Islamic Terrorism in India

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Seven Critical Lessons From Ayodhya: Varsha Bhosle

Posted by jagoindia on March 3, 2011

Commentary/Varsha Bhosle
Seven lessons from Ayodhya

There’s excitement in the secularist air: The court’s decision to frame charges against senior BJP and VHP leaders in the Babri Masjid demolition case is said to have put the saffron brigade on a defensive. Apparently, the lust for power, along with the influence of the minorities, had moved them to soft-pedal Hindutva, and this raking up of old wounds wrecked all their plans of gaining wider acceptability.

I agree. Last week, BJP spokesman K R Malkani alleged that unknown, unruly elements had infiltrated the kar sevaks and destroyed the mosque to defame the Sangh Parivar. He said that there was celebration in the Pakistan high commission when the destruction occurred — thereby also implying an ISI presence. What a cop-out.

But somehow, [grin] nothing seems to affect Balasaheb Thackeray. For instance, Gulzar Azmi, chief of the Jamiat-ul-Ulema (which had opposed the creation of Pakistan on the basis that it would limit “the glory and sway” of Islam to one area when the whole subcontinent was a sitting duck) exonerated him with, “Bal Thackeray only tried to take credit for the demolition of Babri Masjid. The real culprits are the Congress and the BJP. The Sena leaders only talked about it, while the Congress succeeded in razing the shrine by inciting the BJP”. Tiger with 900 lives…

Mr Azmi almost inspires me to run into the Congress’s arms. Which obviously suggests that I approve of the razing: Typical, knee-jerk divisive-communalist-fundie. But, this is how I felt about it in December 1994: “As I write this on the eve of the second anniversary of the Babri Masjid demolition, I still do not comprehend the issue which gave the impetus to Hindus. As supposition, even if I take the VHP’s belief of the Ram Janmabhoomi as the gospel truth, how does it justify the destruction of a masjid? What has the common man gained, and what other ancient, historical monuments are to be brought down while invoking the names of gods? Is the Taj Mahal safe?”

Shocking, eh? What happened in the interim was that I made an effort to comprehend the core issue. Result: I sailed from knee-jerk Hindu defensiveness smack into an aggressive Hindutva awareness. I am not interested anymore if there was a Ram Mandir in Ayodhya or not — actually, I don’t care whether Ram existed or not. The question is not one of history or theology or archaeology or jurisprudence (but if you want me to expand on that, I can). To me, it’s a matter of psychology, period. This is a good time to revisit my mental processes and deliberate on the crime of Hindutvawadis: We will be awash in its ramification for years to come.

In an intellectual clash, it’s futile to be polite when the adversary is intractable; and if he also lacks ethics, it’s absurd to be virtuous. All defense and no attack never did win a war — and the Ram Janmabhoomi affair is nothing but a battle. In an ideological conflict, people must learn to wield the weapons the foe employs. Which, in context, are critiquing the systems of Islam and Marxism (just as they criticise caste, sati, etc), and using their tactics to expose the religious, political and social prejudices which motivate them. Lesson #1: Just as Muslims use the rod of feeling offended if Islam is challenged, it’s alright for Hindus to feel god-damn outraged when Hinduism is.

So, did Ram or the Mandir exist at all? Not if Muslims can verify the authenticity of Abraham’s having built the Qabah. Not if the Al Aqsa mosque of Jerusalem is built over a footprint in rock caused by the Prophet’s having landed rather hard on the ground — after having flown through the heavens on a winged horse. Not if it can be proved that the hair in Hazrat Bal belongs to Mohammed. Point is, the belief that the only true God is Allah is intrinsic to the Hindu-Muslim cleave. Just as Christianity (with its Shroud of Turin and Weeping Virgin icons) pickled the Greek pantheon into a mythology, Islam and Marxism would do the same to Hinduism — and hence their denial of Ram Janmabhoomi. Lesson #2: Take the fight to the opposite camp — let them first establish Islam’s credibility.

Now, did Hindus have the right to appropriate the Babri Masjid in 1949 if it was indeed in use? Once we accept the belief of pre-Parivar Hindus — eg, in an 1858 document, one Muhammad Asghar demands the removal of a platform outside the masjid, complaining that Hindus performed worship there — this is easy-peasy: Internationally (but excluding the pillage by colonial Britain), even stolen art is restored to its original owner, regardless of status quo; and if the buyer should be dead, his descendants are duty-bound to return it. If they don’t, the law forces a restoration — like the litigated ancestral property returned to Native Americans and Australian Aborigines. But if the State refuses to take cognisance, what then? If the original owner has spunk, he finds his own ways to repossess it — like Spain recovered its churches after driving out the Moors. Lesson #3: Reclaiming one’s heritage is normal, customary and desirable — claim the Krishna Janmasthan, too.

Next, couldn’t the dispute be settled amicably in a court of law? Easier said. In October 1990, Imam Bukhari of the Babri Masjid Action Committee declared that if a court ruling went against Muslim demands, an “agitation” against the verdict would be launched. Then, the Muslim Personal Law Board announced: “The Shariat does not allow the shifting or demolition of the Babri Masjid as it has not been built on a temple or illegal land” (Times Of India, 9 December 1990). Then, realising that they’d lose the debate, appended it with: “The law protects it even if built on a temple” (Syed Shahabuddin, Indian Express, 13 December 1990). Why V P Singh scuttled the agreement with the VHP, why the suit of possession was postponed, do Hindus have constitutional rights, is immaterial. Lesson #4: When secularism comes to mean different strokes for different folks, it’s time to cry, “Garv se kaho hum Hindu hain!”

The tricky question is, what justifies the destruction of a house of worship? In a word, nothing. But do not forget that masjids and mandirs are of the same genera — and the first stone was cast down by a Muslim. I once believed that two wrongs don’t make a right — but that was when I confused revenge with redressal and before I grasped the basis of the Mahabharat: Even after the Pandavs offered to cede the whole kingdom save 5 villages, the Kauravs refused to grant them “a speck of land the size of a pinhead”. Upon which, Krishna said that such self-righteousness and intolerance would brook no compromise, that war was inevitable… The VHP had been asking for just “three age-old sacred places” of the thousands converted to mosques — which were to be relocated, not destroyed. Lesson #5: Stop apologising for Hindutva — recognising, confronting and defeating Muslim fanaticism is practical and required.

So what has the common man gained from the demolition? Nothing that our pointy-headed intellectuals who can’t even park their bikes straight will understand. Nothing that our Leninists, for whom the solutions to ALL problems begin and end with roti-kapda-makaan, will grasp. After all, how can the ideologically servile be expected to know the psychological benefits from the effacement of the most offensive symbol of Hindu slavery? I attribute the Hindu society’s negative self-image and utter lack of self-respect to the moral damage wrought by Nehruvians and leftists who have distorted history by projecting marauding conquerors as protectors and Hindu nationalists as villains to, supposedly, “ensure communal harmony”. And look where it led us. Lesson #6: History is not the jahgeer of vested interests — no matter how inconvenient the Truth, it releases: Satyam muktye.

And so to the present predicament: Who demolished the Babri Masjid? In 1990, when Mr L K Advani undertook the Rathyatra to amass support for the bricklaying of the mandir, everywhere, the common devotee’s response was enthusiastic. Meanwhile, in UP, chief minister Mulayam Singh had suspended all public transport, blocked roads, imposed curfews, sealed the borders and arrested Parivaris and kar sevaks after hounding them out from houses. On October 22, Mr Advani was arrested. But on October 30, thousands of kar sevaks defied police cordons and planted flags on the masjid’s domes. Eventually, the police overcame the crowds, arrested thousands and killed between 10 to 50. Human and religious rights exist only for minorities.

And yet, on November 2, the kar sevaks came back in droves. But this time, Mulayam’s police, greatly out-numbered and probably under specific orders, skipped the usual procedures of warning, lathi-charge, tear-gas, firing in the air and shooting in the legs, and fired straight into the crowds. Most of the dead, of whom many were sadhus, had bullet wounds in the head and chest. As usual, the death toll is a matter of dispute; Koenraad Elst writes, “many of the bodies have been carried off in army vans and unceremoniously disposed of in an unknown place.” Press figures vary from 9 to 25, Mulayam says 16, the home ministry claims 30, the BJP cites 168, the VHP alleges 400, and eyewitnesses quote thousands.

Whatever the number — logically, it has to be in hundreds — there has been no badgering for a probe à la the Srikrishna Commission from our tender-hearted intellectuals, who, of course, also support a government with Mulayam as its defence minister: Islamic bricks, too, are more precious than Hindu lives.

So Mr Malkani… who demolished the masjid? Were the people who congregated for kar seva, who faced bullets in the name of Ram, who joined the Rathyatra from Karnataka, all agents of the ISI? Also, unruly or not, the thousands who brought down the structure couldn’t all have been card-holders of the saffron brigade, could they?

Truth is, most were people without political affiliations, bairagis and sadhus too, who had followed their trust in the Ram Janmabhoomi. They were of the stock that had rioted around the Babri Masjid in 1934 when a cow was slaughtered in its vicinity. If at the first shake of the chair, the BJP is Congress enough to turn its back on all that *those* kar sevaks died for, then I turn my back on the BJP. A party without principles is no Hindu party — shape up or ship out. Lesson #7: It was just another election plank, after all.

Posted in Ayodhya, Babri Masjid, Indian Muslims, Islamofascism, State, Temples, Terrorism, Uttar Pradesh | 1 Comment »

Azad’s brother in BJP justifies Babri Masjid demolition

Posted by jagoindia on April 21, 2009

Azad’s brother in BJP justifies Babri Masjid demolition
12 Apr 2009, IANS

JAMMU: Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad’s younger brother Ghulam Ali Azad, who recently joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), on Sunday justified  the 1992 demolition of the Babri Masjid, saying no mosque ever existed in Ayodhya.

Ali Azad lambasted the Congress for accusing BJP senior leader LK Advani of being involved in the demolition of the 16th century mosque.

“There never was a mosque, nor it exists today nor it will ever,” Ali Azad told reporters.

The mosque was constructed by first Mughal emperor Babur in Ayodhya in the 16th century. On Dec 6, 1992, it was destroyed by Hindu extremists who believe that Babur destroyed an existing temple at the site, built to commemorate the birthplace of Rama.

The demolition triggered widespread communal unrest in the entire country.

Babur, Ali Azad said, was an “invader. We cannot glorify him as a leader of Muslims in any sense of the word.”

The brother of the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said Congress leaders were working against one another.

He said he had joined the BJP because it was a party of principles and an ideology rooted in keeping the nation together.

Hours after his younger brother’s outburst, Ghulam Nabi Azad said that he had nothing to do with what Ali Azad had said.

“I disown him (Ali Azad). I have no dealing with him,” Azad told a local TV channel.

Posted in Babri Masjid, Indian Muslims, Islamofascism | 1 Comment »

Over 7000 Islamofascists arrested in Tamil Nadu on Babri Mosque demolition

Posted by jagoindia on December 7, 2008

Over 7000 Muslims arrested in South India on Babri Mosque demolition anniversary
NEW DELHI, Dec. 6 APP: Over 7,000 Muslims were arrested in Tamil Nadu state in India for protesting against demolition of Babri Mosque in 1992.

They were demonstrating on the 16th anniversary of demolition of the Mosque.

Media reports from Chennai said the authorities had tightened security ahead of the demonstrations in the communally sensitive Coimbatore district of the state by deploying additional force at airports and places of worship.

The authorities arrested activists of Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam (TMMK) and Tamil Nadu Towheed Jamaat (TNTJ) when they tried to stage “rail rook” and demonstration in many places, including Chennai, Coimbatore and Tirupur, demanding rebuilding of Babri Masjid.

In Chennai alone, around 1,500 members of TNTJ were arrested near Raj Bhavan while about 800 members of TMMK were held at the Central and Egmore Railway Stations, the police said.

In Coimbatore over 2,000 activists of TMMK and TNTJ were detained.

Similar protests were also staged in other cities and towns of Tamil Nadu.  Meanwhile, Muslim organisations in India have demanded President Pratibha Patil to re-build the mosque at its original site.

The All India Babri Masjid Re-Building Committee and All India Muslim Unity Front in a joint memorandum to Patil also demanded referral of all disputes relating to it and Ram temple to the Supreme Court for a final time-bound and binding decision.

The verdict of the court will be acceptable to the Muslim community, the memorandum said.

Mohammed Younus Siddique, President of  Babri Masjid Re-Building demanded arrest of opposition leader L K Advani, BJP’s senior leader Murli Manohar Joshi, Bharitya Jan Shakti leader Uma Bharti and others in connection with demolition of Babri Masjid.

Meanwhile, Hindu Mahasabha activists tried to stage March towards Babri Mosque site in Ayodhya on Saturday.

Fifty of them were arrested, police said.

“Youm-e-gham” and ‘Black Day’ was observed by Muslim organisations in Ayodhya to protest the demolition of the mosque.

Black flags were hoisted o houses and a memorandum addressed to the Congress Government demanding reconstruction of the mosque was handed over to the district magistrate in the city.

Posted in Babri Masjid, Coimbatore, Indian Muslims, Islam, Islamofascism, State, Tamil Nadu, Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam | Leave a Comment »

What the Islamic Invaders Did to India: Rizwan Salim On The Anniversary Of The Babri Masjid Demolition In The Context Of Indian History

Posted by jagoindia on July 29, 2008

What the Islamic Invaders Did to India
by Rizwan Salim, 12 Nov, 2007

Rizwan Salim is a reviewer of New York Tribune, Capitol Hill reporter, assistant editor of American Sentinel.

On the anniversary of the Babri Masjid demolition (December 6, 1992), it is important for Hindus (and Muslims) to understand the importance of the event in the context of Hindustan’s history, past and recent, present and the future.

Savages at a very low level of civilisation and no culture worth the name, from Arabia and west Asia, began entering India from the early century onwards. Islamic invaders demolished countless Hindu temples, shattered uncountable sculpture and idols, plundered innumerable palaces and forts of Hindu kings, killed vast numbers of Hindu men and carried off Hindu women. This story, the educated-and a lot of even the illiterate Indians-know very well. History books tell it in remarkable detail. But many Indians do not seem to recognise that the alien Muslim marauders destroyed the historical evolution of the earth’s most mentally advanced civilisation, the most richly imaginative culture, and the most vigorously creative society.

It is clear that India at the time when Muslim invaders turned towards it (8 to 11th century) was the earth’s richest region for its wealth in precious and semi-precious stones, gold and silver, religion and culture, and its fine arts and letters. Tenth century Hindustan was also too far advanced than its contemporaries in the East and the West for its achievements in the realms of speculative philosophy and scientific theorising, mathematics and knowledge of nature’s workings. Hindus of the early medieval period were unquestionably superior in more things than the Chinese, the Persians (including the Sassanians), the Romans and the Byzantines of the immediate proceeding centuries. The followers of Siva and Vishnu on this subcontinent had created for themselves a society more mentally evolved-joyous and prosperous too-than had been realised by the Jews, Christians, and Muslim monotheists of the time. Medieval India, until the Islamic invaders destroyed it, was history’s most richly imaginative culture and one of the five most advanced civilisations of all times.

Look at the Hindu art that Muslim iconoclasts severely damaged or destroyed. Ancient Hindu sculpture is vigorous and sensual in the highest degree-more fascinating than human figural art created anywhere else on earth. (Only statues created by classical Greek artists are in the same class as Hindu temple sculpture). Ancient Hindu temple architecture is the most awe-inspiring, ornate and spell-binding architectural style found anywhere in the world. (The Gothic art of cathedrals in France is the only other religious architecture that is comparable with the intricate architecture of Hindu temples). No artist of any historical civilisation have ever revealed the same genius as ancient Hindustan’s artists and artisans.

Their minds filled with venom against the idol-worshippers of Hindustan, the Muslims destroyed a large number of ancient Hindu temples. This is a historical fact, mentioned by Muslim chroniclers and others of the time. A number of temples were merely damaged and remained standing. But a large number-not hundreds but many thousands-of the ancient temples were broken into shreds of cracked stone. In the ancient cities of Varanasi and Mathura, Ujjain and Maheshwar, Jwalamukhi and Dwarka, not one temple survives whole and intact from the ancient times.

The wrecking of Hindu temples went on from the early years of the 8th century to well past 1700 AD a period of almost 1000 years. Every Muslim ruler in Delhi (or Governor of Provinces) spent most of his time warring against Hindu kings in the north and the south, the east and the west, and almost every Muslim Sultan and his army commanders indulged in largescale destructions of Hindu temples and idols. They also slaughtered a lot of Hindus. It is easy to conclude that virtually every Hindu temple built in the ancient times is a perfect work of art. The evidence of the ferocity with which the Muslim invaders must have struck at the sculptures of gods and goddesses, demons and apsaras, kings and queens, dancers and musicians is frightful. At so many ancient temples of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, for example, shattered portions of stone images still lie scattered in the temple courtyards. Considering the fury used on the idols and sculptures, the stone-breaking axe must have been applied to thousands upon thousands of images of hypnotic beauty.

Giving proof of the resentment that men belonging to an inferior civilisation feel upon encountering a superior civilisation of individuals with a more refined culture, Islamic invaders from Arabia and western Asia broke and burned everything beautiful they came across in Hindustan. So morally degenerate were the Muslim Sultans that, rather than attract Hindu “infidels” to Islam through force of personal example and exhortation, they just built a number of mosques at the sites of torn down temples-and foolishly pretended they had triumphed over the minds and culture of the Hindus. I have seen stones and columns of Hindu temples incorportated into the architecture of several mosques, including the Jama Masjid and Ahmed Shah Masjid in Ahmedabad; the mosque in the Uparkot fort of Junagadh (Gujarat) and in Vidisha (near Bhopal); the Adhai Din Ka Jhonpra right next to the famous dargah in Ajmer-and the currently controversial Bhojshala “mosque” in Dhar (near Indore). Hindu culture was at its imaginative best and vigorously creative when the severely-allergic-to-images Muslims entered Hindustan. Islamic invaders did not just destroy countless temples and constructions but also suppressed cultural and religious practices; damaged the pristine vigour of Hindu religion, prevented the intensification of Hindu culture, debilitating it permanently, stopped the development of Hindu arts ended the creative impulse in all realms of thought and action, damaged the people’s cultural pride, disrupted the transmission of values and wisdom, cultural practices and tradition from one generation to the next; destroyed the proper historical evolution of Hindu kingdoms and society, affected severely the acquisition of knowledge, research and reflection and violated the moral basis of Hindu society. The Hindus suffered immense psychic damage. The Muslims also plundered the wealth of the Hindu kingdoms, impoverished the Hindu populace, and destroyed the prosperity of Hindustan.

Gaze in wonder at the Kailas Mandir in the Ellora caves and remember that it is carved out of a solid stone hill, an effort that (inscriptions say) took nearly 200 years. This is art as devotion. The temple built by the Rashtrakuta kings (who also built the colossal sculpture in the Elenhanta caves off Mumbai harbour) gives proof of the ancient Hindus’ religious fervor.

But the Kailas temple also indicated a will power, a creative imagination, and an intellect eager to take on the greatest of artistic challenges.

The descendants of those who built the magnificent temples of Bhojpur and Thanjavur, Konark and Kailas, invented mathematics and brain surgery, created mindbody disciplines (yoga) of astonishing power, and built mighty empires would almost certainly have attained technological superiority over Europe.

It is not just for “political reasons” that Hindus want to build grand temples at the sites of the (wrecked) Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi, and the Mathura idgah. The efforts of religion-intoxicated and politically active Hindus to rebuild the Ram Mandir, the Kashi Vishwanath Mandir, and the Krishna Mandir are just three episodes m a one-thousand year long Hindu struggle to reclaim their culture and religion from alien invaders.

The demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya on 6 December 1992 was just one episode in the millennial struggle of the Hindus to repossess their religion-centered culture and nation. Meanwhile, hundreds of ancient Hindu temples forsaken all over Hindustan await the reawakening of Hindu cultural pride to be repaired or rebuilt and restored to their original, ancient glory.

Posted in Babri Masjid, Islam, Islamofascism, Jihad, Muslims, Must read article, Temples, Terrorism | 1 Comment »

How India can win the war on Islamic terror

Posted by jagoindia on June 12, 2008

There are two types of internal conflicts, one is a ‘realist’ conflict that is fought for material objectives, for instance independence or separate state (the Bodos). Here since the goal is material and tangible, it is possible to negotiate and compromise. It is thus possible to negotiate with Kashmir separatists, but not with the jihadists.

The second type of threats that we face, namely Islamists and Naxalites, are ideological conflicts. Naxalites want to overthrow the entire system and replace it with one party Communist rule (on lines of Stalin or Mao). Can a democratic State negotiate its own destruction? Similarly, the Islamist goal is the Islamisation of India and establishment of Sharia rule. No negotiations are possible with such groups.

How India can win the war on terror
Colonel Dr Anil Athale (retd)

June 12, 2008
The concluding part of Colonel Anil Athale’s FAQ on terrorism:
Part I: All you want to know about terrorism in India

Using force against terrorists is like treating only the symptom. What about the root cause like the Babri demolition and the Gujarat genocide?

The demolition of the Babri mosque at Ram Janmabhoomi was wrong and against the law of the land. But obduracy of the fundamentalists in denying Hindus their holy place is equally wrong. I am an agnostic but do believe that others who have faith have equal right to their belief. It is not that a compromise had not been worked out in similar cases. The case of the Krishna temple in Mathura is similar so is the case of the Somnath temple.

Making an issue of an obscure mosque in Faizabad was the original sin. In a plural society both the majority and minority have an obligation to respect each other’s beliefs, this cannot be a one-sided affair. Many sensible people on both sides tried to find a solution to the issue, but politicians on both sides, interested in dividing society, thwarted all attempts.

This issue has been further vitiated by the ‘secularists’, who in league with the fundamentalists first disputed the authenticity of Hindu’s historical memory of Ayodhya being the birthplace of Ram. The ill logic has been extended further when many question the historicity of Ram and the Ramayan. There is glaring asymmetry here. All Hindu beliefs and history are sought to be rubbished on ground of lack of ‘evidence’. It is this moronic approach that has turned even the liberal, the tolerant and the agnostics against the ‘sickularists’ and their fellow travelers.

The Gujarat riots of 2002 were indeed horrendous and a blot on the nation. But it cannot be forgotten that the Godhra incident was a grave provocation. In 1969, when the ‘secularists’ were in power, worse riots had taken place in Gujarat. The question is if Godhra had not happened, would the Gujarat riots have taken place? A corollary to that is that even today, in any state, if a Godhra-like incident takes place, equally severe repercussions would occur. This would happen despite the best efforts of the police or army. I have personal experience of dealing successfully with riots during my army career. But we all, who have this experience, agreed that if there is grave provocation and riots spread to rural areas, no army or police can control it.

In addition, some NGOs and individuals, with vested monetary (foreign funds) interests have kept alive the memory of those riots. They have falsely created the brand ‘Gujarat genocide’ by harping on the 2,000 killed when the (secular) central government puts the figure at 800.

The Gujarat riots or the Babri issue are not the root causes, these are mere symptoms. The root causes are population explosion, lack of economic opportunity, lack of education and separatism. Added to this is the fact that religious reformation in all the communities, has bypassed north India. Political interest in dividing society on the bases of caste and creed and foreign vested interests to destabilise India complete the circle of root causes.

We have in the past held talks with the Nagas, Mizos and sundry groups. Why not with the Islamists?

There are two types of internal conflicts, one is a ‘realist’ conflict that is fought for material objectives, for instance independence or separate state (the Bodos). Here since the goal is material and tangible, it is possible to negotiate and compromise. It is thus possible to negotiate with Kashmir separatists, but not with the jihadists.

The second type of threats that we face, namely Islamists and Naxalites, are ideological conflicts. Naxalites want to overthrow the entire system and replace it with one party Communist rule (on lines of Stalin or Mao). Can a democratic State negotiate its own destruction? Similarly, the Islamist goal is the Islamisation of India and establishment of Sharia rule. No negotiations are possible with such groups.

We must take the literature found with Students Islamic Movement of India activists that talks of this goal seriously. Hitler’s [Images] Mein Kampf was not taken seriously and the world paid a terrible price for it.

The Islamist terrorists have another advantage. Since they cloak themselves in religious idiom, they draw support of the average Muslim easily.

How do you fight terrorism? Or should we just be fatalistic and wait for the next attack?

It is necessary for the whole nation, not just the government, to fight this menace. If left unchecked it has the potential to derail our economy and destroy our freedom and democracy. The measures to be taken can be divided into long term and short term measure.

The long term measures will entail overhaul of our educational system so that separatists and extremists do not breed more terrorists taking advantage of constitutional guarantees. Our Constitution gives freedom to the minorities to establish institutes to preserve their culture and language. But that does not mean we permit or encourage separatism under this guise.

As a first step we must have a uniform curriculum, compulsory for all schools that must teach the students the essence of all the religions. Thus a child in a madarassa or a Hindu pathshala must undergo a course that teaches him about Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism and Buddhism.

We have to enforce pluralism through understanding at that very crucial stage of child’s upbringing. Many a misconception about different faiths is born out this ignorance. Any institution that is not prepared to accept this should not be permitted to operate.

It will take many, many years for the effects to be felt, but we must take this step to nip in the bud the menace of religion-based hatred and terrorism. To deal with complaints of discrimination we must have a structure with powers to punish and redress.

As to short term measures, there is a need to enact a law that deals with not just terrorists but also their supporters and sympathisers. The present laws are wholly inadequate. The argument that a terrorism law would not stop terror acts is infantile and moronic and is political cynicism at its worst. We have laws to deal with murder, but that has not stopped murders from taking place, does that mean we should have no criminal law?

If a tough law that makes all those who help, support, conceal terrorists is in place, it will certainly remove the support base of the terrorists and make it difficult for them to operate. The US, UK, Indonesia and Pakistan all have anti-terrorism laws. It is an irony that India, one of the worst sufferers, does not have a law to deal with this menace that is unlike a normal crime in many ways.

An effective passive measure to fight terrorism would be to form a country wide grid of information by co-opting civil society organisations like mohalla committees, gram panchayats, housing societies etc. These organisations should be given the responsibility to monitor their areas for suspicious activities and be held accountable. To boost their prestige and effectiveness they must be consulted by the police in matters of arrest, detention and bail.

But passive measures alone will never suffice. There are several pro-active and aggressive measures that have to be taken, mostly covert, within and outside the country. But these recommendations/measures are not fit for public discussion and debate and will remain unsaid. Suffice it to say that India will have to show its iron fist to recalcitrant neighbours.

Do you think these measures will succeed?

Frankly, no. The ultimate battle against Islamist terror has to be fought by the Muslims themselves, for they are its biggest potential victim. But that needs a religious reformation, a kind that took place in Europe in the 16th century or in India during the time of Buddha! But presently there is no sign of this happening and it is going to be long haul when Muslims move away from literalist interpretation of their faith and contextualise it.

On the other hand, Hindu society is so hopelessly divided that much terrorism will take place in India not because we are the number one enemy of Islam, which we are not, but because we are a soft target.

India possibly is already a laboratory for the jihadists, who test their tactics and weapons here before they use them against the West.

Colonel (Dr) Anil Athale (retd) is former joint director, war studies, ministry of defence, and co-ordinator of the Pune-based Initiative for Peace and Disarmament

Posted in Babri Masjid, Godhra, Hindus, India, Islam, Islamofascism, Muslims, Must read article, Pseudo secularism, SIMI, State, Terrorism | 1 Comment »