Islamic Terrorism in India

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Partition was a blessing for India

Posted by jagoindia on September 3, 2009

“Coming back to the idea of Partition, despite frequent lip-service to the idea of an undivided India by the Sangh Parivar and even secularists, the bitter truth is that it was the best thing to happen to us. An undivided India on Jinnah’s terms would have reduced the whole of the region to Pakistan-like chaos. We would have had not just three countries, but more than 20 of them, allowing none to survive as secular nations. By agreeing to Partition, Nehru and Patel saved the rest of the nation from the mess Jinnah created. They did the right thing.

Partition was good

Here are the excerpts, to read the complete article go here.

Coming back to Jaswant’s book, what is truly surprising about the BJP’s response to it (and the rest of India’s, for that matter) is the assumption that Partition itself was a mistake. We are dead wrong. Partition could have been avoided only if the Muslim League and the Congress, then considered proxies for Muslim and Hindu interests, had agreed on the basic issue of secularism — where the state is driven by a constitution rather than communal vetoes. Jinnah wanted a Muslim veto everywhere and he demonstrated this in the interim government where League ministers opposed everything the Congress proposed, resulting in deadlock. Partition prevented this deadlock from becoming the future of undivided India. It allowed Pakistan to experiment with its Muslim identity and India with its Hindu-dominated, but secular, ideology. Today it is more or less clear which approach is right. It is also significant that Jinnah, who was so insistent on a Muslim veto in undivided India, did not give the same veto to minorities in Pakistan. His stand was thus totally hypocritical and self-serving.

But it is still too early to declare victory for secularism. The ideological battle will have to be fought to the bitter end, and only one can win. Jinnah’s ideological progeny in India continue to oppose secular laws in India and the army in Pakistan still believes in perpetual conflict with India. The only difference is that the ruling powers in Pakistan have shifted to indirect action — through jihadi terror in Kashmir and elsewhere — against India and secularism. That struggle is not about to end and our prime minister’s pusillanimity towards Pakistan is not going to help. Nothing emboldens Pakistan’s army and the ruling elite more than signs of indecisiveness and confusion in India.

Coming back to the idea of Partition, despite frequent lip-service to the idea of an undivided India by the Sangh Parivar and even secularists, the bitter truth is that it was the best thing to happen to us. An undivided India on Jinnah’s terms would have reduced the whole of the region to Pakistan-like chaos. We would have had not just three countries, but more than 20 of them, allowing none to survive as secular nations. By agreeing to Partition, Nehru and Patel saved the rest of the nation from the mess Jinnah created. They did the right thing.

The real tragedy is not that Indians have been unable to see Jinnah differently, as some secular historians would have us believe, but that we still hold rose-tinted notions about undivided India. It is time to abandon the idea.

Posted in Hindus, India, Indian Muslims, Islam, Islamofascism, Jinnah, Pakistan, Secularism, Terrorism | Leave a Comment »

Pakistanis, Indians, the same people? Surely not (must read)

Posted by jagoindia on March 25, 2009

Pakistan was founded on the basis of Islam. It still defines itself in
terms of Islam. And over the next decade as it destroys itself, it
will be because of Islamic extremism.

India was founded on the basis that religion had no role in
determining citizenship or nationhood. An Indian can belong to any
religion in the world and face no discrimination in his rights as a

The same people? Surely not

Vir Sanghvi, March 07, 2009, Hindustan Times

Few things annoy me as much as the claim often advanced by
well-meaning but woolly- headed (and usually Punjabi) liberals to the
effect that when it comes to India and Pakistan, “We’re all the same
people, yaar.”

This may have been true once upon a time. Before 1947, Pakistan was
part of undivided India and you could claim that Punjabis from West
Punjab (what is now Pakistan) were as Indian as, say, Tamils from

But time has a way of moving on. And while the gap between our
Punjabis (from east Punjab which is now the only Punjab left in India)
and our Tamils may actually have narrowed, thanks to improved
communications, shared popular culture and greater physical mobility,
the gap between Indians and Pakistanis has now widened to the extent
that we are no longer the same people in any significant sense.

This was brought home to me most clearly by two major events over the
last few weeks.

The first of these was the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team on
the streets of Lahore. In their defence, Pakistanis said that they
were powerless to act against the terrorists because religious
fanaticism was growing. Each day more misguided youngsters joined
jihadi outfits and the law and order situation worsened.

Further, they added, things had got so bad that in the tribal areas
the government of Pakistan had agreed to suspend the rule of law under
pressure from the Taliban and had conceded that sharia law would reign
instead. Interestingly, while most civilised liberals should have been
appalled by this surrender to the forces of extremism, many Pakistanis
defended this concession.

Imran Khan (Keble College, Oxford, 1973-76) even declared that sharia
law would be better because justice would be dispensed more swiftly!
(I know this is politically incorrect but the Loin of the Punjab’s
defence of sharia law reminded me of the famous Private Eye cover when
his marriage to Jemima Goldsmith was announced. The Eye carried a
picture of Khan speaking to Jemima’s father. “Can I have your
daughter’s hand?” Imran was supposedly asking James Goldsmith. “Why?
Has she been caught shoplifting?” Goldsmith replied. So much for
sharia law.)

The second contrasting event was one that took place in Los Angeles
but which was perhaps celebrated more in India than in any other
country in the world. Three Indians won Oscars: A.R. Rahman, Resul
Pookutty and Gulzar.

Their victory set off a frenzy of rejoicing. We were proud of our
countrymen. We were pleased that India’s entertainment industry and
its veterans had been recognised at an international platform. And all
three men became even bigger heroes than they already were.

But here’s the thing: Not one of them is a Hindu.

Can you imagine such a thing happening in Pakistan? Can you even
conceive of a situation where the whole country would celebrate the
victory of three members of two religious minorities? For that matter,
can you even imagine a situation where people from religious
minorities would have got to the top of their fields and were,
therefore, in the running for international awards?

On the one hand, you have Pakistan imposing sharia law, doing deals
with the Taliban, teaching hatred in madrasas, declaring jihad on the
world and trying to kill innocent Sri Lankan cricketers. On the other,
you have the triumph of Indian secularism.

The same people?

Surely not.

We are defined by our nationality. They choose to define themselves by
their religion.

But it gets even more complicated. As you probably know, Rahman was
born Dilip Kumar. He converted to Islam when he was 21. His religious
preferences made no difference to his prospects. Even now, his music
cuts across all religious boundaries. He’s as much at home with Sufi
music as he is with bhajans. Nor does he have any problem with saying
‘Vande Mataram’.

Now, think of a similar situation in Pakistan. Can you conceive of a
Pakistani composer who converted to Hinduism at the age of 21 and
still went on to become a national hero? Under sharia law, they’d
probably have to execute him.

Resul Pookutty’s is an even more interesting case. Until you realise
that Malayalis tend to put an ‘e’ where the rest of us would put an
‘a,’ (Ravi becomes Revi and sometimes the Gulf becomes the Gelf), you
cannot work out that his name derives from Rasool, a fairly obviously
Islamic name.

But here’s the point: even when you point out to people that Pookutty
is in fact a Muslim, they don’t really care. It makes no difference to
them. He’s an authentic Indian hero, his religion is irrelevant.

Can you imagine Pakistan being indifferent to a man’s religion? Can
you believe that Pakistanis would not know that one of their Oscar
winners came from a religious minority? And would any Pakistani have
dared bridge the religious divide in the manner Resul did by referring
to the primeval power of Om in his acceptance speech?

The same people?

Surely not.

Most interesting of all is the case of Gulzar who many Indians believe
is a Muslim. He is not. He is a Sikh. And his real name is Sampooran
Singh Kalra.

So why does he have a Muslim name?

It’s a good story and he told it on my TV show some years ago. He was
born in West Pakistan and came over the border during the bloody days
of Partition. He had seen so much hatred and religious violence on
both sides, he said, that he was determined never to lose himself to
that kind of blind religious prejudice and fanaticism.

Rather than blame Muslims for the violence inflicted on his community
— after all, Hindus and Sikhs behaved with equal ferocity — he adopted
a Muslim pen name to remind himself that his identity was beyond
religion. He still writes in Urdu and considers it irrelevant whether
a person is a Sikh, a Muslim or a Hindu.

Let’s forget about political correctness and come clean: can you see
such a thing happening in Pakistan? Can you actually conceive of a
famous Pakistani Muslim who adopts a Hindu or Sikh name out of choice
to demonstrate the irrelevance of religion?

My point, exactly.

What all those misguided liberals who keep blathering on about us
being the same people forget is that in the 60-odd years since
Independence, our two nations have traversed very different paths.

Pakistan was founded on the basis of Islam. It still defines itself in
terms of Islam. And over the next decade as it destroys itself, it
will be because of Islamic extremism.

India was founded on the basis that religion had no role in
determining citizenship or nationhood. An Indian can belong to any
religion in the world and face no discrimination in his rights as a

It is nobody’s case that India is a perfect society or that Muslims
face no discrimination. But only a fool would deny that in the last
six decades, we have travelled a long way towards religious equality.
In the early days of independent India, a Yusuf Khan had to call
himself Dilip Kumar for fear of attracting religious prejudice.

In today’s India, a Dilip Kumar can change his name to A.R. Rahman and
nobody really gives a damn either way.

So think back to the events of the last few weeks. To the murderous
attack on innocent Sri Lankan cricketers by jihadi fanatics in a
society that is being buried by Islamic extremism. And to the triumphs
of Indian secularism.

Same people?

Don’t make me laugh.

Posted in Hindus, India, Indian Muslims, Islam, Islamofascism, Minorities, Muslims, Must read article, Pakistan, Secularism, Sharia, Terrorism | 8 Comments »

Secularism and Jamia’s legal aid to Islamic terror suspects: sending a wrong signal to society

Posted by jagoindia on October 14, 2008
Secularism and legal aid to terror suspects
13 Oct 2008, 0307 hrs IST, Dhananjay Mahapatra,TNN

NEW DELHI: It was probably the first time in independent India that the head of a reputed educational institution rallied behind his students arrested by police for their suspected role in a conspiracy to commit a heinous crime — the recent serial blasts in Delhi.

It was a serious crime as it not only aimed to scare Delhiites but also attempted to widen the divide between Hindus and Muslims.

When respected educationist Prof Mushirul Hasan, the head of Jamia Millia Islamia, announced legal aid to students detained for their alleged involvement in the blasts, it was probably meant to vent the community’s pent up anger at being always on the wrong side of the social opinion stick.

Giving vent to anguish through legal aid on an assumption of the students’ innocence, as the law always presumes the accused to be so till pronounced guilty, is a welcome step. This will be a lesson to those who vent their anger by exploding bombs. But was Prof Hasan’s announcement necessary? The government was bound by the Constitution, in the Preamble of which the word ‘secular’ was inserted through 42nd Amendment in 1976, to provide legal aid to all citizens irrespective of their religion, caste or creed.

The Jamia students’ alleged involvement in the bomb blasts has a gruesome parallel in the killing of Prof Sabharwal in a Ujjain college allegedly by ABVP student activists. The murder had shocked students, teachers and citizens at large irrespective of their religion. Even the alleged killers of Prof Sabharwal would have been provided legal aid by the Madhya Pradesh government if they did not have the wherewithal to hire a lawyer.

But, if the Ujjain college principal had announced legal aid for them, it would have definitely sent a wrong signal to society, majority of which rightly sees no connection between crime and religion.

Religion of an accused, irrespective of the gravity of his crime, is inconsequential for a state. It is duty bound to provide legal aid to poor litigants who cannot defend themselves or present their case before a court of law.

In every educational institution, students from various communities pursue their studies. There are elements among students who have an habit of breaching the law. Many a times they are detained and let off later. But, in some cases, they do get convicted.

In none of these cases, the head of the institution, where the accused studied, was ever seen publicly offering legal aid to them during their trial when they were yet to be pronounced guilty.

If secularism is a cardinal mandate of the Constitution to the state, it has a meaning for the institutions too. Like a state has subjects belonging
to different religions, a college or university has students forming a mosaic of multi-religious hues. None, neither the state nor the institution, can afford to even appear to discriminate or appease on the basis of religion.

Elaborating on the concept of secularism in the Indian context, a 9-judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court in S R Bommai vs Union of India [1994 (3) SCC 1] had said: “Secularism is our cardinal faith. Any profession and action which go counter to the aforesaid creed are a prima facie proof of the conduct in defiance of the provisions of our Constitution.”

The two quotable quotes with which the Supreme Court started its famous Ayodhya judgment [Ismail Faruqi vs Union of India 1994 SCC (6) 360] are still relevant:

• “We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another” — Jonathan Swift
• “Religion is not in doctrines, in dogmas nor in intellectual argumentation; it is in being and becoming; it is realisation” — Swami Vivekanand

Posted in Delhi, Indian Muslims, Islamofascism, Pseudo secularism, Secularism, State, Terrorism | Leave a Comment »

Islamic Fundamentalists flourish in secular vacuum

Posted by jagoindia on September 7, 2008

An interesting article by the Muslim author. But he err’s when he points out that, “it is illogical to blame Islam for the sins of Muslims.” and quotes a few peaceful, tolerant verses in the Quran.

The truth is, for every one peaceful verse, there might be 10 violent verses and most importantly many instances the peace verses were abrogated and replaced by verses which promote violence against nonmuslims . “Islam became violent and militant in Madina as indicated by the final 27 Madina verses of Quran which promote violence against nonmuslims and abrogate the earlier peaceful Mecca verses”

So Muslims and Muslim apologists such as Karen Armstrong are misleading us when they quote the peace verses. And yes, Islam is responsible for the demented violent behaviour of Muslims, contrary to what the author wants us to believe.

Fundamentalists flourish in secular vacuum
6 Sep 2008, 0003 hrs IST,TNN

The great contradiction of fundamentalist politics is that it cannot deliver on the basic problem that provoked its rise, economic deprivation…Ordinary Indians hunger for more bread, not more guns…The bad news is that it takes only 1% to wreak havoc.

Who, or what, is a fundamentalist? The word might even be a tautology, for a believer can only be true to his faith if he believes in its fundamentals. You cannot be very faithful, can you, if you believe only in supplementaries? I fast during Ramadan, one of the five fundamental tenets of Islam: I hope this does not make me a fundamentalist.

The slide begins when one faith begins to encroach upon a separate conviction. The first symptom of fundamentalism is aggression. When this aggression is channelled through an organized section of a community, it becomes communalism. When a state codifies such aggression through statute, or executive authority, it becomes a fundamentalist state.

Is an Islamic state ipso facto fundamentalist? No. The Quran repeatedly commends co-existence: “ Lakum deen-e kum wal ya deen (Your religion for you and my religion for me)” and “La iqra fi al deen (Let there be no compulsion in religion)”. The exemplar of the Islamic state is obviously the period when the Prophet was head of the city-state of Medina in addition to being rasool of the Muslims. Medina was multi-religious and multi-ethnic, with a mixed population including Jews, Christians and non-Muslim Arabs. There is no instance of a church or synagogue being destroyed under his watch. There was instead a Muslim-Jewish covenant on the principle of “Lahum ma lana wa alayhim ma alayna” : Jews and Muslims had the same rights and duties. “The terms of the covenant were primarily based on recognition of diverse affiliations and did not demand conversion,” writes Tariq Ramadan (The Messenger, Penguin).

This hardly means that Muslims today cannot be fundamentalists, but it is illogical to blame Islam for the sins of Muslims.

Indian secularism, turned into a modern political force by Mahatma Gandhi, a great expert in fusing the best of Hinduism and Islam, is based on the equality of “diverse affiliations”. His personality and philosophy attracted unprecedented Muslim support. No Indian has commanded as much allegiance from Indian Muslims as Gandhi did during the Khilafat movement (1919-1922), but that support withered after the Mahatma abandoned the movement arbitrarily after Chauri Chaura. One section of the disillusioned community drifted, over the next fifteen years, inexorably towards the politics of separation and eventually Pakistan.

British India re-mapped itself into three nations. Each has a father figure: Gandhi, Jinnah, Mujibur Rehman. All three wanted their children to believe in a multi-faith nation. Gandhi prayed all the time; Jinnah only when compelled; Mujib was somewhere in-between. Their personal predilections did not influence their vision for their country. Jinnah wanted his “Muslim India” to permit Hindus to worship as they pleased in their temples for religion, in his view, was no business of the state. Mujib’s Bangladesh promised equality to Bengali Hindus.

One measure of prevalent fundamentalism would be the distance that each nation has wandered from the vision of its father. Surely the most heartbroken would be Jinnah, as the laws and culture of puritanical theocracy invade public space in Pakistan with a momentum that no one seems capable of reversing.

The shift towards fundamentalist politics, even by a minority within a minority, needs a combustible base as well as a spark. Some Indian Muslims have been drawn towards extremist rhetoric by a growing sense of economic victimization. Not unnaturally, this was most evident among the young, who feel the humiliation of discrimination in jobs most keenly.

Rising India seems sympathetic to only two categories: the winner and the victim. The first becomes a celebrity; the latter wallows, effectively, in the swamp of the collective. The government has created a sanctimonious comfort zone for the victim. It is called reservations. Muslim youth have been denied the false comfort of reservations as well.

The spark is demagoguery. Oratory is a fine art in Indian Muslim culture; demagoguery is periodic epilepsy. The man who revived it was the Shahi Imam of the Delhi Jama Masjid in 1977, Abdullah Bukhari. His anger had cause. The Congress had threatened his sanctum sanctorum during the Emergency. The interesting point is that both the anti-Congress alliance, banded under the Janata label, and the Congress gave him legitimacy. The Janata used him to defeat Mrs Indira Gandhi in 1977; Mrs Indira Gandhi used him to defeat the Janata in 1980. His self-importance never looked back. In the company of imitators, he shifted to hysteria during the Shah Bano episode in the 1980s. This was soon answered by the equally ferocious hysteria of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement. It took the conflagration of the winter of 1992 and 1993 to put hysteria on hold.

The pause did not eliminate the strain in either gene. The culture of verbal violence had an inevitable physical by-product, organized riots and terrorism.

Fundamentalism flourishes best in the space vacated by secular parties. As the principal standard-bearers of secularism have devalued and corrupted their ethics, smaller parties have emerged with fewer reasons for restraint. The din of electioneering makes a mockery of electoral laws; very few candidates could survive a scrutiny based on the standards imposed by the Election Commission. Governments may screen their misdemeanours artfully, but their record is even more reprehensible. The overt indulgence of minority fundamentalism is compensated by covert compromise with majority fundamentalism. The end result is an unholy mess.

The great contradiction of fundamentalist politics, its epic flaw, is that it cannot deliver on the basic problem that provoked its rise, economic deprivation. Rage is not an economic policy. Violence is the antidote of economic progress. It can succeed at moments of high social stress or public rage, but that is a short-term placebo for blood pressure. Ordinary Indians hunger for more bread, not more guns. This is what keeps the overwhelming majority away from fundamentalism.

The bad news is that it takes only one per cent to wreak havoc.

Posted in India, Indian Muslims, Islam, Islamofascism, Secularism, Terrorism | Leave a Comment »