Thursday, January 3, 2008

SECULAR FIDAYEEN BEGIN 2008 WITH A BANG

Barley three hours after the midnight which rang in 2008, there was a Fidayeen attack on the CRPF Camp at Rampur on the Delhi-Lucknow highway. Two personnel of the State police and six of the Central police, whose camp was the target, were killed while several others were injured. The attackers, after completing their deathly task, managed to escape, leaving those in charge of the security of the camp red in the face.

This Fidayeen attack was no ordinary operation. It was the first ever attack by terrorists on a police installation outside Kashmir. And it was carried out right in the heartland of India, close to Delhi. If one also takes into account the fact that more people have died recently in the rest of India as compared to Kashmir due to terrorist violence, the danger posed by the growing menace of Islamic terrorism to India can be wished away only by those who are either blind or motivated solely by petty personal or political considerations.

I have been facing some criticism for speaking and writing about the dangers of Islamic terrorism. Some believe the problem is not serious enough to merit more attention than it has been so far given by the government and the media. There are a few too who accuse me of secretly harboring political affiliations which are dangerously rightist! The problem for those who write or speak in English is that anytime they raise a voice warning the nation about the real and grave danger posed by the Islamic terrorism which Pakistan has successfully germinated in the India beyond Kashmir, they are shouted down by disconnected ‘liberals’ and politicians who are mortally afraid of losing Muslim votes.

The attack was bad enough; the response has been nothing short of disgraceful. Politicians have done little more than blame each other for the ‘security lapse’, as if that is all there is to terrorism. The Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh takes a dig at the Centre because the camp attacked was of CRPF which comes under the Centre while the BJP blames the Congress for failing to fight terrorism effectively; the sordid drama goes on endlessly. No one has time to spare a thought for the families of those killed and offer condolences.

To cap it all, a very senior police officer taking part in a debate on NDTV takes a dig at the Army and the intelligence agencies for allowing such terrorist attacks! Asked as to how the scourge of terrorism should be fought, he says the borders should be better secured to prevent infiltration of terrorists from that unnamed country whose name the whole world knows, and that intelligence should be improved.

I don’t know whether such hare-brained but politically acceptable ‘solutions’ reflect the isolated opinion of an officer who has beaten Peter’s Principle conclusively or the famed collective mediocrity and time-serving attitude of India’s bureaucracy which otherwise consists of some individually brilliant officers. I do know, however, that it is this sort of professional incompetence and palpable lack of honesty that is largely responsible for ensuring that there is no independent institutional mechanism to guide and enable, even compel if necessary, governments and politicians to put in place proactive and effective mechanisms to defeat this threat which is aimed at the very foundation and roots of this nation. Not surprisingly, this Pakistan promoted and propagated ‘war’ against the Indian state has steadily increased its strength and reach, the latest attack adding a new and dangerous dimension to it.

As to the role of the ever alert media in informing the nation about the new level to which Islamic terrorism has risen, dramatically and loudly announced by the Fidayeen to the whole world as a new year begins, the less said the better. For the last couple of days, top billing has gone to the molestation of two girls in Mumbai as they came out of a five star hotel after celebrating the New Year. The poor police commissioner who pleaded with the media to not disproportionately blow the incident out of proportion and “make a mountain out of a molehill” has been taken to the cleaners for downplaying such a major incident of prime national importance! The Fidyeen attack, the real mountain has, on the other hand, been converted into a molehill by the media, focused as ever on the metros, with special emphasis on those who can speak English!

I have written elsewhere on this site a number of times about the increasing danger that Islamic terror poses to this country, not to speak of the whole world at large. Some assessments are already proving to be almost prophetic. I do not think much purpose will be served by repeating here a short and incomplete version of what has already been said. Interested readers may like to go through the many previous posts on the subject, particularly the ones about The Prithviraj Chauhan syndrome, Secular Indian Mujahideen, Tackling terrorism in a democracy and Benazir Bhutto’s assassination: Lessons for India.

Don’t be surprised if those politicians who gave the ‘secular’ badge to the openly anti-national and communal SIMI (Students Islamic Movement of India) hamper a proper and thorough investigation into the latest Fidayeen attack in which Indian citizens have to be involved. One politician has already sat on a dharna in protest against the searches being carried out by the police in Muslim areas. But do get seriously concerned if these gentlemen find an ingenious way to call the Fidayeen who have begun 2008 with a bang secular too, particularly when it is time for elections.

With leaders like these, we don’t need Pakistan to drive the country towards communal violence and killings on a scale that will dwarf the massacres that engulfed the sub continent in 1947.