Hindu dharma is implicitly at odds with monotheistic intolerance. What is happening in India is a new historical awakening... Indian intellectuals, who want to be secure in their liberal beliefs, may not understand what is going on. But every other Indian knows precisely what is happening: deep down he knows that a larger response is emerging even if at times this response appears in his eyes to be threatening.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Secularism encouraging terrorism

Something is terribly wrong not only with our national law and order system, but the distribution of prosperity throughout the length and breadth of the country. The distribution is very uneven, but that is only one aspect of the situation. The other aspect is the growth of jehadism in the country and it has now been discovered that Karnataka has become a centre of recruitment. What comes as a shock is that the recruits are not illiterate or poor Muslims eking out a bare living, but well-educated youths among whom were noticed a civil engineer, a software engineer, a mechanical engineer with a Ph.D in computational fluid dynamics and a doctor. Apparently there is growing radicalisation of educated Muslim youth who have pursued their education in Britain and the United States.

What has India done to these youths that they should turn into jehadis and antinationals? India has gone out of its way to do what it can—including subsidising Haj visits—to the so-called minorities in the name of secularism. Even where they are in a majority, as in Jammu and
Kashmir, Muslims get preference. The damage done by Islamic terrorists in other parts of India, speaks for itself. From March 2006 to December 2007, in a space of 18 months, jehadi acts of terrorism are just unimaginable. Consider this list: In March 2006 there was twin bombing
in Varanasi, one at the railway station and the other at the Kashi Vishwanath Temple killing 20 people. In July 2006, seven serial bombings of a Mumbai railway station killed more than 200 and injured 700 others. In September 2006 at least 30 persons were killed and 100 injured in twin blasts at Malegaon in Maharashtra. Not even Hyderabad, which has a large Muslim population, was spared. On August 25, 2007, bombs ripped through crowded public areas killing at least 42 persons. It is as if these deaths do not matter. The brutal incidents are quickly forgotten.

Speaking in Bangalore on August 4, 2007, former Punjab Director General of Police, K.P.S.Gill made the point that India was being ruled by pseudo-secularists who did not have the will to fight terrorism. At a meeting organised by the Forum on Integrated National Security (FINS), Gill said that “intellectuals and some political establishments are wedded to weaken the country consciously and as a programme, in the name of secularism.” As Gill saw it, Islamic fundamentalism backed by Pakistan is growing with its sleeper cells increasing across the country, while extremist political leaders are posing a larger danger of dividing the society in the pretext of advocating welfare of Muslims and OBCs. Now—believe it or not—the UPA government has decided to provide a relief package to dependents of terrorists—those very men who fought in the past against the integrity of India and were killed by the security forces in Jammu and Kashmir.

Is anybody aware of the damage done by terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir? A souvenir of the Jammu and Kashmir police released in 2003 and quoted by another senior officer, Joginder Singh (Pioneer, February 11) provides the facts. According to the souvenir, between 1990 and
December 2002 there were 56,041 incidents of violence including 10,093 explosions, 29, 931 firing incidents, 5,561 cases of arson, 763 rocket attacks, 4,597 abductions, 229 cases of hanging to death, 275 arms snatching cases and 4, 592 other acts of violence. During those 14 years, more than 30,000 civilians were killed and security forces seized 24,785 AK—type rifles, 9,387 pistols and revolvers, 58 carbines, 91 light machine guns, 6,865 kgs or RDX , 742 rocket launchers and the list grows.

Worst, due to terrorism, 3.70 lakh Hindus and Sikhs were forced to leave the Valley and there has been total ethnic cleaning. Can we call it genocide? So what do we do? In the period between
2000-2003, the state got Rs 13, 188 crore as grant which is three times what Bihar, one of the poorest states in India, received—about Rs 4,047 crore. On November 17, 2004, our kind Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh announced an “Economic Revival Plan” of Rs 24,000 crore for Jammu and Kashmir. Incidentally, according to Joginder Singh “no one really knows what was spent where and who got what”, since the state’s accounts have not been audited for our a decade.

Par for the course, one might add. Never question a Muslim majority state how it spends money. That would not be secular. And all this, when, according to Army sources, over 2000 militants of
Lashkar-e-Toiba were trying to sneak into the Valley in August 2007. Major-General Ramesh Halgali, G-O.C of the 19th Infantry Division told PTI that many militants had been brought to the border by Pakistan to wreak terror.

Pakistan gets away with murder and its patron in Washington turns a blind eye to what is going on. Pakistan is fighting terrorism, isn’t it? So what is India complaining about, is the US response. But does the large Muslim community say a word of what’s going on? Hardly. In any event, where are the Muslim community leaders who can speak with authority? If there are any, their argument would be that one does not have to apologies every time a jehadi indulges in violence. They become self-defensive, quoting figures to show how poor the Muslims are, and how important it is for them to attend a madrasa and the secularists lap it up, not wishing to recognise that there are poor among Hindus who do not complain, and yet they attempt to give their children as much education as is within their capacity.

A Muslim writer, Ed Hussain, in his book The Islamist, notes that Islamic extremism did not descend from another planet or was imposed on the community by outside forces. “It breeds within the community and is the product of a certain kind of interpretation of Islam”, wrote Hussain, quoting Zia-ud-din Sardar, one of Europe’s most prominent Muslim scholars.

According to Zia-ud-din, Islamists were “ nourished by an Islamic tradition that is intrinsically inhuman and violent in its rhetoric, thought and practice”. Commenting on this Husan Suroor,
writing in The Hindu (July 17, 2007) said that “more Muslims need to realise that Islamic terrorists are not simply ‘misguided’ individuals acting on a whim but that they are people who know what they are doing and they are doing it deliberately in the name of Islam.” And that has
has been most noticeable in Karnataka in recent times when police caught terrorists and one of them spilled the beans, saying eight fidayeens are presently on the loose in India and could strike any time.

All that our secularists would say is, that is not a Big Deal.

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