New Delhi: Bishop Joseph Kallarangatt from Kerala has done a yeoman's service to the country by raking the twin issues of Love Jihad and Narco Jihad. His statement suggests that the Islamic radicals are in full swing, wooing non-Muslims, including Hindus and Catholic Christians – into the Islamic fold. That this came from a respected Bishop in Kerala under Marxists' rule is more than a sheer coincidence.
Even the terminology Love Jihad had originated from Kerala after Christians felt the heat and took the trouble of ventilating their grievance to the rest of the country and the world. 'God's own Country' had these happening in the backyards and were certainly an eye-opener.
In circa 2021–the post-Taliban takeover of Afghanistan–the Bishop's statement ought to be taken seriously.
As expected, the gravity of Bishop's statement is being analysed and judged from the sense of 'timing' by security agencies. "To say that the Narco trade is strongly related to the Islamic terror groups is only to point out at the tip of an iceberg," said a source in the knowledge of things.
The recent Afghanistan developments have only alarmed countries such as Russia, Israel, Iran and even Iran besides India that narcotics trade would grow by leaps and bounds in the region.
Afghanistan's economy is in shambles, and even their 'permanent well wisher' Pakistan Prime Minister, Imran Khan, is now campaigning for financial 'incentives'.
The Narco money is already being used in India to foment various anti-government and anti-national protests and agitation, sources say. The growing cases of Hawala money funding to individuals and organisations–which otherwise look innocuous and not with suspicion–have only forced authorities to raise eyebrows.
The Bishop's statement coming in September – a fortnight after the fall of Afghanistan – is thus crucial.
The Taliban takeover is not just about terrorism and violence. It also has to do a lot about 'unclean' money and the drug business.
The development in Afghanistan is a massive booster to the propagandists who are only laughing at the helplessness of the superpower US and the global community. The terror groups, including Taliban or Al-Qaeda and narco operators in the Af-Pak region, are symbiotic and collaborative. Now that the Taliban insurgents have taken over a country, something the IS has failed despite the best attempts, the drug operators and their financiers with links to all terror groups now "have something to prove". Hence, security analysts say there will be more actions from groups such as the IS in core areas like the Iraq-Syria region and also there will be enhanced Narco trades.
"It is more of a huge psychological victory now for terror networks and also Narco business cartels," a source pointed out.
Here comes the significance of the crucial warning from the Bishop in Kerala.
BJP leader Tom Vadakkan, also a Christian and who hails from Kerala, says: "The intervention by Bishop is not just a wakeup call for his dioceses, it is the voice of the community who are victims of love Jihad and the fallout of Narco terrorism."
Moreover, the Bishop's statement backed by Catholic bodies has come from socially respectable and considered "apolitical" camps and with no elections in Kerala. Thus, there are voices from the rational school of thought who want to emphasise the remarks about the prevailing Narco-Jihad threat.
"Muslims would do well to start soul searching. The Bishop in question is not a political man. He has only ventilated his genuine concerns. It would be wrong to dismiss the remarks either as alarmists or something prejudiced to help BJP's politics," says analyst Ramakanto Shanyal in West Bengal.
The government officials say various groups faced a financial crunch once Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the demonetisation of high-value currency notes in 2016. The Covid-inflicted economic crisis during the last two years globally have further dried up the established sources. Some of these organisations, including terror groups and sympathisers (of militancy) in Kashmir, northeast or Islamic groups in northern states, are now desperate for funding.
The drug business is booming in India in vulnerable states such as Punjab, Kerala, Goa, Christian-dominated northeastern states. Hence, the Bishop's statement must be taken 'sincerely', and the bull has to be held by the horns.