Hindu religion, or more aptly the tolerant culture which has evolved over a period of time in the Indian subcontinent, has been resilient enough to survive the persistent onslaught of ancient marauders and modern-day terrorists, be it of the Hindu ultra-right wing variety or the Islamic terror machine (The Mirror Explodes, Jul 19). The Indian people have always rejected this kind of terror. Some timely action by the government will not only help in forming public sentiment against Hindu right-wing nationalists but also stop the needle of suspicion from pointing always towards Muslim masses. Sushmita Ujjwal, on e-mail
Now that you unabashedly call it Hindu terror, do not jump up in protest when someone else now uses the term Muslim terror. You are only dishing out the garbage the government has fed you. Rakesh Mehra, New Delhi
It is obvious Outlook is in the business of maligning the majority religion through design—evident in its offensive and disparaging cover—and words provided by the party in power now. With journalists in tow, the dynasty can keep its perch and Sonia can be hold endless durbar. Outlook has now used a religious symbol derisively one time too many. Would it ever have done it with the Islamic crescent or the Christian cross? That would hurt its business. Priya Madhavan, Rochester
Almost all Hindu terror attacks have come in the wake of Islamic acts of terror, intolerance and hatred. Why doesn’t Outlook talk of those? And it’s a shame that it should have a cover story on Hindu terror on exactly the fourth anniversary of the 7/11 Mumbai train blasts. Vijay, Arlington, US
Rather than prove one’s secular credentials by naming Hindu acts of terror, why can’t Outlook focus on rooting out terror per se? Terror is terror, it doesn’t have to be classified as Hindu or Muslim. Ramamurthy N., Chennai
All terrorist activities need to be condemned, regardless of the perpetrators’ religion, since they lead to loss of innocent lives. If the activities of the terror groups can indeed be traced back to the RSS, then it will be a sad day for Indian democracy. V.N. Venugopal, New Delhi
One only has to read the late Swami Karpatri’s book on RSS and the Hindu religion to know it was an organisation of people totally ignorant of the basic tenets of Hinduism. Or refer to the views of Nirad C. Chaudhuri who exclaimed after Advani met him at his Oxford residence: “What a barbaric ignorance of Hinduism!” Just visit Varanasi and talk to Sanskrit scholars and you’ll find they too hold the RSS brand of Hinduism in utter contempt. Girish Mishra, New Delhi
You can’t deny the fact that a lot of evil elements in the VHP and Bajrang Dal resorted to violence before and after the explosion of the global Islamic jehad post-9/11. But we can’t support them. For, the monsters you create return to haunt you. Just look at Pakistan. Vivek, Hyderabad
Now, when Outlook says that Hindu terror is a reality, it is time that all proponents of the Root Cause Theory when it comes to Naxal or Kashmiri terror to find the root cause of why the most tolerant of all communities—the Hindus—resorting to terror. M.C. Joshi, Lucknow
A person who indulges in terrorist activities is to be punished irrespective of the religion he claims to belong to. What I found revolting, though, was this quote from Jyotirmaya Sharma’s book, “The BJP parliamentarians and the terrorists are from the same tradition and that should worry us deeply.” Mr Sharma forgets that it was a secular party—the Congress—which tapped the base instincts of the Hindus during the anti-Sikh riots. G. Vijayaraghavan, on e-mail
Kill all Hindus! Or convert them into Christians! Outlook will get its money! Pushkar T., Bangalore
Once again Outlook has ended up looking foolish with its skewed selection of pictures. A boy with an airgun hardly supports the argument, does it? What next: a picture of schoolboys or the boy scouts and their “uniforms”? M.K. Saini, Delhi
Under Vinod Mehta, truth is not important, only the correct “spin” matters. Vibhaas, Doha
This story marks a new low in Indian journalism. Congrats. Narendra, Indore
Since we’re familiar with Islamic terror, Sikh terror etc, the reality of Hindu terror doesn’t come as a surprise. What’s of concern is that we tend to paint terror in shades of ‘Muslim’, ‘Hindu’, ‘Sikh’. There is no way Pragya Singh Thakur or Shrikant Purohit is better than an Afzal Guru or organisations like the Abhinav Bharat any less sinsister than LeT or Hizbul Mujahideen. If our officialdom is shy of recognising Hindu terror only because it weakens its case against Pakistan, we’re bound to lose our battle against terrorism. P. Prasand Thampy, Thiruvalla
Your cover story didn’t come as a surprise—creating a Hindu punching bag even as a Christian professor in Kerala has his hand chopped off by Islamofascists. The silk-thong-thin logic justifying all the loose talk of a ‘Hindu’ hand seems to be the result of an overnight editorial diktat to divert attention. I am reminded of the way Outlook and other upa-sponsored media cried hoarse over the ‘hand’ behind the killing of Ishrat Jahan and three others near Ahmedabad. Never mind that David Headley has himself stated that she was an LeT squad member. Frogs in the well? When you can’t climb out, pull the others in? Harshvardhan Kumar, on e-mail
In a nation where I haven’t in my life heard any name other than Bal Thackeray for someone immeasurably communal; only ignorance and denial about SIMI and its ilk and decades of rampant and unchecked Muslim appeasement as state policy; false notions peddled by media about how Islamic terrorism just doesn’t exist in India in spite of the country being in the top three afflicted by the named menace, what a phony stance to take. Sumant Bhattacharya, Gurgaon
Let us for a moment assume that there is no Hindu terror in India. Will the media give credit to Hindus and Hindu organisations for that? They would still try to portray ltte and Maoists as Hindu terrorists and try to equate them with Muslim terrorists. Looking at the glee in reporting these isolated incidents, I’m sure Outlook would’ve invented Hindu terrorism where none existed. Sreejith, Bangalore
There’s no such thing as Hindu terror, it’s only a media creation. You can’t go around branding those who shout Bharat mata slogans as terrorists. If you claim to be an Indian, you would damn well shout, ‘Bharat mata ki jai’! Nothing definite has been proved against Pragya Singh Thakur and Lt Col Shrikant Purohit who at best are victims of the pseudo-secular establishment. The lunatic fringe among the Hindus is insignificantly small. C.V. Venugopalan, Palakkad
For long, the convention was to blame Muslim terror groups for any inhuman act of violence. Your cover story The Mirror Explodes (Jul 19) showed the other side of the violence, perpetrated by other organisations in the garb of terror strikes by Muslims. For once a media group has tried to unravel the truth through a neutral prism.
Accused without any evidence
"A lot has changed in the nearly four years since the peace of Hyderabad was shattered — first by the May 2007 Mecca Masjid blasts and, three months later, by the twin blasts at the Gokul Chat Bhandar and Lumbini Park.
"Some 20 Muslim boys who were picked up randomly in the aftermath of the blasts and charged with waging war on the nation, have won their freedom. A new term, Hindutva terror, has gained official recognition. The Andhra Pradesh police who, by instinct, habit and training, chased after Muslim “masterminds” and connected the dots between Muslim terror groups, have learnt the hard way that terror does not always have to have the “jihadi” prefix. Indeed, fresh trails have opened up, suggesting that the Muslim boys were deliberately framed.
"And yet, these are at best cosmetic changes that have brought no tangible relief to those falsely implicated in the blast cases. For many of them, the feeling of living on the edge continues; the court may have acquitted them but the label of “terrorist” remains as does the lurking fear that the reprieve is temporary, that the cycle of police visits, interrogation, torture and incarceration can re-commence anytime — if there is a fresh terror attack or even if there isn't."