February 26, 2007Public PolicySecurity

Secular introspection

B Raman does the nation service by some timely plain talking

This is an archived blog post from The Acorn.

If there is one article you should read (and there will be many more) on Godhra five years on, it is this one.

The fears one had in 2002 that the anger in the Muslim community over the perceived sufferings of their co-religionists in Gujarat might result in a wave of acts of reprisal terrorism have not come true. We saw more instances of reprisal terrorism by the jihadis after the demolition of the Babri Masjid than after the Gujarat riots…

There have been many incidents of jihadi terrorism in different parts of India since the Gujarat riots. Of these, only one—the attack on the Aksherdam Temple in Ahmedabad in September, 2002— could be attributed to this anger. The rest of the incidents in Mumbai, Delhi, Varanasi, Ayodhya and Bangalore were not committed in a moment of uncontrollable anger. These were coolly and carefully prepared and executed acts of terrorism by some members of our Muslim community, who have joined hands with the pan-Islamic jihadis from Pakistan and its ISI. Their target is not just Gujarat. Their target is India and its economic prosperity. Their anger is not just against the Gujarat government. It is against India and its people for refusing to let themselves be intimidated by the terrorists and for continuing to make rapid economic progress and showing signs of emerging as a major power despite their acts of depredation, sponsored by the ISI. Nothing less. I am not commenting on the latest incident at Deewana, near Panipat, because all the facts are not yet in.

We owe it to our Muslim co-citizens to see that their lives and property are protected, that they have the same opportunity for economic advance as the members of the majority community, that there is no discrimination against them—political, economic or social, that they are able to observe their religious practices as they wish so long as they observe the law of the land. At the same time, in our necessary attempts to win the hearts and minds of our Muslim community and redress their grievances, we should not under-emphasise the need to root out jihadi terrorism and the mind-set behind it from our territory. We should not project Pakistan as a born-again saint. It is not. [Outlook/Alerted by INI Signal]

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