Apart from re-igniting jihad in Kashmir, the second major ?contribution? of the Sonia team has been the spread of jihadist impulses from Kashmir to the rest of India. Till a resident of India'shi-tech capital; drove an explosives-laden car into an airport in the UK, our country could with pride point to the fact that none outside Kashmir had fallen prey to the blandishments of those who have made a business out of terrorism. Not a single Indian Muslim fought in the Kashmir insurgency, as distinct from nationals of the UK, Germany, Sudan and of course Pakistan. After more than four years of Manmohan Singh and Shivraj Patil, cities such as Mumbai, Lucknow, Hyderabad, Bengalooru and Jaipur are hosting teeming colonies of jihadists. The intention of this multiplying brigade is to damage the prospects for India to emerge as a significant economic force. Should jihad become a routine of daily life in the metropolises, as the recent blasts indicate is happening,that would push India'sgrowth rate back to the 2 per cent ?Nehru Rate of Growth?. As it is, the deliberate deflationary policies of the Sonia team have led to a deceleration in growth and an acceleration in inflation
Already, corporates across the world are re-appraising their plans to shift major centres to India, and are choosing alternative locations in places such as Singapore,which have governments that are better able to combat international jihad. By the time Manmohan Singh demits office in 2009, India will most likely have joined Pakistan at the bottom of the list of countries where international investment is headed.That would be a victory for the ISI as sweet as the revenge they are now exacting on the US in Afghanistan for displacing the Taliban in 2001.
Since 1974, when Indira Gandhi decided to hand over Kashmir to Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, the state has moved steadily away from its secular traditions. From the outset, the new dispensation made clear through its policies that it was concerned only with the wellbeing of the Kashmir Valley and did not care for Jammu and Ladakh. Also, that Sunnis would enjoy a privileged status, with Shias and religious minorities being treated in a second-class fashion. Subsequently, within the Sunni community, Wahabbis were given preference, and moderate groups steadily marginalised. The expansion in the number of religious schools teaching exclusivism and hate that began during the latter half of the 1970s has continued unabated to this date. It is from these schools that thousands were recruited to fight the ISI-sponsored jihad in Kashmir. Interestingly, the number of Wahabbi youths illegally going across the Line of Control increased sharply after the Farooq Abdullah administration was replaced in 1984 with that led by his brother-in-law G M Shah, a change imposed by the architect of the 1974 re-installation of Sheikh Abdullah, Indira Gandhi.
Shah embarked on a process of open communalisation of the Kashmir administration, hoping thereby to win a base for himself. Wahabbis replaced Sunni moderates in positions of responsibility, and religious schools began sending selected students to Pakistan'straining camps, without any reaction from the central government. It was because New Delhi slept over Kashmir from 1984 to 1988 (the same way that the UPA is sleeping now) that Pakistan was able to launch a deadly insuregency in 1989 that almost separated the state from the rest of the country geographically. Although the sacrifice of the military and the security forces prevented the ISI'splans from succeeding, the mental landscape of the Kashmir Valley has evolved in a manner far more congruent with the fanaticism of jihadists across the border than the Sufi traditions of Kashmir. Today, Sufi influence has all but vanished in the state, in part because of the fact that almost all national media outlets?both print and television?allow Wahabbis to monopolise column space and airtime. Secular, moderate voices among the Sunnis are ignored and even derided, during the few times that they are allowed to present their view. And since 1990, when the wahabbist Mufti Mohammad Sayed was appointed Home Minister of India by V P Singh, the Wahabbis have sought to expand their poisonous grip to include Ladakh and Jammu as well. Sufi, Shia, Hindu and Buddhist traditions are being relentlessly displaced by the Wahabi ethos. Small wonder that Jammu is now wracked by bombs, and Ladakh is going the same way.
Although the Congress Party won most of its assembly seats by promising an administration that would respect all groups, faiths and regions, yet on Sonia Gandhi'sintervention Mufti Sayed was thrust down the throats of moderate Kashmiris as chief minister. He worked to ensure the spread of influence of those favouring jihad, and has been so succesful that Kashmir today is where it was in 1988: on the cusp of a jihad. How many innocent lives, how many brave servicemen, will need to be sacrificed to save Kashmir from the perli that is now upon it? And will there ever be a reckoning for those national leaders guilty of having revived jihad in Kashmir, six years after its back had been broken in the field? Unlikely. At worst, they will go into exile to Italy, a land filled with noble architecture and immense scenic beauty.
Whether Muslim, Sikh, Christian or Hindu, each citizen of this country will face a grim future, unless international jihad be halted from its current all-India expansion. It was not accidental that the Union Home Ministry enabled SIMI to escape a ban, by giving insufficient evidence to the Delhi High Court. In like fashion, lack of will ensured the escape from Malaysia of Ottavio Quatrocchi in 2002. Evidence that had convinced a Swiss court had apparently not been enough for a Malaysian court, leading to the inference that official agencies then were as reluctant for their presumed target to lose as the Home Ministry has been in the case of SIMI.
After more than four years, during which only a high degree of public vigilance as well as a determined stand by the military prevented the UPA from effectively agreeing to joint control of Kashmir with Pakistan, the people of India know that the Sonia team is unwilling to protect the secular ethos of India from the jihadist assault. And in the form of the peoples movement in Jammu against the June 29 surrender by Governor N N Vohra to the dictates of the fanatics, the people have now taken matters into their own hands. Should the number of bombings and other jihadi outrages grow in the months ahead, what is happening in Jammu will get replicated across India. This is nothing less than a popular movement against Wahabbism, as reflected in official surrender to jihadist dictates. Across the major cities of India, people are on the verge of taking matters into their own hands,when confronted by the impotence of a state functioning under the control of Sonia Gandhi. Today Jammu,tomorrow the nation.