While investigators are picking up clues in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Jaipur and other places, we need to have a look at the environment which fosters and nurtures terror.
Needless to say, the environment is remarkably conducive for the growth and development of the ideological progeny of Osama bin Laden; the result is that the scope, reach and barbarity of jihadis is growing at a frightening pace. In Ahmedabad, for instance, a new first was achieved: a hospital was attacked. Among others, Dr Prerak Shah (32), his 28-year-old wife Kinjal and their unborn child of three months were slaughtered in the attack. ?Never before have we seen such a plot,? said a police officer. ?Obviously, the terrorists? main objective was to strike the defenceless and deepen the fear.?
Their objective is clear, they are fighting a war against India and the rest of the world that does not subscribe to their medieval Wahabi principles. But is the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government clear about its objectives? Is it working hard to crush terrorists? Does it allow the law-enforcement agencies to do their work in an objective manner? Unfortunately, the answer to these questions is a big ?no.?
Consider the statement which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made on internal security at the Chief Minister'sConference on September 5, 2006: ?On the prevailing insecurity among minorities, specially Muslims, I can say that the adverse consequences of this can be extremely deleterious for our polity. The responsibility to ensure that this does not happen lies squarely upon all of us. It is unfortunate that terrorism has resulted in certain sections of our population being targeted, with the result that a wrong impression has been created of the radicalisation of the entire Muslim community.?
Well, what kind of insecurity is this, Mr Prime Minister? How are the Muslims being ?targeted?? And by whom? Muslims have been presidents, vice-presidents, and high-ranking ministers in the Union Cabinet? There are no laws that discriminate against the Muslims or, for that matter, any other community; and, if your Government has its way, it would formulate rules and regulations to favour the Muslims at the expense of other communities. This is what the Sachar Committee is all about.
As for the ?radicalisation of the entire Muslim community? is concerned, it is a fact?and not a disinformation campaign carried out by some ?communal? politicians and authors. Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Thailand, China, Australia, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, the UK?jihad has made its bloody presence felt everywhere. One has to be hopelessly credulous, if not gullible, to believe that the Wahabi code has not touched the lives and the thinking of Muslims.
But the Prime Minister was, and is, comfortable with the hallucinogenic theories of Leftists and liberals. So, he said two years ago, ?It is, hence, imperative that we embark immediately upon a pro-active policy to ensure that a few individual acts do not result in tarnishing the image of an entire community, and remove any feelings of persecution and alienation from the minds of the minorities.?
The effect of this disgraceful speech was calamitous on the investigators; they took it as a go-slow sign by the most powerful man in the country. As it is, our law-enforcement agencies do not enjoy the reputation of Scotland Yard. A hint from the top that their efforts are not being appreciated jeopardised investigations into various terror attacks, with the consequence that no breakthroughs have come in most of them. This is not to say that the Prime Minister wanted to spike investigations, but his obeisance to the doctrines of political correctness sent awfully wrong signals.
To make the matters worse, Singh'sboss and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi also came up with her commandments a few weeks after Singh'sstatement. Castigating the Mumbai Police for its combing operations in Muslim-dominated pockets in the wake of the July blasts in Mumbai, she said, ?Tough anti-terrorist actions should not lead to polarisation of our society.? She, who-must-be-obeyed added, ?We must make sure that no community feels (it is) under siege or as (an) automatic target of suspicion.?
Then there is Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil. Muslim and leftwing terrorists murder our citizens, bomb our cities, attack hospitals and slaughter security personnel. And what does Patil do? On the floor of the Lok Sabha, he said, ?These are our brothers who have gone astray. We have a duty to bring them back to the family fold. It is only through dialogue that a solution is possible.? After every terror attack, he repeats platitudes and visits the spot?and thinks that his job is over. Shame on you, Mr Patil!
With the Prime Minister, the Super Prime Minister and the Home Minister least interested in tackling the menace of jihad, it is not surprising that the investigators seldom succeed in bringing the jihadis to justice.
(The author works with the Political and Business Daily.)