrorism, Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde trivialises it’s definition and of course it’s consequences

Udit Mehta February 12, 2022
Some Saffron To Savour: Shinde’s Terror Talk

Saffron, a spice native to Kashmir, but a rather expensive yet indispensable condiment in the local cuisine of Maharashtra, Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde’s home state. Little though did Shinde realise his Saffron garnish to flavour what one can safely call a bland topic of political discussion terrorism, would in turn prove to be as expensive as it has.

The mother of all metaphors has turned right-wing faces red, mind you the Congress too has had a tear or two to shed. Indeed prefixing anything to terrorism certainly in political analysis circles is viewed with the same derogatory disdain as Ashis Nandi’s purported casteist remarks are in sociological socials.

To the school of neutral political analysis “Islamist terrorism” is as sacrilegious as a slander can be. Many though in the West (or the North for sake of political correctness) continue to use Islam and terrorism in a synchronized sense. The more seasoned and certainly secular analyst though prefers to use the term terrorism in isolation.

However, left alone to politicians adept at falsification, fanaticism and indeed flavouring, terrorism assumes new heights of ideological and religious backing. A theory rejected as rubbish by even the most stringent yet sane religious doctrine. While international diplomacy and its fallacies have prevented a mutually agreeable and appropriate definition of terrorism, a general consensus that the targeted killing of innocent civilians contravenes the fundamentals of all religions is a reasonably assured assumption.

Shinde’s remarks though go beyond offending a basic need to court caution when addressing terrorism and the sadly sacrosanct proportions it has assumed. As the Home Minister of a nation where communalism can be contagious despite an associated constitutional convenience, ascribing religious values to terrorism is if anything an invitation to increase workload for the home ministry and police. A Juvenile jibe at best.

If anything Shinde’s remarks have trivialised the crucial issue of state security. The involvement of groups claiming to progress the Hindu religious propaganda in terrorist activity has been an open–secret, not longer than that of terrorist groups claiming to be adherents of Islamic tenets, but long enough.

There is an imminent need though to divert attention away from the doctrine preached by any group that overtly supports terrorism. Shinde’s remarks are predominantly careless on the account of doing the very opposite. Of course the man was only taking a dig at the Congress’s political opponents, but at the cost of voiding the secular stance of the Indian nation it seemed nothing more than a cheap trick to add flavour to pre-election rhetoric. One that could well prove as expensive as Saffron.