Is Hindu right wing behind Indian Mujahideen, ask Muslim groups: IANS

September 17th, 2008 – 9:56 pm ICT by IANS –

Mumbai, Sep 17 (IANS) Terming the Indian Mujahideen, which has claimed
responsibility for the serial blasts in Ahmedabad and New Delhi, as
fictitious, several Muslim organisations and clerics have demanded
investigations into the possible role of the Hindu right wing in the
terror attacks.In a statement issued here Wednesday evening, 21 Muslim
organisations challenged Indian Mujahideen leaders to come out in the
open and prove their actions.

“We hereby challenge the so-called IM to come out in the open and
prove that they are representatives and spokesmen for the Ummah, and
justify their actions point by point, or else it will be eventually
surmised that they are non-persons and nothing but a figment of the
Sangh Parivar’s unscrupulous imagination, brought into the collective
psyche of all Indians by the grand alliance of Mossad and their
protagonists in the country,” the statement said.

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and organisations ideologically
affiliated with it are collectively known as the Sangh Parivar.

Justifying the contention, Sarfaraz Arzoo, member of the All India
Milli Council and prominent Urdu media personality, said: “We have to
look into the issue as to who gains political mileage out of it (the
blasts). Definitely, it is the Sangh Parivar which is getting mileage
and hence the needle of suspicion points towards Sangh Parivar.”

Muslim cleric Maulana Hafiz Syed Athar Ali argued that there is
nothing like the Indian Mujahideen. He said that the Muslims were
blamed earlier for terror attacks in the name of the banned Students
Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and now a new name has come up.

“Our religious sentiments are being hurt. Examine the role of others,
the saffron organisations, the Mossad and the CIA,” said Ali,
president of All India Ulemas Council.

He added that soon after the July 26 Ahmedabad serial blasts, US
national Kenneth Haywood came under the scanner, but his passport was
not impounded. He managed to go to the US despite a look-out notice
against him and “he returned after destroying evidence,” Ali added.

Minutes before the Ahmedabad blasts, a threat mail had been sent to
media organisations in the name of the Indian Mujahideen. it was soon
found that the mail was sent using Haywood’s Wi-Fi internet
connection.

The joint statement added that the serial blasts have resulted in
“progressive polarization” of Indian society and hastened the speed of
marginalisation of the Muslim community which eventually will result
in rich dividends for the Sangh Parivar, the “sole beneficiaries”.

“This is something they (Sangh Parivar) have always dreamt of but
never successfully achieved. With Indian Mujahideen in their kitty,
their tough job is getting easier by the day,” according to the
statement.

“The Muslims in India cannot continue to be silent spectators and are
ready to play a historic role in the rejuvenation and revitalization
of Indian ethos. The recent flow of events cannot succeed in forcing
us to abdicate our responsibilities,” it said.

33 thoughts on “Is Hindu right wing behind Indian Mujahideen, ask Muslim groups: IANS”

  1. I don’t buy that tricky nonsense at all from Muslim organizations. What is this silly rhetoric about challenging the IM to come out into the open? It isn’t possible as the IM would be correctly arrested for using terror against citizens through a religious fundamentalist agenda. In fact, this challenge by the Muslim organizations sounds similar to Abdus Subhan Qureshi’s mother cleverly idealistic and ridiculous appeal to his son to surrender in order to prove his innocence of which she is quite confident, despite her son being missing from home since the last eight years.

    In the recent incident in Delhi, some of the residents of Zakir Nagar shouted slogans against the police for an alleged “fake encounter” against militants who were killed and also protested about their mosque being defiled. One wonders who shot those bullets against the police which took away the police officer’s life. Such acts by the residents of Zakir Nagar (where no wine shops are allowed) don’t highlight any secular credentials. They only make a bad case of religious ghetto-ism.

    Any “holy” place of worship of whichever religion, for that matter, can be touched if it harbors or shades criminals. But the fact that the state will act in biased ways on such a sensitive issue is another problem.

    I want to simply say that we have to separate the Hindu right wing menace as well as state atrocities and excesses from the growing network of Muslim terror groups in India. To always bring up one issue against the other is to fudge the differences between the two issues.

    In the same way, we can have a position in favor of conversion and yet not allow the church in India to play their subtle missionary politics and simply get away by twisting their ‘minority’ status provisions.

  2. WE THE PEOPLE are so simple minded that we prefer not to doubt the ‘commensensical’ OTHERING happening right from the day of the brith of the NATION. Still that history of terrorising is a non-issue for us, but the mother of an alleged terror suspect problematising the universal claims that open the floodgate of violence against muslim community in India has beed looked down upon. tragedy thy name is….
    It is the hidden “hindu bomb” of hatred fed by our own shastras that is terrorising this country. this hidden bomb of hatred and graded inequality is the real threat. That is the real terror INDIA AS A NATION should RESIST and get rid of at the earliest

  3. Manash, I too began by dismissing as secular wishful thinking the idea that the IM is a Hindu right-wing creation. I’m still not convinced either way, which is why I put up the statement of the Muslim groups, released by IANS, without comment. However, I do take it seriously that there is a public challenge to IM to prove its credentials to the community it claims to represent. IM doesn’t have to come out to the police or the government, it merely has to convince the community that it exists, and there are ways and ways of doing that.
    What worries me is when even someone like you sees this kind of response from Muslims as “tricky”, “cleverly” idealistic, etc. A mother can surely sincerely believe, even if she is wrong in her belief, that her missing son is merely irresponsible or a criminal, not a terrorist. What is “clever” about it? I find that kind of trust heartbreakingly tragic. It seems that the long and sustained campaign in the secular media has done its work if the only acceptable Muslim response is a blanket condemnation of terrorist activity, unmixed with any other emotion or analysis. (Are you for or against terrorism? YES or NO? Give me a one-word answer.) Because surely both the Muslim groups’ response and Abdus’s mother’s response are quite clearly critical of terrorism.
    The second point has to do with my (and the average citizen’s) absolute mistrust of the police, and the way in which the media purvey police hand-outs as “news”. I have written about this on kafila before, and we have enough instances to write volumes and volumes on this.
    Aditya posted recently about our experience with the Mandawli police thana in Delhi, and the way in which it picked up a working-class boy we know, on the charge of stealing motor-cycles. No evidence whatever. but locked up in Tihar, made to sign blank papers after being cuffed about and threatened with more, released on bail (set at over Rs. 50,000), constantly asked to present himself at the PS whenever there was theft in the area, re-arrested on one such haziri, the police claiming that he had been “picked up” when he had merely presented himself there on being summoned. Only because of sustained middle-class support, and because a wonderful and committed young lawyer (Jawahar Raja) took up this “petty” case, it ended recently, after over a year, with the judge passing strictures on the SHO of Mandawli, and the young boy being released ba-izzat.
    We know what happened with Arushi – deliberate or merely normal bungling of such an order that the real culprits will never be found. We know what happens with narco-analysis – I have written about Arun Ferreira’s narcoanalysis report here on kafila again, in which under the effect of the “truth” drug, he confessed that the Shiv Sena funds Maoist activity!
    Today, when the papers tell me that the police have learnt from material found in their room, that the missing terrorists “regularly visited a gym and did aerobics”, can I help but wonder at this investigation? From material found in my room, I may be assumed to have bought property, eaten at every neighbourhood joint, and gone to every beauty parlour nearby.
    And the highly experienced cop killed in the shoot-out did not wear a bullet-proof vest because he did not want to “arouse suspicion”? When the entire media is running ahead of you with cameras?
    My heart goes out to his family, but I dont have to be a clever Muslim to wonder how exactly he died…
    When the only response to terrorist attacks are more and more draconian laws – confessions before the police to be acceptable in court, for instance, as is on the anvil – it is actually a vote of no-confidence against the investigating authorities. Such laws only make it easier to convict, they do not help to solve cases. It is because investigating agencies cannot solve cases that you need laws that make it easier to simply put people in jail.
    Subhash Gatade has followed the career of Hindu terrorism very closely on kafila and elsewhere. At this point in time, I am still agnostic as to their involvement in IM, but I have no strong reason to dismiss the possibility.

  4. Hi Nivedita,

    I did expect a critical response from somebody for my reaction to the post you put up. Thanks for assiduously reiterating your position on the issue. I don’t think we differ on sentiments, but maybe our ways of looking into the problem is different.

    Let me get straight into the matter as I perceive it. I must admit I have an almost Nehruvian suspicion towards the psyche of (modern) communities. It is indeed tragic as you pointed out, but being tragic, it is better than Nehru’s indifferent attitude towards communities. My attitude stems from a profound sense of dismay (and sometimes anger) over the general lack of ethical responsibility within communities over issues where their respective beliefs and value-systems come into focus. We suffer this attitude in our daily interaction with members of our own linguistic and religious community over all kinds of social, cultural and political issues. I find the ‘private’ (political) domain of such communities to be highly problematic for this reason. And as an individual, I get exasperated by my relatively helpless position of power vis-à-vis a community’s stubbornly conservative mindset. I am therefore uncomfortable with sentiments of “belonging”. The freedom of not-belonging for me holds a higher ethical value as the element of choice in this case isn’t determined by structures more powerful than the subject but comes from the more vulnerable (however flawed) subject-position of the individual. That is my position.

    The flourishing pathologies of communities get further complicated when the nation-state begins to behave in a partisan manner. In India, the necessity of having a ‘majority-minority’ framework for example, is validated from this precise problem of certain communities not being able to live and thrive as easily as the majority community. So certain communitarian ways of life and sentiments need to be sensitively addressed and even protected. (Even secular individuals that way are a minority, though we can’t claim a separate status for such a sparse, ideological group!!).

    In the light of an increasingly belligerent right-wing persecution of minorities, compounded by their harassment by a ‘secular’ state, any progressive ‘political’ position warrants our support for the various shadow-blames and hounding of minorities in the name of dealing with terrorist activities. If we agree that a “terrorist” can have only one particular definition in terms of his “act”, and even if that definition includes the self-definition of the terrorist as belonging to a particular community, we can’t equate the network of such a community with the whole community itself without collapsing into a fascist idea of a community. And even though we might agree to a single, narrow definition of a “terrorist”, we have to equally contend that “terror” has a larger definition, and it is quite a paradox when a community is terrorised because of its supposed terror links.

    To come to the recent issues specifically, let me assure you I am no admirer, so no victim, of the media. I don’t watch (even have) a TV for instance. I only read the headlines and sometimes a bit more. I completely subscribe to Milan Kundera’s verdict on news. In his novel ‘Immortality’, Kundera forwards a fascinating theory on “Imagology” which bears a more and more sinister resemblance with what the TV and newspaper media in India has become today. Let me quote him –

    “The politician is dependent on the journalist. On whom are the journalists dependent? On imagologues. The imagologue is a person of conviction and principle: he demands of the journalist that his newspaper (or TV channel, radio station) reflect the imagological system of a given moment.”

    Kundera further explicates –

    “Public opinion polls are the critical instrument of imagology’s power, because they enable imagology to live in absolute harmony with the people. The imagologue bombards people with questions: how is the French economy prospering? Is there racism in France? Is racism good or bad? Who is the greatest writer of all time? Is Hungary in Europe or in Polynesia? Which world politician is the sexiest? And since for contemporary man reality is a continent visited less and less often and, besides, justifiably disliked, the findings of polls have become a kind of higher reality, or to put it differently: they have become the truth. Public opinion polls are a parliament in permanent session, whose function it is to create truth, the most democratic truth that has ever existed. Because it will never be at variance with the parliament of truth, the power of imagologues will always live in truth, and although I know that everything human is mortal, I cannot imagine anything that would break its power.”

    So I am as aware, as you are, of how the state agencies use media as an imagological propaganda tool. But I find the mother’s innocence about his son even more pathologically tragic than my suspicion of her honesty. With all her rhetoric of “family values”, etc, she didn’t sound different from any other woman with patriarchal sentiments. I can sympathize with her condition, but I can’t take her seriously. In fact I would like her example to make the point that though there would be a hundred harassed mothers in her community still reeling from exploitations within their own community and family, as well as right-wing extremism and state hounding, we don’t have to accept naïve, one-sided innocence-versus-conspiracy claims, where the desire to shield one’s son is symbolic of shielding one’s family and community from larger ethical and political questions. But even here, I am sensitive about the fact that a Muslim woman has to unfortunately defend herself against an overwhelming atmosphere of fear and repression. In contrast, Hindus in Gujarat had the gall to openly admit and defend the ghastly killings of Muslims by their own people. That is what is truly barbaric.

    I would however point out in the end that those who feel alright about Muslim organizations or any individual ‘coming out’ against terrorism are the ones who are trapped by the effects of what you call “the sustained campaign in the secular media”. It calms the confused secular conscience. I am not interested in the claims people make “against” terrorism. People have learnt to use Imagology as much as Imagology uses them. More than claims, I would like people to go into the reasons of why a certain phenomenon has come up within their communities in the last many years. This kind of an attitude will help to honestly bring up both – problems within (and between) communities – as much as what the right-wing in India and the State has been doing to the minorities.

    Arundhati Roy had done something similar recently when she completely supported the Kashmiri people’s right to freedom and yet warned of the genuine threat of a thriving right-wing Muslim communalization in Kashmir which has been happening since long. We have to broaden our horizons of approaching this problem. I have laid my own struggling views about this matter on the table.

    Regards,
    Manash

  5. Manash, I am completely with you on the claustrophobic hold of communities, which is precisely why many of us “exit” in different ways. And of course we must be critical of right-wing formations and tendencies in all communities – speak up as much for Tasleema as for Hussain, as it were.
    But I do believe it is misleading to bring up that issue in this instance. What is happening here is possibly a staged encounter in which people probably innocent of the bomb blasts have been killed; and a mysterious organization, IM, that may be exactly the opposite of what it claims to be. The questions here are quite squarely about the cynical politics of Hindu right-wing extremists and our old friends the police in yet another episode of their long-running reality show.
    We must certainly challenge the Muslim organizations that issued the statement above, and the irate residents of Jamia Nagar, on their position on Tasleema, but regardless of what that position is, their suspicions about IM and the police at this moment, are shared by many (not least of all, by the family of the young boy I mentioned in my earlier comment, who are not Muslim!)

  6. Nivedita, I notice that in response to Manash’s call for a nuanced evaluation of communitarian emancipation (whether among Kashmiris in the Valley or the Muslim minority in India) you only make an assertion, not an argument :”What is happening here is possibly a staged encounter in which people probably innocent of the bomb blasts have been killed”. If you are unsure (indicated by your “possibly”) then why or how does what is a suspicion become an assertion? You follow this assertion up with another one: “The questions here are quite squarely about the cynical politics of Hindu right-wing extremists…” Why are these “squarely” the questions to be asked? Just because the Muslim organizations and clerics say so? Or simply because the police and the Sangh Parivar have sullied their own record in these matters?
    The truth is that you simply don’t know, correct? Nor do the majority of us. And this is because collective Muslim responses have taken the form of orthodoxy. As also because the state apparatus and the Hindu Right in India are morally suspect. But to avoid misunderstanding as to my observation about collective Muslim orthodoxy, let me explain: the very idea of orthodoxy presupposes the possibility of a debate over what constitutes right and wrong Islam/Hinduism/Judaism…Now this may be theologically relevant. But given what a cloistered space (in every sense of the word space) theological dogma occupies in all our lives (even the lives of most poor Indian Muslims) theologically relevant orthodoxy is absolutely irrelevant socially. I admire Javed Akhtar and Shabana Azmi for challenging the self-appointed theological representatives of India’s Muslims like the Shahi Imam and others and for demanding that the media attend to secular Muslim voices like theirs. But for some reason you take these clerics seriously. Would you take seriously a Hindu cleric who declared the violence of the Hindu Right unethical because it contravened Dharmic injunctions?
    Regards,
    Prashant

  7. “I want to simply say that we have to separate the Hindu right wing menace as well as state atrocities and excesses from the growing network of Muslim terror groups in India. To always bring up one issue against the other is to fudge the differences between the two issues.”…
    Let me ask just these questions to Manash Bhattacharjee-
    Why does’nt the so called “Hindu Right wing menace” simply go away, even after the demolition of Babri Masjid that rubbished the very idea of rule of law ?In spite of the Hindu right wingers challenging the whole set up of legal system in this country, and in spite of the shameful exposes(thanks to the Tehelka Sting) of many of their bigwigs of their ugly roles in killing the fellow citizens,
    and again,
    in spite of someone like Modi having been heard shouting to his listeners at the electoral campaigns”do such people deserve to be spared?”(of the infamous encounter killings in coldblooded shoot outs by a smart police, as happened in the case of Sorabuddin) only to be answered with loud ‘No’s, why didn’t the menace go away rather than becoming aggravated?..
    I’m afraid you are indicating some clue to the question (though by default), when you say this:-

    “In the same way, we can have a position in favor of conversion and yet not allow the church in India to play their subtle missionary politics and simply get away by twisting their ‘minority’ status provisions.”

    Now,take a careful look of this “We”, who condescendingly allow a favour to “them”of converting “our poor”out of Hinduism. “They” who try to get away twisting “their” minority status provisions need to be taught a lessen or two, isn’t it?
    Please tell me if the above line of thinking can be called “Hindu left wing menace”,which could also well join hands with the “Hindu right wing menace” for doubling the effect of War Against Terror and for getting away with killing innocent people by absolutely lawless encounters or blasts or whatever…

  8. Hi Nivedita,

    Reading this submission of yours really made me feel sick.It is people like you who are primarily responsible for destroying common man’s faith in secularism.Remember applying abstract idea of politital theory on a highly dynamic and vibrant society is in itself erroneous.

    Indian state has gone way out of its way in trying to placate muslim sentiments, separate laws, (no other secular country worth its name would have separate laws for separate communities) , gives subsidy for haj piligrimage and now even reservations and what do we get in return ???

    Muslims must understand that they are not being victimised because of the resurgence of “Hindu Right”, but because several of there members are actively involved in terrorist activities. Police has to do its job.

    As for your agnostic beliefs regarding the involvement of Hindu Right, let me just say this
    The easiest way of defeating a cause is by giving wrong arguments in its support and this country can do very well without people like you.

  9. Nivedita, sometimes it is a pleasure to simply say, “I agree” , without any more differences on the debate. Well, to repeat – I agree. :)

  10. Islamic apologists much like Nazi apologists are not doing anyone a favor by becoming a loudspeaker for fringe consiparicy theory that have no substance themselves.

    I politely request you to stop becoming a tool in the hand of Islamist movement to subjugate only remaining Hindu country in the world.

  11. Prashant, you say “in response to Manash’s call for a nuanced evaluation of communitarian emancipation (whether among Kashmiris in the Valley or the Muslim minority in India) you only make an assertion, not an argument…”
    I dont ONLY do that. First I agreed totally with Manash that we need to make the nuanced evaluation and THEN I argued that this is not the issue here. I still hold to that.
    I do believe that we can separate (it is imperative that we do) the following three issues – a) internal community orthodoxies b) terrorism and c) authoritarian state practices that reduce neither (a) nor (b), but in fact lead to strengthening of both.
    If there was any chance that the Jamia Nagar episode had actually cracked IM “terror modules”, I would have led the cheering – members of my family narrowly escaped the bombs at CP, and who knows, next time…
    The point is that such fraudulent action by the state is not only bad for the community it targets, it is bad for all of us who want to be protected from random bomb explosions by actual terrorists.
    And why do you think I wouldn’t “take seriously a Hindu cleric who declared the violence of the Hindu Right unethical because it contravened Dharmic injunctions?” Swami Agnivesh, Mahant Veer Bhadra Misra of Sankat Mochan temple Banaras, Mahant Lal Das of Ayodhya, brutally murdered by Hindutvavaadi goons – it’s a roll call of honour.
    If every act of violence by Hindutvavaadis led to police swoop-downs on large numbers of random Hindus, then we (people called Nivedita and Prashant and Sumit Shrivastava) might not be focusing on Hindu orthodoxy at that point, but quite correctly, demanding accountability by state agencies.
    Sumit Shrivastava, you repeat the usual (motivatedly) ill-informed Hindutva propaganda – “we” have not given “them” separate laws. ALL communities in India have separate laws, including Hindus. In addition, Hindu men were taken out of the purview of the only secular law on marriage (Special Marriage Act) so that their privileged position (vis-a-vis women) in the Hindu Succession Act could be maintained. Bigamy among Hindu men can almost never be proved in court, because the Hindu Marriage Act recognizes only “saptapadi” as the marriage rite, thus permitting men who follow any of the other customary marriage practices to be freed of responsibility to both women. In short, the laws of every religious community discriminate against women. Feminists have long pointed out the need for reforming these separate laws to bring about gender justice, but when Hindutvavaadis complain that “they” have separate laws, they basically mean “If we cant have four wives, why should Muslims.” (by the way, the actual incidence of bigamy among both communities is about the same).
    Subsidy for haj. And what about government support for Hindu pilgrimage sites? Being a religious agnostic, I do not want my tax rupees to go to either temples or to mosques – where do I get to have my say?
    The clue to understanding your comment, which I see as representative of a mind-set, lies in the way you begin a sentence with “The Indian state has gone out of its way…” and end it with “and what have WE got in return…”
    When every Indian citizen has that confidence to conflate the “Indian state” with “we”, THEN I would have “faith in secularism”.
    (By the way, Manash, thanks for the generous third response!)

  12. Mr Srivastava, you begin by making a serious complaint that Nivedita’s comments have made you feel sick. But your views which follow prove how the idea of your own health is sicker than anything else. Your idea of patriotism is being a “bagon spray”. When human beings become like disinfectants, everything around them appear like bugs they want to destroy. Don’t be so bugged by your own nightmares Mr. Srivastava – try and have some better dreams instead. You say the “country” will do well without the likes of Nivedita. But that country Mr. Srivastava doesn’t exist – except in your “avastavic” head. If I had the power to force certain policies in my country (which unfortunately is also yours) – I would have liked people of your age and opinions to be put into military service where at least you have to work your ass off for being patriotic. I am sure if you were a Muslim, you would have been exactly the kind of Muslim fanatic you hate so much. Fanatics unfortunately sound the same, even though their gods are different.

    And Mr. Venugopalan, your reading as well as analytical skills are utterly narrow-minded and meaningless. I am not interested in responding to your doubts.

  13. Yes, Mr. Bhattacharjee, I would repeat the question how esle could you afford to keep silence when the State terror gets often unleashed on most powerless people of the minority,despite many of such claims of unearthing terror networks by arbitrary action by police have proved utterly lacking in convincing evidence.
    On the other hand, it is also seen that despite enormous evidences against them having perpetrated huge crimes including massive rapes and killings, the state and central administrations of ideological persuations from right to centre to left kepp silence about the culpability of the other section.
    Does the Constitution of India make some sense in your view,( my poor analytical skill apart)?

  14. The Constitution of India does make some sense, but Indian politics doesn’t.

  15. Nivedita, you re-affirm your validation of Muslim orthodox judgments that declare Islamist violence un-Islamic. And you say that you would equally take Hindu orthodoxy seriously. But tell me, is a Muslim only ever a Muslim? Might he or she not want to be viewed as a woman or a Dalit or a middle class person? Or all these? Now, the Muslim clerics say: ‘No, a Muslim is only ever a Muslim’, and the Hindu clerics say ‘A Hindu is only ever a Hindu’. And you accept that? Surely, you are not so naive as to believe that religious identity alone can motivate violence or peace. Surely, you know well that religious scripture (of any kind) can equally furnish support for terrible violence (read Ayesha Jalal’s recent book on the notion and practice of Jihad in South Asia for a study of the divergent uses of the theologico-political by Muslims). And what would you do then? Conveniently decide to not take clerics seriously because they validated doctrinally justified violence? Do you seriously believe Islam/Hinduism or any other theism needs reclaiming from their respective Right wings?

    To be modern, if I may say so, is to recognize that societal norms of any kind have lost their authority. I say “authority” because like Hannah Arendt I distinguish authority in the sense of a voluntarily given obedience (based on a mutual belief in a natural human hierarchy) from “power” in the sense of coercion, and from persuasion that presupposes the equality of the interlocutors. Religion is an authoritative system of values. That is why it is not and must not (despite the mistaken attempts of women to become Imams or priests; or homosexuals to remain Christians or Muslims…) be taken seriously by anyone who, like yourself, believes in juridical equality. I hope you see that you and I don’t really have a disagreement here except over the point of validating the judgments of the religious orthodoxy of any community.
    Regards,
    Prashant

  16. >”Muslims must understand that they are not being victimised because of the resurgence of “Hindu Right”, but because several of there members are actively involved in terrorist activities. Police has to do its job.”
    If one of the friends participating in a debate in this forum (which defines itself to be one that would rather run from the big media), has to say this about the encounter(drama), I’m really frightened and worried as a secular Indian.The kind of religious bigotry seen here has apparently struck roots at a deeper level, not even sparing the agnostics perhaps!I’m really frightened with the kind of polarisation this country is heading to and I wish to share just that.

    Nevertheless, these questions(please)!

    Agreed that several of their (Muslim’s) members might be actively involved in terrorist activities;police has to do its job .Absolutely no disagreement about that too.
    But why the Police , instead of doing its job in effectively countering terrorist activities , seemingly end up performing one encounter drama after the other?Why do you insist that any story told by the police and parroted by the media is to be accepted?
    Secondly,why do the concerned state/central administrations often by default,guarantee virtual impunity to the perpetrators, when they be commited against Dalits , Muslims or Christians by the Hindu Right?
    Thirdly,why the entire folks become automatic suspects of having links with terrorism, in the case of those attributed to Muslims but yet mysterious and unknown in most part, unlike in the case of the known Hindu terror, where the perpetrators of terror are even allowed to proudly own up their acts of hate and violence?

    These might serve as few sample questions or question samples ,which in turn, might merit further analysis by experts here. I believe, I raise them in my humble but determined effort to stand up firm on the constitutionally safeguarded field of secularism,albeit distorted now beyond recognition thanks to the art of realpolitik.

  17. No one has claimed responsibility for the blasts in Pakistan. Are you suggesting that sangh parivar is also behind it?

  18. Even if you suggest that Jehadi organization,one or other, is behind the Delhi blast,I will have no quarrel about that; my point,however,is that neither arbitrary police action causing concern for on all Muslim citizens in the vicinity nor the common place media responses encouraging the Jamia type encounters is justified.
    Thanks and regards.

  19. I enjoy this Kafila debate.Nivedita,Manash and Prashant seem to have located the issue with a degree of critical flair.But this kind of debate may also lapse into “fang-flaunting” as Srivastava’s arguments(?) seem to suggest.Mr Srivastava,you are not feeling sick,you are sick.At least your ideas testify to that so eloquently.Your tribe is necessary for the country for without you we can’t teach our children sociology.As I give lessons to my children about our society,your name will be used as an example.This is a different matter that in my lessons,you will be a “neo-fascist”.Never mind,Srivastava,I shall honour you with an epithet you so richly deserve.

  20. This would have been serious if not for the repetitive nature of thee following:

    “Examine the role of others, the saffron organisations, the Mossad and the CIA,” said Ali, president of All India Ulemas Council.”

    Lets see what is new about this.

    1. “In our estimation, Al-Qaida is nothing but a front organization of the CIA and MOSSAD.”

    http://tinyurl.com/2e2zt9

    2. “CIA-Mossad Mercenaries Stage ‘Al-Qaeda’ Beheadings”

    http://tinyurl.com/4urqe4

    3. “9/11 had nothing to do with Muslims, Muslim militant organizations and actually it was a CIA operation to scare the good civilians of the US into forfeiting their rights for the sake of more control of the elitists.”

    http://tinyurl.com/49bddn

    4. How about the big bomb outside the Marriot hotel couple of days back? Oh! that one had the MI6 in addition to our usual suspects CIA and Mossad!

    http://tinyurl.com/48y5dz

    5. Or how about this:

    “CIA & Mossad carry out covert operations to frame Muslims.”

    http://tinyurl.com/3ohgtg

    It is blows my mind how much credibility Muslim denial is given when the point of intellectual process should be to eradicate such deniability.

  21. Has RobinM even read the stuff on the links he has sent? “CIA Mossad stage Al Qaeda beheadings” is by John Kaminski, Item # 3 is a former German Minister confirming CIA involvement in 9/11 and so on.
    Is RobinM finding it hard to bear that too many non-muslims are “giving credibility” to “Muslim denial”? But neither of the people above start with “Muslim denial” and then give credibility to it. They have independently arrived at their conclusions.
    “The point of intellectual process should be to eradicate such deniability”, says RobinM. That’s a nice definition of “intellectual process” – eradicate the possibility of Muslims denying anti-Muslim propaganda. Eradicating Muslims altogether is a productive second step.
    Dont worry, RobinM, a few others have discovered this success formula already – the Delhi Police, for instance.

  22. I have been reading the debate for some days ever since I ‘joined’ the Kafila! and ultimately couldn’t resist supporting Nivedita.

    When we strongly refute the ideas like Hindu right wing involvement in IM, I would like to know, what’s our basis. How can we prove it not to be?

    Mere an ’email’ existence of a group IM, doesn’t put flesh and bones in them.
    We do not have single proven instance of IM or SIMI activist ever caught possessing explosives whereas on three separate occasions, it has been established that Hindu right wing were making bombs or have carried out blasts (Nanden, Thane, Kanpur).
    Still we are more convinced to believe that Muslims are behind ‘every’ blast. If not ready to believe otherwise, the last we can do is to be open to any possibility. We can’t be extra-judicious.
    I would also like to refute another notion and pseudo-secular idea that Terrorists have no religion. I plead to differ. If this were true and we had actually believed, then there were perhaps more chances of fair trials and police raids. Police begin their investigation through the prism religious associativity of the terrorism. If this weren’t the case, we would not have let Heywood flee. Or media could not have
    done a total black-out of VHP activist caught making bombs (of defense quality!) in Kanpur.
    Having geographically very close to the Jamia encounter site, I only can make out concoctions and fabrication in media and police versions, with reference to the truth of the site.
    Economics(H) topper, having appeared in UPSC exams…regular in classes and social networking, I would be last to believe him of as being a bomb planter.
    Another ‘terrorist’ picked from his running MBA classes next day of the encounter. How cool was this terrorist!
    Moreover, terrorists having rocked the city would not sleep in the city itself and that too just 6 Kms from the blast site.
    There are too many queation to be answered. We are just waiting for the police days to get over. And the control moves to the court and trails.
    Merely believing ‘as is’ on the basis of Police version and media images is indifferent and ignorant.

  23. I don’t believe that the call to “come out into the open”, and Abdus Qureshi’s mother’s similar plea to her missing son are instances of a “lack of ethical responsibility within communities over issues where their respective beliefs and value-systems come into focus.”

    On the contrary, I find those statements absolutely fascinating rhetorically because they address both politics and religion-as-ethics and address many identities and communities simultaneously. The Muslim groups state that the IM politically benefits the Hindu right-wing. They ask the IM to prove that they are “part of the ummah” or be excommunicated. I’m not sure “part of the ummah” necessarily refers to the names people have. It could certainly be read as referring to an ethical notion of the ummah – someone who is benefiting people who want the ummah wiped out cannot be part of the ummah.

    As for “if not, we will consider IM a figment of the Sangh Parivar’s imagination” – maybe they are right, but it may be that that figment of imagination – the dream we could call it – has form in flesh and blood.

    I mean really, we have seen such immense and convoluted murkiness before – in the Afzal case – agents who believe they are acting for the Indian state can suddenly become scapegoats – terrorists. More murky yet – they may not know who they are actually working for – forming a small part of a larger operation whose purpose and nature they are not in the know about.

    I think really, it is “our” Hindu middle-class naivete that is touching and troubling, not that mother’s. We believe the world to be touchingly free of some kinds of conspiracies (those that trap our political others, usually), because we’ve grown to expect that the world be legible and reasonable for us. Those less accustomed to this expectation of legibility will crack the world according to other codes. Our naivete is that we refuse to recognize the legibility of our world as a story.

  24. Sorry for this cross posting , if at all the moderator(s) here find this piece by K.G.Kannabiran worth reading and discussing:
    No comments to add from my part, except admiring the perseverance of Nivedita Menon in the earlier posts in making her point in most powerful ways but caring for the others’ sensitivities and concerns in this topic.
    K.M.Venugopalan._
    From: Kannabiran KG kg.kannabi…@gmail.com

    Dear freinds
    as I enter eighty my mobility has been reduced
    considerably but the way the country is going is very disturbing as I
    like every one of you woud like better world for posterity. I do know
    many people had a biased understanding of ny role as a human rights
    activist , now for the best part of my life. I fought against
    atrocities against the rural poor as they were perceived as NAXALITE
    SUSPECTS , I also held the view that impunity should not be permitted
    to contain the political movement and that it has to be politically
    defeated. I have always been holding the view that impunity permitted
    in one area will spread to the other. I also felt and firmly beleive
    that if the Government creates liveable conditions for the rural poor
    adherence to the politics that engenders violence will disappear.
    Otherwise it will get entrenched and will become intractable. It is
    wrong to think Maoists have no following. They are sheltered by the
    poor.

    According to me Communal violence, inter-religious belligerence canot
    be wished away such ridiculous rhetoric as Hindu Muslim bhai and such
    other putrid homilies. WE must recognise that our Constitution is for
    the governance of a plural Society. We always had at state levels and
    the centre Hindu Malority Governments who seldom represented the
    minorities. You cannot expect them to. Any dominant community would
    feel that the rest of the communities are subordinated to them and
    that they should make attempts and adjust themselves to the majority’s
    wishes . When the Britishers handed over he reins to us we thought
    amauslimd alone were the in a minority omin the country. When we
    defined a Hindu in a statute it included all rebelling faiths and that
    is this homogenizing process began and uniform civil code is part of
    the same agenda and quite a few Hindu judges expressed concern about
    the delaying the enactment of a Uniform Civil Code! Coming to Communal
    violence terrorist attacks will be there and are inevitable unless we
    recognize minorities and accord them and respect their identities. It
    will be there until we accord them “equality of status and equal
    opportunities ; to bring about tolerance as between the various
    communities fraternity was prescribed with a view to promoting
    integrity.. In fact there was a National Integration Council . In fact
    The National Integration Council appointed a Committee on National
    Integration and Regionalism to examine the belligerence of linguistic
    violence and the measures to to prevent such violence and at that time it
    was felt that such violence will abate when Indianness so reads. That
    led to the 16th. Constitutional Amendment in 1963 and as result of
    the Amendment the Unlawful Activities (Prevention ) Act 1967 was
    passed. At that time we all felt Muslims alone are a minority we have
    to contend with. In 1984 find Sikhs challenged the suzerainty of the
    Hindu Majority.and the later mowed down in Delhi thousands of the and
    quite a few were consigned to the flames alive. Then we had a massacre
    of few thousands of Muslims in Mumbai in 1992
    and and a few thousands to describe the massacre would be a gross
    understatement. Now we are witnessing the attack on the Christians and
    their institutions in a big way. Muslims have as a defensive measure
    have resorted to terrorism. You cannot defend yourself in any other
    way and draw the attention of the State in any other way. There is no
    use in pious homilies on non violence and insincerely quoting Gandhi
    Had he survived the attack of Godse he would have been shot in an
    encounter. You cannot arrest the violent Hindus under TADA or POTA
    BECAUSE THEY USE INDIGENOUS WEAPONS AND HENCE DO NOT QUALIFY TO
    BE UNDER tERRORIST LAWS. THE 1967 LAW BY THE AMENDMENT ACT OF 2004 IS
    UPDATED BY INCLUSION OF TWO OR THREE CHATERS OF POTA
    Please in your discussion do not be inclined to support any Draconian
    measure- the disgusting cliche we have been using for over two decades
    now.. A few clauses alone will suffice. It should be short giving no
    room for people like us to interpret! Such a law will be appreciated
    by the cognoscenti. It would proceed somewhat like this 1. If the
    suspect apprehended is a Muslim he should be shot in a staged
    encounter; 2 after parading before the electronic media for some time
    and 3 after some panel discussion on the suspect’s guilt and thereafter
    shot with . All the principles of natural justice would be satisfied.
    If the minority holds demonstration appoint one of those judges-judges
    like Nanavathi are available twenty to the dozen.

    But if you want to end this violence and the political burlesque that
    follows you must recognize the fact that he Constitution is for plural
    Governance must campaign for reinstating The National Integration
    Council and create such bodies to work out equality between these
    communities and create equal opportunities in all spheres and at all
    levels. In the Civil Society there should be All India Minorities
    Council to act as a pressure group and courts which are presently
    ignorant of administering justice to plural communities and they should
    be trained o come out of he middle class bigoted shells and look at
    people and recognize that they are human beings first and that they
    cannot be subjected to the habit of homogenizing . Reservation as a
    principle of equality is the equalizing and that principle is
    axiomatic in plural society.
    The Soviet Union immediately after the revolution was confronted with
    the problems of plural societies and it was young Stalin’s theories on
    the nationalities question what was recognized by Lenin who while
    forming the Govt made him the Commissar of Nationalities. Again it was
    Marshall Tito who recognized this problem introduced what he called
    Co-operative federalism in Yugoslavia, After his death what happened is
    recent history. It is true that their systems have been discredited
    by history. The important thing is they were democratic enough to
    recognize the problem and thought about it.
    We never thought about anything at all
    Sorry for intruding
    K.G. KANNABIRAN
    National President, PUCL
    Plot 300, Street 6, E. Marredpalli
    Secunderabad 500 026, AP
    Phone: 040-27730632

  25. Venugopal, thank you for sending us a response from Kannabiran, that resolute and untiring warrior, and for your own participation in the debate.
    These are very dark times indeed, and it gives us all strength to count friends and allies…

  26. In the wake of the Emergency, KGK wrote an article in the Indian Express titled “The state as terrorist” – It was a reference to the origins of terror as state strategy (Reign of Terror by the Committee of Public Safety in revolutionary France) and spelt out his basic approach to these issues henceforth. He has never tired of reminding us that it is dangerous to be partisan in protesting against impunity – if you dont protest against fake encounters of young men and women marked as Maoists you have already conceded fake encounters of men and women marked as Islamic terrorists. A stark reminder for those of us, who wake up only when one of ‘our own’ is marked. And what he says about POTA must be taken to heart by all of us.

    He is a brilliant courtroom craftsman who is at his best when he has the obfuscator in the dock. It is a skill that we all must practice relentlessly interrogate official versions of the truth.

    That said, it will be unfair to KGK if I dont add that I am seeing the limits of the consciousness of a generation of liberalism in India in this comment from him. I am not suggesting for a moment that we should reject what that generation can still give us, but that we must find ways to continue beyond those limits.

    For now, I will just point out a few such limits in his letter and reserve comment for later.

    His representation of what happened in 1984 as the consequence of the Sikhs challenging Hindu suzereinty! Is it possible that he does not know that the 1984 killings were orchestrated for a host of reasons many of which had little to do with Punjab and Sikhs and Hindus? Is it possible that he does not know about the damage done by Covert Action against Terrorism.

    Sure Bhindranwale’s peculiar religious discourses shaped the course of events, but again is it possible that KGK does not know what Bhindranwale himself arose from? Does he not know that the battle in Punjab was as much between traders and farmers, cities and villages and water and oil as it was between Hindus and Sikhs ?

    And does KGK need anyone to remind him that the question to ask in Punjab was why the police stood by and watched while weapons were being taken into the Golden Temple for months ? Does it bear repetition that that question is not very different from what Yousouf raised in his email about the ghettoization of Jamianagar.

    To me in both cases, what appears to be an antagonism between hindu dominated state and minority assertion is equally a collusion between two equally dangerous groups one perhaps more in control than the other but precisely because of that control it also becomes susceptible to other rationalities such as containment.

    I am pointing to these limits because I am a little sad that KGK is as close as he can be to being apologetic to all of us for having been who he has been. And that makes him say things that he would not have said ten years ago. Also because I have been hearing people attempting to go beyond these limits in different ways in different places with increasing frequency. The most striking version of it came to me in Tamil Nadu when one activist said Hindutva is not to be seen as belonging to any particular religion. As an ideological tendency it is as active in the church and the mosque as anywhere else. I was not sure if I could fully agree with this way of putting it, but it did strike me as an attempt to take on obscurantism, revanchism and reactionary politics in the church without losing sight of the larger balance of power. And it certainly worked among one fishermen’s community.

    KGK is also (sadly) wrong when he says (and this is a case of his saying something he has always said) that creating livable conditions in rural areas will make adherence to violence disappear. It will not. And it is time we stopped pretending that it will. Perhaps he was right 35 years ago when he first thought about it. Now it is different. Violence is no longer in danger of becoming entrenched. It is already entrenched and there are big investments in it. It is not people adhering to violence. It is the other way round. It is Violence adhering to people now.

  27. It has been instructive reading the inner-most thoughts of the card-carrying Leftist fraternity here for the sheer level of delusion and wishful-thinking put on display. While no doubt the language is extremely spohisticated – don’t worthless ideas survive because they are eloquently defended and upheld? – Leftists here as usual miss the forest for the trees. It has been a fairly familiar thought process for people like me exposed to the English media where your cousins write – as eloquently as you do.

    Basically what is being stated here – couched in humanistic words that nevertheless fail to hide venom – is that Hindus are doing it all, there is no such thing as Islamic terror, and were it not for the Bajrang Dal the nation would know no violence! What is striking about this discourse is its sheer level of wishful thinking bordering in the fantastical. There is a term for that – cognitive dissonance – when a person’s understanding of events are so distorted as to bear no resemblance to or impact on the actual events happening around her.

    The “liberal” Left-wing discourse on security is characterized by a pervasive mistrust of the State and its apparatus. The State and its subordinate entities are all out to misinform, fracture communities, perpetrate and perpetuate injustices, and at other times simply loot, maim and kill innocents or at the very least look the other way as sub-state actors indulge in these heinous acts. Additionally the Indian Leftist mind bears a well-entrenched hatred of all things Hindu, political Hinduism or Hindutva topping the list.

    And so when Ishrat Jehan was gunned down Leftists screamed blue murder, ridiculing the hapless Government’s protestations that she was actually an LET cadre, and a fairly dangerous one at that. The ballyhoo continued till the LET’s Muridke headquarters set the matter to rest by praising her sacrifice, and promising to kill more Hindus in revenge! Apparently, in the Leftist mind, the State carries less credibility than a terrorist organization.

    The Ansal plaza saw people getting gunned down – terror suspects at best to the rest of the country, but entirely innocent Muslims for the Leftists, who ofcourse were quick to denounce – without proof one way or the other – that innocent Muslims had been targeted by a bloodthirsty State again.

    Today the RAW and IB may claim – aided by a massive intelligence infrastructure controlled by them – that the IM and SIMI are actually offshoots of LET in the sense that the funding and ideological indoctrinations come from them while the dirty work is carried out by disaffetcted Indian Muslim cannon fodder, but they don’t get too far with us, do they? We distrust them. Why, after all they are Hindu organs of a Hindu State, what credibility do they have when they speak out against Islamic terror? Aren’t they biased? Isn’t Atif innocent? He’s an MBA (or is he?), he’s smart, he plays cricket, he’s one of us, and so he must be innocent. That police officer must have shot himself – aren’t police officers known to commit suicide? This one committed suicide at the opportune moment – thereby slandering innocent Muslims even at the hour of death. Just another Hindu member of the Hindu state. Yes – the Leftist discourse is *that* puerile.

    Where impossible to lay the blame on the RSS – that ever present punching bag for the Left – the Leftist mind is quick to scream Gujarat and Babri, thus atleast nominally accepting that Muslims may have been involved in what is otherwise an entirely Hindu playfield. But they only sound hackneyed – no one is willing to believe that events in Babri and Gujarat could have that much traction over a decade without external support.

    Missing the heart of the matter must come easy to you all, hence let me ask you – what do you think of Islam’s use of terror instruments since time immemorial to achieve its political ends? Beginning with the Prophet, numerous scriptural references, actual sayings and doings of influential Muslim personalities have accepted, glorified and recommended the use of terror instruments against innocents in pursuance of the objectives of political Islam, chief among them being the imposition of Islam over Kaffirs at the pain of death. Is it just possible that Muslims are becoming more and more radicalized no doubt aided by adverse events in the neighborhood? Could it be the case that Islamic terror, that once subjugated India and led to a partition, is once again reasserting itself, fed by external forces and internal discord?

    In a nation of a billion souls, there will be injustices, violence and discord; that is the nature of human society. But terror cannot be seen merely as the outcrop of discordant events in a seemingly apathetic society. If that were the case, we should have seen Jain fundamentalism, Christian terror, Buddhist retaliation against the Chinese, and just about every community up in arms against every other community. But it does not happen that way – except in the community of Islam, which seems to have a monopoly on both grievances and instruments and methods to express those grievances violently.

    This, in my opinion, is the very heart of the matter –why do Indian Leftists and assorted “liberals” fail to see the Islam connection to terror? Much like missing the pink elephant in the room, people go around bleating and beating their chests against the State and, more importantly against the Hindu Right, when the answers are so obvious to many.

  28. Harin,

    I completely understand your picture of Islam. Because you see, as a “Hindu”, this is the only picture you can get. The word “Hindu” – thanks to the Muslim geo-cultural other-ing of the pagans of the subcontinent – has helped to formulate a unified religious identity for a radically heterogeneous community of believers. This finally transformed itself into a religio-national identity during the British period. The equation between religion and nation was done by the “Hindu” right-wing. This was obvious, because having accepted the “other-ing” it now had to assert its pathological identity as an authentic one. Thus, the religio-national “Hindu” became the exact replica of the religio-national Muslim – where Islamic monotheism was replaced by a political monotheism of the nation.

    So the “Hindu” cannot be fully “Hindu” without a conception of a “Hindu nation” because there is no single god in “Hinduism” – so that god has to be something else. Welcome to the right-wing idea of the nation!

    And once that idea was in place – other ideas (and pathologies) fell into place. The Muslim became an enemy of the idea of the religious nation – and the other-ing was generously reversed. Thus we have a double-monolithic idea of a “Hindu nationalist”, where to be one is (the only way) to be another. All nationalisms have a problem of identity-hegemony but in the case of “Hindu nationalism” there also emerged a fascist agenda – of exterminating the other.

    Imagine the ironical paradox – More Hindus than Muslims voted for the partition of Bengal during 1947 (though the opposite had happened in 1905). This happened because of Hindu right-wing propaganda in Bengal gaining ground. (Mr. Harin can refer to Nirad Chaudhuri’s book ‘Thy Hand, Great Anarch’. Nirad was no man of the left).

    But right-wing Bengali Hindus have always hereafter accused the Muslims of partitioning the country. To lie about one’s history is anyway a right-wing trait, be it Hindu or Muslim.

    Harin writes about “Islam’s use of terror instruments since time immemorial” – Time immemorial? I thought only “Sanatan Dharma” holds that temporal distinction. Islam is quite recent. But yes, the species of “Hindus” are certainly almost as recent as Islam. And again, what about the history of “Hindus”? What about the glorifications of war in our ancient texts? What about the wars between various kings before the Muslims arrived? What about the barbaric oppressions against the untouchables? Are these to be deleted from “Hindu” history?

    Oh, we almost forgot about “Islam’s connection with terror”. Well, let’s get a bit nasty. How many Hindus have died so far in these bomb attacks? Are they numerically more than Muslims butchered in Gujarat and killed in Kasmir? Has Muslim terror openly raped women and cut pregnant wombs in public view? Surely, you were born to a mother and you can feel how cruel it can be. Or are you a misogynist? Or maybe a bastard? Maybe then I can somewhat empathize with your barbarism.

    And hey Harin, more “Hindus” have died out of stampede outside temples than from bombs. Don’t you think these temples are becoming a grave threat? Shouldn’t we ban people from going there? I think we should just lock these temples up. Maybe also teach Hindus to be less obsessive about temple-sojourns. That would certainly be a very noble act as it would save many future lives.

    Lastly, you sound really frustrated with the Left’s failure to acknowledge Islamic terror. Supposing they did acknowledge it, would you be on the Left’s side and support movements for more rights for workers, peasants and women? Obviously you won’t, you moron. Because you aren’t interested in anything else other than serving your sick “Hindu” ass and flaunting your hatred for Muslims with a territorial fetish which befits stray dogs but perhaps not human beings. Though “Hindus” like you may bark..err, beg to differ.

    You have no idea Harin, how hard I have tried to be polite.

  29. There are a lot of aspects to the entire IM episode, and there is just one that I would like to point out.

    I had a look through the alleged letter sent by the IM through email. The letter in itself looks fake, the references to the Holy Quran are out of context and are possibly used by someone with an academic knowledge of Islam and not a practicing Muslim.

    The language used is definitely not of a person wanting to achieve Martyrdom. Too many abuses have been used in the letter (its a long letter at that) which defy rationale thinking. Such inflamatory literature appears more to be from some other camp. Someone needs to have a critical look at the letter.

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