This week, RSS journal Organiser has strongly defended Swami Aseemanand, the main accused in the Malegaon blasts, saying his recent memorandum to the president shows how he was wrongly implicated through a coerced confession extracted by investigative agencies including the CBI and the NIA.
It also questions the recent release of the nine Muslims accused in the Malegaon blasts, saying that Aseemanand's forced confession, which he has already retracted, was used as a ground by the NIA to not oppose their bail. "The saddest part of the story is that other than the purported confession of Swami Aseemanand, the investigating agencies have no shred of evidence against him. He was originally arrested for the Mecca Masjid blast and a slew of other blasts were tagged on to him," says Organiser's lead editorial. The article says Swami Aseemanand's appeal to the president — first reported by this newspaper — has revealed the "shocking tactics" used by agencies like the CBI and NIA to get him to say what they wanted. Such treatment was meted to him only because he is a Hindu, it claims.
"The crux of all this is that under the UPA, no area of governance is fair and non-partisan. It plays the communal card even when the security of the nation is at stake. Treating terror investigations to score brownie points will not pay any dividend. It will not help the nation. The trouble is unfortunately Hindus have become inert to atrocities, they hardly react to humiliation heaped on their community and its leaders," the Organiser says.
The other focus of Organiser is the debate on FDI in retail. An article by Gopal Agarwal, the convenor of the economic cell of the BJP, claims that Walmart has spent over $11 million (Rs 52 crore) in the last two years to lobby for its entry in India.
Contending that this exposes the fair and unfair means employed by the MNC to expand its business, Organiser, through a series of articles, attacks the government's decision to allow 51 per cent FDI in retail.
"Allowing 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail in India is not a good move, because the companies we are inviting are known to monopolise the market wherever they go. There are several reports from across the world to prove that major companies like Walmart and Carrefour use a monopolistic approach to kill local markets. Indonesia and other countries are good examples of the result of such monopolistic policies." It argues that India is self-sufficient enough to develop its own supply chain infrastructure, where no technological expertise is needed.
Panchajanya has also commented on FDI in retail, pointing to the lack of consensus not only outside, but within the UPA and even the Congress.
Panchajanya has a scathing editorial on the government's proposal to create a quota for backward Muslims, saying this is part of its minority appeasement politics, timed with the forthcoming Uttar Pradesh assembly elections. The law minister, Salman Khurshid, who also holds the charge of minority affairs, had said last week that the government is looking at a proposal to provide reservations for backward Muslims from within the 27 per cent quota for OBCs.
Panchajanya questions the ethical and social propriety of resorting to such backdoor methods of providing quotas for Muslims, given that the Constitution bars reservation on the basis of religion. Instead of using such methods, through which the Congress only seeks to address its votebank, it says, the criterion of economic backwardness should be followed so that all backward communities are benefited. It also claims that the extent to which the Congress can go to please Muslims can be seen from the way the communal violence bill has been drafted under the aegis of the National Advisory Council headed by Congress President Sonia Gandhi.