When an unpretentious mosque built by an alien conqueror reportedly under instruction from his leader, Babur, on a spot of land held holy in India?namely Ayodhya?for no other reason but to show the conquered who is in power, falls into disuse and a long-suffering people demand its demolition and the space occupies by it returned to those it legitimately belonged, there is a hue and cry among our secularists.
Liberal Muslims don'thave the grace to concede to Hindus what was essentially stolen property, meant to humiliate the ruled, again, mostly Hindus. When scores of living temples in Malaysia are routinely demolished, Indian newspapers decline to report the sacrilege. Our secularists don'twant to irritate Wahabi Islamists. In recent months several mosques in Pakistan have been levelled down, but to Indian secularists that is none of their business. And Indian Muslims maintain a respectful silence.
Now comes a story of grim reality: Pakistan'sPresident Musharraf was forced to lay siege on one of the biggest of all mosques in Islamabad, Pakistan'svery capital. Some walls of the land surrounding the mosque were demolished. The jehadi students?thousands of them, both male and female?were told either to surrender or die. Several hundreds surrendered including a cleric who was trying to hide under a burqa. Just imagine what our secularists would have said if such a situation had arisen in India. Merely watching TV images of the family of the detained jehadi terrorists, doing their jehadi things in Britain, gave our dear Prime Minister sleepless nights. As the media noted, did Shri Singh lose his sleep over victims of the Samjhauta Express and the 7/11 Mumbai train blasts which took the lives of many and badly injured several others? How long is the UPA government appeasement of terrorists to go unquestioned? Who supported the ISI and the Pakistan government in America'swar against Afghanistan? Was it India? Who encouraged the Taliban and the jehadists, not to speak of al Qaida in their murderous activities? Again, was it India? Who else was it except the United States itself and its British poodle, Tony Blair, Prime Minister of Britain?
When Britain ruled India it tried its level best in separating Hindus from Muslims. It was Britain that encouraged Mohammad Ali Jinnah to play mayhem with peace. It must have been with Britain'sblessings that Jinnah dared to call for Deliverance Day that resulted in floods of blood flowing in the streets of Calcutta. Jinnah should have been promptly arrested and jailed for good. It was Britain that was responsible for the Partition of India. In the immediate past, the jehadis were paid and patronised by the United States, and now India is being made the victim.
The United States has much to answer for; so has Saudi Arabia, another of Washington'spoodles. Their support, financial, moral and material to jehadis in their self-interest has resulted in global terrorism, but, as the saying goes, as you sow, so you reap. The US is paying for its folly. So now is Britain. And very rightly, so is Pakistan as well. They had encouraged hatred and killing in the name of democracy. Now they are paying for it. They should have known the dictum: Never play with fire; the chances are, one will get burnt. But in a globalised world, terrorism cannot be confined to one single country or nation. Britain has belatedly come to realise that.
Tony Blair has been kicked out, and quite rightly. Now Gordon Brown must try to make recompense. And so should Musharraf. If he wants to put down terrorism, he must dismantle not just the Lal Masjid, but the entire ISI. Can he do it? But let the truth be told: For all the terror and encouragement of separatism, only two nations are to be held responsible: The United States and Britain. But the greater culprit is the United States. And it is not just the opinion of one columnist. One would like readers to go back and read the Nobel Prize Acceptance Lecture of Harold Pinter, delivered on December 8, 2005. No stronger indictment of the US could have been made even by India. Pinter was not at a loss for words. And it is well to remember that he was expressing his views at probably the most sacred platform: The Nobel Prize Award Ceremony in Sweden. Pinter said: ?Direct invasion of a sovereign state has never been America'sfavoured method.? In the main, it preferred what it described as ?low intensity conflict??a technique that Pakistan has perfected in Jammu and Kashmir.
Said Pinter: ?Low-intensity conflict means that thousands of people die but slower than if you dropped a bomb on them in one fell swoop. It means that you infect the heart of the country, that you establish a malignant growth and watch the gangrene bloom.? That gangrene is blooming now in Pakistan. ?The crimes of the United States? Pinter continued, ?have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless; they were also brutal, indifferent, scornful and ruthless?. Watch what is happening in Iraq today where people get killed day after day, hour after hour. Pinter called the invasion of Iraq ?a bandit act, an act of blatant state terrorism, demonstrating absolute contempt for the concept of international law, an arbitrary military action inspired by a series of lies upon lies and gross manipulation of the media.? How many, Pinter asked ?do you have to kill before you qualify to be described as a mass murderer and a war criminal??.
According to Pinter, the United States and Britain, Bush and Blair, ?deserve to be arraigned before the International Criminal Court of Justice.? Incidentally when under the UPA, negotiations are being held for an Indo-US nuclear deal, Delhi would do well to remember what Pinter pointed out, namely, that the US now occupies 702 military installations throughout the world in 132 countries and possesses 8,000 active and operational nuclear warheads, 2,000 of which are on ?hair-trigger alert, to be launched with 15 minutes warning? and when its interests seem to be under strain, it has no hesitation to pitch one country against another, as Nixon and his unprincipled Secretary of State Henry Kissinger tried to do in attempting to persuade China to intimidate India during the Bangladesh War.
Musharraf is now in trouble. He is damned if he supports the jehadists (as he did in the past) and damned if he doesn't(as now he is attempting to do.) But let our secularists beware. We may need to take a strong hand against jehadists in our own sleeping country. Today they are trying to wreck Britain; tomorrow they surely will try to disturb peace in India with the aid of the ISI, if not Saudi Arabia. We will have to take a firm and decisive action. And we don'tneed a Prime Minister who can'tsleep at the thought of the mothers of terrorists weeping at the likely fate awaiting their killer sons. There probably are plenty of Sabeels and Kafeels around. We are being made aware of that somewhat belatedly. It is shocking to be woken up to that fact. But it is never too late to be on the alert. India is warned.