Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh after meeting Pakistan President Musharraf in Havana recently made a ridiculous statement that Pakistan is also a ?victim of terrorism? like India ! Has the PM'sloyalty to Ms. Sonia Gandhi fogged his cognitive faculties?
It may be true that Musharraf is personally a target of terrorists because of his association with US President Bush. But who can now deny that training camps breeding terrorists exist all over Pakistan? The world knows that ISI, the Pak Intelligence agency is financing any and every anti-Indian terrorist organisation that exists anywhere in the world. Is this the definition of a victim ? This is instead the definition of a terrorism facilitating state. Pakistan is a cesspool for terrorist breeding.
Terrorism is defined as the use of force to overawe the civilian population to do or not do an act against their will and well being. By this definition all the recent acts of violence in India have been terrorists attacks. In 2004, according to the US National Counter-Terrorism Centre publication: A Chronology of International Terrorism, ?India suffered more terrorist acts than any other country?. According to India'sUnion Home Ministry 2004-05 Annual Report to Parliament, of the 35 states of India, 29 are afflicted by terrorism. There are about 25 terrorist attacks per month in the country. That, Mr. Prime Minister, is the definition of a victim !!
What is significant for us in India is that these attacks have been carried out to target and demoralise the Hindu, to make Hindus yield that which they should not, with the aim of undermining and ultimately to dismantle the Hindu foundation of India.
Even in the latest atrocity in Mumbai, of killing nearly two hundred and maiming almost a thousand in the suburban train bombings, the target may be taken to be Hindus because the bombs were detonated in the first class compartment in which Hindu traders from South Mumbai usually travel to their homes in the suburbs, while Muslims and Christian commuters, mostly employees and labourers, do not.
Recognising that targeting of Hindus is being widely perceived, and that Muslims of India are mostly just passive spectators, the foreign patrons of Islamic terrorists led by Pakistan are beginning to engage in terrorist acts that could pit Muslims against Hindus in nation-wide conflagration and possible civil war as in Serbia and Bosnia. The incident in Malegaon has therefore to be seen in that light.
Hence, the fundamental truth about terrorism in India is that the Hindu is the target and that Muslims of India are being programmed to slide into committing suicide terror attacks against Hindus. It is to undermine the Hindu psyche, and create fear of civil war to make Hindus capitulate that terror attacks are being organised.
And therefore, since the Hindu is the target, Hindus must collectively respond as Hindus against the terrorist and not feel individually isolated or worse, be complacent because he or she is not personally affected. Nor should the Hindu rationalise his being passive as in the interest of communal harmony. The pious bleating of Ms. Sonia Gandhi that ?the people must remain calm? is a prescription for the collapse of India'sHindu foundation.
Instead, we need a mindset that if a Hindu dies merely because he or she was a Hindu, then a bit of every Hindu also dies. This is an essential mental attitude, a necessary part of a virat Hindu[ for fuller discussion of the concept of virat Hindu, see my Hindus Under Siege: The Way Out; Haranand, 2006].
Therefore we have to have a collective mindset as Hindus to stand against the terrorist. In this response, Muslims and Christians of India can join us if they genuinely feel for the Hindu. They can begin to do that if they acknowledge with pride that though they may be Muslims or Christians, their ancestors are Hindus. That is, they affirm their Hindustani identity. That is India is their matrubhoomi.
The Islamic terrorist outfits, e.g., the SIMI being the latest, have already resolved that India instead is Darul Harab, and they are committed to make it Darul Islam. That makes them free of any moral compunction whatsoever in killing or humiliating Hindus. Therefore, if a Muslim of India does not believe that our nation is Darul Harab, then he must declare with pride that his ancestors are Hindus.
Do not Muslims in India already so acknowledge their obvious Hindu past? My last one year study of the communal problem leads me to believe that at the individual level, they do. But something goes wrong with their outlook at the collective level. Recently, in a tour of Tamil Nadu I had visited two areas?one, Thondi in Ramanathapuram district and another Rasathipuram in Vellore district, where Muslims are in a majority and have captured the muncipality through the ballot box. In these two areas the Hindu minority is facing deprivation because the Muslim-led muncipality has shut off water supply, stopped civic works and collection of garbage. The word is out there that unless the Hindus convert to Islam, the deprivation will not end. In case the reader of this column thinks that there is an isolated case, let him know that same situation prevail in pockets of Meerut, Mau, Assam, Kerala, not to mention the Kashmir valley and the plight of Kashmiri Pundits.
There is a mentality problem with Muslims. Their behavioral pattern differs when in majority and in minority. Even if they are in a minority in an all India context, in a micro setting, if Muslims are in a majority, they behave differently even while as a minority in the macro all India context. The paradox in India is that Hindus are, as of now, 83 per cent of the population, i.e., in the macro context. And yet Darul Islam has arrived in pockets of India. Islamic India exists in pockets today !
Hence, to begin with, any policy to combat terrorism requires that each and every Hindu become committed to being virat Hindu, or otherwise be regarded a ?tankhiya? by Hindu society. By this it is meant that it is not enough commitment if one claims to be Hindu, or goes to temples, does puja, and celebrates festivals. That is not sufficient to be a committed or virat Hindu. To be a virat Hindu one must have a Hindu mindset.
That mindset requires that Hindus never capitulate to, and never concede any demand of the terrorists. Terrorists are encouraged by appeasement but never satisfied by it. Therefore, no matter how many Hindus have to die for it, the basic policy has to be: never yield to any demand of the terrorists. That necessary resolve has not been shown in our recent history. Instead ever since we conceded Pakistan in 1947 under duress, we have been mostly yielding time and time again.
Such a mindset also requires that whatever and however small the terrorist incident, the Hindustan must retaliate-not by measured and ?sober? responses but by massive retaliation. For example, when Ayodhya Temple was sought to be attacked, or the Institute of Science in Bangalore was targeted, these were not big terrorist incidents but we should have massively retaliated. If we have clinching proof of terrorist training camps in PoK and Bangladesh, we should bomb them by despatching our airforce. There is some evidence that the US agency, the FBI, has presented to a district court in California satellite photos that do establish that terror training camps exist in near Balakot in northeast Pakistan. Indian government claims proof which has not been made public that there are 57 terrorist training camps in Pakistani?held territory and 36 such camps in Bangladesh.
If instead of being supportive, Pakistan and Bangladesh protest or retaliate if India bombs these camps, then it means that they are sponsors and not unwilling hosts to free lancing terrorists. Hence we should be ready for war. We could retaliate then by fulfilling our pre-1947 commitment to NWFP, and openly help the Baluchis and Sindhis to meet their legitimate aspirations. We could demand territory from Bangladesh for all those illegal Bangladeshis settled in India. After all, Partition was for those Muslims who could not bear to live with Hindus. Hence, the territory of Bangladesh should be reduced in proportion to millions of Bangladesis that have come to India and the Hindus pushed out since 1947. Strategically, northern one-third of Bangladesh cutting across from Khulna to Sylhet could then be annexed if Bangladesh goes to war with us.
Otherwise what is the alternative? Expect that our ?sober? responses will be rewarded by our neighbours and their patrons ? We will be back to 1100 AD, by our suicidal credulity. We should not be ghouls for punishment from terrorists and their patrons. This is Kaliyug, and hence there is no room for sattvic responses to evil people. Hindu religion has a concept of apat dharma for such dire circumstances, and we should invoke it.
What then should be our measured retaliatory response to terrorist attacks, viz., our strategy to deter terrorists? It is argued by secular ?liberals? that no retaliation against terrorists can be effective because of the nature and character of terrorists.
What motivates the Islamic terrorists in India ? Many are advising us Hindus to deal with the root ?cause? of terrorism rather than concentrating on eradicating terrorists by retaliation. And pray what is the root ?cause??
According bleeding heart liberals, terrorists are born or bred because of illiteracy, poverty, oppression, and discrimination. They argue that instead of eliminating them, the root cause of these four disabilities in society should be removed. Only then terrorism will disappear. Moreover they argue, terrorists cannot be deterred by force since they are irrational, willing to commit suicide, and have no ?return address?. Before replying to this, let us understand that I have serious doubts about the integrity of these liberals, or more appropriately, these promiscuous intellectuals. They seek to deaden the emotive power of the individual and render him passive. A nation cannot survive for long with such a capitulationist mentality.
That is, more than the overt threat of the terrorists in India, the more sinister corrosion of our nation state occurs from within. This corrosion provides ?a force multiplier? to the terrorists. That is, the terrorists are able to leverage the influence of highly placed individuals in the government, media and academia, posing as liberals or human rights activists, who have been compromised by the terrorists and blackmailed on sex, drug money and illegitimate favours, into collaborating with them.
It is rubbish to say that terrorists who master-mind the attacks are poor. Osama Bin laden for example is a billionaire. Islamic terrorists are patronised by those states that have grown rich from oil revenues. In Britain, the terrorists arrested so far for the bombings are all well to do persons. Nor are terrorists uneducated. Most of terrorist leaders are doctors , chartered accountants, and teachers. Islamic terrorists certainly do not face discrimination and oppression in their own countries. In fact in these countries it is the non-Islamic religious minority which is discriminated and oppressed. In Kashmir valley, where Muslims are in majority, not only Article 370 of the Constitution provides privileges to the majority but it is the minority Hindus who have been slaughtered, or raped, and dispossessed. They have become refuges in squalid conditions in their own country. The gang of 9 persons which hijacked four planes on September 11, 2001 and flew them into the World Trade Towers in New York and other targets were certainly not discriminated or oppressed in the United States. Hence it utter rubbish to say that terror is the outcome of the poverty of terrorists.
It is also a ridiculous idea that terrorists cannot be deterred because they are irrational, willing to die, and have no ?return address?. Terrorist master-minds have political goals and a method in their madness. An effective strategy to deter terrorism is therefore to defeat those political goals and to rubbish them by counter-terrorist action. How is that strategy to be structured ? In a brilliant research paper published by Robert Trager and Dessislava Zagorcheva this year [?Deterring Terrorism? International Security, vol. 30, No.3, Winter 2005/06, pp. 87-123] has provided the general principles to structure such a strategy.