The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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BJP redefines terror

New Delhi, Feb. 7: Rajiv Gandhi was a victim of terrorism, Indira Gandhi and Mahatma Gandhi were not.

If the BJP’s criterion on who is a terrorist and who is not is anything to go by, only those who come from across the borders — be it Pakistan or Sri Lanka — fit the bill.

The “clarification” came at a news conference addressed by Kishen Reddy, chief of the BJP’s youth wing called the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha. The morcha will hold a convention on international terrorism in the capital on February 10 and 11, which will be preceded by a photo exhibition on February 9.

Reddy said photos of prominent leaders killed by terrorists will be on display, but when asked to name them, he came up only with Rajiv’s.

The BJP youth wing chief was silent on Gandhi’s and Indira’s assassinations, saying: “That was an internal problem. Our convention will not discuss the internal problems of terrorism faced by the participating countries. Only those caused by foreign agencies and cross-border terrorism. The LTTE and Pakistan-based groups qualify for discussion but not the Naxalite groups.”

Going by Reddy’s definition, only killings by an external outfit like the LTTE would confer martyrdom on its victim.

It was, however, obvious that the BJP was coy about mentioning Gandhi and Indira because of the cloud of suspicion that, for long, hovered over the RSS’ alleged hand in the first and the compulsion of keeping its Sikh constituency and the alliance with the Akali Dal in Indira’s case.

Apart from visuals of terrorist attacks in Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast, the exhibition will display pictures of the Godhra carnage. Why' “Because of the ISI’s hand in it,” said a morcha activist.

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