Posts Tagged ‘Mumbai’
Ultimately Channel4 has presented us with what we call an complete version of the entire 26/11 attack in Mumbai. It includes tapes from Kasav’s confession, the communication between terrorists and their commander in Pakistan and of course interviews of scores of people.
Initially the whole documentary was available at youtube, but unfortunately it was removed due to copyrights claim by Channel4 (they need their cut too!!). I hope some Indian Tv broadcasters will be able to purchase the copyright to air the same uncut version of the whole documentary. Otherwise, Indians will miss something. I want it to be displayed with few more analysis and interviews – initially by NDTV or IBNLive and later in the National Tv network. We all have right to see what had happened.
Currently the video is available at this site. However, it could be gone anytime soon. I’ll keep updating this post if I find any new site hosting the video.
P.S. – The video, especially the communication between the commander and the terrorists has significant amout of religious content. This should not be used to make a case against some other innocents. I’m afraid it could potentially happen. All these attacks are creation of a handful zealots and those should not be regarded as representetives of their communities. In fact people across the world have condemed this attack irrespective of caste, creed and religion. Punishing the guilty is the only way forward …
I could not believe my eyes when I saw the news on Times website that Pakistan has officially accepted that Ajmal Kasab, the lone survivor of the terrorist gang, is a Pakistani citizen. I saw the Dawn News clips also. It was so strange. BBC report says
“After weeks of refusing to confirm the allegations, the foreign ministry said: “We have just been informed… that Ajmal Kasab is a Pakistani national.”"
The Dawn news clips from timesnowonline -
However, the ecstasy did not last long. Within hours they tracked back on the news and sacked the NSA for leaking the news. It’s interesting that the reasons provided for dismissing him -
“Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has dismissed his national security adviser, Mehmood Ali Durrani, amid the tensions with India. … A prime ministerial statement said Mr Durrani had been sacked “for his irresponsible behaviour for not taking the prime minister and other stakeholders into confidence, and a lack of co-ordination on matters of national security”. “
What is “irresponsible” in Pakistan, is very much cheered across the border. Once he is sacked, the denial is back. The Washington Post notes :
“In an interview with CNN, Mahmud Ali Durrani said there appeared to be proof that all 10 gunmen had Pakistani roots. Officials from the Foreign and Information ministries confirmed that assertion, but the Foreign Ministry later retracted its statement, and within hours, government officials and national TV channels reported that Durrani, a former intelligence chief, had been dismissed by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani.”
Last but not the least, none of the Pakistani newspapers covered this story on today’s edition of their newspaper. I am still waiting to see whether they at all publish it.
News media in Pakistan did publish it - link for Daily Times news.
As I expected, Pakistan has already refused the proofs provided in the dossier from India. The comment came from Salman Bashir, the foreign secretary of Pakistan. I quote from Times of India -
“Within 24 hours of receiving a dossier on the Mumbai attacks, Pakistan has predictably trashed the document. Pakistan foreign secretary Salman Bashir called it “insufficient” and not enough to take action on. “
What were the three “insufficient” proofs? They were basically categorized in three sets -
- Phone intercepts
- Confession statement from Ajmal Kasab
- Materials left by the terrorist team in the boat
The argument against GPS based evicdence is simple – it can be forged. Next the arguments against Confession statements are also very straight – they can be forced confession. So, the last thing remains are the phone intercepts. Some of them are povided by Indian Authorities, the others could be from US Authorities. As the GPS, this also can be forged. Same can be said for the materials retrieved.
This brings me to an important question. What can be a “credible” evidence? The answer is simple. Nothing can be a “credible” evidence. Because the word “credible” involves mutual trust. Since all possible evidences can be forged, so “credibility” of each evidence can always be questioned. The other factor is equally important – the desire to investigate. Everyone knows that Pakistan is lacking in this front – so we can’t expect anything else.
Let me go over GPS and Phone intercepts as proofs. The others can be forged, though no confusion should be there about the identity of Ajmal Kasav (or Kasab) as it is confirmed from four independent resources (Indian Authorities, The Dawn Newspaper of Pakistan, The Geo News Channel of Pakistan, The Observer News Agency of Britain).
I searched cases over the internet and saw a lot of instances where GPS data was used as one of the evidences. For example, a classic speeding ticket can be avoided by providing the GPS data, or the location of the murder (another example) can be confirmed with the same. In an interesting incident,
“In New Brighton, PA, a trucker’s GPS system led police to charge him with setting his own home on fire. GPS records showed his rig was parked about 100 yards from his house at the time of the fire.”
However, the ruling says in one case, only the original recordings can act as evidence, not the description of an agent who saw the GPS data.
“Producing testimony about defendant’s border crossing instead of the GPS data, the court said, was analogous to offering testimony that described security camera footage of an event to prove the event actually occurred rather than introducing the footage itself. This is the type of situation in which the best evidence rule applies, the court said.”
As Indian authorities have the GPS device, recordeings can always be provided along with the device itself. However, neither Pakistan nor India has a past case that accepted GPS data as an evidence, presumably because GPS is not widely used in this part of the world.
The next thing is the Phone intercept. This is widely accepted throughout the world, even as an evidence for extradition under international laws. Ironically, a few days back, Pakistan arrested (another source) one alleged Indian spy (though no official communication is made to India) after tracking his phone.
“Dawn TV identified the Indian citizen as Satish Anand Shukla, of Calcutta, and said he was arrested after a cell phone intercept.”
“The security services intercepted a call from Mehsud on Friday in which he “congratulated his people for carrying out this cowardly act”, said Brigadier Javed Iqbal Cheema, the Interior Ministry’s spokesman.”
So, phone intercepts are very much accepted in Pakistan as a “credible” evidence. There can be no question that Pakistan should ignore these. A report from BBC tracks how different countries use the phone intercepts in court as an evidence.
This is not the first time the denial of evidence is coming from Pakistan. Pakistan already denied any involvement of their citizens in 1999 Kandahar hijacking incident. As Daily Times (Pakistan) says :
“A large body of circumstantial evidence accepted by the international community but not accepted by Pakistan, such as the 1999 hijack of an Indian airliner to Kandahar, have not attracted the articles of the Convention.”
Also, we all know that Pakistan reject all evidences of the genocide in Bangladesh during 1971 Freedom fight. The figure of dead in the genocide is only 26,000 by Pakistan, much less than Bangladesh’s claimed 3 million figure. Almost all international news agencies put the figure in between 1-3 million.
Details of the proofs can be read here. They were presented to Pakistan as well as to a part of International media. The media reports say :
“The dossier, along with a power-point presentation made to diplomats here, narrates a journey of zeal, foibles and careful planning, one whose blow-by-blow media coverage was followed by handlers, believed to be in Pakistan, and used to caution the gunmen on the ground about the movement of Indian security forces and motivate them to keep fighting.”
Let’s see how the matter rolls.
The Hindu has published the full dossier.
Headlines Today discusses the intercepts at Nariman House.
I have already read Mr Pervez Hoodbhoy’s writing on Mumbai attacks. I also watched the entire episode of his interview/talk show post Mumbai attacks. It was broadcast on Geo TV program named Capital Talk.
To watch the full program – go to this. The program is in Urdu, though anybody who understands Hindi, can listen to these.
I read an excellent article in the Times of India by Swaminathan Aiyar on Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline. He argued why the project is dead now.
The problem is the denial. Post-Mumbai attacks, we’ve seen so many flip-flops from the ministers and officials of Pakistan that we can expect in the pipeline also.
The problem in the current plan is that there is a section of pipeline that is dedicated to India (See the Red dotted line on the map) but it is coming from Pakistan. If some militants (read LeT for the time being) blow it up, Pakistan government would put the blame on “non-state” actors and they could set up a “joint investigation council” to investigate it. They will argue that Baloch (Balochistan is the shaded region in the map of Pakistan) separatists indeed bomb their own pipelines, so they are also a victim of similar terrorist attacks. Furthermore, it could ask for “credible evidences” to find out non-state actors even if everybody knows who did it.
This possibility would skyrocket the insurance premium and that would damage the viability of the project. It is possible that we could get cheaper gas with a lower insurance premium if we get a pipeline undersea. The undersea pipeline, again, has a higher cost to build and maintain.
What he proposes is quite interesting. We need to go for a design where a destruction of the pipeline would damage both India and Pakistan equally. To ensure that, the pipeline must come to a point where both India and Pakistan has equal stake. As per him, a point at Kutch, at India-Pakistan border, we could split the pipeline into two – one towards Pakistan and the other to India (See the Grey line on the map). This would increase the length of the pipeline but would make the project viable. Because, this design follows MAD or Mutual Assured Destruction. If the pipeline is sabotaged, both sides will suffer equally. This will make both parties equally careful about the pipeline. Once this is ensured, the insurance premium will go lower. However, he did not propose any solution for the TAP (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan -> India) gas pipeline (See Green dotted lines on the Map). If we go by him, that project is also gone out of hand. it would pass through the uncontrolled Afghanistan and NWFP where these “non-state actors” reign.
Of late Pakistan has proposed Iran to buy India’s share of gas from the IPI Pipeline. It is because they understand that India would probably not participate in that in forseeable future. They’ll probably put pressure on Iran to get the price of gas reduced. It’s a tactical ploy which may or may not produce fruitful result.
Interestingly, none of these conspiracy theorists talk about the Geo news clips and the Dawn editorial, nor they try to explain those in the lights of their own theories.
To reiterate, I must once again point out that there are FOUR INDEPENDENT resources those talk about Ajmal Kasav to be from Pakistan. None of them are actually contested by some alternatives. Till the phone call intercepts are available to the public, we have all four of them and they don’t seem to fit with any of the current conspiracy theories.I wrote in my earlier blog -
“There are four independent sources claim and verify the origin of Kasav to Faridkot village in Pakistan. The first one is the Indian agencies interrogating him, the first verification came from The Observer’s Saeed Shah, then came the Dawn’ editorial on 12th December that claimed to talk to his father and last but not the least, the Geo News ’sting operation’ on secret camera where the villagers of Faridkot are shown to accept the origin of Kasav to their own village. All four resources establish that Kasav is from Pakistan, with a very high probability.”
Now, if one fabricates a conspiracy theory he needs to rather come up with a document or proof on their theories. Why do they insist on gaps of the existing proofs and evidences to establish their claim? Aren’t gaps applicable to all the possibilities with equal probability? Why are no alternative stories being published with documents?
And also, what would have happened if there were no terrorists being caught?
One good article by Tanvir Jafri (Famous Indian Columnist) ends like this -
“But now Aamir qasab, the father of arrested terrorist, who is a citizen of Pakistan has admitted that Ajmal Kasab is his son. Now what more proof do they demand?“
He also exposes one big lie (that I didn’t know)
“The columnist of Pakistan studied the photo minutely that there is a thick thread tied on the right wrist of Ajmal. The writer put the argument that such type of threads is tied by the Hindu community. So Ajmal may be the terrorist having connection with Hindu community. Now what can be the answer to this Pak journalist if the father of the terrorist is confessing that Ajmal is his son? The second fact is that even in Pakistan same Muslim faqirs, managing the shrines in Pakistan, tie these threads. This is done in the Muslim community also. The Pak media should tell the truth and justice and not “to rob peter to pay Paul”.“
Thanks to Tanvir Jafri, one more “conspiracy” is “exposed”.
A few interesting Indian News media reporting on Kashmir. I think, people are starting to understand that Indian people are actually in favor of Kashmir to be separate from India. At least, the Kashmir valley should be put to a question whether they want to join India or Pakistan. I don’t personally support the Independence option since that will create more chaos and all powers will start their covert operations to install a puppet government in Kashmir.
Kashmiri Pandits will definitely be a looser out of this resolution, but we can afford them in Jammu or exchange population of Jammu with Valley.
The other part is that the development of Jammu and Ladakh are badly tied to Kashmir issue. We can’t afford to mistreat those people who want to join India. Also, we can’t really want them to go the same way Kashmir valley goes.
The strategic importance of Kashmir valley is also hyped. The valley doesn’t affect Indus river treaty. One perceived problem of Kashmir is that it would actually turn into hotbed of anti-India activities. However, all of the Pakistan has turned into the same for long. There won’t be any decrease of terrorism in India due to this. So, why should we care for it? We don’t lose anything out of this.If India wants to be a Super power, it should first fix problems at home. Also, I, as a tax-payer, don’t want to pay for all those military installation in Kashmir. It also is not a justice to the Kashmiris who are fighting non-violent war against India for last few years.
Another perceived problem is that many states will want to go out of India because of this. However, they are not backed by UN Resolutions. Also, only a fraction of Indian population are interested to get separated. If we put together the whole of separatist population in North-East, it won’t get more than 2% of Indian people. Given the multi-lingual, multi-ethnic structure of India, it is actually expected that some Indians will indeed want to get separate. French speaking Quebec has similar issue with Canada. It should be noted that Canada is indeed much more democratic than what India is. East Timor did not cause a collapse in multi-ethnic secular Indonesia.
I have earlier suggested that we should try not to change borders too often so that the minorities do not suffer. However, under the current circumstances, I understand that India-Pakistan peace is not possible at least in next 50 years. So, an idea of a soft border is not going to get implemented till then. I still stick to a soft border option as first priority, but if the option is out of hand, we should concentrate on the second. we need to solve this for Indian interest.
Here I have a CNN-IBN debate on Indian media view on Kashmir. I also referred to a couple of editorials in Indian major newspapers supporting Kashmiri freedom.
The case that Kasav was indeed from Pakistan has been strengthened today by Indian Police forces when they captured three Pakistani residents one of whom happened to be a member of Pakistan Army. The saga continues. Pakistan Army has already denied that their person was involved. But the New York Times notes :
But a Pakistani military official, speaking on condition that he not be named, appeared to confirm that at least one of the suspects was Pakistani, saying the man identified as a soldier had in fact deserted his Pakistani unit in June 2006.
On his line, the J&K Police Chief notes :
“One of the three has been identified as Ghulam Farid alias Gulshan Kumar, a sepoy (foot soldier) in 10 Azad Kashmir regiment of Pakistan Army. His service number is 4319184,”
The motive of them is clear. They are doing the damage control job. The Mumbai massacre did one bad thing in particular – shifted the media interest from Kashmir. All the terrorist activities in Pakistan are basically because of Kashmir issue with India – this argument was weakened. An attack similar to the one in Mumbai, if launched in Jammu and Kashmir, would definitely shift the focus back to Kashmir and do increase Pakistan’s lost sympathy in International media. There would have been a lot of critical essays on Kashmir and those would have undermined the Indian claim that the terrorists in Pakistan would attack India even if Kashmir issue is resolved.
However, thanks to Police forces, this didn’t happen.
[See my latest on this if you want to avoid long post.]
I came across a lot of conspiracy theories so far on 26/11 Mumbai attacks. Of late, they are less in number, perhaps after the Geo News exposed the village of Ajmal Amir Kasav. Also, perhaps, because a terrorist is captured by Indian Police this time. I am sure that an absence of these two events would have doubled the number of conspiracy theories.
The way conspiracy theories work is very simple. It blames a strong-enough force to conspire and cause the attack. The favorite of all theorists is the state of USA or CIA (US Intelligence agency) to be precise. However, in these days, a lot of perceived allies of USA are also coming on top of the hit-list – such as India (RAW) and Israel (MOSSAD). In other areas, a powerful state-nation is sufficient to blame. My first encounter with the Conspiracy Theory was with Moon landing of Apollo-11. I believed the theory for at least 5 years. The next one was when Rajiv Gandhi dies. The most powerful one was 9/11 Conspiracy Theories. I believed and rejected them from time to time.
Next, it points out a few ‘gap’s in the present way of investigation. It looks for errors and fallacies in the claims made by the investigating agencies. Most of the time, the gaps are sufficient for them to ‘disprove’ the official version and prepare their own. It also emphasizes on a few motives of the conspiracy actors and their perceived gains.
Conspiracy theories are in a sense the denial measure of the fools. It denies a few basic facts -
- Every evidence can be fabricated.
- Every proof has a certain probability or circumstantial evidences has a probabilistic role to establish the truth.
- Gaps doesn’t strengthen an alternative story.
- Most of the time, a full length alternative story is also not presented, denying any of its critics an opportunity to hit back.
- Any human description of an incident is bound to have some errors.
- Investigation can never answer all queries – because, investigators has limited resources and limited time.
The basic aim of a conspiracy theory is to exploit the lack of knowledge and the tendency of human being to believe what they want to believe. The conspiracy theories try to fit into perception of people. That is why different version of conspiracy theories gain popularity among different groups.
Now, let me move my focus into the current set of questions/theories on Mumbai attack. I have collected a set of “Questions” on the Mumbai attack. The first source is from Rediff, the second one is from a personal blog, the third and fourth ones are from countercurrent website. Of course, Iranian president has something different to offer. He blames it entirely on USA and says that USA has plans to attack India and China.
Before I deal with the questions, let me summarize the proofs those have already surfaced. The first and foremost is the origin of the lone captured terrorist – Ajmal Amir Kasav. There are four independent sources claim and verify the origin of Kasav to Faridkot village in Pakistan. The first one is the Indian agencies interrogating him, the first verification came from The Observer’s Saeed Shah, then came the Dawn’ editorial on 12th December that claimed to talk to his father and last but not the least, the Geo News ‘sting operation’ on secret camera where the villagers of Faridkot are shown to accept the origin of Kasav to their own village. All four resources establish that Kasav is from Pakistan, with a very high probability. Apart from this, phone call intercepts to Karachi are also been presented to Pakistan. I believe a satellite phone and a GPS has also been recovered from these terrorists. Those also point to the same origin. Apart form India, US (FBI) has also completed the probe for the case and indicated link to LeT in Pakistan. However, no evidences are yet entered in Interpol’s database.
The only conspiracy theory that could probably stand against it was from C.M. Farooqi, who claimed that Kasav was arrested by Indian agency in Nepal two years back. I am yet to see any documents from the person that he indeed knew Ajmal Kasav. Neither does this fit with the Geo News and Observer’s report that Kasav went back to his village within last 6 months.
Once this is accepted as a truth, the probability of homegrown terrorists to take part in the attack becomes thin. However, existence of a few sleeper cells passing on signals and information are not yet ruled out.
The conspiracy theory those are circulated in Pakistan (and in India also) are basically focusing on motive and gains of different parties. They also try to use a few myths in that. Let me go through a few gain-myth.
1. The gainers – USA and Israel – because India will become an ally of them after this operation.
Myth – India is already an ally of USA and Israel in a sense they provide India with military know-how at a lower cost. However, Indian votes, unlike those in USA, are not governed by Indian foreign policy. So, Indian voters ignore who’s India’s friend and how Indian Govt is dealing with them. Apart from that, not top 10% of Indian population knows about Israel, neither that affects their vote pattern.
2. BJP and other right wing parties will gain from it.
A terror strike from outside the country does not suggest home-grown terror or a need for anti-Terror law. So, why the right-wing will gain is still a mystery to me. As expected, votes in a couple of states have gone to Congress. All surveys pointed out the votes were cast mostly on domestic issues. Over and over, it has been proven that Indian public voted for Bijli(Electricity)-Sadak(Roads)-Pani(water).
3. The death of Karkare and others would stall the progress of Malegaon blast investigation
The blast investigation is mostly done by officers in charge and not by the chief of staff. The chief is the person to make decisions and talk to high level leaders and press. So, I don’t personally think it’s going to stop anything from happening. However, the arrests may get delayed.
4. Arrest of a high level BJP Personnel was avoided because of Karkare’s death
Had there been an arrest of a senior BJP personnel, they would have gained out of it. It’s because getting arrested always boost the theory of conspiracy against them. Most of the time, that can be used against the opposition to gain popularity.
5. Indian Muslims will be looser
Till now, there are no signs of this. The anti-terror law is often misused against them, but I am doubtful whether it will be the same this time. Muslims in India protested the attack with zeal and media has projected that story very well. So, I don’t see any chances of backlash against them. After all, we should not believe in the two Nation theory.
From the motives, let me take a loot at a few ‘gap’s. One of the major gaps is the number of terrorists. My take on that is the number can never be ascertained. Neither the Investigating agency nor the terrorist himself can unambiguously tell us how many terrorists were actually involved. The fishermen saw 10 men and we got 9 corpses and one captured terrorist.
The next one is about the identity of the person. There are claims that there were a blond fair person (BBC), and also some Marathi newspaper published that one of the attackers was fluent in Marathi. These contradict the official version of the story that tells us about the Urdu speaking Ismail and Ajmal being the two who roamed around the Cafe and Cama hospital. To discuss this, we should not forget that many of the newspaper reports, especially the local reports, are indeed rumors only. I have seen this so many times so far. The story that has been published by the Marathi newspaper is about an employee in Cama Hospital, who begged his life from the terrorists. It won’t be difficult either for media or for the Investigating agencies to get hold of this person, if the incident reported is not a rumor. About the “blond, fair” terrorist, I should say that the eye-witness most probably misidentified them. There were many foreigners present in the Cafe. Moreover, there is a personal bias to derive judgments from observations. I saw one video where the Israeli eye-witness claimed that the terrorists did not look Islamic because they were cleanly shaven. By now, we all know that all of them were in deed dressed in Western clothes and were cleanly shaved.
The last but not the least, the Hemant Karkare incident. I don’t find any difficulty in accepting the version from the surviving Constable Arun Jadav.He was accompanying the Police officers.
This, along with Kasav’s own statement, should be sufficient evidence to attribute Karkare’s death to Ismail, the terrorist accompanying Kasav. Another important evidence could be the postmortem report, which should confirm the bullet injury of Mr Karkare was indeed from Ismail’s AK-47. However, I did see a lot of questions still being raised on Karkare’s sitting location (Isn’t it silly?). I don’t think we can unearth the thoughts and plans from a corpse. So, these are the questions those are bound to be unanswered.
The full sequence of events were put together by Al-Jazeera.
I would like to expand this article as soon as I get more and more ‘question’s to answer.
Thanks to Mr Munsi, I have got the transcript of interview with Alex Jones and Hamid Gul, two great conspiracy theorist of our time. Their thory also maintains the weak points of mainstream conspiracy theorists. I discussed those common weak points at my blog. As usual they stressed on the “gap”s and never talked about the evidences that were actually found. Hamid Gul says on 9/11 attacks -
“And there is no mention of the second aircraft, and so there are a number of things which remain unanswered.”
There are no surprises in the whole talk. They did never even try to introduce any eye-witness or evidences – it’s purely a story-telling affair.
Another countercurrents conspiracy theory expert Shamshur Rab Khan trying to fit Malegaon Blast probe with Mr Karkare’s killing from an unique angle – “After all, what is wrong in knowing the hidden bullets that killed Karkare.” I again raise the same question – is he willing to believe the report if the investigation indicates Karkare’s death was caused by Ismail’s bullet?
Arundhati Roy, one of the best Human Rights activists in South Asia, has probably got it wrong this time. So far, she was right to some extent to connect Indian city bombings with the Social Justice. This time, it has gone far beyond the justice and it seems she didn’t wake up in time.
I agree to her that the Hindu fundamentalists are a threat to country. It has been proved repeatedly for last 20 years. I also agree that social injustice has fermented a lot of friction points inside India. But, I don’t attribute this particular attack to the same cause.
There are a list of factual and analytic errors in her article – “9 is not 11″ published in The Guardian and The Outlook. It also has a lot of “contextual errors”. Let me go over a few of them.
“The Mumbai attacks are only the most recent of a spate of terrorist attacks on Indian towns“
It’s an absolute failure to identify the distinctive nature of the Mumbai attack. Unlike the others, it was carried out by a set of foreigners who came to India only to launch the attack. The preparation and training involved in the Mumbai attack was far greater than the “hit and run” bomb attacks on other Indian towns. If the other ones required only the knowledge of Mobile phones, SIM cards, detonators, RDX and co-ordination over the internet, then this one requires additional skills such as – handling of GPS, lobbing Grenades, use of AK-47s and intense training on fighting till death for 60 hours.
It’s (The Taj) an icon of the easy, obscene injustice that ordinary Indians endure every day.
This one hardly contextual in the ongoing Mumbai attacks.
On one side (let’s call it Side A) are those who see terrorism, especially ‘Islamist’ terrorism, as a hateful, insane scourge that spins on its own axis, in its own orbit and has nothing to do with the world around it, nothing to do with history, geography or economics. Therefore, Side A says, to try and place it in a political context, or even try to understand it, amounts to justifying it and is a crime in itself.
Side B believes that though nothing can ever excuse or justify terrorism, it exists in a particular time, place and political context, and to refuse to see that will only aggravate the problem and put more and more people in harm’s way. Which is a crime in itself.
The sayings of Hafiz Saeed, who founded the Lashkar-e-Toiba (Army of the Pure) in 1990 and who belongs to the hardline Salafi tradition of Islam, certainly bolster the case of Side A. Hafiz Saeed approves of suicide bombing, hates Jews, Shias and Democracy, and believes that jehad should be waged until Islam, his Islam, rules the world.
Among the things he has said are:
“There cannot be any peace while India remains intact. Cut them, cut them so much that they kneel before you and ask for mercy.”
This one is the most contextual in the ongoing Mumbai attacks. She admits that in some cases, terrorism doesn’t have any contexts. LeT and its mastermind belongs to that category.
Unfortunately, after this she compares Hafiz to Babu Bajrangi and tries to juxtapose the end results of these two persons. As per her article, Babu Bajrangi is set free despite his hate speech but Hafiz Saeed is “banned” by the UN.
Hafiz Saeed has lived the life of a respectable man in Lahore as the head of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, which many believe is a front organisation for the Lashkar-e-Toiba. He continued to recruit young boys for his own bigoted jehad with his twisted, fiery sermons. On December 11, the UN imposed sanctions on the Jamaat-ud-Dawa and the Pakistani government succumbed to international pressure, putting Hafiz Saeed under house arrest. Babu Bajrangi, however, is out on bail and continues to live the life of a respectable man in Gujarat.
True, but how does it link Justice to the attacks. It’s rather proved that either of these two would have attacked their perceived opponents without any contextual reasons. For an update, Pakistan virtually did not take any action against Hafiz Saeed, neither can they take one.
Interestingly, with all these examples, she took up the the option B.
So, on balance, if I had to choose between Side A and Side B, I’d pick Side B. We need context. Always.
However, she did not include religion, illiteracy and blind-belief as context, which is unfair and creates an analytic error.
In this nuclear subcontinent, that context is Partition.
And what was the context of Partition? Isn’t that a mix of politics, religion and illiteracy? Why the history begins at partition and not from a thousand years of Caste system in India? Why doesn’t it include the rule of Aurangzeb? Why doesn’t it include the divide and rule policy of the British? History is eternal and so is the context. The history of justice and the absence of it is as long as the history of mankind.
air strikes to ‘take out’ terrorist camps may take out the camps, but certainly will not ‘take out’ the terrorists. And neither will war. …
A superpower never has allies. It only has agents.
Absolutely. I agree to this.
Terrorism is a heartless ideology, and like most ideologies that have their eye on the Big Picture, individuals don’t figure in its calculations except as collateral damage. It has always been a part of—and often even the aim of—terrorist strategy to exacerbate a bad situation in order to expose hidden fault lines. The blood of ‘martyrs’ irrigates terrorism. Hindu terrorists need dead Hindus, Communist terrorists need dead proletarians, Islamist terrorists need dead Muslims. The dead become the demonstration, the proof of victimhood, which is central to the project.
Wonderful way of putting it. Now, where does the social justice fit here? Aren’t we going farther away from the arguments in favor of social justice and more towards another deadly cause – propaganda?
After this she went into media-apathy in covering other news and the “good” and “bad” classification by the media which ended up asking for a “Police state”. I believe, if dacoits would have attacked my house, I would have put more vigil at my home from the time being. Why is it wrong to have as an immediate reaction? Isn’t it expected?
Next she delves deep into the Parliament attack, Delhi encounter with Indian Mujaheedin and Malegaon blast. Those are no way related to Mumbai attack, at least the no links has yet emerged. After that she blames the Nation states – India and USA – for a lot of misdeeds. I don’t disagree with most of them, but of course fail to see a connection with Mumbai attacks.
If 10 men can hold off the NSG commandos and the police for three days, and if it takes half-a-million soldiers to hold down the Kashmir Valley, do the math. What kind of Homeland Security can secure India?
Then she raises one question which is valuable to me. However, she did not propose any solution to that. The hint of solution came at her ending lines :
The only way to contain (it would be naive to say end) terrorism is to look at the monster in the mirror. We’re standing at a fork in the road. One sign says ‘Justice’, the other ‘Civil War’. There’s no third sign and there’s no going back. Choose.
I know the best answer to this actually came from Salman Rushdie. I am adding the video entry for his comments.
Also quote -
But the point I want to make is that I do not believe that the terrorists such as these — I do not believe that their project has anything to do with justice.
Ask yourself the question that if the Kashmir problem were resolve tomorrow, if Israel-Palestine reached a lasting peace, do we believe that al-Qaeda would disband? Do we believe that Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad would put their guns down and beat them into plough-shears and say we would now be farmers because our job is done.
I mean the point about is that is laughable, right? And the point about that is that that is not their project. Their project is power. This is a power grab by the most obscurantist, revanchist, old-fashioned, medievalist idea of modern culture that attempts to drag the world back into the middle ages at the point of modern weaponry …
That’s what is fueling the Terrorism – as it did always in the past – the hunger for power. At this point, one might argue that its the social injustice that is generating that sense of deprivation and hunger for power. However, History doesn’t show us many such examples. Nor did it show the end of that hunger once the justice was “won”. One major example could be the Afghanistan Mujaheedins, who were nurtured by Pakistan and USA. They targeted the Soviet Army to expell them from Afghanistan to get their perceived justice. However, after the Soviet Army withdrew, they did not returned to the “Plough-shares” as mentioned by Rushdie. Rather, the majority of them, exported terror outside the territory – from Osama bin Laden in 9/11 to Bangla Bhai in Bangladesh. The case was simple for them – the sense of “injustice” changed once they achieved their bloody battle.What happens to the sense of injustice those are impractical – “Establishing a Ram rajya” or “Re-establishment of Caliphate in India”? Is it possible to arrange “Social Justice” to the victims of so-called context – the Partition.
Social justice, like everything else, has an equilibrium. Suppose there are two communities in a society – A and B. In a perfect democratic setup, A always wins since they are the majority. Now, B has a deep sense of injustice. Let me assume, as per Arundhati, that led to radicalization of the B community. The paradox is, if there are measures taken by the Government ran by A, to improve the status of B – that itself will create similar sense of injustice among A – may be less in percentage. However, the overall percentage of person, who are extremists because of injustice, remains the same, though, they are equally spread among the communities. So, the society doesn’t gain out of effort towards inclusiveness before we remove the community barrier. If both group A and B prioritize their Nation ahread of their Community, half the problem gets resolved. Now, the next question becomes – who creates the community barrier? I believe, there lies the answer … it could be race, color or religion.
The argument from injustice is a never ending one. The absolute justice is never possible. Because, the justice itself is a perception which, like all other inputs to human brain, can be manipulated or brainwashed. A deep sense of injustice can easily be injected into a person who has little to analyze. In our societies, where rational thoughts are always discouraged and elders are always true – no better can be expected.