HATRED – Terror’s only religion Himanshu Shekhar

2 10 2008
Source: Zee News
Himanshu Shekhar

“What people in the West simply don’t understand is that we love death even more than they love life.” – Osama bin Laden, November 1996.

It was 2002 when I was in first year of my college when an image released on Israeli television and published in leading magazines across the world hit me. The image titled ‘Hebron’s Baby Bomber’ sparked a worldwide debate. A debate which still remains relevant. Which religion teaches one to engage an infant baby of hardly 18 months for killing others? Definitely not Islam.

We are in times when the world is reeling under terror strikes which have a lasting impact and India is no exception. Terrorism is back in focus or perhaps it was never out of frame. That brings us to a simple question- why do some people love death more than life? As a modern civic society/ state are we prepared to counter the menace?

It is a basic challenge to locate and fix the problem first before embarking on curative measures. Who are these people? What is their religion? What is their mission?

London, Karachi, Bangalore, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Delhi – blasts had one thing in common and that was their techno savvy nature. An email sent from a laptop with a Wi-Fi connection just before all these attacks from ‘Indian-Mujahideen,’ clearly means that terrorists were with a mission or at least they projected one. Once again the name given to such dastardly coward act was ‘Jihad’.

It is true that those who are lured to indulge in such acts are misguided. People who are frustrated because of the political climate are the first targets. There’s no denying the fact the socio- economic factors are the ingredients in making of terror.

SIMI’s indoctrination

As the investigations reveal, the act was perpetrated by a new group named Indian Mujahideen which worked in tandem with the banned outfit SIMI. The roots of most serial blasts, which sent down jitters in India, were traced to Azamgarh – now referred to as India’s ‘terror hub.’ To say that it’s only the socio economic backwardness of the people is the only reason which pushes them towards these acts would be totally wrong. It’s the rich, the more affluent, highly educated and technologically advanced men who have been involved in the masterminding of these plots.

All the accused arrested in recent spate of blasts are in early 20s and one thing they had in mind was injustice meted out to people of their community in Gujarat riots. The mail sent by IM was just a confirmation of the sentiment. It is this sense of being denied due justice that lead the masterminds picking disgruntled youth.

A paper submitted by Marc Sagemen, a renowned expert on understanding of terror network, to the Tiffin University in Ohio says, “It is not a specific organization but a social movement consisting of a set more or less formal organizations, linked in patterns of interaction ranging from the fairly centralized to the more decentralized.”

Sagemen in his report further adds, “Some nodes are more popular and are attached to more links, connecting them to more isolated nodes.” Azamgarh was probably that isolated node to which these groups have now connected. Internet has definitely aided that inter-linkage.

Technology has increasingly helped terror groups in a way that they can successfully share their failure and success world wide. While the Delhi Police raided the ‘Batla House’ in Delhi’s Jamia Nagar, it was believed that these terrorists were doing a case study.

It is a really dangerous sign as it questions the very base of India’s secular credentials. The fact that a chunk of Indian Muslims feel they are ‘others’ when incidents like Gujarat or Babri demolition occur, in itself is disturbing because it hits the very ‘Idea of India’.

I- Factor

That brings us to another rudimentary question of terror’s linkage with religion. Are those who are perpetrators of this heinous and ghastly act there to spread Caliphate? Answer probably is big NO. Islam also means: as Salam, a word that signifies surrender. MJ Akbar in his book Shade of Swords writes, “But the Islamic faith from time to time also demands a holy war defined by specific circumstances, blood of the faithful in defence of the faith.”

Akbar further adds, “Shahada: Lailaha- il- Allah, Muhammad-ur-Rasul-Allah” – which means there is but one Allah and Muhammad is his Prophet. And those who become martyrs of Allah are the Shaheed.

It is these lines which are misinterpreted the most. A report submitted by Adam Fosson on cause and effect of ‘Martyrdom’ quotes Sheikh Yasin (a Hamas leader) as saying, “Love of martyrdom is something deep inside the heart. But these rewards are not in themselves the goal of a martyr. The only aim is to win Allah’s satisfaction. And it is Allah who selects martyrs.”

Indian Mujahideen clearly seem to get their inspiration from such misinterpretations. Probably Prophet Mohammad insisted on holy war against the enemy inside. For that matter the feeling shared by Indian Muslims can be really heart wrenching. ‘What can you say if after every terror attacks your own friends see you suspiciously just because you also follow the religion of those involved in these ghastly acts?” Their feelings can be best explained by these immortal lines of Iqbal in his masterpiece ‘Shikwa’;

Hai baja shewa-e-taslim mein mashhoor hain hum Kissa –e- dard sunate hain ki majboor hain hum.

(We won renown for submitting to Your will – and it is so; We speak out now, we are compelled to repeat our tale of woe.) Translation by: Khuswant Singh

It would be wrong for anyone to question Islam or Muslims as that would erroneously include all those Indian Muslims who have led their lives as good citizens trying to improve the lot of their country. India today is the emerging power in the world because all sections of society be it Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Parsees and all others have contributed towards it. Can one question Dr APJ Abdul Kalam’s patriotism?

All those people who decided to choose India as their country during partition are Indian first and alienating or seeing them through cataract eyes would just be questioning the very concept of secular India. The fight against terror can begin only after killing its religion which undoubtedly is ‘HATRED’.

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Press release Shivaji Exhibition

27 09 2008

Sri B S Yeddyurappa, Karnataka C.M will Inaugurate the Exhibition titled “A Hero for Modern India : Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj” today 27th September 2008 at 4.30 PM, Gallery G, 7th lavelle cross road, Bangalore. The much famous and successful Shivaji Exhibition was unvieled first in Mumbai by Mr Narendra Modi along with H H Sri Sri Ravishankar in March this year. The exhibition portrays the qualities of Chatrpati Shivaji and tries to bring the forgotten and rare moments of his life back in to public memory.

The exhibition will be screened in Bangalore from 27th sept to 5th october by FACT INDIA. FACT – India is committed to highlighting the magnificence of India and the threats to its sovereignty.

The Exhibition is blending Art and History. Art by the Rajastani miniature artists in water colours based on Archival records from the GOI Department of museums. History comes to life with the copies of original letters and court documents from Rajastani and Moghul courts.Why Shivaji? Shivaji, was endowed with talents of the highest order and a clear vision, the only one who stood-up to the injustice. He had also an inspiring and endearing personality which spontaneously commanded respect, loyalty and the highest sacrifices from his devoted soldiery and peasants.Shivaji is relevant today because, He embodied all the qualities that politicians should possess, but do not always have: he was just, firm and stood for the weak; he was an honest and able administrator; he confronted the enemy and was not cowed into submission; he was devoted to Mother India, who appeared to him as Bhavani; he was ruthless with his enemies, but spared women, children; he had respect for all religions.

Other FACT INDIA initiatives include Sikhs: the defenders of Indian Dharma, Aurangzeb as he was according to the Moghul records, ASRU: Exhibition on persecution of Minorities in Bangladesh, Pathetic state of Kashmiri Pandits, Ahilyabai Holkar, the Warrior Queen, Naxalism, a threat to the Unified Nation of India.

For more information please write to

contact@fact-india.com or
visit us at www.fact-india.com
Contact:
Gallery g
38 maini sadan
7th lavelle cross road
Bangalore-560001
Tel: 080-22219275
http://www.gallerygbangalore.com
Here is an online exhibition of the same.
http://www.shivajimaharaj.info/

A Hero for Modern India : Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj





Bangalore Blasts

25 07 2008

Courtesy: IBNLIVE.com

Blasts on Friday:

March 12, 1993: Mumbai bombings were a series of thirteen bomb explosions that took place in Mumbai). The single-day attacks resulted in up to 250 civilian fatalities and 700 injuries.

April 14, 2006: Twin blasts took place in Delhi’s Jama Masjid injuring at least 13 people on Friday evening at around 1730 hrs IST.

September 8, 2006: 31 killed, 297 injured in Friday’s twin bomb blast in Malegaon.

November 23, 2007: Multiple blasts in Faizabad, Varanasi, Lucknow within five minutes of each other killing at least 12 people in Uttar Pradesh.

May 18, 2007: Eleven people were killed and more than 50 others injured in a bomb explosion inside Mecca Mosque located near the historic Charminar in Hyderabad.

Following is a chronology of twelve major blasts that took place in India in last five years:

March 13, 2003: A bomb attack on a commuter train in Mumbai kills 11 people.

August 25, 2003: Two almost simultaneous car bombs kill about 60 in Mumbai.

August 15, 2004: Bomb explodes in Assam, killing 16 people, mostly schoolchildren, and wounding dozens.

October 29, 2005: Sixty-six people are killed when three blasts rip through markets in New Delhi.

March 7, 2006: At least 15 people are killed and 60 wounded in three explosions in Varanasi.

July 11, 2006: More than 180 people were killed in seven bomb explosions at railway stations and on trains in Mumbai, blamed on Islamist militants.

September 8, 2006: At least 32 people are killed in a series of explosions, including one near a mosque, in Malegaon town, 260 km northeast of Mumbai.

February 19, 2007: Two bombs explode aboard a train bound from India to Pakistan, burning to death at least 66 passengers, most of them Pakistanis.

May 18, 2007: A bomb explodes during Friday prayers at a historic mosque in Hyderabad, killing 11 worshippers. Police later shoot dead five people in clashes with hundreds of enraged Muslims who protest against the attack.

August 25, 2007: Three explosions within minutes at an amusement park and a street-side food stall in Hyderabad kill at least 40 people.

May 13, 2008: Seven bombs rip through the crowded streets Jaipur, killing at least 63 people in markets and outside Hindu temples.

July 25, 2008: Seven blasts strike the IT city of Bangalore killing at least one person and injuring at least 15.





Why terrorists struck Bangalore ?

25 07 2008

Why terrorists struck Bangalore
B Raman

December 29, 2005

Retired Professor Emeritus in the mathematics department of Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi, M C Puri, was killed and four serving scientists were injured when an unidentified gunman opened fire indiscriminately on a group of scientists as they were coming out of a conference hall in the prestigious Indian Institute of Science campus in Bangalore on Wednesday.
The victims — largely Indian with some foreigners — who were attending an international conference on research relating to infrastructure, were reportedly walking to an adjacent building for dinner at the end of the day’s proceedings.

The person or persons responsible for the attack have not so far been arrested or identified. The incident has coincided with the reported shifting of Abu Salem [Images], a member of the mafia group headed by the Karachi-based Dawood Ibrahim [Images], to Bangalore to undergo a lie detector and other forensic tests in connection with the investigation into his alleged involvement in the serial Mumbai blasts of March 1993, in which nearly 250 innocent civilians were killed.

First look: Terror strikes Bangalore

The explosions were carried out by Dawood Ibrahim, then based in Dubai, with the help of some Mumbai-based Muslims, who were taken to Pakistan via Dubai and got trained and armed by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence.

Abu Salem, who was arrested by the Portuguese authorities, was recently extradited by them to India after he and Monica Bedi [Images], a woman companion of his, had completed a prison sentence in Portugal after having been convicted on charges of entering Portugal with false travel documents. There is so far no evidence to connect the shooting incident with the shifting of Abu Salem.

Sleeper cells of pro-Al Qaeda jihadi terrorist organisations of Pakistan and Bangladesh operating in South India have come to the notice of the police from time to time.
The most active in South India has been the Lashkar e Tayiba followed by the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami.

The cop who warned of attack on Bangalore

Occasionally, there have also been reports of the presence and activities of other Pakistan-based organisations such as the Hizbul Mujahideen — an indigenous Kashmiri organisation whose Amir, Syed Salahuddin, operates from Pakistan — and the Jaish e Mohammad, a Pakistani organisation like the LeT and the HUJI.

Of these organisations, the LeT has been the most active.

While its activities in Jammu and Kashmir [Images] and other north Indian states are controlled from its headquarters at Muridke, near Lahore [Images], in Pakistan, its activities in western and southern India are controlled by its headquarters in Saudi Arabia and occasionally from Dubai.

Its sleeper cells in South India operate either under the name of the LeT or under other names such as the Muslim Defence Force in Tamil Nadu. While the activities of the HUJI in J&K and other parts of North India are controlled by its headquarters in Pakistan, its activities in southern Thailand, Myanmar, and East and South India are believed to be controlled by its branch office in Bangladesh.

The LeT, the HUJI and the JeM — all of whom are members of Osama bin Laden’s International Islamic Front for Jihad Against the Crusaders and the Jewish People — look upon J&K, Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh and Junagadh in Gujarat as rightfully belonging to Pakistan.

Karnataka to review Bangalore security

They want to ‘liberate’ them from Indian control as a first step in their plan to ‘liberate’ the Muslims of North and South India and incorporate their ‘homelands’ in the so-called Islamic Caliphate advocated by bin Laden.

They also similarly want to ‘liberate’ the Muslim majority areas of Sri Lanka’s [Images] Eastern Province.

In addition to such political and religious reasons, their focus on South India has also a strongly economic angle. That is the large concentration of information technology and outsourcing companies — Indian as well as foreign — in Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai.
A defining characteristic of the post-9/11 terrorist strikes of al Qaeda and the IIF has been to step up acts of economic terrorism. The terrorist strikes in Bali, Mombasa in Kenya, on the French oil tanker Limburg, Casablanca in Morocco, Istanbul in Turkey, and Egypt had a strong economic motivation.

Hyderabad, Bangalore and Chennai, in the calculation of the terrorists and their sponsors in Pakistan, are attractive targets for acts of economic terrorism.

They believe successful acts of economic terrorism there could affect an important source of India’s foreign exchange earnings, keep foreign information technology companies away from India and affect India’s stock market, which attracts a large volume of foreign institutional investment based on the value of the shares of the IT companies.

Since General Pervez Musharraf [Images] seized power in Pakistan in October 1999, he has embarked on a programme for the diversification of the Pakistani economy, which is now mainly dependent on the export of textiles, sports and leather goods. In this connection, considerable attention is being paid, with Chinese assistance, to develop Pakistan’s IT capability and attract foreign software and outsourcing companies to Pakistan.

The ISI too calculates that uncertainties in the minds of foreign IT and outsourcing companies about security conditions in South India could benefit Pakistan.

After the neutralisation of a sleeper cell of the LeT in Delhi in March, the Delhi police had repeatedly been sounding wake-up calls about the plans of jihadi terrorists to target IT companies in Bangalore.

Media reports have also been speaking of a number of hoax threats addressed to IT companies in Bangalore since March. The recent hoax message of an attempt by the Al Qaeda [Images] to blow up the Indian Parliament had also reportedly originated from Thirunelveli in Tamil Nadu, a hotbed of the activities of the Al Ummah, which had organised a number of serial blasts at Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu in February 1998.

All these were not hoax calls from pranksters trying to create a sensation. These were probably hoax messages of suspected jihadi terrorists, apparently trying to test the reflexes of the security authorities and create in their mind a hoax fatigue.

Why did the persons responsible for Wednesday’s incident target the scientists attending an international conference? It does not appear to have been a targeted attempt to kill any particular scientist though media reports speak of the presence of some space scientists in the conference.

South India in general and Bangalore in particular not only have a large concentration of IT experts, but also famous scientists. How to strengthen physical security in South India without creating unnecessary alarm and nervousness, which could economically prove counter-productive?

This is a question that needs urgent attention from the Government of India and the four state governments.

Also seeBosnia and Hyderabad

Jihadi terrorism: The Saudi connection

Mumbai: The jihadi iceberg

The Delhi blasts: What next?

Jihad: Linkages between jihadis of Singapore and India

Following is a chronology of some recent major bomb blasts in the country:

May 13, 2008: Eight blasts rock Jaipur in a span of 12 minutes leaving 65 dead and over 150 injured.

January 2008: Terrorist attack on Central Reserve Police Force camp in Rampur kills eight.

October 2007: 2 killed in a blast inside Ajmer Sharif shrine during Ramadan, in Rajasthan.

August 2007: 32 dead, 35 hurt in Hyderabad ‘terror’ strike.

May 2007: A bomb at Mecca mosque in Hyderabad kills 11 people.

February 19, 2007: Two bombs explode aboard a train bound from India to Pakistan, burning to death at least 66 passengers, most of them Pakistanis.

September 2006: 30 dead and 100 hurt in twin blasts at a mosque in Malegaon, Maharashtra.

July 2006: Seven bombs on Mumbai’s trains kill over 200 and injure 700 others.

March 2006: Twin bombings at a train station and a temple in Varanasi kill 20 people.

October 2005: Three bombs placed in busy New Delhi markets a day before Diwali kill 62 people and injure hundreds.





Terrorism: The Enemy Within

25 07 2008

January 02, 2006 Bangalore is learning what Delhi and Mumbai have long known, that being a major metropolis attracts not just venture capitalists but also the third rate scum known as terrorists. Just as Delhi is the political capital and Mumbai our financial HQ so is Bangalore the heart of the Indian software industry. It was thus only a matter of time before terrorists struck — as they did when they murdered Professor M C Puri, and seriously injured four others including one of the inventors of the Simputer, Professor Vijay Chandru from the Indian Institute of Science.

Truth be told, this attack is something that several senior people had been fretting about for quite a while. I understand General Balraj Singh Takhar, head of the Southern Command, mused aloud on the terrorist threat barely a few weeks ago. Now that the long dreaded event has finally happened it is time to understand something else: Bangalore will not be the last place in South India to be attacked by terrorists.

Intelligence agencies know that the recent threat to blow up Parliament House originated in Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu. Ten years ago we saw the bomb blasts that shook Coimbatore, and subsequently led to riots. Money laundering operations have been traced to Coimbatore and to Guruvayur in Kerala [Images]. And public memory is not so short that we have all forgotten the manner in which Hindus were carefully targeted in the Marad massacres in Kerala.

I cannot help recalling something a very senior intelligence man told me shortly after the brutal killings in Marad. “A bacterium lives outside the cell — like the terrorists in Jammu & Kashmir. But a virus infects the cell and lives inside it — and that is the danger we face in Kerala.”Let us not forge that the hijackers who flew planes into the World Trade Center [Images] on September 11 had lived unmolested in the very heart of the United States. I fear that we too are in danger from these ‘viruses.’ Most of the intelligence officers to whom I have spoken tell me, off the record, that the home-grown terrorist is the minor threat.

Over 70% of the terrorists operating in India are believed to be foreigners, not just Pakistanis but from at least ten other nationalities. In fact, some in Delhi believe that the primary threat could be coming from Bangladesh rather than Pakistan.I know perfectly well that the dyed-in-the-wool ‘secularists’ will jump all over me for this, but have you considered the dangers of Bangladeshi infiltration in India? There are at least one crore illegal migrants from Bangladesh in India. 99% of them may be economic migrants (though that is no excuse for tolerating the pests). But what if the remaining one per cent bear terrorist leanings? One crore is a gigantic figure; even 1% of that comes to 100,000. That is far too big a risk to take. But no government in Delhi has tackled this menace as seriously as it ought.

Bangladesh: Next terror frontier?

In fact, every attempt to tackle illegal migration has been met with howls of protest. Politicians fear loss of votes if the police is set to seriously ferret the Bangladeshis. It is very late in the day but some intelligent politicians have finally got the message. And even the chief minister of West Bengal has complained about the menace caused by the unchecked flow of migrants from Bangladesh.That does not mean, of course, that the events in Bangalore were the work of Bangladesh-based terrorists. India, sadly, has no dearth of enemies, whether we look east, north, or south.Let us also be very clear about another thing: India is on the target map of global terrorism. Mullah Omar, the one-eyed chief of the Taliban, and Osama bin Laden have both been quoted as saying that India is one of the four major enemies, the others being the United States, Russia [Images], and Israel.

No prizes for guessing which of the four is the ‘softest’ State!Osama bin Laden has indicated his desire to do more than just ‘liberate’ Jammu & Kashmir. He has entertained mad notions of tearing Hyderabad, Junagadh, and the Muslim-majority areas of Kerala out of the Indian Republic. (As also parts of Thailand and Sri Lanka [Images].) The fact that Osama bin Laden may be driven by delusions of grandeur should not blind us to the fact that even a madman’s threats may be real enough.That is a mistake that many of us made in South India. To us, despite the evidence of Coimbatore and Marad, terrorism was something to be associated with places like Kashmir and Assam. It was a problem that was a headache only for people north of the Vindhyas. The murder of Professor Puri should serve as a wake-up call for everyone.

T V R Shenoy





The unseemly politics of terrorism in India (Commentary)

25 05 2008

The unseemly politics of terrorism in India (Commentary)

May 25th, 2008
Courtesy: thaindian.com

By K. Subrahmanyam
Following the Jaipur terror blasts resulting in over 60 deaths, there is an intense debate in the country on how to deal with terrorism. As is very characteristic of the political culture of this country, this outrage, instead of bringing our political parties together in a united effort to fight terrorism, has led to mutual recrimination. This would give a great deal of comfort and encouragement to the trans-national and intra-national terrorist organisations that target this country. The debate is about the policies towards terrorists advocated by different parties, the laws available to counter them, the jurisdiction of various central and state agencies, adequacies and capabilities of organisations at centre and states etc. All these are very legitimate issues needing to be debated constructively. Instead of using those arguments to score points against political rivals there is an imperative need for political parties to get into a meaningful dialogue among themselves.

Contrast the behaviour of Indian political parties with that of parties in other mature democracies such as the US, Britain and European Union countries. In no other country claiming to be a democracy do we see as much acrimony in facing what is recognised as a national threat. This is the situation in a country that has been engaged in fighting terrorism for well over a quarter of a century.

This calls for a serious introspection among our people, academia, media and politicians on the basic features of our society and political culture that makes this country so vulnerable to terrorism and so difficult to unify in countering it.

Though the UN may not have succeeded in formulating an agreed definition of terrorism, there is commonly accepted definition largely acceptable to the social scientists. Terrorism is the unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence against people or property to coerce or intimidate governments or societies often to achieve political, religious or ideological objectives.

While explosions like those in Jaipur, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Malegaon, Bangalore and Varanasi are recognised as terrorist acts, the killing of people during the election violence (as in West Bengal recently) has been happening routinely and is not considered as terrorism for some inexplicable reasons. Similarly, when civilians are killed in ‘bandhs’ called by political parties, they are also not described as terrorism.

But since terrorism is violence or threatened violence against people and property to coerce or intimidate governments or societies to achieve political, religious or ideological purposes, in fact all such violence should be treated as terrorism. Further, when the presiding officer of a legislature is prevented from discharging his legal duties by members storming into the Well of the house or through various moves such as shouting, that too amounts to violence to intimidate the presiding officer to achieve political objectives.

In other words, the behaviour of legislators amount to terrorism. One does not see such behaviour of parliamentary terrorism, bandh terrorism and electoral terrorism in other mature democracies. It is submitted here that all these categories of terrorism form a continuum and to arrive at the place and role of religious extremist terrorism, one must look at the whole spectrum of terrorism.

When parliamentary terrorism, bandh terrorism and electoral terrorism are tolerated by the majority in the country, that too often in the name of democracy, freedom, right to protest — all of which are permissible only if violence is scrupulously avoided — then some others push the envelope further and resort to political, religious and ideological terrorism.

It must also be clear that violence does not necessarily mean inflicting bodily harm to another person. It also means preventing and intimidating the other person’s legitimate freedom of action or legal functions. Preventing the presiding officer from discharging his legitimate duties by slogan shouting and storming the Well of the house are clear cases of violence. Stopping traffic on roads and compelling shopkeepers to shut down through intimidation are also acts of violence. They are being undertaken for political, ideological or religious purposes. Therefore they are all acts of terrorism.

While in some other parts of the world it has been argued that one man’s terrorist is another person’s freedom fighter, it would appear in India that one man’s terrorism is projected as another person’s legitimate democratic political activity: Often it becomes a matter of double standard that one’s own terrorism is permissible political activity the other person’s is not.

Which decent democracy will need hundreds and thousands of police and paramilitary personnel will be required to guard the elementary right in democracy — voting in the election — to be exercised? We take pride that the country has held successive free and fair elections under such conditions of strict policing to avoid largescale political terrorism being resorted to by our political parties. Our Election Commission is not in a position to assure our people that they will be in a position to hold a one-day poll all over the country without terrorist violence resorted to by political parties. There is yet no sense of shame or remorse among our political parties on this kind of political culture nurtured in this democracy.

In other genuine democratic countries, it is easier for security services to gather intelligence about preparations to resort to terrorism from the common citizen since such activities involving potential violence will be an aberration in the society. In India there is no rapport between the common citizen and the police force as the latter has been politicised and made an instrumentality of the ruling party.

Secondly, given the Indian political culture where local dons turn into ‘netas’ and often enjoy political power and patronage, the common citizen is not willing to take the risk of communicating to the police or security services such aberrant activities.

The politicians themselves have denigrated the reputation of the police and security services with their charges that all cases against political persons are foisted ones at the instigation of the parties in power. We have situations in which political dons are able to run their criminal empires dealing with extortion (which invariably involves terrorism) from jail cells.

While terrorism is a specific threat in other democracies, in India it is part of our present political culture. In these circumstances it is difficult to expect terrorism of the Jaipur, Bombay, Hyderabad type to be overcome before the country is able to cleanse our parliament of the scourge and to a significant extent our electoral process. But there is not even adequate awareness in the country about the nature of terrorism that is afflicting the country.

It is extremely unlikely the present generation of senior political leaders can be expected to be de-conditioned from their mindsets that accept terrorism of certain categories as part of politics. It is now up to the civil society to bring about a basic change in the perception of our politicians.

(K. Subrahmanyam is India’s pre-eminent analyst on strategic and international affairs. He can be contacted at ksubrahmanyam51@gmail.com)





India: states of insecurity Courtesy : Open democracy

30 11 2007

Ajai Sahni
A fresh bombing wave in Uttar Pradesh and land-confrontation in West Bengal expose the Indian polity’s security failures, says Ajai Sahni.
28 – 11 – 2007

A series of blasts in court compounds across three cities in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh killed fifteen persons and injured over eighty on 23 November 2007. They are the latest link in a chain of comparable terrorist attacks by Islamist groupings that have long received safe haven, sustenance and support from Pakistan and, increasingly, Bangladesh – a chain that includes, over the past three years alone, major terrorist strikes in Delhi, Bangalore, Ayodhya, Mumbai, Varanasi, Hyderabad, Malegaon, Panipat, Ajmer and Ludhiana, and lesser attacks at a number of other locations.

For the complete article click here