A Rejoinder: Terrorists and their apologists

INDIA IS ANOTHER ISRAEL BUT HAS NOT YET CAUGHT THE EYE

By Dr. S.M. Rahman

A Kashmiri woman crying over her dead - killed by Indian Army

Imtiaz Alam, editor of South Asian Journal, in his over-enthusiasm, has projected India as the peace-loving nation – by implication a great proponent of ‘Ahinsa’ and ‘non-violence’, and that it is the perfect ‘model’ in South Asia, as all its neighbors are at peace with it, except Pakistan, which is notorious, brutish and nourishes hatred and antipathy against it and is perpetually engaged in acts of terrorism in Indian Held Kashmir (IHK) and several other on-going insurgencies. The article appears, as if it was an Indian writer, quite proficient in art of propaganda and has used “card-stacking technique” of projecting only the positive elements and completely ignoring the dark realities that constitute the major truth.

I would say that silence could be the best answer to the ‘grandiose’ ideas he has of the ‘Indian society.’ With respect to the plight of the Muslims in India, I would expect the writer to read the book (if not read already),‘The Passive Voice’ by K.L. Gauba. He was a Muslim Congressite and against Pakistan’s creation, who migrated to India after the partition. This book though written a bit earlier, exhaustively covered the sad plight of the Muslims, as to how they were being discriminated against for employment in civil services, including police besides the armed forces. I distinctly remember that he mentioned about one Muslim scholar, a PhD from Banaras Hindu University who was serving as dispatch rider in one of the civil departments in Delhi. What has happened consequently is even more agonizing. I will not go into the recent surveys, suffice it to say that their plight is even lower than that of Dalits. Asra Nomani, one of the most liberated Muslim women and exceedingly pro-western, in her write-up has depicted the miserable plight of Indian Muslims, who are at the bottom of social hierarchy.

In one of the surveys in 1980’s, there were around 10,000 castes In India. Barun Mitra has written in an article India gone backward on castes. He is the director of liberty Institute – a think-tank in New Delhi and his article was published in India (reproduced by daily Nation, Pakistan, dated May 20, 2010). He writes: “Bhimrao, Ramji, Ambedkar, who chaired the committee that drafted Indian Constitution, was forbidden to touch water pots – as he was from a lower caste. Barely 40 years ago in New Delhi, it was not uncommon to find Brahman teachers, refusing to eat or drink if they were served by lower castes.”

I shall narrate one instance of one of my own students at Rajshahi University, Department of Psychology (former East Pakistan), who after the emergence of Bangladesh had gone to India for his doctorate in the University of Allahabad. When he had visited Lahore for a conference, he met me with incredible love and affection. When I asked him as to what were his experiences in India, he said, “one of the very shocking one was that, when I had submitted my thesis for the approval to the Professor (my supervisor), there was some errors to be corrected. He offered his pen, but to his bewilderment, the full Professor of the University refused taking pen from a Muslim as it would pollute him.” So the ‘myth of India’ which was so arduously created through the Indian media during the days when Bangladesh had not come into being, I thought that myth was eroded from his mind. There were many other ‘experiences’ which did not match with the ground realities. I am not touching much about the massacre of Muslims in Gujrat. How were they chopped off like carrots and radish? It is indeed very painful to recall the Ayodhiya episode of demolishing the historical Muslims mosque. Besides Muslims, Dalits, even Christians were not spared. How a Pope along with his family members were burnt alive inside the car at Orissa. Several other incidents of raping of Christian nuns and their killing, have come to light.

Over five lac soldiers in the IHK are not playing kabaddi? The atrocities being committed on their part are the worst instances of crime against humanity. If some radical Muslims reacted to such mega killings of over 80,000, the so called liberals tend to dub them as “terrorists”, completely forgetting that ‘state terrorism’, which is at the root of ‘radicalism’, and essentially reactive in nature. Every self-respecting citizen has a right to defend his freedom. Not to do it, is servility, which is repugnant to the adherents of Islamic faith. They will die rather than surrender. This is exactly what Afghan resistance is about. They may be fanatics, fundamentalists, whatever, but give them the credit that they served as iron force against the contemporary Super Powers, former Soviet Union and now the USA, the empire builders. Invasion of countries like Iraq and Afghanistan are blatant acts of aggression. Killing of millions of Muslims in Palestine, Kashmir, Afghanistan and Iraq are nothing but crimes against humanity, if justice at all prevailed in the World Order. Read more of this post

A replay of Bunker Hill

Afghan fighters

By I. M. Mohsin

The operation code named ‘Mushtarak’, launched by the huge foreign forces along with some Afghan complement in Helmand has run into serious problems. Its projected aim was to provide security to the local people while dismantling ‘enemy’ strongholds in the same area. A tempestuous publicity campaign heralded the start of hostilities by the ISAF. Such media hype was considered necessary to warn the local people of the impending attacks. Many people, as such, migrated to other areas which would have caused great resentment among the afflicted Afghans. Subsequently, the foreign forces felt obliged to forbid any help to the Taliban by any resident. All such moves indicate that in nine years, the US army has not understood anything of the local culture which rules the roost, particularly when fighting the foreigners. If the Americans had heeded Gorbachev’s advice or that of their own ambassador in Kabul’s foreboding, they may have been better off. The real lesson that history teaches, as the Russians learnt the hard way after losing their Soviet Empire, is that atrocities by an awful power do not, generally, make the Afghans bend.

History also proves that despite the odds, they have always emerged successful. Licking its wounds caused by the exercise of vicious power, the aggrieved party waits to hit back. No wonder the Taliban, deriving strength from their history, took a serious dig at the foreign troops by saying that “the current occupiers of Afghanistan, like the Red Army will face defeat” on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the withdrawal of the defeated Russian troops.

In choosing the subject, I was influenced by the history of the American War of Independence. The ragtag force under George Washington conquered the Bunker Hill outpost of the British troops. Feeling outraged, the British commander rushed a strong contingent which drove the Americans away after some fighting. However, thereafter the US militia turned into Taliban. As the British forces started a withdrawal exercise, the Americans would waylay/ambush repeatedly with consequences for the then British ‘occupation’ force. This stands as a landmark development which finally led to the American Independence. It is difficult to make out how asymmetrical was the power between the parties then as compared with the AfPak tragedy. The strategy of the Afghans has always been a repeat of Bunker Hill. In fact, their battling prowess covers distinctly about 12 hundred years. The underlying hallmark of the same is that they have infinite patience in avenging the wrong that has been done to them more so by a foreigner. Read more of this post

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