Saturday, November 14, 2015

Paris Attack: Lesson in India and Pakistan

Only on November 9, 2015, hours after India’s Bihar state enjoyed the victory of so called SICKULARISM – supposedly a blatant anti “Hindutva brand” of politics – Foreign Policy (magazine and website/run from west) sparked off a debate, “does violent extremism stem from Islam’s sacred texts?

The Paris attack came on November 14. 
Have I already communalized the debate?

In Indian sub-continent context, may be, I have. India is a ‘tolerant’ country and Narendra Modi is making it “intolerant” – so believes Sonia Gandhi to Indian president Pranab Mukherjee, also a former dedicated Congressman.
So believe writers and fraudsters, bear with my language. There was no award-return protests when Osama bin Laden was hailed as a “perfect Muslim”. 

So much was the camouflage over minority-appeasing SECULARISM – or SICKULARISM – that Pranabda’s compatriot in Congress Digvijaya Singh called him ‘Osama ji’. 
Sand work: Sudarshan Pattnaik
Have not we heard in the meantime, “Allah is our Lord, Quran is our constitution, Muhammad is our leader, Jihad is our way and Shahadaht (martyrdom) is our desire”? 

Indian’s SIMI or Osama’s men in Afghanistan, Pakistan’s western corridors and beyond thought the same way. Hold on for a while, the new ideologies of democracy, secularism and nationalism have replaced the object of worship of the past, everyone screamed. 
Christians in India got themselves lost in blatant anti-Modi chessboard. In the process, it is unfortunate to say Muslims and Christians in India – including my favourite Nagas and other northeastern people – lost the track that their Hindu neighbourhood has also turned ‘communal’. It’s sad. But it’s also the good old chicken and egg story and answer to the puzzle does not lie in the WOMB OF TIME too.

So much of identity politics in India that – “upper caste Hindu” is a publically discredited phrase. And ‘upper caste Hindu male’ is worse as my wife at least has the smokescreen of  33 per cent quota and a merciless unscientific law called Dowry Act.

A Paris mourner

Coming to Paris attacks, BBC reports said, “Hollande blames Islamic State for 'act of war'”. This is no sign of ‘intolerance’ nor rise of Christian fundamentalism.

I would like to hear from firangi news organizations operating in India and scores of Indian journalists working for them – ironically these Indian characters have turned more firangis than most, they are more for beef-eating than original beef eaters – what would have been their headline had Modi said, “there’s Islamic act of war” on India.
India’s ‘Hindu’ Prime Minister Narendra Modi has condemned. Did Congress party’s Nehru celebration ceremony – wherein Modi government was attacked for ‘intolerance’ – also condemned Paris attack?  

Going back to the global theatre, the ISIS declared rather assertively, “Let France and all nations following its path know that they will continue to be at the top of the target list for the Islamic State and that the scent of death will not leave their nostrils....”
In the US Barack Obama and National Security Council officials reviewed the latest intelligence surrounding the attacks in Paris

In the US Barack Obama and National Security Council officials reviewed the latest intelligence surrounding the attacks in Paris
In the UK, David Cameron – certainly not influenced by India’s Namo – told France “your pain is our pain”. In the neighbourhood, Pakistan also condemned the dastardly shootings.

But importantly for us as citizens, even citizens of Pakistan are getting disturbed. My Facebook friend and a Lahore-based journo Syed Mohsin Raza raised some valid queries, “If the West decides tomorrow sometimes to punish/destroy the den of attackers along with their ideologues, promoters, financiers, facilitators, etc. What it would be: 1-Aggression? 2-Islamophobia? 3-Hatred against Islam?”

In March 2014, I had interacted with Pakistani liberal writer Mobarak Haider, who was in Delhi for treatment of his grandson.  Haider, author of best seller ‘Taliban: the Tip of a Holy Iceberg’, made a candid observation that “Many intellectuals and liberal Pakistanis think a strong Hindu hardliner government in Delhi could be in Pakistan’s interest in its battle against Taliban”. But he said such a view is held by a “microscopic minority” as people are apprehensive of retaliation.
Blogger with Mobarak Haider: March 2014, Noida
Haider’s statement is understandable as Talibanisation is a serious problem afflicting Pakistan. In fact, not long ago stepping up the pressure, the then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had told Islamabad: “You can't keep snakes in your backyard and expect them only to bite your neighbours".  But lessons are hardly learnt when arrogance and populism rules the roost.
In the 14 years since the attacks of 9/11 brought Islamic terrorism to the forefront of American and Western awareness despite then US President George W. Bush launching the “War on Terror,” the violent strain of Islam appears to have metastasized (or refined), says the website Foreign Policy.

They point out how western countries are increasingly witnessing domestic attacks such as the murder of British military drummer Lee Rigby and the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013, the shootings at Parliament Hill in Canada in 2014, the attacks at satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and at a Jewish supermarket in Paris. 

With tracts of Syria and Iraq in the hands of the self-styled Islamic State, Libya and Somalia engulfed in anarchy, the Taliban resurging in Afghanistan, and Boko Haram terrorizing Nigeria, the fight against terror is actually not getting anywhere.
Voters: Often Helpless

Back home, in India, we have appeasement. This appeasement is actually an insult to Muslims as patriot Indian Muslims are as victims of terrorism as Hindus and equally concerned about the menace as the majority community. But Muslims have the tendency to make themselves tools to garner votes. Bihar is only a testimony. 
In effect, there’s reason to believe that a Hindu hardliner regime in Delhi – that’s Modi’s - could have pressurized Pakistan to understand that “for too long extremists were operating from Pakistani soil”. Thus, to check mate ‘exposure’ by India, Islamabad would be compelled to “squeeze” the Talibani network in Pakistan. Is it erroneous to say that a ‘weak’ management of terror related matters by India between 2004 to 2014 under Manmohan Singh-Sonia Gandhi has not only harmed India but possibly also Pakistan. 
Let Salman Khurshid be happy with his headline making remarks. Perhaps even the Pakistani side realizes that there is need to fine tune counter-terror doctrine. Ufa agreement had provided an opportunity. Perhaps it still can.  (ends) 


  1. Dev baboo, you have infused a microscopic worldview into this most alarming frame of eventuality which has become more pertinent in the wake of Paris carnage. Hardly ever one can differ with you on this premise that terror syndrome has started eating into the very vitals of world peace irrespective of its remoteness or immediacy. Earlier efforts to tackle this problem were certainly misdirected as compromises and exegesis eclipsed the whole scenario. I m afraid this time too the same saga of errors would fail to track down the snake ans would continue beating about the bushes of myopic interests.