(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
May 18, 2008
Foil This Diabolic Terror
Incendiary terrorist attacks rocked India once again. In seven serial blasts within fifteen minutes, Jaipur city was soaked with the blood of scores of innocent people. These attacks, till now, have left 60 dead and over 150 injured. The toll in these despicable and dastardly acts of terror is bound to go up.
While such terrorist attacks need to be unequivocally condemned, India, as a nation, will have to rise as one to meet this challenge. Our vulnerability needs to be combated. Clearly, such handiwork of those who do not want to see India prosper cannot be allowed to succeed.
The initial remarks of Advani claiming that these attacks are the consequence of the UPA government’s “softness on terror” and that these attacks would not have happened if POTA was not repealed, are, to say the least, designed to inflame communal passions. India was subjected to heinous terrorist attacks even when POTA adorned our statute books. The country as one, with political parties setting aside their differences stood behind the NDA government and Advani as the deputy prime minister and home minister in meeting such challenges earlier. The attack on the parliament, the attacks on the Red Fort, the attacks on the Raghunath Temple twice, the attacks on the Akshardham Temple at Ahmedabad have all happened when the Vajpayee-led NDA government was in office. Surely these attacks did not happen because of the NDA government’s “softness on terror”.
The fact of the matter is that India is vulnerable to the designs of such terrorist outfits. Between March 2004 and 2007, apart from the direct war zones like in Iraq and Afghanistan, 3280 people lost their lives globally in terrorist attacks apart from India. India alone lost 3674 lives during this period. It is this vulnerability that needs to be addressed. There are enemies of our nation who would perpetrate such attacks in order to destabilise the progress of the country and the people. Such low intensity warfare, however, by necessity feeds on internal discord. Remember, even a vulture swoops down on a caracass only when it smells blood. It is this internal blood letting that needs to be stopped.
In doing so it is needless to add that all additional measures required to protect our internal security will have to be taken by the UPA government on a war footing. The state governments, which are constitutionally vested with the power to maintain law and order – the BJP government in Rajasthan in this instance – will have to redouble its efforts to discharge this responsibility. All lapses will have to be investigated and corrective mechanisms will have to be put in place.
Having said this, it is equally important for us as a country to look inwards and exterminate all such viruses that sow the seeds of division within us. It is in this context that the RSS/BJP reactions are ominous. It is not merely unfortunate but it would be downright destructive to see a window of opportunity in these dastardly attacks to whip up communal passions in order to regain the BJP’s waning political base in the country, given the ongoing elections in Karnataka and forthcoming elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh.
The need of the hour is to unite in combating terrorism. The country cannot afford to allow the utilisation of terrorist attacks to sharpen communal polarisation. This would only seek to destroy the very unity and integrity of our country and its social harmony.
While no organisation/outfit has claimed “credit” for this savagery, clearly the needle of suspicion points to the involvement of some Islamist terrorist organisations. Such outfits will have to be isolated, combated and expelled from India’s social and political life. This echo’s the recent `fatwa’ issued by the Deoband against terrorism claiming it to be “anti-Islam”. While this must be done with the urgency that the situation demands, it must be borne in mind that fundamentalism of all varieties feed on each other. Minority fundamentalism and majority communalism cannot survive without constantly feeding and strengthening each other.
As sections of the national media have pointed out, the pattern of the recent attacks around religious places, as has happened in Jaipur, confirms the “intention not only to cause maximum loss of human lives but also to inflame communal passions and hope it escalates to bloody showdown between communities”. The blast at Sankat Mochan temple at Varanasi took place on March 7, 2006 – a Tuesday. The blasts at Jama Masjid at Delhi took place on April 14, 2006 – a Friday. Similarly, the blasts at Noorani Masjid at Malegaon took place on September 8, 2006 – a Friday – as well as the blasts at Mecca Masjid at Hyderabad on May 18, 2007 – again a Friday. The Ajmer Sharif Dargah was attacked on October 11, 2007 when the devoted were breaking their Ramzan fast a day before the Friday prayers. These attacks in Jaipur have occurred on a Tuesday in the vicinity of two Hanuman temples. Tuesdays for temples, Fridays for masjids – the classic recipe to foment and sharpen communal polarisation!
In this context, we need to recollect once again what the information secretary of the Islamic fundamentalist organization Laskar-e-Tayyeba had said on the eve of 1999 elections: “The BJP suits us. Within a year they have made us into a nuclear and missile power. Laskar-e-Tayyeba is getting a good response because of the BJP’s statements. It is much better than before. We pray to God that they come to power again. Then we will emerge even stronger.” (The Hindustan Times, July 19, 1999).
At this crucial moment, while expressing grief, sorrow and indignation, we as a people and as a nation will have to strengthen our resolve to rid ourselves of such forces who feed each other to undermine the strength of our republic.