Just like the Government of India'sresponse to terror strikes has attained the status of a stereotype, devoid of any serious move to combat the evil, the reaction of the Muslim community to such events of horror, unfortunately, is to communalise the investigation process. The ?secularists?, in their attempt to join the chorus of the minorities in giving a communal colour to the anti-terror campaign, are only exposing themselves to the charge that their commitment to secularism is quite phoney at best and anti-Hindu at worst.
Seventeen Muslim Members of Parliament feel the Mumbai blasts are not a manifestation of Islamic terror and they sought the intervention of the Prime Minister to ensure that there is no crackdown on the Muslim-dominated areas of Mumbai. These MPs were also pained by the violation of human rights in Mumbai. Interestingly, the very same MPs, who wanted India to snap ties with Israel at the same meeting with the PM, did not utter a word about Pakistan or whether India should call a halt to the peace dialogue. These parliamentarians, who were worried about the plight of Palestinians elsewhere, did not think that the Mumbaikars under their very nose, or for that matter the Indian citizens in general, who are at the receiving end of Islamic terrorism, deserve a better deal. On the other hand, the possible suspects? human rights were considered more inviolable as if those who perished or maimed in the 7/11 blasts had no human rights.
Probably, it may be unfair to put the blame entirely on the Muslim parliamentarians for creating an illusion that there is no Islamic terror as such. This is what the two great ?secularists? of the country?Arjun Singh and A.R. Antulay?were also trying to project at a Cabinet meeting immediately after the Mumbai blasts. Left, a great collaborator in this ?secular? game, cannot be expected to look the other way when Singh and Antulay were pointing their fingers at the RSS for Mumbai mayhem. Chairman of the Left Front, Biman Bose suggested a probe to find out whether the Hindu fundamentalists were behind the blasts, as the BJP and Shiv Sena were fast losing their base in Maharashtra! The CPI-M ideologue, Sitaram Yechury, had the usual American angle to the terror. Any Indian engagement with the US would enrage terrorists. That is how he was rationalising terror acts in our land. Not to be outdone, the messiah of the minorities in UP, Mulayam Singh Yadav and his minister brother, Shivpal Yadav were defending SIMI, whose activists were suspected to be the foot soldiers of LeT, saying that SIMI was not a terrorist organisation.
Another minister from the Mulayam Cabinet, Azam Khan went a step further when he demanded the creation of ?Muslim Pradesh? in Western UP. There is no dearth for such ministers holding extreme views in UP government. Minister Haji Yaqoob Qureshi will always remain a hero for the minorities for his offering a prize money of Rs 51 crore for those who bring the Danish cartoonist alive or dead. In fact, when he went around various states to collect contributions for his ?prize money?, he was able to attract enthusiastic crowd among the minorities. Samajwadi Party'ssamajwad is reserved for Muslims alone. Party member Jnaneshwar Mishra thought it fit to compare the banned SIMI with the RSS in the Rajya Sabha. Nationalism or patriotism is a dirty word for this party.
?Secular? journalists are no exception to this trend. A journalist with blood relations to a self-proclaimed ?secular fundamentalist? felt that terrorism is not a Muslim monopoly. He had a fantastic formulation. Since terrorism is defined as the killing of civilians for political reasons, Bhagat Singh and Chandra-shekhar Azad can also be called terrorists and that they are not Muslims. This is the level to which our spirited secular journalists can stoop down.
Our soft-spoken Home Minister Shivraj Patil is usually soft on terror. He should have been a saint, not a minister in charge of internal security of a country surrounded by hostile nations all around. Even as Pakistan'sPresident Pervez Musharraf thought of imposing restrictions on madrasas in his land in the aftermath of 9/11, Patil is such a saintly figure that he sees no evil, and hears no evil. He says: ?We believe that Islamic madrasas are seats of social service. They are not the centres of terrorism. Some violent incidents have taken place in the recent past?in Varanasi, Jama Masjid and Delhi. SOMEONE MUST HAVE DONE THAT.? (emphasis mine). Look, this is what the Home Minister of the nation, which has been subjected to Islamic terror for decades with a human toll of thousands of lives, speaks. He is not sure as to who is behind the low-intensity war against India, but says: ?Someone must have done that.?
Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh is a picture of peace dove in the midst of such a horrendous violence, which shook the nation. ?Our countries (India and Pakistan) need peace and anything that sets this process back is not something that makes me happy.? And what does his Home Minister say? Listen. ?Confidence-building measures with Pakistan are being misused by the handlers of terror groups. Terrorists are taking advantage of the Indo-Pak travel links.? His obvious reference was to the bus and train links established as part of peace process with so much hype in the media. In fact, according to intelligence agencies, 11 terrorists, who came to witness the Chandigarh cricket match in the guise of cricket-lovers, went missing. But our Prime Minister is keen on the peace process. There are Wagah Border candle-wallahs to his defence. And we have a chief minister down south who arranged for an expensive massage of a terrorist who is responsible for the death of 58 innocent citizens of Coimbatore.
With this mindset of the government, coupled with unabashed appeasement of the minorities for votes by the so-called ?secular parties? and warped analysis of the ?secular? media, can we really fight terror?
No wonder, Pakistan'sForeign Minister, Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri accused organisations within India of engineering Mumbai blasts, and posed a question: ?Why don'tyou (India) sometimes look at what your own newspapers are saying? I have been following your newspapers. Your own people are pointing fingers inwards. So, don'tblame Pakistan.?
And Musharraf, true to his style, has been playing hot and cold. One day he says in his national broadcast that he would join India in investigating the blasts. The next day he warns India, obviously because of American unequivocal silence over Mumbai blasts, never mind the resolution at G-8, that India would be paid back in the same coin if it plans any misadventure.
Amidst this cacophony of voices in India over communal colour to terror, who will be having the last laugh? Is it difficult to guess?