Why India should look within.November 29, 2008
Having cried wolf a few times too many, its not surprising that the rest of the world has, to be frank, had enough. Its about time India acknowledged the threats within its own borders not just from Muslims who feel increasingly alienated, but the rising threat of Hindu Terrorism, as proven in the case of the Malegaon attacks and Samjhauta Express bombings. Pointing the finger at Pakistan every time while ignoring / denying the threats it faces from within, coupled with a failure to address the deep-seated problems that fuel this hatred – will be counterproductive and will have disastrous consequences for India in the months/years to come.
Dan Qayyum – Pakistan Ka Khuda Hafiz
Chrtistine Fair, senior political scientist and a South Asia expert at the RAND Corporation, was careful to say that the identity of the terrorists could not yet be known. But she insisted the style of the attacks and the targets in Mumbai suggested that the militants were likely to be Indian Muslims – and not linked to Al Qaeda or the violent South Asian terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba.
“There’s absolutely nothing Al Qaeda-like about it,” she said of the attack. “Did you see any suicide bombers? And there are no fingerprints of Lashkar. They don’t do hostage taking, and they don’t do grenades.” Fair believes the attacks could be “yet another manifestation of domestic terrorism” that has its genesis in a longstanding institutional discrimination against Muslims.
“There are a lot of very, very angry Muslims in India,” she said, “The economic disparities are startling, and India has been very slow to publicly embrace its rising Muslim problem. You cannot put lipstick on this pig. This is a major domestic political challenge for India.”
“The public political face of India says, ‘Our Muslims have not been radicalized.’ But the Indian intelligence apparatus knows that’s not true. India’s Muslim communities are being sucked into the global landscape of Islamist jihad.
“Indians will have a strong incentive to link this to Al Qaeda. ‘Al Qaeda’s in your toilet!’ But this is a domestic issue. This is not India’s 9/11.” Hoffman agreed that the assault was “not exactly Al Qaeda’s modus operandi, which is suicide attacks.”
‘India trains all sorts of peoples, from terrorists to militants to fanatics, to suit its national and international needs. But in order to cover up its nefarious activities it focuses on Islam, Muslims, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Hajj, etc.; and blames its neighbors. Indian intelligence agencies are frustrated over the strong lobbying for highlighting Kashmir human rights violations at international forums by some NGOs in Europe and U.S., with the support of Indian human rights and peace activists. A huge lot of resources are being wasted on propaganda purposes by Indian government directly throughout the world.’
Read Full Article by George Fernandes
‘The Indian government has two choices. First, it can simply say that the perpetrators are a domestic group. In that case, it will be held accountable for a failure of enormous proportions in security and law enforcement. It will be charged with being unable to protect the public. On the other hand, it can link the attack to an outside power: Pakistan. In that case it can hold a nation-state responsible for the attack, and can use the crisis atmosphere to strengthen the government’s internal position by invoking nationalism. Politically this is a much preferable outcome for the Indian government, and so it is the most likely course of action. This is not to say that there are no outside powers involved — simply that, regardless of the ground truth, the Indian government will claim there were.’
‘India’s political leaders have long congratulated themselves on the absence of any home-grown al-Qaida threat.
But this week’s attack in Mumbai is the latest in a series of incidents that have forced the Indian government to acknowledge privately that there may be Islamist militant groups within its borders. Pranab Mukherjee, India’s foreign minister, explicitly accused Pakistan of involvement yesterday, but Indian defence analysts concede that it would have been near impossible to mount such a carefully coordinated assault on the city without some degree of local support.’
Read Full Article | Amelia Gentleman | Guardian UK
‘In the interests of combating terrorism, it won’t be long before anti-terrorist squads ask Indians with Muslim names questions like: what are you doing out so late? Do you have a legitimate reason for walking near that hotel? How can you prove that you live in this city? If you’re not from here, what reason do you have for being in this city? It won’t be long before Indian Muslims are arrested simply for being Muslims, and asked to prove that they are not terrorists. As for the public, the great majority will applaud these actions. They’ll say it is unfortunate, but it is necessary. We know this because we have seen it all before.’
Is India reaping a harvest of hatred sown by Indians? - We’ve seen it all before. A Sri Lankan Perspective.
Also, lets revisit the Samjhota Express blasts as well as Melagaon, both of which were blamed on Pakistan (ISI and Lashkar-e-Taiba) just as they’re trying to pin this one on us.
‘Indian authorities and the media were quick to assert that the evidence overwhelmingly pointed towards Pakistan and ISI. With the immediate release of sketches of the suspects, it seemed that Indians had it all figured out. For Pakistan it was nothing more than a feeling of déjà vu; India is known to have a history of blaming Pakistan and ISI for the smallest of occurrences in India, hardly ever backing it up with any credible evidence. And so when in 2006 Malegaon, a town in the Nashik district of the Indian state of Maharashtra, located at some 290 km to the northeast of state capital Mumbai, was rattled by a series of bombings, the blame was put on groups having links with Pakistan and Bangladesh. The Maharashtra Police blamed the Student Islamic Movement of India, further linking them to Lashkar-e-Taiba and in turn the ISI.’
‘The unlikely twist surfaced recently in India with the arrests of 10 people, including a serving Lieutenant Colonel Prashad Srikant Purohit, a Hindu monk and nun for their alleged involvement in bomb explosions that killed six people in the Muslimdominated town of Malegaon this year. So far, ten people, including a selfproclaimed Hindu seer and a serving lieutenant colonel, have been arrested for their involvement in the Sep 29 bombing. Besides Purohit, of the accused also include Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, Shivnarayan Singh Kalsangram, Shyam Bhawarlal Sahu, Major Ramesh Shivji Upadhyay (retd), Sameer Kulkarni, Rakesh Dattaram Dhavde and Ajay Rahirkar. The suspicion is now directed at the extremist Hindu movement Sangh Parivar, a network linked to a former Major, and now in custody, Ramesh Upadhyay who represents the terrorist organization, Abhinav Bharat.’
Read Full Article by Farzana Shah
Also check out PKKH’s coverage of the Kashmir crisis:
Kashmir – the Forgotten Occupation
Peaceful Protests In Kashmir Alter Equation for India
A Jihad Grows in Kashmir: NYT
Hai Haq Hamara, Azaadi
Also checkout the findings of the 2006 Sachar Committee Report, on the social, economic and educational status of the Muslim community of India, and a full list of all known extremist, militant and insurgent groups working in India.