Tuesday, July 11, 2006, we had yet another incidence of seven meticulously planned high-powered serial bomb blasts, within less than half an hour, in Mumbai'sdifferent local trains of the Western railways. Over 200 innocent people got killed, besides over 700 injured. Simultaneously, the same day, Srinagar (J&K) experienced seven grenade attacks at different places within a radius of 2 km, killing eight tourists and injuring 50. As usual, in both the cases, the needle of suspicion goes to Pakistan sponsored Lashkar-e-Toiba, in conjunction with its local agents and harbingers. Despite Indian government'srepeated pledges after every terrorist attack of defeating the terrorists and terrorism, the latter have been expanding their strike power and area of operation. Now, they are capable of simultaneously attacking multiple targets in more than one State, and that too with impunity.
In this context, I am reminded of my talk with a senior Intelligence Bureau (IB) officer, around 1985, when Rajiv Gandhi, as Prime Minister, was enacting the TADA (an anti-terrorist law) to enable him to combat terrorism in Punjab. Expressing my apprehensions, I said, ?Don'tyou think that this terrorism could be contained even with the existing laws, especially the IPC (S.121-124)? Why do you need TADA that is just antagonizing the Sikhs.? Adding that, in the 19th century, Lord William Bentick, (1828-1835), had eliminated an equally, if not greater, menace of Pindari in ten years, without anything like the TADA, I said, ?Why can'tthe IB follow the same method and strategy now?? Agreeing with me, he improved my knowledge by explaining how TADA was, in a way, a diluted form of the relevant provision of the IPC and that the Pindari problem was the immediate cause of setting up the IB during Bentick'stime. Though he did not say so, I could guess that the IB had been providing all necessary inputs to the Prime Minister and the Home Minister but the latter relied more on their own political sources and acted according to their political agenda. IB and other law enforcement agencies were used as mere tools.
The first and the foremost failure of the Indian government has been not to recognise the on-going Islamic terrorism as a war against the Indian State, in terms of S.121 of the IPC, which reads:
?CHAPTER VI?Of Offences against the State?
?Waging or attempting to wage war or abetting, waging of war against the Government of India? Whoever wages war against the Government of India, or attempts to wage such war, abets the waging of such war, shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life and shall also be liable to fine.?
No wonder that Islamic terrorism has spread like an epidemic reaching every nook and corner. It has now become a multi-headed muster with global dimensions and needs to be fought nationally and internationally. Referring to the latest Mumbai blasts, Pakistan'sForeign Minister said, (July 12) that terrorist attacks as this and in Srinagar would continue so long as India did not yield to Pakistani proposal on J&K. Enough evidence is available about Pakistani involvement in the ongoing terrorist attacks. Bangladesh has also joined hands with Pakistan. Hence, the first act of the Government of India should be to stop all one-sided CBMs (Confidence Building Measures); declare National Emergency; snap diplomatic ties with both Pakistan and Bangladesh; activate Territorial Army and the NCC; and raise their strength to at least one million (10 lakh), adequately trained, motivated and armed. The weapons recovered from the terrorist so far, (adequate, as I understand, to raise three army divisions), should be distributed among the army. Deficiencies should be made up from army sources.
Thirdly, suitable amendments should be made in IPC'schapter VI relating to offences against the State so as to bring the present terrorism clearly under its ambit; provide for a summary trial and death penalty even to the harbingers and collaborators, in any manner; put the onus of proving innocence on the accused; and the follow the policy of hot pursuit. These are normal measures, which any nationalist government would take in India'ssituation.
But, the tragedy here is that the holders of the reins of power and their supporters question the nationalists, ?Why do you call it Islamic terrorism? Don'tyou know that terrorism is terrorism and a terrorist has no religion?? The answer is that the terrorists themselves claim to be the true Muslim and say that they are doing their Quranic duty of establishing ?Nizam-e-Mustafa?, meaning a government that would rule according to Quranic prescriptions, in lieu of India'ssecular Constitution. The onus lies on the Muslim community to purge itself from such claims and claimants. It is for the social, religious and political leaders of the Muslim community to denounce the concept to Momin and Kafir, Dar-ul-Harb and Dar-ul-Islam. Thus, instead of asking people like the author, haul up the terrorist, their promoters, financers, sponsors, the motivating ulemas and teachers of jehad.
People often talk of emulating Israel, but don'tknow that its government treats every terrorist attack on its men or territory as an act of war. The day the Indian government similarly treats such terrorist attacks as acts of war by Pakistan, its India collaborators, or any other secessionist groups, half the battle would be won. The US President, George Bush, has promised help in India'sfight against terrorism, but what is he to do if the Indian government itself chooses not to fight but play ?CBMs??
Dilly-dallying of the Indian government for as long as 20 years is a clear testimony that it is not a nationalist government. The bitter truth is that, of about a dozen national parties (recognised by Election Commission), none is truly nationalist, though some of them are anti-nationals, who always talking of CBMs and opposing any hard decision against the terrorists or to augment India'smilitary strength. As a result, no country has ever come to India'said even though nearly one-hundred thousand lives, both military and civil, have been lost at the terrorists? hands during the past 20 years. No body even talks of compensating the families of those killed or those rendered invalid.
For too long a period, we have suffered this low intensity war perpetrated by Pakistan, aided and abetted by a large number of its ideological supporters in India. Of late, Bangladesh too has joined hands with Pakistan and creating all sorts of troubles for India. Yet, there is nothing to show that the Indian government is going to take any effective action, on the above lines. In this situation, the people the media-men, the teachers, religious and social workers, rich or poor have to wake up. The administration should be of a kind that infuses fear into the spines of the criminals, while the honest, the law abiding citizens move fearlessly, and enemies of India, internal or external, are annihilated. There should be a national advisory council composed of experts from various fields and representatives of various classes, like industrialists, businessmen, farmers, teachers, workers, distinguished retired military and civil servants. The army chief should be given a mandate to eliminate terrorism with the utmost speed, prepare the country for a new Constitution, providing for a two or at the most three party parliamentary or presidential form of government in a period of say 10-15 years. Briefly, he should do what French General Charles de Gaulle did in the 1950s to redeem France from its political anarchy in the post World War II situation.
(The author can be contacted at A-2B/94-A, Ekta Apartments, Paschim Vihar, New Delhi-63)
Referring to the latest Mumbai blasts, Pakistan'sForeign Minister said, (July 12) that terrorist attacks as this and in Srinagar would continue so long as India did not yield to Pakistani proposal on J&K. Enough evidence is available about Pakistani involvement in the ongoing terrorist attacks. Bangladesh has also joined hands with Pakistan.