Sanitise the nation’s mind
By: T R Jawahar email@example.com
Saturday, 29 November, 2008 , 02:29 PM
The Ghoris, Gajjinis, Khiljis,Baburs, Nadir Shahs and sundry other villains of Bharat’s dark medieval history must all be smiling in their graves/paradise/celestial harems or wherever.
Their modern successors armed with the same sword of Islam that we are too familiar with for over ten centuries now, have achieved something that those long dead forbears would be proud of. The latest attack on Hindustan is truly spectacular: the sojourn on high seas, the nocturnal shore landing, the storming of some primary public places, the seizure of many coastal citadels of corporate India, the seemingly endless encounters in those places and the eventual martyrdom in service of their faith! Indeed, infiltration is passe; it is yet another invasion from our West, an encore reminiscent of the exploits of the characters in Line 1.
Much will be written in the coming days about the modus operandi of the attacks, the intelligence lapses and of course, the political pusillanimity in tackling terror. However, what will not be touched upon, in a show of coy courtesy in deference to secularism and Muslim sentiments, is the religious face of terrorism. On the contrary, the reigning refrain, would be, or already is, ‘terrorists have no religion’. That may be a politically correct thing to say for vote-bank politicos or the ‘liberal’ media, but what should the common Indian, who is primarily Hindu and who is targeted precisely for that religious identity, do?
This is a deadly dilemma which can be resolved, not by running away, but by reckoning with some realities squarely. And the reality has two aspects: the terrorist and his ideology. Understanding these two would certainly help the prospective victim to decide on his response. Such response could be dubbed secular or communal depending on who is holding the mike, but these are just political semantics or popular idioms of the time. But so long as such response secures the safety of the nation and its citizens (or a great part of them), it would have served its purpose. And the biggest impediment to such understanding and action is the notion that terrorists have no religion. They have! Indeed, to ignore or downplay the religious angle is to miss the larger picture that looms.
If still, the courteous and the tolerant and the secular and the like in the victim club differ, let them at the least reserve their opinion. But hear what a high ranking police officer of Mumbai has to say at the peak of the attacks: ‘the terrorists are highly motivated’. Now where do they derive such super motivation?
We do not have to look farther than their own declarations which are very much in the public domain. Clearly, the jihadis are on a divine mission to oust infidels world over including India and source their inspiration, not from any modern thinker or celluloid star, but from a faith founded centuries ago. Now, a debate on whether the religion itself preaches violence is irrelevant to those beyond the pale of that faith. What matters is the interpretation and then the manifestation. It would suffice to say that the dominant trend is the violent and intolerant streak that continues from the medieval marauders to even the so-called modern minds in their midst. From bearded mullahs the face of terror might have morphed into clean-shaven, well bred youth, but the spirit remains undiminished. This chilling reality would also warm us to what’s in offing: The shadow of Jihadi terror cannot be just wished away. The fountain head is quite copious in content to last till eternity and there are enough fertile minds in physical and potential form to absorb all that it allegedly offers. Reason why, the names of the terrorist outfits or even the faces that are on divine duty do not matter. The baton will pass seamlessly across generations.
So does it mean the rest of us are sitting ducks, surviving only to succumb someday? It would seem so at first thought for understanding of such a morbid thing as a jihadi mind also brings a foreboding of doom. But if the jihadi motivation to kill is so overwhelming can’t we muster a fraction of that in order to survive? Really, it is a misnomer to use the word terror for acts of terror are ‘incidents’. Where as, what’s happening is a war waged for centuries on a country, nay, a civilization in the name of a god and for promoting a wholly religious agenda. A nation’s political freedom and a citizen’s personal freedom are both at stake. And this war can be won only if every one who values his life and freedom becomes a soldier himself, first in the mind and if necessary to enlist for a street combat. After all, all is fair in war!
And there’s good reason to learn to fend for ourselves from a lurking jihadi, local or imported. For, if we are today rendered sitting, squatting or sleeping ducks it is not just owing to a jihadi gone amok but also a State that refuses to stir. Having thus been let down by a regime that has not only failed to protect its citizens but also feels committed to a saintly policy of not hanging even convicted terrorists, where is hope for the common man on the street or even his better off cousin dining at the Taj? Both, despite their station in life, seem fated for fatal bliss from a jihadi gun. Clearly Bharat’s war on terror has not even begun. If it had, PoK would not be breeding jihadis till date despite figuring in our map ... till date. On the contrary, there is a raging political war to ensure terror is adequately secularised so that the religious scales are balanced! But if indeed Hindu terror is a reality, should not the investigators at least been allowed to ‘prioritise’ their quarries based on their potencies? The Jihadis would have hogged the honours hands down. But alas, it is this dilution of the fight against jihadis and diversion of the ATS attention and resources that has directly caused the current disaster. And the ATS itself which was earlier a political victim has now become a physical victim too!
Post 9/11, there was a huge interest amidst the US people, media and authorities to read up on Islamic scriptures. Whatever their impressions, it did help them come to terms with the threat looming over their country. Bharat with more such experience, should actually be leading the way in responding to Islamic terror. It’s late but never too late. Self-imposed secular shackles should be broken. Notions of human rights of suspected terror mongers should be suspended and even shed. But most vitally, PoK and Pak, the twin key elements of the ongoing proxy-war turned invasion, should be settled for ever by force. But even while pointing a finger at our violent neighbour, the other four point inwards to those who not only answer to the call across the border but also from high above. Tackling that in a communally polarised country calls for a leadership with guts and conviction. The present Cong rulers, who cant even look Sonia in the eye simply cannot measure upto the job. Neither will the BJP’s geriatric prospects fit the bill, but it might have the right candidate ... with proven credentials.
e-mail the writer at firstname.lastname@example.org
(Annanagar talk, 29:11:'08 to 05:12:'08)