What does India do now? Some thoughts


by Sunny
28th November, 2008 at 10:48 am    

The Mumbai terror attacks have been referred to as India’s 9/11 so many times I’ve lost count. In such circumstances its easy to reach for emotions and hyperbole to make sense of it all, but I would prefer to be a bit more dispassionate.

There are two broad elements to a response: intelligence led counter-terrorism, and political diplomacy.

Political diplomacy
1) Saying ‘we never negotiate with terrorists’ is a naive idea when its unclear who the terrorists are. In every such situation you have to wean away the moderates and non-violent agitators while minimising the danger that violent extremists can cause. This means winning hearts and minds. There are legitimate reasons for anger against the Indian govt: the Gujarat riots and subsequent failure of justice, discrimination against Muslims generally and human rights violations in Kashmir. These need to be resolved for human rights reasons anyway, regardless of whether its portrayed as ‘appeasement’.

At the same time, its also worth stating that: there’s no reason why Muslims should be angry at ordinary Indians for what happened in Gujarat and; its not just Muslims who are discriminated against – the Dalits are generally in a worse situation (and there’s more of them).

2) Public engagement is key. After every such terrorist attack recently, Hindus and Muslims have made a public show of coming together and actively speaking out against such atrocities. That does a lot to build confidence at ground level. We’ll have to see how Mumbaikers respond in coming days.

3) India’s traditionally antagonistic stance towards Pakistan has almost vanished, especially since both Manmohan Singh and Asif Zardari want peace. Besides, Pakistan faces a similar threat of terrorism, with bombs going off weekly, from the same terrorist networks. It’s in their interests to work together… though less in the case of Pakistan because it needs some groups to keep harassing India over Kashmir. Zardari, to his credit, is trying to get the Pakistani establishment to fight violent extremists in Pakistan. Unfortunately though, he has little credibility to follow this through. In the end, India cannot defeat these terrorists without Pakistan’s help.

4) But I’m not in favour of negotiating with the Taliban. Sooner or later these people are going to want to assert their version of Islamic rule without democratic means. I do however see value in trying to split the Taliban by bringing over the more moderate ones so they can be absorbed and kept at arm’s length.

Counter-terrorism
The current govt repealed the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act, which was frequently used to lock up hundreds of people without explanation (pre-charge detention? 180 days – chew on that Jacqui Smith). That was a good move, but the government still hasn’t got a proper strategy in place.

However:
1) There’s a very good chance that the long-discussed US style ‘Dept of Homeland Security’ will be established. This is a good move since India’s intelligence services haven’t had much success in combating terrorism. In this, I hope they pump in more money and bring in expertise from the UK, USA and Israel.

2) They will have to put more money into border control, especially at ports (which is how the Mumbai attackers came in).

3) They’ll be accused of being soft on terrorism by the right-wing BJP so its inevitable some stronger anti-terrorism laws are passed. This should be resisted because there’s too much potential for human rights abuses without a case for what they’re needed for.

4) Intelligence will have to take a stronger line against Hindu terrorists too. No double standards please. As I said at the Guardian not long ago:

There’s also no doubt that hardline Muslim groups want to use terrorism as a way of separating Hindus and Muslims, and there seems to be no real strategy or intelligence in dealing with the problem.

Now the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has to find one, and quick.


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Filed in: Civil liberties,Current affairs,South Asia,Terrorism






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  1. jesvin jose

    http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/2525 a UK political reporters take on #mumbai attacks


  2. Global Voices Online » India: Who are they, and what is the Media saying?

    [...] Pickled Politics does a post on what India needs to do in the near future to combat terrorism. 1) There’s a very good chance that the long-discussed US style ‘Dept of Homeland Security’ will be established. This is a good move since India’s intelligence services haven’t had much success in combating terrorism. In this, I hope they pump in more money and bring in expertise from the UK, USA and Israel. [...]


  3. Britblog Roundup No 198 - Philobiblon

    [...] 1. Mumbai: Sid on Pickled Politics assembles what’s know about the alleged attacking group, Lashkar-e-Taiba, while Sunny on the same site contemplates what India might do next. [...]




  1. Nav — on 28th November, 2008 at 11:32 am  

    With regards to Pakistan: how can India be expected to negotiate with Pakistan to stem terrorism given that the establishment in Islamabad is teeming with those who support the intentions of the likes of al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

    Countless times the ISI, for example, have been condemned by the international community for their blatant support of terrorism- witness the attack on the Indian embassy in Afghanistan but a few months back.

    This is countered by Pakistan who tell us they suffer from the same attacks as India carried out by the same people but if the Pakistanis support their ideals then how in God’s name do you ask them to stop attacking Indians and what good would it do to negotiate with Pakistan if they’re unable to stabilise those they are now disenchanted with but who they bred in the first place?

  2. aji — on 28th November, 2008 at 12:15 pm  

    Saying ‘we never negotiate with terrorists’ is a naive idea when its unclear who the terrorists are. In every such situation you have to wean away the moderates and non-violent agitators while minimising the danger that violent extremists can cause. This means winning hearts and minds.

    This was a meticulously planned military style attack on India’s financial centre. It was not some spontaneous uprising by India’s Muslims, however disaffected they may be. This type of leftie Guardianista soul searching is unwarranted, because it doesn’t matter how much we try to address the ‘underlying’ issues, they will happen again.

    You don’t like Hindu extremists attacking Muslims, and then asking for a period of introspection to find solutions to their causes. So why do we have to introspect on the demands of the Mumbai attackers? They want to use any perceived injustice to justify their actions.

    I think Sashi Tharoor is spot on in this piece ( http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/nov/28/mumbai-terror-attacks-india-islam ):

    The risible attempt to claim the Mumbai killings in the name of the “Deccan Mujahideen” merely confirms that wherever the killers are from, it is not the Deccan. The Deccan lies inland from Mumbai; one does not need to sail the waters of the Arabian Sea to get to the city from there. In its meticulous planning and military precision, the assault on Mumbai bore no trace of what its promoters tried to suggest it was – a spontaneous eruption by angry young Indian Muslims. This horror was not homegrown.

    My brother had to fly from Mumbai yesterday, so I have some idea what it must have been like there yesterday. These people don’t need our sympathy; they deserve our contempt for trying to speak on behalf of India’s Muslims and polarising people. Indian Muslims must try to distance themselves as much as possible from these attacks.

    I think the main lesson here is for India to improve its intelligence apparatus and step up security throughout the country to stop similar attacks happening again. At least that way, you deny the possibility of terrorists trying to speak on behalf of an entire community.

  3. Leon — on 28th November, 2008 at 12:27 pm  

    Saying ‘we never negotiate with terrorists’ is a naive idea when its unclear who the terrorists are. In every such situation you have to wean away the moderates and non-violent agitators while minimising the danger that violent extremists can cause.

    Very well said.

    There’s also a lot of ‘back channel’ communication that goes on. Those people who spout Bushisms need to recognise the actual reality of dealing with terror is more complex than simply uttering ‘you’re with us or against us’ or ‘the only good terrorists is a dead one’.

  4. aji — on 28th November, 2008 at 12:41 pm  

    Leon,

    How do you reason with people who think killing “infidels” is perfectly acceptable?

    I’m all for a more equal society in India, but people also have a right to be feel protected by the state. One of the main problems in India is simply the rule of law and order. It doesn’t matter how much you try, you are still going to have some disaffected people in society and India is a population of over 1 billion, so there are bound to be a few of them.

  5. Boyo — on 28th November, 2008 at 12:44 pm  

    Given the talk of “British-born Pakistanis” being involved, I think a more apposite question might end up being – where does Britain go after this? I don’t know if it’s reached your attention but the US recently revoked visa-free access to British passport holders. It seems we may be getting a reputation for exporting terrorism along with… well whatever it is we do export these days, which is ironic because in the days of Irish “militancy” the Yanks seemed all too willing to take the boyos, and not give them back.

    But seriously, France has – supposedly – twice as many Muslims as the UK and a “failed” Muslim state every bit as unstable as Pakistan – Algeria – a damn sight nearer to home, yet I cannot think of any acts of terror or thwarted plots by French-born Muslims in the 21st Century whereas UK Muslims have already attacked Israel and now possibly Pakistan, as well as attempting and engaging in attacks here and against the US (with respect to the airline plot).

    For all the lack of delicacy of the French approach it appears to work and we need to move quickly to impose policies of integration in the UK, regardless of the pain. We need to separate church and state, write freedom and equality into our constitution etc. We have to face what the Americans, the French and the Turkish all realised about religion: it don’t mix. Frankly it’s too late for us, but at least future generations may not have to face this mess.

  6. douglas clark — on 28th November, 2008 at 1:12 pm  

    Boyo,

    Is there any evidence of this:

    Given the talk of “British-born Pakistanis” being involved, I think a more apposite question might end up being – where does Britain go after this? I don’t know if it’s reached your attention but the US recently revoked visa-free access to British passport holders. It seems we may be getting a reputation for exporting terrorism along with… well whatever it is we do export these days, which is ironic because in the days of Irish “militancy” the Yanks seemed all too willing to take the boyos, and not give them back.

    Please give links.

  7. Kismet Hardy — on 28th November, 2008 at 1:14 pm  

    You can’t negotiate with madmen. They want ALL mujaheedin prisoners freed. That’s not a reasonable request. They are mindless fucked-up suicide bombers who’ve allowed themselves a longer lifeline to damage and kill some more. They don’t give a shit about negotiations. They plan to die

  8. Boyo — on 28th November, 2008 at 1:43 pm  

    Heard it on legacy tech – TV – Gordon Brown says it’s too early to tell…

    Appears they may have murdered the Jews – so much for Kashmir. Hear the silence of their “Zionist” hating bedfellows on the left. Makes me want to puke.

  9. Boyo — on 28th November, 2008 at 1:47 pm  

    Actually, here we go – turns out two of those they captured are “British-born”.

    http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23594184-details/Mumbai+gunmen+%27were+British%27/article.do

  10. douglas clark — on 28th November, 2008 at 1:52 pm  

    Boyo,

    At least give a proper link.

    Appears they may have murdered the Jews – so much for Kashmir. Hear the silence of their “Zionist” hating bedfellows on the left. Makes me want to puke.

    Whether that is right, factually, or wrong suggests you have a problem with Jews. Do you?

  11. Boyo — on 28th November, 2008 at 1:55 pm  

    eh? it’s the anti-semites who veil their vitriol behind leftist politics i hate douglas.

  12. Bhargavi — on 28th November, 2008 at 1:58 pm  

    Two were British?

    When are the MCB and other such organisations in this country going to go beyond weak hand wringing and really step up to the plate to deal with this?

  13. soru — on 28th November, 2008 at 2:00 pm  

    ‘These need to be resolved for human rights reasons anyway, regardless of whether its portrayed as ‘appeasement’.’

    They do need to be done, but it does matter whether or not whether they get seen as appeasement.

    Try it with a dog. When he craps on the carpet, give him a biscuit immediately after. See if that appeases his desire for food and attention, and so he manages his bowels more responsibly in the future.

    Dogs have an attention span of about 3 minutes, so you only have to wait that long before feeding to avoid him associating the crapping with the feeding. Islamists are perhaps a little bit smarter, so you you have to delay otherwise-sensible actions that much longer in order to avoid them claiming them as a reward.

  14. Boyo — on 28th November, 2008 at 2:05 pm  

    According to TV they’ve murdered five of the Jewish hostages. Remember this when the MCB next attend Holocaust Memorial Day “to keep up appearances”.

  15. Boyo — on 28th November, 2008 at 2:10 pm  

    Shocking too if you consider British terrorists may have specifically targeted British citizens. I wonder how quickly that will be swept under the carpet so as “not to give succor to the racists”.

  16. douglas clark — on 28th November, 2008 at 2:14 pm  

    Boyo,

    Eh to you to:

    eh? it’s the anti-semites who veil their vitriol behind leftist politics i hate douglas.

    So, what was this about?

    But seriously, France has – supposedly – twice as many Muslims as the UK and a “failed” Muslim state every bit as unstable as Pakistan – Algeria – a damn sight nearer to home, yet I cannot think of any acts of terror or thwarted plots by French-born Muslims in the 21st Century whereas UK Muslims have already attacked Israel and now possibly Pakistan, as well as attempting and engaging in attacks here and against the US (with respect to the airline plot).

    It is not clear to me that you are against the semitic ideas that, quite frankly, hide a little under the surface here. Perhaps you would like to make it as clear as day that you disagree with it?

    Don’t play games. Spell it out so’s no-one can misunderstand.

    :-)

  17. bananabrain — on 28th November, 2008 at 2:16 pm  

    that rabbi and his wife are friends of a friend of mine. i wonder what my co-religionists will say next time i try to talk about the importance of interfaith dialogue? i wonder if this will be mentioned? you bet.

    one step forward – one massive leap backwards.

    douglas and boyo, neither of you sound like you hate jews to me, so do drop this before it gets any worse.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  18. Leon — on 28th November, 2008 at 2:20 pm  

    i wonder if this will be mentioned?

    Well, if you mention it you won’t have to wonder. ;)

  19. Leon — on 28th November, 2008 at 2:21 pm  

    According to TV they’ve murdered five of the Jewish hostages. Remember this when the MCB next attend Holocaust Memorial Day “to keep up appearances”.

    Please keep the testosterone to a minimum. We don’t need this shit on this thread.

  20. Sid — on 28th November, 2008 at 2:28 pm  

    I would love to agree with this article Sunny. Superficially it is replete with lots of noble, liberal ideas. But it fails to hide the contradictions and discrepancies within.

    You want to negotiate with a bunch of 20 year old “Rang-de-basanti” nihilist wankers who have perpetrated the attacks on Mumbai? But you don’t want to negotiate with the Taliban?

    You’ve got it back to front.

  21. douglas clark — on 28th November, 2008 at 2:32 pm  

    Bananabrain,

    douglas and boyo, neither of you sound like you hate jews to me, so do drop this before it gets any worse.

    I actually don’t much care, one way or the other. Which is a bit beyond you, is it not?

    Bananabrain, frankly I respect who you are, I do not respect you for what you claim to believe. That, frankly, is the tipping point.

    Love you lots.

  22. Ashik — on 28th November, 2008 at 2:34 pm  

    How can India solve it’s problems in Kashmir where it is acting as an occupation force? If free and fair referendum were held there tomorrow as per UN resolutions then Kashmiris would likely vote for independence. Is India willing to go as far as permitting session? Similar questions could be asked of Pakistan in Baluchistan.

    Surely the problems in India and Pakistan which lead to sporadic violence arise from the artificial nature of these countries where significant numbers of people do not recognise the state and want some form of revision. India has groups fighting for autonomy and/or independence in many states. There is no middle ground in politics and minorities feel they cannot work within the political system to advance their cause eg. as the SNP are doing in the UK. Neither democracy or military dictatorship (as in Pakistan) seem an antidote to promote acceptance of the state amongst masses. Maybe the nation state concept itself doies not lend itself to South Asian culture and perceptions of belonging which are filial and regional rather than political.

  23. billy — on 28th November, 2008 at 2:41 pm  

    I pray that it is not true that British Pakistanis are not involved. I just pray that is not true. If true, how will the Indian community hear react? Will you feel threatened in as much as you might be targetted specifically in British cities?

    So now Jewish people around the world have been sent a message — we will hunt you down and kill you even in a community centre in Mumbai.

    A dark day just got darker for me. Some of the reports I’ve been reading from eye witnesses turn my blood cold. Commuters mowed down at a railway station, Indian children shot dead as they ate dinner in a restaurant with their parents.

    I guess we’ll have to spend a few more millions on the Preventing Violent Extremism initiative now.

  24. bananabrain — on 28th November, 2008 at 2:43 pm  

    douglas, i’m not sure i really understand the distinctions you’re making.

    So now Jewish people around the world have been sent a message — we will hunt you down and kill you even in a community centre in Mumbai.

    we knew that already. however, if other people realise that, they might actually take this stuff a bit more seriously.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  25. Boyo — on 28th November, 2008 at 2:46 pm  

    “douglas and boyo, neither of you sound like you hate jews to me, so do drop this before it gets any worse.”

    that’s easy bb as i don’t understand what douglas is trying to insinuate anyway. perhaps he should spell it out.

  26. Sunny — on 28th November, 2008 at 2:53 pm  

    These people don’t need our sympathy; they deserve our contempt for trying to speak on behalf of India’s Muslims and polarising people

    Erm, where do I have sympathy with terrorists exactly?

    Also, even if some were from Britain, though I doubt it, how exactly would the MCB resolve this?

  27. billy — on 28th November, 2008 at 2:55 pm  

    I won’t believe in or assume UK Pakistani involvment until we get confirmation from the UK government.

  28. Boyo — on 28th November, 2008 at 3:08 pm  

    They killed the rabbi, his wife and his three children, the heroes.

  29. Kismet Hardy — on 28th November, 2008 at 3:15 pm  

    Scum

  30. douglas clark — on 28th November, 2008 at 3:20 pm  

    Fucking scum.

  31. Random Guy — on 28th November, 2008 at 3:59 pm  

    Fucking bastard scum.

  32. Nav — on 28th November, 2008 at 4:13 pm  

    May their souls rest in peace.

    The frustrating thing is that in the name of equality and because of the fear of offending we might not ever really deal with the key issues that cause these events.

    The Pakistanis will deny involvement; do-gooders will tell us we can’t look at Muslims and ask why so many attacks are perpetrated by Muslims; stern words issued in the immediate aftermath of the attack will prove to be nothing but reactive hyperbole and where will we get?

    Nowhere.

    Things need to change. The Americans, and indeed the Pakistanis themselves, need to hold to account those within the establishment in their country who are quite blatantly guilty of fostering terrorism.

    The only good I can see coming out of this tragedy is closer cooperation between Indian and Israeli counter-terrorism forces but in order to find the answers some really serious, probing and even possibly offensive questions need to be asked and sensitive issues raised.

  33. aji — on 28th November, 2008 at 4:43 pm  

    Mumbai is a violent city any way. You’ve got an underworld run by Islamist anti-India criminals. I wouldn’t be surprised if the underworld provided some logistical support in these attacks like they did in the 1993 bombings. If anything can be done then possibly the best thing is to stop people getting involved in the underworld – not an easy task.

  34. Shamit — on 28th November, 2008 at 4:47 pm  

    You can negotiate with those terrorists who have a political objective and unfortunately, I think in case of these terrorists there is no such objective. So who do you negotiate with? ISI, Al Qaeda, deccan whatever, or SIMI — many of their members are fully brainwashed and accepted killing infidels is the way of GOD.

    You cannot negotiate with terrorists such as these and you cannot really have a back channel conversation with these groups because there is no common ground to start a conversation. What is the aim of these terrorists?

    But I do agree with your political diplomacy angle and more importantly India needs to ensure that there are more economic opportunities which a vast majority of the Muslim youth in India don’t get access to.

    And, Boyo, we are still part of the US visa waiver programme and we will remain in that group.

  35. huron — on 28th November, 2008 at 4:52 pm  

    On (regular) Question Time last night someone in the audience made a statement that we have to sit down with Al-Qaeda, find out what exactly the problem is, and see if there is anyway we can solve it.

    Several panel members (including Sainbury’s CEO) then discussed how Northern Ireland showed that sitting down and chatting with groups you wouldn’t normally speak to can be very positive. The camera panned back to the original questioner, who was grinning. Audience clapped..

    (http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00fqpfj, starts around 6m30s)

    It was only a few questions later that Development Secretary Douglas Alexander piped up to say that he didn’t think the IRA situation was a comparable one, since Al-Qaeda doesn’t really have political demands.

    Exactly. If there are no political demands, how do you negotiate? I do think it is important to look at what compels people to join AQ et al, and to address aggravating situations, (which is why the war in Iraq was such a disaster…) But some groups – Al Qaeda, Taliban, KKK, neo-nazis – are *not* worth negotiating with N. Ireland style. I’d rather spend time figuring out how to neutralise them by diminishing their recruitment appeal.

  36. Boyo — on 28th November, 2008 at 5:01 pm  

    Don’t we have to inform the US 3 days before we travel?

    The only form of negotiation Islamist terrorists understand is capitulation or, dare I say it, submission. They are not mad – they have a clear purpose, and they are slowly succeeding. Who now would dare publish a book or an image or a play critical of the Prophet or Koran, for example? This reductionism – the very fascism that drained the creativity from the Muslim world in the name of piety, thereby condemning it to the stunted growth it has today – they seek to force upon the rest of us.

    The principal they use – violence against anything that “offends God” – is perfectly consistent with the historic spread of Islam. In this sense they are being true to their religion. They are, historically, certainly not exceptional.

    They can only truly be combatted when the West wakes up to the reality of what it is dealing with (as it was until just a few generations ago when, for example, the Regents Park mosque was only allowed when agreement was given to a Cathedral in Cairo, not out of racism but of wary respect) and makes the changes necessary to remind its self it HAS values, and if it doesn’t use them, it will lose them.

  37. Golam Murtaza — on 28th November, 2008 at 5:27 pm  

    “Wary Respect”.

    Yeah, I can live with that.

    A situation in which Christians can practice their faith OPENLY everywhere in the Muslim world would be great.

  38. salim — on 28th November, 2008 at 6:03 pm  

    The Chief Minister of Maharashtra state, Vilasrao Deshmukh, said today that two British-born Pakistanis were among eight gunmen arrested by Indian authorities.

  39. Shamit — on 28th November, 2008 at 6:08 pm  

    Yes we do but so do all the other countries that are in the visa waiver programme. So we haven’t been singled out.

    At a dinner last night, there were two young British Muslims who were discussing how people take quotations from Koran and turn the context completely on its head. And how these are blindly followed by some. And one impatiently said why don’t these fools see that?

    His father sitting at the table piped up – India produces graduates by millions and the percentage of Muslims who have completed their graduation is at 3.4%.

    He added their reasoned debate and conclusions were a direct result of the education which has taught them to think. While majority of the muslim population in South Asia do not get that opportunity.

    Imagine those kids going to Madrasas in outskirts of Peshawar. The kids are in the Madrasa — firstly to get food. And thanks to Saudi money these madrasas do give these children food. And that’s why their parents send them there. And the situation is not much different in other parts of South Asia.

    From their very childhood, they are told they have nothing to think — everything they need to know is written in the Koran. Debating and developing reasoned conclusions is not part of that curriculum.

    And those who have been given the opportunity — some of them are made to feel guilty and the inherent poverty and lack of development and other issues that would motivate any fair minded person are used and tied to their Muslim identity — which lead to some following not the word of GOD but the word of Mullah A, B or C. The film “Khuda Kay Liye” captured that very well.

    The same gentleman further added in vast majority of the South Asian Muslim population the mother’s role in the development of their children is very limited. Which is not a very good sign for a community.

    Which is the direct effect of limited educational opportunities for young muslim girls. The community diktat is the law in those communities. And who are the community leaders — the religious leaders. And they do not want change like all establishments.

    While favouring status quo I believe most of these leaders are reasonable people but like everywhere else there are many who use the House of God to spread hatred. Consider the influence these people have on their communities. That is a scary proposition.

    These are shocking details & statistics…and the Indian Government should forget vote bank politics and address these issues now. The divide among those who have opportunities and those who dont is going to get bigger and bigger. Opportunities and Education.

  40. s — on 28th November, 2008 at 6:42 pm  

    some comments on the bloog suggest we bring in the US and UK anti-terrorist experts to fight terrorism. This guys have very short memerory. Was it not the American who exported these holly warriors to Afaginstan. When the Iranians were asked what they thought of these religous extremist, after an terrorist attack, the reply was ‘they are the illgitmate child of the West’. Was it not the British who introduced comunalism in India. We continue to be victims of that policy, which the Indian ruling class has inherited. The massacre of Sikhs in Delhi and the muslims in Delhi Gujrart was carried out,by none others then Indians themselve.

  41. Ravi Naik — on 28th November, 2008 at 7:04 pm  

    At a dinner last night, there were two young British Muslims who were discussing how people take quotations from Koran and turn the context completely on its head. And how these are blindly followed by some. And one impatiently said why don’t these fools see that?

    There are two aspects to this discussion.

    First, this has nothing to do with religion. It is merely political tactics from people who adhere to a very extremist ideology and carry around a lethal dose of psychosis.

    Second, if it is true that the attackers are British, then it is time that we start scrutinising what is being taught in Mosques and other religious temples in this country. Ala – a few posts ago – said that she was taught extremely hateful things about non-Muslims when she was young, which confirmed the documentary we saw recently. It is not that I believe that such Mosques are directly responsible for such acts, but they certainly serve as conduit for extremism.

    It serves as some consolation that we will know who these bastards are, and how Al Qaeda managed to find these people.

  42. Leighton Cooke — on 28th November, 2008 at 7:08 pm  

    Education and infrastructure are part of the answer. Most of my Indian friends are saddened and shocked. It is time for those of goodwill to be supportive and stand by India.

  43. Ravi Naik — on 28th November, 2008 at 7:13 pm  

    Of course, the short-term result of these attacks is that the BJP might get into power next year. Which is not good!

  44. george — on 28th November, 2008 at 8:03 pm  

    The Wall Street Journal had this to say about the geriatric, mediocre Indian leaders:
    “When faced with fundamentalist demands, India’s democratically elected leaders have regularly preferred caving to confrontation on a point of principle. The country’s institutions and culture have abetted a widespread sense of Muslim separateness from the national mainstream.
    “The country’s anti-terrorism effort is reactive and episodic rather than proactive and sustained. Its public discourse on Islam oscillates between crude, anti-Muslim bigotry and mindless sympathy for largely unjustified Muslim grievance-mongering.

    “Its failure to either charm or cow its Muslim neighbours — Pakistan and Bangladesh — reveals a limited grasp of statecraft.”

  45. Boyo — on 28th November, 2008 at 8:57 pm  

    “was it not the British who introduced comunalism in India.”

    was it? i think sir, perhaps you flatter us…

  46. Boyo — on 28th November, 2008 at 9:12 pm  

    Just to reiterate a previous point I made – history demonstrates, in the establishment of the US, France, modern Turkey, how the only way to battle religious fascism is by embedding structures that resist it within your society. No amount of cosying up or conciliation will appease the extremist inspired by God. Create and enforce these structures, while fighting fire with fire, and eventually this curse will wither away. Bend to its will and it will bend you further – until you break.

    Most of us are ordinary decent people, so intuitively fail to understand why we must be “nasty”, why these kind of people won’t respond to reason. Surely they must have a grievance, we must have done something wrong – but actually I’m afraid it’s worse than that: we’ve done nothing wrong, yet these people, animated by the spirit of an ideology that excuses violence (which we have to face – we can’t keep denying it) wish to impose their will upon us, and thereby legitimise (in their view) themselves and their God. All we can do is fight or submit. It is time to wake up, or be smothered in our sleep.

  47. Shamit — on 28th November, 2008 at 9:38 pm  

    Omar Bakri, is banned from Britain, yet in a council run room in Tower Hamlets, he was beamed in electronically to spread his message of hate. He vented ““Do not obey British law. We must fight and die for Islam”. T

    And his sidekick Anjem Chaudhury ranted “We will not rest until the flag of Allah and the flag of Islam is raised above 10 Downing Street.”

    Apparently 300-400 young muslims gathered to hear this crap. And that is worrying.

    Especially now with reports coming out of India (although not confirmed) of British citizens being involved in the Mumbai terror attack.

    And if the Mumbai reports are true then we got serious problems.

    Ravi @42 and Boyo@47 both make good arguments on this I think.

  48. Adnan — on 28th November, 2008 at 9:46 pm  

    Anjem ranted “We will not rest until the flag of Allah and the flag of Islam is raised above 10 Downing Street.”

    Exactly he “ranted”. The first thing any of these idiots (Anjem, Izzadin etc) would do that is arrestable they would have the book thrown at them. So, I’m guessing, they’re just hollow vessels making a lot of noise.

  49. Shamit — on 28th November, 2008 at 9:57 pm  

    I agree Adnan. he is a hollow idiot who is sprouting crap. But 300-400 British teenagers went to listen to him.

    And they are trying to catch them young and fill them with their hatred…and that is what concerns me.

    And how do we fight it? This is something we need to do right now if we do not want the tag of terrorist exporters. That would be sad and could be very detrimental to the multicultural inclusive nature of modern British society.

  50. dave bones — on 28th November, 2008 at 10:01 pm  

    They also said a covenant of security exists between them and us. I know that wasn’t covered in the Daily Mail or the Evening Standard, but that is what they said. I was there. How do we deal with all this? I don’t know but I reckon if we aren’t shooting each other I want to talk to them some more.

  51. Boyo — on 28th November, 2008 at 10:07 pm  

    You say covenant of security, I say 7/7. What a joke – haven’t we learned by now the Devil has all the best?

  52. Adnan — on 28th November, 2008 at 10:57 pm  

    Shamit: the main worry is the morons for whom the “covenant” (who do they think they are?) is broken and want to bring terror here.

    Regarding the export of terror, some of the idiots may end up with Kashmiri-separatist or Pakistan Taliban because of the Pakistan connection and end up causing more problems in India and Afghanistan. I think other possibilities on that course for them are limited e.g. UK government turning a blind eye to people going to conflicts like Bosnia, and other governments becoming more wary of UK nationals.

  53. Sunny — on 28th November, 2008 at 11:10 pm  

    Adnan – there’s more people than that who are part of very far right orgs here in the UK. There’s always complete nutters, but the police probably know the names of those 400 nutjobs.

    Anyway – I’m not sure which point people are disagreeing with. I didn’t say we sit down with Al-Zawahri… I said you sit down with the moderate elements who have grievances and see if you can work it out. I have no sympathy or demand to negotiate with al-Qaeda.

  54. Leon — on 28th November, 2008 at 11:41 pm  

    since Al-Qaeda doesn’t really have political demands.

    That’s not true, they do and have offered negotiations in the past. Besides, AQ isn’t strictly one group or even groups, it’s more a network/franchise idea. That’s plenty of opportunity to divide and conquer them via drawing some into a negotiation process (processes like that are the death of terror groups), amongst other things…

  55. dave bones — on 29th November, 2008 at 12:36 am  

    You say covenant of security, I say 7/7. What a joke

    no joke, and I don’t say anything. I just wonder- what if these people and their covenant of security is actually what stands between us and 7/7? They seem like the last stop. What use is it to throw away- in the interets of OUR security?

  56. Ashik — on 29th November, 2008 at 10:51 am  

    I’m not sure Indian Hindus can lecture Muslims about progressive ideas as some on this thread are doing. It just comes across as condescending. Hindus are no more progressive barring 1% of the elite and another 5-10% of the middleclass (where progressive ideas are patchy at best). Inxdia is a deeply conservative country.

    Hindus suffer from many social ills discussed above as much as Muslims eg. Shamit, in India whether one is Muslim or Hindu education is a priviledge and not a right. Opportunity can be affected by race, class, caste etc as much as religion. In India (as in BD & Pak) it is often a matter of who you know rather than what you know.

    Over 10,000,000 female embryos didn’t get to develop to life in India in the last decade because Hindus terminated them before birth due to religious and cultural preference for boys. Yet these very same Hindus now lecture Muslims about the place of women in society!!!! This holocaust is not a problem for South Asian Muslims (though there are obviously issues about womens rights amongst our people….and the Hindus too).

    Over the same three days this attack in Mumbai took place, thousands of children of all backgrounds in India died from preventable diseases and problems like Cholera, typhus, malnutrition etc. There is as much human agency involved there as much as in the Mumbai incident. India has more pressing issues to address.

  57. fugstar — on 29th November, 2008 at 11:40 am  

    does the religious nationalist cockfight have to happen?

    India is common source history

  58. The Dude — on 29th November, 2008 at 3:29 pm  

    Sunny

    Pray tell! How do you negotiate with people who don’t want and have no intention of negotiating with you?

    So far I’ve seen no one on this thread, think outside the box as prescribed by the terrorist, i.e.: divide and rule.

    1. The terrorist who attacked Mumbai were NOT the usual raghead suspects. These dudes were very well versed in the art of war, highly disciplined and professional. Their ( the terrorist) command and control was second to none. They were also very well equipped, which means they were well funded.

    2. The intelligence.
    2A. None of the international intelligence agencies managed to pick this up. Not Mossad, not the CIA and not MI6. That takes SOME doing.
    2B. The terrorist knew the ground better than their adversaries. That takes some degree of INSIDE information (from within India).

    3. The targets were both general and specific in nature. Jews wiped out in one part of town while ordinary Indians (CST) were wiped out in another.

    4. The way the terrorist entered Mumbai suggest not only that they had some kind of marine training (UK, US, France) but that they came in from Pakistan, having hijacked a local fishing boat.

    I think what we have here is a totally different kettle of fish from the usual suspects and I’d go as far to say that we have a new player in town. A dangerous new player, a multi-national new player and a player that operates without borders. So we had ALL better get with the programme quick because these dudes ain’t going nowhere and they WILL be back. Trust me, I’ve got a very bad feeling about this.

  59. Kulvinder — on 29th November, 2008 at 3:32 pm  

    That’s plenty of opportunity to divide and conquer them via drawing some into a negotiation process…

    This presumes their demands are reasonable or achievable; whilst i woulddn’t rule out hearing what their rhetoric of the day is or what the reason is for them charging into hospitals to kill innocent – and wounded – people; the fact they say they’re open to negotiation is in itself meaningless. The original and ‘demand’ by Bin Laden was the withdrawl of US troops from Saudi Arabia, he didn’t end his desire to destroy the heathens and infidels in the west or east then and i doubt he’ll do so when the US troops leave Iraq.

  60. george — on 29th November, 2008 at 7:12 pm  

    May I return to Aji’s #2? He seems to agree with Shashi Tharoor who also says that “the terrorists are claiming to be acting to redress the grievances of Indian Muslims” but crucially doesn’t bother to elaborate. What are these grievances?

    So let me quote from Arundati Roy’s articles “The New India” from ZSpace (October 2008) and the Repressive State (San Francisco Aug 2004):
    ” In the pogrom (in Gujarat, March 2002), between 1,500 to 2,000 Muslims were massacred on the streets, women were gang-raped, 150,000 Muslims were driven from their homes and today they live in ghetto conditions, economically and socially ostracized in Gujarat…
    ”In Iraq, the Americans have 135,000 troops, and in Kashmir, India has something like 700,000 security personnel of different kinds: the army, the police, the paramilitary, the counterinsurgency… in a situation that almost amounts to war, an estimated 80,000 people have been killed since 1989. Thousands have simply disappeared.”

    That should have alerted Mr Tharoor to the accumulated anger waiting to explode in vengeful acts.
    And it finally did. Was the retribution disproportionate?

  61. george — on 29th November, 2008 at 7:47 pm  

    Ashik #57 seems to be rather muddled. Earlier he boasted that Hindus are progressive but now he says “I’m not sure Indian Hindus can lecture Muslims about progressive ideas… Hindus are no more progressive barring 1% of the elite and another 5-10% of the middleclass. India is a deeply conservative country.”
    Wonder where he got those percentages from.

    I think Hindus have long been obscurantist and failed to come to terms with modernity. They have acquired a deep inferiority complex from their inability to resist invaders over the ceturies – Persians, Mughals and British. William Dalrymple puts it this way: “For Naipaul, the Fall of Vijayanagara is part of a long series of failures that he believes still bruises India’s self-confidence. The wound was created by a fatal combination of Islamic aggression and Hindu weakness—the tendency to ‘retreat’, to withdraw in the face of defeat.”
    Nobel winner Amartya Sen also laments this Hindu fatalism – the tendency to give up before a superior enemy and retreat into the spiritual realm.

    Aji is right about the rampant malnutrition in India. In 2006, UNICEF chief representative to India Cecilio Adorna said: “Under-nutrition was the underlying cause for 50 per cent of the 2.1 million deaths of under-5 year olds in India each year…India accounted to 40 per cent of child malnutrition in the world”

    Adorna also stressed that nearly 70 to 80 percent of the Indian girl children are anaemic. Madhya pradesh is the worst off, with scores of deaths recently.
    So what’s the point of the moonshots and nuclear deals when India fails to meet the basic needs of its citizens? Are the priorities right?

  62. s — on 29th November, 2008 at 11:23 pm  

    President Bush Shedding crocodile tears on the massacre. fucking wanker. Killed hundreds of thousands in Iraq and Afganistan just to get their hands on oil. Has this attack got something to do with American foreign policy?

  63. Anbu — on 29th November, 2008 at 11:38 pm  

    George

    You seem to say Gujerat and Iraq to be cause of what happened. The Gujerat purportrators need to be called to justice. I strongly support that. But I fail to understand why certain sections of the Islamic societies feel so victimised all the time.

    If that logic were to be followed the RSS etc also rightfull in their demands. The Hindus in Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Kashmiri Pandits – all are oppressed. so we shoud play second fiddle to them as well. I dont agree with RSS either.

    Brotherhood is a strong feature( a kind of religoius socialism) and attraction of Islam. But this very brother hood also means that every time one Muslim is attacked , certain sections of the Muslim world in other parts take action into their own hands. Incresingly I am beggining to be vary of the brotherhood( comradeship) of socialism and Islam.

    Sunny- I agree the govt should take a strong stance on various Islamic terror groups and also agree no double standards to Hindu terror either. but why stop at that. How about also including Nagaland for Christ and other christian/exttremism in India aswell .
    And dont forget about Buddhist extremism in neighbouring Sri Lanka ( JHU etc) aswell. give them a knock asweel.

  64. Kulvinder — on 30th November, 2008 at 2:42 am  

    Has this attack got something to do with American foreign policy?

    Yeah with the help of the Rand Corporation, in conjunction with the saucer people under the supervision of the reverse vampires.

    Conspiracy theories are spouted by plebs; you revel in them, don’t you?

  65. A. Hannan Ismail — on 30th November, 2008 at 3:44 am  

    Horrible though these events have been, they reveal an interesting bias in what we consider to be terrorism and the sort of event that might warrant a response. It clearly helps if it is something that happens in urban environments and is amenable to 24hr news cycles.

    When will ongoing caste Hindu terrorism against low-caste and poor Indians attract 66+ posts on expatriate fora? When we can address such untrammeled violence in the heart of Indian society, we might be able to claim even-handedness in our concern with organized violence and its effects, whatever its motivations.

  66. Kulvinder — on 30th November, 2008 at 7:01 am  

    they reveal an interesting bias in what we consider to be terrorism and the sort of event that might warrant a response…

    When will ongoing caste Hindu terrorism against low-caste and poor Indians attract 66+ posts on expatriate fora?

    Oh please, at least TRY and make an argument, i could ask self-rightous rhetorical questions at the age of 10.

    Presuming you’re talking about this site theres been articles on religious extremism with comparable numbers of replies regardless of whether the religion was sikhism, hinduism or islam.

    But then you can’t actually be bothered to search can you?

  67. aji — on 30th November, 2008 at 8:58 am  

    That should have alerted Mr Tharoor to the accumulated anger waiting to explode in vengeful acts.
    And it finally did. Was the retribution disproportionate?

    It seems as though you are trying to justify the killings in Mumbai. What’s happened in Gujarat and Kashmir are clearly deplorable but they still do not justify the carnage we’ve just witnessed recently.

    Neither India nor Pakistan has a particularly good record in Kashmir. Pakistan has actively supported terrorism, of the kind we’ve recently witnessed, to wage a proxy war on India and rip Kashmir out of the map of India, while India has committed some grave human rights abuses in trying to contain the insurgency. You also have to remember that hundreds of thousands of Hindus have been cleansed from Kashmir as a result of attacks on them, yet you make no mention of that. Pakistan’s record in tackling insurgency in Balochistan is not much better than India’s in Kashmir. Personally, I don’t give a toss if Kashmir goes independent, but will it stop terrorist attacks on the Indian mainland? I don’t think it will.

    Regarding the Gujarat pogrom, it is a shame that the people responsible for that still haven’t been brought to justice. There was a pogrom against Christians recently in Orissa. It didn’t feature too long on the news either. Is it any surprise there hasn’t been much in the way of justice? Such is the state of law and order in much of India and South Asia generally.

    Coming from a minority community myself, I am against extremists of any kind trying to solve their disputes through violence and claiming to represent their community. That’s why I agree with Mr Tharoor here.

  68. Jai — on 30th November, 2008 at 4:30 pm  

    Wonder where he got those percentages from.

    Ashik made them up, based on his usual guesswork and misinformed assumptions.

    And it finally did. Was the retribution disproportionate?

    Considering the fact that numerous Muslims were also killed in the “retribution”, including fairly conservative and orthodox ordinary folk who you would certainly not describe as “westernised” or amongst the “urban elite”, I would describe the selection of targets as per your hypothetical agenda to be misguided to say the least.

    That line of thinking reminds me of one of Omid Djalili’s observations during a live stand-up show, where he remarked about the stupidity of the 7/7 bombers targetting Edware Road, an area which (in his own tongue-in-cheek words) “has the biggest number of Muslims outside Mecca”.

    Also, considering the fact that Islamic codes of warfare prohibit attacks against civilians, especially women and children, let’s not ignore the sheer hypocrisy of so-called “holy warriors” directly contravening these injunctions whilst claiming full divine support for their actions. Regardless of how justified they might believe the “retribution” to be. No ifs, no buts, and no caveats implying “extenuating circumstances”.

  69. Jai — on 30th November, 2008 at 4:38 pm  

    But then you can’t actually be bothered to search can you?

    Kulvinder, as I mentioned in a couple of other related threads, it looks like there are several racists and religious jingoists here on PP with an axe to grind against India, Indians and Hindus, waiting to come out the woodwork and seize the chance to stick the knife in and twist it like a bunch of opportunistic vultures. It’s pretty disgusting.

    This presumes their demands are reasonable or achievable; whilst i woulddn’t rule out hearing what their rhetoric of the day is or what the reason is for them charging into hospitals to kill innocent – and wounded – people; the fact they say they’re open to negotiation is in itself meaningless. The original and ‘demand’ by Bin Laden was the withdrawl of US troops from Saudi Arabia, he didn’t end his desire to destroy the heathens and infidels in the west or east then and i doubt he’ll do so when the US troops leave Iraq.

    Some people are just looking for a fight, some people just want to dominate others, and (to quote a line from “The Dark Knight”), some people just want to see the world burn. Take your pick regarding which of these apply to OBL, AQ and their supporters.

    How do we deal with people like this, whose demands are frequently neither reasonable nor achievable ? The same way you deal with bullies in any walk of life:

    1) Surgically dissect and debunk their demands and their credibility.

    2) Ideally, don’t give them further ammunition in terms of any excessive or unjustifiable “transgressions” of your own.

    3) Most of all, they need to be absolutely terrified of the damage you could potentially inflict on them if they triggered a counter-response in retaliation or self-defence. It’s not enough to have the hypothetical capability of “taking them down” — you need to be seen to have the will to actually execute it. Otherwise it just emboldens them further and the lack of a sufficiently strong, assertive reaction is perceived as a weakness.

    Fear of forceful retaliation/punishment is, unfortunately, sometimes the only way to make psychopathic bullies back down or make them think twice about pulling any kind of stunt, especially if they’re well aware that they’re being complete bastards and/or aren’t open to reason or appeals to their presumed good nature.

  70. douglas clark — on 1st December, 2008 at 3:37 am  

    I’m very impressed with Jai’s last two posts. There is a seriously good brain at work there.

    The flashing cursor is almost telling me to say something more.

    I actually detest the moral sterility of comparative atrocities. george at 62, is certainly a morally sterile comparative relativist. In my opinion, we cannot, if we wish to survive as a species, argue that past wrongs justify present atrocities. It is a road to nowhere.

    That should have alerted Mr Tharoor to the accumulated anger waiting to explode in vengeful acts.
    And it finally did. Was the retribution disproportionate?

    Only an idiot would assume that the answer to an atrocity was another atrocity. Or even argue proportionality. I present ‘george’ for your delight and delectation.

  71. Jai — on 1st December, 2008 at 2:14 pm  

    I’m very impressed with Jai’s last two posts. There is a seriously good brain at work there.

    Thanks Douglas, very kind of you.

    As for “George”, given the noticeable pattern of behaviour he’s recently been demonstrating on PP along with his defence of Al-Zawahri making racist comments about Obama being a “house negro” (see “Thanks Al-Qaeda” thread), I think it’s pretty clear that we have a bonafide AQ/terrorist jihadi sympathiser here.

  72. neo — on 4th December, 2008 at 8:26 pm  

    Simple thing is life in India is very cheap. It doesn`t affect any one maybe just for few days when something like this happens on large scale then maybe we get little aware. But then we go back to our lazy and corrupt mind. I have no idea why in the hell India is still waiting to retaliate. Bush did it and he made sure these islamic fundamentalist got his message loud and clear that we will not spare you. His attack on Iraq probably is wrong. But you knos in fact it did good to lot of people. Lot of Iraqies living in Canada in fact liked him. Some of my clients are from Iraq they said maybe accidently but it happened for good. Point is Islamic nations lack the will of education, prosperity and they want to live in same old world where you don`t do anything. You simply go home and see which wife i want to sleep with tonight or maybe think its time to get new one. Veil in this age and time in democratic countries and govt. bans it then all these freaking Mfs talk about human rights.Where are human right when people from their religion attack others in name of allah. I don`t even know what to say. I think India has lost its confidence we are still the same non violent nation who can not attack anyone or we just don`t have the gutts as our citizens, politicians and whole freakin country is full of corruption. Everything is a night mare.

  73. Balbir — on 7th December, 2008 at 2:59 pm  

    For more than a month the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad was pre-occupied with chasing ‘Hindu terrorists’ and, it would appear, had little time for anything else. In fact, the ATS claimed that 90 per cent of the force was busy investigating the September 29 Malegaon bombing. All this while, India’s enemies were plotting a bloodbath in Mumbai. The myth of ‘Hindu terror’, built-up by sections of the UPA and the Maharashtra Government for short-term political gains, has had a macabre and grotesque fall-out. Negligence has proved deadly, and resulted in perhaps the most venomous terrorist attack in Indian history.

    Today the State and Union Governments stand exposed. It is important to recognise the long-term damage that their dirty-tricks have caused. A new term — ‘Hindu terror’ — has been added to the security lexicon. The world so far recognised only ‘Islamic terror’, with Pakistan as its source. Now India is home to both Islamic and Hindu terror, if the Indian Government’s own agencies are to be believed. On the issue of terror, India and Pakistan have been placed at par.

    All this must rank as the most destructive achievement by any Government anywhere. What Pakistan could not achieve after decades of labour — paint Hindu-dominated India as a factory of terror — the ‘secularists’ and their political leaders have done it in a matter of few weeks. Till recently, after every terrorist strike in India, the investigations invariably led to Pakistan and the infamous ISI. Gradually the rest of the world had come to believe the Indian charge that Islamic Pakistan was exporting terrorism to non-sectarian India. The participation of local Muslims in ISI-sponsored attacks in India used to be nominal. However, thanks to the UPA’s vote-bank politics, since 2005, nationalist Muslims stand marginalised and radicals within the community are setting the agenda. The periodic terror strikes in India are no longer an exclusive ISI enterprise. They have largely been indigenised — of course, under the supervision of a global terror machine.

    Unwilling to face up to this, the ‘secularists’ sought to maintain a bogus balance. They ignored the fact that all participants in such terror strikes were Muslims, claiming inspiration from the holy Quran and arguing that they were killing ‘infidels’ as part of their religious duty. The faith-based motivations of the terrorists led to the term Islamic terror.

    To counter-balance Islamic terror secularists had to discover — or invent — ‘Hindu terror’. The expected political gains were a welcome byproduct. While Muslim terrorists were responsible for popularising the term Islamic terror, the credit for coining the term ‘Hindu terror’ goes to the UPA. For no one else has attributed terrorist actions to the service of Hinduism.

    Let us review the brief history of ‘Hindu terror’. Mr Sharad Pawar, a senior member of the Union Cabinet, alleged on October 5, 2008, that there were “double standards” in police action against terror: ‘Muslims were being targeted as terrorists but no action was being taken against ‘Hindu terror’ groups. Mr Pawar’s statement had come in the wake of the Malegaon bombing of September 29. How did Mr Pawar know the identity of those responsible for Malegaon terror strike even before the investigations had concluded is something that remains a mystery.

    Obviously the investigations now followed the lead given by the Central Minister. The job of the ATS was easy. All it had to do was cook up ‘evidence’ on the lines indicated by the powers that be. The ‘evidence’ may not have been sufficient to stand court scrutiny but selective leaks to the media, on a daily basis, were enough to generate confusion and create the myth of ‘Hindu terror’. It was vindication for those who fervently desired the discovery of such a phenomenon for their own vested interests.

    Mr Pawar was not being original in floating this devious theory. Prior to the 2007 Gujarat Assembly elections, Ms Sonia Gandhi had used the description “maut ka saudagar” for Mr Narendra Modi. Mr Digvijay Singh, the Congress general secretary, has frequently harped on the theme of ‘Hindu terror’.

    In order to sustain the plot to demonise Hindus, the Maharashtra ATS improvised several sub-plots. In the process, the Indian Army was traduced as a rogue force, one in which a middle-level officer could pilfer 60 kg of RDX. Worse, it was made out as if the so-called ‘theft’ had remained undetected till the ‘ace investigators’ of the ATS had uncovered it. So the Army is not only infested with ‘terrorists’ but also totally unprofessional in its management of arms and ammunition. Could there be a worse indictment of the armed forces?

    After the details of torture and inhuman treatment meted out to the so-called ‘Hindu terror’ suspects — that included a sadhvi and a serving Army officer — became public, there was mass outrage. The ATS was now forced to manufacture a new spin. Without an iota of evidence, it alleged that the accused were conspiring to kill top leaders of the RSS, since they found the Sangh “pro-Muslim” and non-violent in its approach to ideological opponents.

    With this, the ATS hoped to drive a wedge within the Hindu political family. But the reverse happened and the RSS saw through the ATS’s game plan. One unintended consequence of this has been that the RSS has got the ATS’s endorsement as a law-abiding organisation, committed to peaceful activism, contrary to what ‘secularists’ have been trying to establish for decades.

    The onus of convincing a sceptical public of this fantastic and outlandish ‘conspiracy’ to assassinate RSS leaders rests on the Maharashtra ATS, now deprived of its inspirational leader. All that it has produced so far is the laptop of Lt Col Purohit. The computer hard disk apparently has files containing recordings of the conspiracy. This sounds not just illogical but downright bizarre. Would an Army officer with several years of Military Intelligence experience store details of a conspiracy of this nature?

    Rather than chase trivia, the Maharashtra Government and the ATS would have been better served enhancing intelligence gathering. The colossal attack on Mumbai over the past two days has made it clear that jihad — and not any ‘Hindu terror’ pipedream of the ruling political establishment — represents a threat to India. Let us focus on this enemy, and avenge the martyrdom of Hemant Karkare and his valiant colleagues.

  74. douglas clark — on 7th December, 2008 at 4:55 pm  

    Look, you obviously know a heck of a lot more than I do about this, but your post @ 75 reads a bit polemically. Are you completely sure that you are unbiased in what you say?

    A, brief Google search, came up with these, which on the face of it, suggest that Hindu terrorism is not quite the ‘myth’ you make it out to be:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/7739541.stm

    or this:

    http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/opinion/editorial/general/we-all-must-face-this-together/1375912.aspx?storypage=0

    It is very difficult for someone like me, who is not ‘up to speed’ as it were to know whether you are right or wrong. But the Gujarat atrocity in particular seems to suggest that it is not quite as one sided as you make it out to be. I am led to believe that the catalyst for this – the train disaster – was, in fact, hyped up:

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_7086/is_/ai_n28130700

    which, if true, is a disgrace.

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