President of Patriots Forum, D.C. Nath was superannuated in January, 1995, as the Special Director, Intelligence Bureau, D.C. Nath (IPS-1960) was associated with the International Institute of Security and Safety Management (IISSM), headquartered in New Delhi, for over 14 years, first as the Executive President & CEO and then as the President & Director General, between February, 1997 and March, 2011. The author of a highly acclaimed book, Intelligence Imperatives for India, Mr. Nath earned high plaudits from all around for two of his very significant presentations on: “Revisiting the Future of India” (2005, London) and “Lessons from India for the War On Terrorism” (2007, USA). He is the only one in the field, combining the experiences of a police officer with specialization in intelligence and strategic analysis and an industrial security expert par excellence. More Bio on D. C. Nath…
September 18, 2015
Subject: MHA’s Faultline Exposed
Please refer to our rather “hasty” rebuttal mail of yesterday (September 17) on a very confused response from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to the court, trying to explain its policy to the serious threat to India from the ISIS. Some friends criticised us for using what they felt to be rather harsh language to express our shock and surprise.
It was clear the government had not till then been able to work any plan for facing the threat from the ISIS. It would not be incorrect that the concerned people—the officials and the ministers were indeed sleeping literally, believing in “Delhi Door Ast”.
Well, friends, today we feel greatly satisfied that this has been very forcefully brought out in the leading editorial of “The Indian Express” of the day (September 18). We felt it necessary to reproduce the editorial here straightaway instead of putting the same as an attachment:
SPECTRE OF A RIFT
By: Express News Service
Published:Sep 18, 2015, 0:19
Centre’s stand on travel restrictions for anti-IS volunteers reduces a national concern to a narrow Sunni-Shia issue
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) submission to the Delhi High Court, defending travel restrictions on Shia volunteer organisations it believes wish to fight alongside militia in Iran against the Islamic State (IS), demonstrates the extraordinary obtuseness of the Centre’s thinking on the issue. The MHA, in its affidavit submitted earlier this week, has informed the court that it does not want Indians to fight against the IS, as this might “directly result in sectarian conflict in India”. The implicit suggestion is that Shia volunteers against the IS might provoke Sunni religious reaction. Even leaving aside the fact that the politics of Shia and Sunni contestation in India is fundamentally different from the communal carnage that now characterises it in West Asia, this is a gross misreading of reality. Though the IS has, indeed, engaged in savagery against Shia Muslims, as well as other religious minorities, sectarianism is not the source of its legitimacy. Though there is, no doubt, a reactionary Sunni element in India supportive of the IS, it resides on the far-right fringes of the community. The Sunni mainstream in India is deeply hostile to the IS, correctly understanding its neo-fundamentalism to be a radical challenge to orthodoxy. Iran’s Shia establishment, notably, is not alone in its opposition to the IS: Sunni-majority Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Jordan are all among its adversaries.
The MHA’s peculiar characterisation of the problem offers some important insights into the anxieties that have crippled India’s responses to the IS crisis in West Asia. Even though the IS and its allies have killed Indian citizens, and repeatedly threatened the Indian state, New Delhi’s response has been practically nothing. For all its pretensions to be a regional power, India is yet to offer medical resources to armed forces combatting the IS. Nor has it committed what aid it can to the millions of refugees the terrorist organisation’s savageries have sent fleeing across the region. This disengagement threatens the long-term interests of Indians whose livelihoods depend on the stability of the nation-states in West Asia where they now live and work.
The core purpose of the MHA’s affidavit is that Indians ought not to be allowed to participate in armed groups overseas — a point that is unexceptionable. No nation-state, after all, is served by private citizens acquiring the arts of war. But to argue that action in support of Shia resistance is illegitimate, because of its presumed potential to provoke a Sunni backlash at home, is to reduce what ought to be a genuine national concern to a narrow Muslim communal issue. Delhi’s concerns will be best addressed by laying out an Indian agenda for action on the genuine consensus that already exists against the IS — a consensus that includes both Sunni and Shia Muslims.
Friends, the editorial brings out how correct were our “quick” reflexes. The assessment in highlighted portions in the editorial are unexceptionable.
We had in our assessment, gone a little further that it was a move towards “minority appeasement”. The MHA declaration was for all practical purpose intended to satisfy the Sunni section, who in India enjoys 85:15 majority over the Shias and on the larger plane, the ISIS is a Sunni-led macro terror outfit.
(Former Spl. Director, IB)
(President, Patriots’ Forum)
Source: Patriot Forum
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