Sunday, September 5, 2010

ANOTHER DEBATE ON "SAFFRON TERROR" BY BARKHA DUTT

B.RAMAN



There was another debate on the issue of "Saffron Terror" organised by Ms.Barkha Dutt on NDTV under the "We The People" programme on the evening of September 5. I liked the format of the programme, which was different from the usual format of the "We the People" programmes on Sunday. The number of patrticipants was less and the debate was well-focussed. It was more like a brain-storming on the subject than a no-holds barred debating contest.


2. I wanted to record the following observations with reference to some of the points made during the discussions. I have made these observations many times before in my books and articles and during my participation in seminars. Despite that, I thought it was worth repeating them since there seems to be a lot of inadequate knowledge and appreciation of them:

* Firstly, During the 1980s, many Muslims from all over the world were motivated by the intelligence agencies of the US, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to go to Afghanistan and wage a jihad against the Soviet troops there. They could not succeed in motivating members of the Indian Muslim community outside Jammu & Kashmir to go to Afghanistan and join the anti-Soviet jihad.
* Secondly, a few Indian Muslims from outside J&K motivated by the Jamaat-e-Islami (JEI) of Pakistan did go to Pakistan for being trained in camps run by the JEI with funding by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). The JEI and the ISI instructed them to wage a jihad against the Government of India and to operate jointly with the Khalistanis. On their return to India, they failed to motivate the members of the Indian Muslim community to start a jihad. Their appeals for action were spurned by the Indian Muslim community in hinterland India.
* Thirdly, according to the then President Najibullah of Afghanistan, many angry Kashmiris did go to Pakistan for training in the camps set up by the JEI. From there, they were taken to Afghanistan for gaining experience in waging a jihad. Some of these motivated Kashmiris became the initial hard core of the Hizbul Mujahideen and the J&K Liberation Front.
* Fourthly, while the phenomenon of the radicalisation of some sections of the Indian Muslims had started in J&K even before the demolition of the Babri Masjid, this phenomenon started in the Muslim community outside J&K in hinterland India only after the demolition. The demolition of the masjid was the initial trigger for acts of terrorism by some indigenous Muslims belonging to organisations such as the Students' Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and Al Ummah of Tamil Nadu. Many young Indian Muslims were also driven into the arms of Dawood Ibrahim. Thus, anger among some sections of young Indian Muslims in hinterland India over the Babri Masjid demolition played an important role in the emergence of jihadi terrorism in hinterland India. This was the main motivating anger during the 1990s.Many of the major acts of terrorism during this period such as the Mumbai blasts of March 1993, the Coimbatore blasts of February 1998 and other incidents such as explosions in trains were attributable to the anger caused by the Babri Masjid demolition.
* Fifthly, after 9/11, not a single Indian Muslim living in India went to Afghanistan to join Al Qaeda's jihad against the Americans. However, some Indian Muslims based abroad did join Al Qaeda, but this was not due to their anger against the Government of India, but due to their anger against the US for its invasion and occupation of Iraq. The jihad in Iraq against the Americans waged by Al Qaeda attracted a large number of foreign Muslims, but Indian Muslims kept away from Iraq's Al Qaeda.
* Sixthly, post-2000, the anger among sections of Indian Muslim youth in hinterland India over the demolition of the Babri Masjid started subsiding, but a new cause of anger made its appearance. This was due to the perception that the Indian criminal justice system--- the police, the lawyer community and the judiciary--- was unfair to the Muslims. This new anger had two consequences. It led to some of these Muslims helping Pakistani/Bangladeshi organisations such as the Lashkar-e-Toiba, the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HUJI) and the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JEM). At the same time it also led to the phenomenon of Indian Mujahideen.
* Seventhly, the phenomenon of some Hindus taking to anti-Muslim reprisal terrorism was the outcome of what is perceived by them as the soft policy of the Government of India towards Pakistan and towards those members of the Indian Muslim community who were indulging in terrorism. The anger over the allegedly soft policy made its appearance not only among some Hindu religious elements, but also among sections of the security bureaucracy belonging to the Hindu religion. The two felt attracted to each other and joned hands in starting reprisal terrorism against soft targets in the Muslim community.
* Eighthly, the emerging phenomenon of Hindu reprisal terrorism merits serious attention because of its negative implications for communal harmony and because of the emergence of a seeming alliance between some religious elements and some in the security bureaucracy. If we don't stop this, we may go the way of Pakistan.
* Ninthly,Counter-terrorism has two aspects----operational and psychological.The operational aspect relates to strengthening our preventive,investigative and intervention capabilities.The psychological aspect relates to prompt and effective action to identify and address causes for anger in any community. Equal attention should be paid to both these aspects. ( 6-9-10)

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-Mail: seventyone2@gmail.com )

8 comments:

ambi said...

Well said sir ji! As singer Padmashri Remo Fernandes said in one of his comments that Congress & BJP are equally corrupt & equally communal. To get Hindu votes Rajiv Gandhi did shilanyas of Ram mandir at ayodhya. BJP got nervous that Congress ll take away big chunk of its Hindu Vote bank so it came out with Rathyatra & all that, rest is history

Everyone knows how ruling Congress in Maharashtra gave free hand to Shivsena in Mumbai riots. Rightly so in a sense it was the incompetence of govts in centre & states (oh our beloved secular Congress, how much I love you) which led to some radicalization of muslims. So being neutral, one can say that 1993 blasts in Mumbai were more of revenge attack than terror attack.

Even now these two parties are not going away from this cheap politics. Chidambaram’s comment about ‘Saffron Terror’ is more about appeasement of muslim vote bank in coming Bihar election. Our beloved Congress’s secularism is un parallel. Really! But do we have choice. Other than both these parties other options like our comrades & others are worst.

Unfortunately Congress is in the tight grip of Gandhi-Nehru family. Until & unless it comes out from this families influence people like me will always stay away from it. Congress has become more of a personal property of Gandhis. No one can believe that it was the same Congress which gave India PMs like Lal Bahadur Shastry & Narsimha Rao (miss them badly).

That’s what I like about BJP. It is not a property of certain political family, it has better leaders & policies then Congress. It has a better chance. Go BJP That’s the way.

ambi said...

Oops! Forgot to mention the other stark side of Congress policy. (If it is not mentioned it ll be injustice to we Hindu Youth) The brazen minority appeasement by Manmohan Singh’s govt 1& 2. After living in Palatial houses personalities like Shabana Azmi, Emra Hashmi & others have brazenness to say that they don’t get house in Mumbai cause they are Muslims. Now what shld one make of it. Have some shame.

Under Shivraj patil in 2006-08, almost every month Hindus were targeted by IM or SIMI, still no firm action, till 26-11 happened & we kicked his ass. The same day when couple of Kashmiris died in police firing, the same day four farmers died in police firing in Andhra Pradesh. It was a normal law & order problem. Still it was not a news for our media & concern for our Congress. Even if a mosquito bites kashmiris it as a news. Does sonia & Manomhan think we are fools not to understand what is happening. Hindu youth is damn frustrated by this congress policy. Congress needs to chart out new road. This current format ll take them no where.

ravinder said...

@ambi
"To get Hindu votes Rajiv Gandhi did shilanyas of Ram mandir at ayodhya. BJP got nervous that Congress ll take away big chunk of its Hindu Vote bank so it came out with Rathyatra"

- Sir how many years passed between Shilanyas and Rath Yatra?



"Rightly so in a sense it was the incompetence of govts in centre & states (oh our beloved secular Congress, how much I love you) which led to some radicalization of muslims"

- ok some radicalizatin was by the "incompetence of govts in centre & states" (sic). Some ok. Now pls let us know what about the most of radicalization.



"1993 blasts in Mumbai were more of revenge attack than terror attack."

- 1993 was our 1971. You are right but why do you hide behind phrases like "more of..". I was a revenge attack.



ambi ji what are the chances that you are confusing your civic sense with your historic sense?

ravinder said...

Ramanji,

with all due respect. I do subscribe to all the points that you mention.

But dont you think you are hiding something.

If Green Terror has turned the Muslims into what they are in world in General and Pakistan in particular.....then why doesnt the presence of Saffron Terror turns Hindus into much the same.

Sir your take on Saffron Terror is biased and not supported by reality... They smack of establishment. Perhaps that is the reason why P-secs like Barkha Dutt keep calling you in their Polit Bureau.

I do subscribe to your generally known views on how state should tackle terrorists both Hindus and Muslims.

ambi said...

Dear ravinder ji I don’t know may be my analysis is wrong. But I still feel that the particular Mumbai bomb blast in 1993 was more of a revenge attack, rather then terror attack. Of course after that any attack that took place anywhere in India, it was a pure terror attack & shld be seen & handled accordingly.

I may be wrong still I feel that BJP’s Rathyatra was a political answer to Congress Shilanyas.

I am not trying here to be apologetic or politically correct. I can understand your anguish because I have the same rage in my heart when I see atrocities committed on innocent Hindus by others. It is Hindus who ve faced more terror attacks here.

If you want to solve any problem, you ll have to analyse it correctly. The Mumbai bomb blast right or wrong was a real anger agst system.

There is a genuine anger & there is a fabricated one. Current Kashmir problem is a fabricated one. When Gen. Musharaff was ruling in Pakistan, RAW saved few attempts on his life by some Pak military officials & jihadi network, thus he was tamed by Indians. He ordered APHC & company to lie low & shut up. So like obedient pets APHC Company lied low for so many years. Now that our Punjabi kayani uncle has become COAS Pakistan, Syed Ali shah Gilani, Mirwais Omer Farookh & others are dancing to Rawalpindi tunes. Once New Delhi is able to convince Kayani uncle agst this, then these APHC cartoons ll again lie low till further instructions. Intifida my foot! If they can pelt 500 stones & get what they want then whole India ll pelt lakhs of stones at this bull shit Intifida. We ll not keep quiet now. bahoot ho gaya. If APHC & company don’t want to stay with us then pack your bags & get lost. We have never stopped them, nor do we intend to.

As a Hindu Youth I have also mentioned the problems faced by us, I hope you have gone through it. What else?

Regards.

ambi said...

Hi Ravinder ji,

Iran & Al Qaeda, are two enemies of USA, who ld have never found their influence in Iraq under Saddam Hussain. More or less Saddam Hussain had kept Iraq secular, modern & ally of west. USA, like an idiot & novice dentist, who not identifying the real problem correctly, rather than uprooting a swelling tooth, he uprooted the tooth which was in a good health. The net result is that swelling tooth is still swelling (Afghanistan/ Taliban / Alqaeda),& created a swelling vacuum by uprooting a healthy tooth (saddam), whose vacuum might be filed by germs (alqaeda & company).

By foolishly equating Saddam with talibs in Afghanistan in war on terror, they have unnecessarily created a new enemy & danger for themselves. War for USA is far from over. Infact it has just begun. Just pulling out forces from Iraq & Afghanistan wont help.

Of course no one can give 100% correct assessment of such a complex dynamics, still we shld always try to be more clear in finding right & wrong, good & bad. We shld try to be as much rational in our thinking as possible.

Regards.

Tejas and Shaz said...

Mr Raman

I have always read your articles and appreciated them for bringing out the inner story from a security point of view. But I am disappointed to say the least with regard to the present article. How can you coin terms like Hindu terrorism when there is no evidence against anyone. The cases against Lt Purohit and Pragya Thakur was weak prima facie and is weakening ever since. There are factual errors in the reports whenever the "Hindu terror" cases come up. The main stream media is just feasting on false reports to further their TRP agenda and Barkha Dutt is one of its principal proponents. You have made loose statements and built up a non existential reasoning for this so called "Hindu terror". I certainly did not expect this from you.

Raghu said...

Dear sir,
By the admission of Zbigniew Brzezinski (NSA in the Carter administration), US involvement and mobilization for jihad in Afghanistan started BEFORE the Soviet occupation. This goes counter to your first point.