ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Abhinav Bharat, the Malegaon Blast and Hindu Nationalism: Resisting and Emulating Islamist Terrorism

In recent years, some Hindutva-minded people have created or joined new militias, which have actually turned out to be terrorist groups whose main aim is to take revenge on Indian Muslims for past acts of terrorism that some Islamists have carried out. This new development became clear during the inquiry regarding the Malegaon blast of 2008. The Hindu militants who were allegedly responsible for this attack were all members of a new group, Abhinav Bharat, which resorted to violent action to resist the Islamists by emulating them. This article is based on the police report on the Malegaon case, a very interesting source for two reasons. One, it provides rich pieces of factual information regarding the actors of the plot and their motivations. Two, it presents us with the discourse of the Hindu nationalists when they speak between themselves since these excerpts include the transcripts of secret meetings they held in 2007-08 that one of the participants recorded.


Since the turn of the century, India has been one of the countries most severely affected by Islamist attacks. Until November 2008, every six months or so a commando operation or a major explosion occurred in a big Indian city – or, less frequently, in a mid-sized town – killing dozens, sometimes hundreds, of people. Between 2001 and 2008, such explosions caused the death of about 800 people.

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