While terrorist groups that may have alleged links in Pakistan are creating mischief for us, lets not forget that these are non-state actors and are considered criminals. However, India’s radicals are legitimised by the state, and through that legitimacy, they get away with all manners of criminal offences, masked as protest and political opposition.

In 2015, in a flaming editorial in the party’s mouthpiece Saamna, the Indian right wing party Shiv Sena stated: “If Pakistan considers us as its enemy, it is a matter of pride.” In June 2015, Shiv Sena hit out at Pakistan over ceasefire violations in Jammu and Kashmir and said, it would not be wrong for India as well to breach the truce. “Only when the Indian army retaliates and kills the Pakistanis do the firings stop from the neighbouring country…it would not be wrong for India to violate ceasefire to straighten their crooked tails,” was their statement. Their statements are no different than those from people in Pakistan like Hafiz Saeed of the Jamat ud Dawa (charity wing of the banned militant outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba), who want to declare war in India. Pakistan is engaged in eliminating its terror outfits, India is not. On Saturday, Shiv Sena attacked an on going Pakistan-India exhibition in Dehradun. Had it been Indians being attacked by Pakistanis, or by Muslims, it would be called terrorism, and would create an international crisis.

The list of threats, riots, lynchings on the part of far right groups like Shiv Sena and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is long and terrible. Terrorist attacks like the 2006 Malegaon blasts, Mecca Masjid bombing (Hyderabad), Samjhauta Express bombings and the Ajmer sharif dargah blast are just some examples. According to released documents by WikiLeaks, in 2009 Congress leader Rahul Gandhi remarked to the US ambassador that the RSS was a “bigger threat” to India than the Lashkar-e-Taiba. In 2011, at the Annual Conference of Director Generals of Police in New Delhi, a special director of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) reportedly informed the state police chiefs that Hindutva activists have either been suspected or are under investigation in 16 incidents of bomb blasts in the country.

The attack on Pathankot has become a noose around our necks, and India will make sure that it jerks us around as much as it can. Pakistan is in the spotlight, but the real face of Hindu nationalist terror is hidden from the world. Indian terrorist activity within Pakistan is no secret, but we are made to answer for the sins of our radical bearded men while India gets away by playing dumb about its own saffron terror.