The deadly explosions that struck the three to five lakh large rally in Patna on October 27, 2013, that had gathered to hear Narendra Modi carries its own message. The Indian Mujahideen (IM) wants to create a situation of fear throughout the land, with what is fashionably described as “a thousand cuts.” India has undergone thousands of such cuts by now and has survived. But one wants to ask the IM, its close supporter, the Lashkar-e-Toiba and its patron, the Pakistan Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), whether they realise what would have happened if the 18 explosions planted in strategic areas in Patna had all exploded, killing god alone knows how many. Worse, if by any chance, Narendra Modi himself would have been hurt, are we to believe that the IM, the LeT and the ISI had no concept of what the consequences would have been? There would have been large-scale killings of the kind it would be difficult even to imagine. It is hard and painful even to think of it.
We are now told that “a detailed study of the Indian Mujahideen, based on a clinical analysis of curated data, is beginning to pay dividends in understanding when these outfits will launch their next attacks and who their target will be. Big deal. But the larger questions remains unanswered. What is it that the IM wants? Or, for that matter the L-e-T or the ISI? A large-scale massacre of people? The destruction of India? India giving up on Jammu & Kashmir? Shouldn’t this be the subject of study?
The Indian Mujahideen’s record is there for all to see, thanks to the explosion of a string of bombs throughout India in 2008, including the attacks on the German Bakery in Pune in 2010, a triple bombing in Mumbai in 2011 that killed 27 and the double bombing in Hyderabad, in February 2013, that killed 17. What did the IM gain by these brutal follies? Life in India goes on as ever, Jammu and Kashmir continues to stand firmly in the Indian armsfold, only innocent Muslims in India fall under suspicion. If in the next six months, at the height of the pre-election multi-rallying eventualities, anybody is killed, one can never say how a provoked country may respond. In such a situation, shouldn’t Muslim leadership come forth with strong condemnation of the IM to show where it stands? And that, too in its own interests?
Media reports suggest that Tehsin Akhtar, alias Monu, who succeeded Yasin Bhatkal, was told by his boss that southern states should be targeted with bigger explosions. How long is this to go on? The Mulsims, if one is to listen to Shahid Siddiqui, editor of the Urdu weekly, ‘Nai Duniya’, Muslims are growing fearful of the future. Isn’t that precisely the reason why Muslims as a community, must loudly damn both the IM and Pakistan itself? They should identify themselves with the rest of the people. When will Muslims learn how to integrate themselves with India without losing their identity? India takes its Muslim population seriously. Every effort is made to literally pacify it. The government is willing to pay Rs 50,000 to a Muslim girl towards her marriage expenses. Nobody is out to convert Muslims into Hinduism. Nobody is asked to quit India on pain of death, as 3.5 lakh Kashmir Pandits were told to quit Kashmir.
We have a ministry for minorities. If despite everything, Muslims fear for their future, it is time for them to indulge in some deep self-introspection. Has any Muslim leader condemned the treatment meted out to the Kashmiri Pandits to date? Not to one’s knowledge. It must be further remembered that the demand for separation is heard only in six out of 20 districts in Jammu and Kashmir; these six do not represent Kashmir; worse, they are in the pay of the ISI. Besides, it may be asked, if Muslims can’t bear to be ruled by Hindus, what prevents them from migrating wholesale to Pakistan? Is anybody stopping them? Hindus are tyrannised in Pakistan. Is anybody stopping them? Hindus are tyrannised in Pakistan, their temples are razed to the ground, their women are getting forcibly converted, whereas here, the secularists, who have access to the media, want to bestow a huge guilt complex on Hindus by saying they are not doing enough for Muslims. At some point in time Muslims in India must realise how lucky they are.
Zakir Naik can address lakhs of people, can decry Hinduism and make fun of its practices, but not a dog barks. Would Hindus be allowed to have massive rallies in Pakistan or for that matter in any Muslim state? For Muslim complaints to be taken seriously, there should be among them a massive uprising against Pakistan. But importantly, the Government of India, having got hold of half-a-dozen IM men like Riyaz Bhatkal, Tehseen Akhtar and Haidar, should seek out IM dens all over India and go in for large-scale captures of traitors, so that the IM base is wiped out.
At the same time, some person-to-person talks must be held with these headmen as to what ails them. Importantly, Muslims must get out of their minority prison cell and not allow themselves to be taken in by the ‘secular’ claims of bogus parties like the Congress.
To begin with, they themselves must stop isolating themselves from mainstream India. Tick off the separatists in Kashmir; tick off the Zakir Naiks; tell jihadis opening fire at Indian villages across the Line of Control in Kashmir that the bullets hurt them more than the villagers. And publicly talk matters out with people like Mohammad Sadiq Israr Sheikh, of Azamgarh. Additionally don’t let themselves be fooled by so-called secularists.
After more than six decades of Independence, Muslims must come to terms with the fact that wisdom demands that they must come to terms with Hindus for peace and prosperity to thrive and give communalism the go-by. But the responsibility lies with the Muslims. This is a wake-up call. To keep saying that they have lost faith in the government is self-defeating. Start re-doing one’s political philosophy in order that the whole country starts having faith in Muslims. Surely, that is not too much to ask?
M. V. Kamath