What happened in Mumbai on July 11, 2006 is a calculated repetition of what happened in Godhra four years ago and in just as ghastly a fashion but with more finesse.
In Godhra, our secularists gave the excuse that some kar sevaks pulled the beard of a Muslim tea vendor at Godhra station and did not pay him for a wretched cup of tea. Yet another?and entirely imagined?excuse was given that the kar sevaks, right in front of their own wives and daughters kidnapped a Muslim girl and raped her. Those who believe that would believe anything. The girl allegedly raped was not even produced before the court. Forgotten was the fact that some two thousand plus Muslims had foregathered close to the station and were seen throwing stones and burning rags at the coaches. It was also claimed that the kar sevaks were demanding of the Muslim tea vendors to say Jai Ram Shri Ram.
But what happened in Mumbai? Some ?terrorists??apparently they dropped from heavens?managed to plant bombs in the first class compartments of seven local suburban trains and got them exploded through remote control. Over 190 persons were killed and over 250 badly injured. And why, may one ask?
India has done nothing to rouse Muslim anger. India has not sent any of its armed forces to Iraq. No suburbanite has pulled the beard of any station Muslim tea vendor or kidnapped a Muslim girl to rape her. Mumbaikars are ever so busy a lot trying to just make both ends meet that they would not even be aware if a heavenly and seductive maiden from a heaven were to stand by their side. They had done no harm to any Muslim and yet a couple of hundred people were killed in cold-blood and our secularists are silent. The terrorists are not even identified for what they are: Muslims.
But Mumbai maintains peace. Why? Because Mumbai belongs to everybody. It follows therefore that it belongs to nobody and so nobody takes to the streets. And it is not Narendra Modi who is Chief Minister of Maharashtra but a certified secularist like Vilasrao Deshmukh. So where do we go from here? Dismiss the gruesome killings as the work of unnamed and unidentified ?terrorists? and forget the event and go on as if nothing has happened? What sort of government do we have in Mumbai and at the Centre?
One guesswork is that the explosions are a way of Muslims taking revenge for the High Court awarding death sentences to two terrorists involved in the Akshardham Temple raids in Ahmedabad. But what has that got to do with Mumbai? Al Qaida has expressed its joy at the killings of innocent Mumbai suburbanites.
Another theory is that the terrorists are members of Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), an Islamic student body who are paid agents of ISI and its newly formed outfit Tehfaz-e-Sherai Islam. And who are the ISI? They are agents of the Pakistan Army. And who is running the Pakistan Army? General Pervez Musharraf, no less. And who is patronising him? The Government of President Bush who has been eager to supply some 36 F-16 fighter planes plus several hundred crore rupees worth of ammunition and spare parts to Pakistan. So whom do we blame? Narendra Modi?
The Government of India sounds frightened. A large section of the scientific community is against the proposed US-India Nuclear Agreement and there is no public discussion of so major an issue, The Reservation for SC/ST/OBCs so thoroughly damned by responsible scholars has apparently been the sole work of Arjun Singh, without the authorisation of the Cabinet.
Worse, Arjun Singh is now demanding reservations for Muslims as well and the PM'soffice is silent. The I & B Ministry is reportedly planning to control the media just as the Chinese Government does and nobody quite knows what is going on. The CPM is known to be cutting a deal with the Maoists without either the knowledge or approval of the government. The DMK having threatened to withdraw support to the UPA government over the disinvestment of the government in the Neyveli Lignite plant is now reportedly pressing the UPA government to do a U-turn in India'sSri Lanka policy of hands-off.
After first surrendering to the DMK, a purely communal body, the Prime Minister has put on hold all future talks on disinvestment. The UPA Government has apparently exhausted its capacity to take any hard decisions. We learn that Home Minister Shivraj Patil kept the Prime Minister in the dark over the swearing in of a minority JMM government in Jharkhand, which could be a rumour, but it is afloat.
In Bhiwandi Muslims probably don'tknow that under Mughal rule, masjids were not only built near Hindu temples as in Varanasi and Mathura, but were also built over the ruins of demolished temples as in Ayodhya. In Maharashtra, the government obviously cannot even build a police station next to a masjid. There have been reports that the Water Resources Minister has been seeking to shut down the Narmada Project and it is open knowledge that Agriculture Minister, Sharad Pawar and the NCP backed Rahul Bajaj'scandidature for the Rajya Sabha seat recently made vacant by Pramod Mahajan'sdeath.
It is six months now since the Bhagalpur Riots Commission was set up, but it is yet to start work, The Sunday Pioneer (July 16) ran a survey on the performance of the Congress-led UPA government. On practically every question raised, the public showed total dissatisfaction with the UPA government.
When asked whether, if elections are held now, the voter would re-elect the UPA government, 58 per cent said no. And 52 per cent said they were not satisfied with the overall performance of the UPA. And for a time there were strong rumours that the Prime Minister had put in his papers. No one can blame him. The coalition government parties are taking him for a ride. And he is too much of a gentleman.
But the sheer impertinence of Pakistan'sForeign Minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri, linking the Mumbai bomb blasts to the failure of resolution of the so-called Kashmir dispute, takes one'sbreath away. India has to complain to Washington that if Bush cannot persuade Musharraf to close down the terrorist training camps in Pakistan territory, Islamabad may have to pay heavily for it in the future.
India is being taken for granted by all and sundry because we are considered weak and vacillating. Musharraf speaks with a forked tongue. He seems to respect only violence. Meanwhile, in all this, the Muslim community in India has a great role to play. They must expose the terrorists in their midst and put the interests of India first, second and last. That is true secularism.
For far too long has the community remained silent. As for our secularists, the less said about them the better. Which is why we have growing terrorism not only in Jammu and Kashmir but now all over India.