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Thursday, January 29, 2009

If not now, when?

Published on :- Times Of
13 December, 2008

We forget too soon and forgive even before forgiveness is asked for. Our tolerance has brought more and more marauders and murderers. Our virtues
have been taken as a mark of cowardice. Remember December 13, the day our Parliament was attacked. Everyone said it was an attack on India. What happened later? Afzal, the terrorist accused of waging war against the Indian state, has found patrons in Delhi.

Let’s not forget our fellow citizens who have been victims of brutal terrorist attacks. On the eve of December 16, when the arrogant Pakistani marauders surrendered before our armed forces in Dhaka in 1971, let’s revive the spirit of victory and firmness to punish the Pakistani terrorists, even if it means bombarding their hideouts.
Sometimes to take revenge becomes a pious duty, synonymous with righteousness. Sometimes to be intolerant to the barbaric attacker is the path of virtue.

Sometimes using constitutional instruments for silencing the homegrown shields of the terrorists masquerading as secular human rights advocates and apologists for the Batla House module is the only way to protect the meek and plundered classes.

It’s our politicians’ deeds or misdeeds that brought us this day. As guardians of the state and its people, it was their duty to strengthen the security and keep assaulters away. Surrounded as we are by failed states, which are exporting jihad and Marxist terrorism, it was the first and foremost duty of the rulers in Delhi to make the nation's security their first priority, no matter which party they belonged to.

They failed us collectively and became spineless chroniclers of a nation's misfortune. Or the registrars of the unending agony of a people. They would simply present reports every year — banned terrorist organizations, number of citizens killed, number of security persons killed, number of bombs and rifles unearthed or captured, number of infiltrators estimated to have sneaked into our territory, number of terrorists eliminated, number ...

What a game they played.

And now they are talking tough.

They used the same language whenever there was a terror attack. Gauge the mood of the people and speak what they want to hear. Soon everything will be normal. Public memory is always short.

I am sure the way Kasab, one of the perpetrators of the Mumbai mayhem is being presented in the media, soon there would be committees demanding his release, for the sake of India-Pakistan relations. Or his trial may be delayed to another decade, or maybe he is exchanged in a deal. That's what our past has been. How can we have a different future unless we have a different set of rulers?

We are all familiar with the denial mode for the invasions we bore in the past: Aurangzeb didn't demolish Kashi temple, Babar didn't build mosque over Rama's birth place in Ayodhya, Kashmiri Hindus were not driven out by jihadis but were pushed to leave their home and hearth by Jagmohan, the Godhra train was not set blaze by Muslim terrorists but by Hindus themselves, there are no Bangladeshi infiltrators.

This attitude isn't going to help anyone — neither the "bigots" nor the Muslims nor the nation. Rather it will increase the bitterness and reinforce divides. So how does the black ribbons help Hindus, the principal targets and the victims of a pogrom that pronouncedly bears the identity of a religion? Or Deoband's ambiguous fatwa against terrorism? They look, unfortunately, more of an effort to buy a civil space in a Hindu majority country than a serious attempt to make jihadis desist from doing what they are doing quoting religious books.

Protect plurality, fight unitedly

This can be successfully carried on only if every Indian joins it irrespective of his faith. The naked truth is that the last two decades have seen a terrorism which is called Islamic in its contours by the very perpetrators and is powered by Pakistan's military agencies including the ISI. It needs an Indian response, ruthless and decisive.
Time to wake up and wave your tricoulour against the marauders. Show a profound solidarity for soldiers. And remember, every single person, whether in olive green or in khaki, fighting the terrorists is a soldier in times like this.

Defeat the homegrown shields of terror

Phrases like "zero tolerance" mean nothing. The state must be intolerant to the terrorist and merciless in its dealings with those who shelter them and provide a workspace or a kind of legitimacy through religious covers and secular columns.

Now, how to combat this situation?

Rise united as Indians forgetting parochial, religious, ideological and language fault lines. Those who raise such issues to garner votes must be treated on a par with these terrorists and handed over to the ATS. Any party or organization raking up or assaulting religiously sensitive issues must be discarded and condemned. This can be done through non-political organizations and leadership. The temples, churches and the mosques can't be bigger than the nation, all gods need a space to be identified and worshipped. The nation is the space that counts more than anything else. The Lok Sabha elections are fast nearing. Prepare the entire democratic arsenal for that and choose young fresh faces on the basis of their patriotism and brilliance. Hanif or Hari, doesn't matter, what matters is that they are ready to take on terrorism head on.

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