The peace in Mumbai was shattered by the serial bomb blasts in suburban trains on 11th July 2006. Nearly two hundred innocent people died and over hundreds injured. Some suspects have been arrested but the real culprits must have escaped immediately after committing the heinous crime. Even if they are arrested?that is highly unlikely though?it would take years if not ages before they are punished! Let us recall the serial bomb blasts that rocked Mumbai in 1993. Even after 13 long years the verdict is yet to be delivered! It is hoped that in this month (September) it would be delivered. Recall here the Sikh massacre of 1984. The culprits are still roaming free! They are very much in India but the law dared not touch them! Even if the terrorists were put behind the bars?they are in all likelihood would be treated as state guests-remember Abdu Nasser Madni episode? May be the cases against them would be withdrawn like the ones against those who desecrated the idols of Hindu deities by the Tamil Nadu government!
When were the terrorists? attacks against India initiated? India has been facing terror attacks for last more than 25 years and has suffered tremendous losses in terms of human lives and precious resources. But if you delve little deeply you would realise that we have been at the receiving end even before the country was Partitioned! The slogan of those who carved out Pakistan from undivided India was, ?haske liya Pakistan, ladke lenge Hindustan?. They went about it in right earnest by capturing part of Kashmir now known as Pak occupied Kashmir (PoK)! They are some gullible people in India who believe that if the Kashmir problem is solved to Pakistan'ssatisfaction, the problem of terrorism will end! Let us remember what General Pervez Musharraf proclaimed on April 11,1999: ?India is a hegemonic power. Low intensity conflict with India will continue even if the Kashmir issue is resolved?. So, let us have no illusion about it. Further, India will have to fight its own battle and not depend on super powers. That is because as long as the US and its allies regard Pakistan as its ally in their ?War on Terrorism?, no significant help can be expected from USA. The US woke up only when the terrorists attack of 9/11! Yet, they made Pakistan as their partner in their fight against terror! USA have well defined policy, the essential ingredients of which are: No concessions to terrorists, bring them to justice for their crimes, apply pressure on states that sponsor terrorism and bolster the counter-terrorist capabilities of friendly countries. But the real big question is?do we have concrete plan to tackle the menace of terrorism? The answer, unfortunately, is resounding NO.
In the last one year alone there were several terrorists? strikes: The foiled attack on the makeshift Ram temple in Ayodhya, there were serial pre-Diwali blasts in the crowded markets in Delhi, the murder of a scientist in Bangalore, the explosion in Sankat Mochan temple in Varanasi, the attack on the RSS headquarter in Nagpur, the repeated grenade attacks on hapless tourists in J & K and finally, the serial blasts in Mumbai on July 11. The impact of terrorism from across the border can be dealt with and contained but what we have been witnessing in recent years is the emergence of linkages growing between the groups like Lashkar-e-Toiba and small but radicalised sections of the Muslim community in India. The terrorists? attacks in the last year mentioned earlier were incidents in which Indian nationals, read Muslims, provided back up to the Lashkar-e-Toiba. We should remember that terrorism ended in Punjab only when the Punjab police took on and defeated the terrorists in the state.
Indian Government'sfalse claim and complacency that Indian Muslims are not part of Al Qaeda'sglobal terrorist empire sounds deceptive, far from the truth and quite dangerous. The vote-bank politics is taking the country to the precipice of certain doom. We must be prepared to face the realities if we wish to come out successful in the fight against terrorism. It is often claimed that all Indian Muslims are not terrorists. Quite true but then all the terrorists from Pakistan and Bangladesh and their supporters within India are all Muslims! It is also argued that Islam stands for peace. But what is India'sexperience so far? The Muslim invaders looted us, destroyed our temples, killed millions of Indians, raped thousands of our women and forcibly converted thousands of us to Islam! The proof of pudding is in its taste-right? Let us not therefore listen to the mantra that Islam stands for peace! Experience should be a better teacher than lullabies!
Under the circumstances, how do we deal with terrorism? First and foremost is to understand the enemy from within and outside, seal our borders, stop the infiltration of Bangladeshis and throw out those who have already entered the country illegally. Stand united, defeat the designs of the vote-bank politicians, discard spurious secularism, remain ever alert, watch the activities of the enemies from within and destroy their modules or cells within India. Do not permit the UPA government to divide the country on the caste basis, pressurise the government to stop appeasement policies pressurise government to repeal POTA Act, reform the judicial system so that the terrorists cases are dealt with expeditiously. We have already lost so much, let us at least prevent the future loss!
(The writer can be contacted at B-4/5, Shata taraka CHS, Near RTO, 4 Bungalows, Andheri-West, Mumbai-400053.)