Seeking to end the controversy over the "saffron terrorism" remarks
of Home Minister P. Chidambaram, the Congress said Friday that the
issue was terror and not its colour.
"Saffron, bhagwa or kesariya (Hindi words for saffron) is not an
issue. The issue is terrorism. Terrorism does not have any colour.
It has only one colour and it is black," Congress general secretary
Janardan Dwivedi told reporters.
Dwivedi, who is in charge of the Congress' media department, said
whether it is called saffron, green, white or red, terrorism is
"Terrorism is terrorism and it should be opposed in whatever form it
comes. The saffron colour has been part of our ancient tradition and
is associated with our freedom struggle. No particular section of
society has a sole right on it," he said.
Dwivedi's remarks came on a day the Bharatiya Janata Party and its
ally Shiv Sena forced two adjournments of the Rajya Sabha on the
issue in the morning. Objecting to the home minister's remarks, they
said that it was wrong to associate terrorism with any community or
The Congress had Thursday brushed aside the controversy over
Chidambaram's remarks, saying that there was no need to get bogged
down in nomenclature but to look at the substance of his remarks on
the activities of organizations affiliated to right-wing ideology
which have been found to be involved in acts of terror.
However, with the BJP showing inclination to raise its pitch on the
issue ahead of Bihar assembly polls, the Congress has sought to
perform a balancing act.
Congress sources said that the party also did not want the issue to
disrupt proceedings in parliament at a time when important
legislative agenda was pending and the session had been extended by
In his speech Wednesday at the meeting of state police chiefs,
Chidambaram cautioned security and intelligence officials against
continuing attempts of militants to infiltrate into India as well as
the recently uncovered phenomenon of "saffron terrorism".