The recent opinion piece by Ashish Khetan in the Hindu has yet again reiterated the false and malicious stereotype: that Muslims somehow have something or the other to do with terror, either when they are directly involved or when they are silent about others of the community being involved. It is disappointing that the debate is framed in the stereotypical, “good Muslim”, “bad Muslim” tenor rather than a real engagement with issues of shoddy investigation and communal bias that marks terror investigations in the country. Perhaps the greatest disservice that has been done to idea of justice has been linking an entire community to terrorism.
There is something disquieting in what Ashish Khetan has written and said recently on terror in India (in The Hindu and on Tehelka.tv), and centrally within it, the Indian Mujahideen. More so, because it comes from one of the most credible journalist’s today, who has done some commendable work over the years. A journalist I personally respect. But there are several reasons which compel this response. And yet, this is not just a response, but also an attempt to elucidate the many complex processes within which ‘terror’ is located today, and the way the discourse has transformed, and has implications for a people’s negotiated relationship with their state.
While the implausibility of David Headley having named Ishrat Jahan as an LeT operative has already been called out, there’s another problem here. How does anyone cross-check IB’s claim considering none of us has access to Headley?
In other words, the IB can make any insinuation and say Headley said it and we’ll have to believe at as truth.
This is apart from the fact that the judicial process in the news is not about whether or not Ishrat Jahan was an LeT terrorist. It’s about whether she was murdered in cold blood by Gujarat police. To that extent the IB does have a point in arguing that it cannot be blamed for how a state government interprets its inputs. Technically, the IB cannot be held responsible for murder by Gujarat police. But does that mean the IB cannot or should not be held accountable for what inputs it sends across?
Anyway, I posted a series of satirical tweets the other day making fun of the use of David Headley to justify the murder of Ishrat Jahan. Here are some of them.
Over 115 women have signed a letter seeking an apology from Ms. Meenakshi Lekhi for her sexist slandering of deceased Ishrat Jahan in a television channel. The letter has also been sent to the Chairperson of the National Commission for Women for appropriate action.
As the noose is tightening around the conspirators who cynically and coldly planned and executed the killing of teenaged Ishrat Jahan and three other people in 2004, there is a concerted campaign – the final, last ditch bid to save their skins – by tarnishing the image of this college student. There have been planted stories in the media linking her to a terrorist group –all of them false and concocted, even as the Gujarat High Court has clearly said that the CBI’s mandate is to simply investigate whether Ishrat and others were killed in cold blood. Continue reading Women condemn Meenakshi Lekhi’s sexist slandering of Ishrat Jahan→
“अगर हम ‘लोकतांत्रिक सरकारों के छिपे इरादों और गैरजवाबदेह खुफिया शक्ति संरचनाओं की जांच करने और उन पर सवाल उठाने से इनकार करते हैं तो हम लोकतंत्र और मानवता, दोनों को ही खो बैठते हैं.” पत्रकार जॉन पिल्जर का यह वाक्य आज हमारे लिए कितना प्रासंगिक हो उठा है! हमें नौ जनवरी को खुफिया तरीके से अफज़ल गुरु को दी गयी फांसी के अभिप्राय को समझना ही होगा. काम कठिन है क्योंकि इसे लाकर न सिर्फ़ प्रायः सभी संसदीय राजनीतिक दल एकमत हैं बल्कि आम तौर पर देश की जनता भी इसे देर से की गई सही कार्रवाई समझती है.
नौ जनवरी के दिन के वृहत्तर आशय छह दिसम्बर जैसी तारीख से कम गंभीर नहीं क्योंकि इस रोज़ भारतीय राज्य ने गांधी और टैगोर की विरासत का हक खो दिया है.अगर अब तक यह साबित नहीं था तो अब हो गया है कि भारत की ‘संसदीय लोकतांत्रिक राजनीति’ का मुहावरा उग्र और कठोर राष्ट्रवाद का है. और राजनीतिक दलों में इस भाषा में महारत हासिल करने की होड़ सी लग गयी है.
This joint public statement, signed by 34 citizens whose names are given at the end, was put out on 25 January
While one may or may not agree with the terminology employed by the Home Minister in his recent speech at Jaipur, we feel that for long prejudice has ruled investigations, obscuring the role of organizations and their multiple affiliates in planning and executing of attacks and bombings in the country. The veneer of ‘nationalism’ — narrow, exclusionary and based on hatred for minorities as it is– cannot hide the violence that Sangh and its affiliates beget and peddle. Continue reading On Hindutva terrorism→
This release was put out by theINTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF JOURNALISTSon 15 January 2012
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is extremely concerned to learn of the criminal charges filed against investigative reporter K.K. Shahina by police in the southern Indian state of Karnataka.
Shahina, who currently works with the weekly magazine Open, faces charges under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including criminal conspiracy and intimidation of witnesses with intent to commit a crime. The chargesheet filed in the sessions court in the district of Kodagu in Karnataka state, also indicts her under sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, which is most commonly invoked to deal with terrorist offences.