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The 1993 Chennai RSS office blast: When Jihadi plot to terrorise Hindus failed


It was on Monday, Dec 1st, 2008,  Vigil,  a public opinion forum functioning in Chennai had organized a meeting to voice the citizens ire at the callousness of the UPA government in handling the threats of the terrorist organizations. Arun Shourie as the main speaker lashed out at the Central Government for failing to act upon the inputs of imminent attacks by terrorists. Prior to Shourie,  spoke an editor of a daily newspaper. While addressing the gathering, he made use of the cliched term ‘fortunately Tamil Nadu is a haven of peace’. It is a falsehood peddled often by either the AIADMK or the DMK when in power. Instantly, several alert Hindu men and women in the audience stood up in protest. They pointed to the gruesome 1993 terrorist attack on the RSS office.

On that fateful Sunday, August 8, 1993, an annual flagship event of RSS, Chennai Guru Pooja public function was celebrated in the forenoon with usual fervor and gaiety in Narada Gana Sabha, Alwarpet, Chennai.  After the event,  members disbursed without any hint of what was to strike at them in the very same afternoon.  Yes, at around 2.30 pm,  a powerful RDX bomb exploded at RSS head quarters of Tamil Nadu situated in Chetpet, Chennai. It killed 11 people, 8 young pracharks – full timers – and 3 Sangh supporters who had come to meet RSS pracharaks. 7 were injured.

As the investigation progressed, it unfolded that the jihadis were secretly training themselves to attack RSS. Their intention was to terrorise Hindu society. Though this attack left a permanent scar in the hearts of nationalists, it did not dispirit the RSS members, nor did it alienate the general public from RSS.

One of the pracharaks who died in the blast was Kasinathan, Kasi to dear ones. He left his nationalized bank job to join as RSS full timer. After serving in districts, he was then the office secretary in Chennai. By his quick completion of even tough tasks, friendly and yet firm dealing with colleagues he had endeared himself to one and all. He was reclining in his seat after lunch and he was hit by the beam that came down in the impact of the blast. As he had submitted a willingness form, his eyes were donated to Sankara Netralaya.

Two days later, in a daily Shaka meeting somewhere in Tirunelveli district, the Mukya Sikshak shared the details of the incident and the government led by Jayalalita was offering to provide funds for rebuilding the office. Spontaneously, came a response from a Swayamsevak (a school student); he said, “Ji, we should not accept money from the government. We should build from money from our own sources and by getting donations from the society.  Exactly the same was the official response from RSS which was formally communicated to the state government by the then General Secretary, Mananeeya H V Seshadriji politely refusing to accept the offer. For an outsider this may be a surprise, but those who are associated with RSS know that in Sangha irrespective of age, location, position in the organization, all think in the same lines and speak in one voice while serving the national cause. Yes, within one year a new spacious building rose up in the same site with generous support – blessings from all sections of Hindu society – Matadhipatis to daily wagers.

Barring a few dailies and magazines, many of them in the media did not have a word to condemn this dastardly attack. On the contrary, some of them went to make insensitive, insinuating remarks suggesting that bombs were stacked in that premises and they were victims of their own doing. ( Note the eerie pattern : some years later they went on to accuse 58 karsevaks returning from Ayodhya for setting fire to their own rail compartment in Sabarmati Express at Godhra!). Yet another set of magazines, covertly legitimized the act saying it as the backlash of the Muslim community ‘offended’ by the demolition of the controversial structure in Ayodhya.

Starting from the 1984 murderous attack on Rama. Gopalanji, Tamil Hindus have lost several precious lives (not less than 150) of Desh – Dharma bhakts. The perpetrators have not been brought to book in most cases. Take the 1993 blast case itself. Charge sheet was filed in 1994, case was taken up by CBI which examined more than 200 witnesses, is yet to get hold of the main accused. One of the accused, Ibrahim Ali was neutralised near Bangalore while trying to escape. The agency was entrusted with the probe in 1993 and it filed a charge sheet against 18 persons under the stringent provisions of the Indian Penal Code, Explosive Substances Act and Terrorist and Destructive Activities Act (TADA).

After the trial in 2007, the special court acquitted four persons, including SA Basha, founder of the banned Al Umma citing lack of evidence. The CBI has announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh for providing credible information about an absconder Mushtaq Ahmed, one of the main accused.

Hindus  patiently wait hoping that justice will be done one day.


This article was first published in 2019