Monday, July 18, 2011

EVOLUTION OF MILITANCY IN INDIAN MUSLIM COMMUNITY

B.RAMAN


The following three events have contributed to the growth of militancy, often amounting to terrorism, in the Indian Muslim community, particularly among its young members:


(a).The demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, by some Hindus in December,1992.


(b).The incidents of violence thereafter in Mumbai in which many Muslims were allegedly involved and Muslim complaints of disproportionate use of force by the Mumbai Police for suppressing the acts of violence.


( c ). The anti-Muslim massacres in Gujarat in 2002 in the wake of the alleged massacre of some Hindu pilgrims travelling by train at the Godhra railway station by some local Muslims.


2. These events contributed to the radicalisation of two Muslim organisations which had existed before the demolition of the Babri Masjid and to the birth of a new organisation after the anti-Muslim massacres in Gujarat. The two old organisations were the Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), which is a pan-Indian organisation, and Al Umma, which is an organisation with its following confined to South India---particularly Tamil Nadu and Kerala.


3. The SIMI and Al Umma took to organised, pre-meditated violence with the use of improvised explosive devices (IED) after the demolition of the Babri Masjid. There were a number of explosions in trains in North India allegedly organised by the SIMI. There were a series of terrorist strikes in Tamil Nadu starting from 1993.The most serious of these were the serial explosions in Coimbatore in February,1998, coinciding with the visit of Shri L.K.Advani, the leader of the BJP, to Coimbatore in connection with the election campaign. Neither the SIMI nor Al Umma claimed responsibility for the terrorist strikes organised by them due to a fear that this could lead to a harassment of innocent members of the Muslim community by the police.


4. The investigation of these incidents did not bring in any evidence of any contacts between Al Umma and Pakistan. Al Umma was a purely indigenous movement of Muslim anger with no Pakistani influence or inspiration or instigation. It had organised the explosions with IEDs fabricated out of material allegedly stolen from granite quarries. In the case of the SIMI, there was evidence of contacts with Pakistan’s Jamaat-e-Islami (JEI) and Inter-Services Intelligence even before the demolition of the Babri Masjid during the Afghan jihad of the 1980s against the Soviet troops


5. Tamil Nadu was the epi-centre of Al Umma terrorism. The Tamil Nadu Government handled it in two ways. The Tamil Nadu Police identified all those involved in terrorism and arrested and prosecuted them. The Government paid attention to the general grievances of the Muslim community and ensured that there were no instances of excesses by the Police against the Muslim community. As a result, acts of terrorism emanating from some angry elements in the Muslim community have been controlled in Tamil Nadu. The subsiding of the anger over the demolition of the Babri Masjid also helped in controlling terrorism.


6. While anger over the demolition of the Babri Masjid has generally subsided in the Muslim community, grievances or even anger arising from the perceived non-implementation of the Sri Krishna Commission report on the excesses allegedly committed by the Mumbai police against the Muslims and the anti-Muslim massacres in Gujarat and the alleged inaction of the Gujarat Government in the initial stages of the massacres persist in some younger elements of the Indian Muslim community all over India, including among some highly educated elements in the community.


7.Their main cause of anger is no longer the demolition of the Babri Masjid. Nor is it due to social or economic factors. Their anger is due to their perception that the Indian criminal justice system is anti-Muslim. When they talk of the Indian criminal justice system, they essentially mean the police and the judiciary.


8. This anger in sections of the Indian Muslim community over the alleged non-implementation of the Sri Krishna Commission report and the anti-Muslim massacres in Gujarat gave birth to the Indian Mujahideen (IM) by some members of the SIMI and others not associated with the SIMI in the past. In its propaganda, the IM projects the suburban train blasts in Mumbai in July,2006, as its first act of reprisal and has claimed responsibility for many other acts of terrorism that followed.


9.The IM projects itself as a movement of reprisal terrorism to protest against alleged injustices and excesses against the members of the Muslim community. It denies any links with Pakistani jihadi organisations or the ISI. Despite its denials, Indian intelligence and investigating agencies believe that the SIMI and the IM have clandestine contacts with the Pakistani jihadi organisations and the ISI and have had the benefit of some training assistance from them. There is some evidence of their links with Pakistan and the ISI. There is no doubt about it.


10. It is a fact that the ISI----directly as well as through the Pakistani jihadi organisations--- has been trying to take advantage of the continuing anger amongst some Indian Muslim youth to create indigenous groups in the rest of India outside Jammu & Kashmir to wage a militant struggle against the Government of India without implicating Pakistani organisations.


11. In dealing with the phenomenon of reprisal terrorism by some members of the Muslim community, we should adopt a five-pronged approach as indicated below:


(a). Avoid demonising the Muslim community.


(b).Avoid dismissing and demonising the Muslim youth who have taken to terrorism as the proxies of Pakistan. If you do it, your mind gets closed to their legitimate grievances.


( c ). Identify and address the legitimate grievances of the Muslim community and stress upon the police the need for greater sensitivity in dealing with our Muslim co-citizens.


( d). Act firmly in accordance with the law against Indian Muslims indulging in terrorism.


( e ). Be ruthless in dealing with Pakistani elements trying to exploit these indigenous elements for promoting the Pakistani agenda.


12.No organisation has claimed responsibility for the three explosions in Mumbai on July 13,2011.Till the police is able to identify the perpetrators, arrest and interrogate them, we should avoid speculating. When evidence is poor, speculation is rich. The flow of evidence in this case has been poor. This has given rise to all sorts of speculation. Let us keep our mind open and wait till the police are able to make a break-through in their investigation.( 18-7-11)


( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-mail: seventyone2@gmail.com Twitter: @SORBONNE75 )

9 comments:

ambi said...

mr raman, the pune blast and 13\7 blast r handy work of cons. as per guidelines, all terror investigations are directly handed over to NIA, but both these investigations are not handed over to NIA, u know why! kalyan congi was earlier arrested in pune blast case, but later released by police. faiz was neutralized in jail before he opens his mouth. hum log alibaug se nahin aaye hain. sab samazhte hain!

'badi brave hain police
par slave hain police,


tera this that that
tera that this this,

tere zhoote armaan
tere zhoote farmaan,

kamjori lekin na rahegi har baar,

jaayenge, jaayenge, jaayenge bari bari

aapki seva mein janhit mein jaari.

thaay thaay thaay,
tune dhoonda rasta.

thaay thaay thaay
jo bhi mila sasta.

thaay thaay thaay
tere lal batti.

thaay thaay thaay thaay...

na na na na na....

balaji said...

SIMI and Al Umma did not claim responsibility because they dont want to get caught....not because they care about innocent people in Coimbatore,if they do they wouldnt have bombed them would they Teisted logic by Mr Raman.Because of 9/11 every single airline passenger in the US is harassed and even molested by TSA(airport security agency but all the Americans are ready to pay the price for preventing terror by sacrificing some of their liberties.But as far as Indians are concerned even after repeated terror attacks neither do we have a legislation against terror nor a comprehensive anti-terror set up.The Indian Govt should first build competence before thinking about policy.Where is the COMPETENCE in our security setup.

Sarang said...

All the three events which Raman Sir mentioned as the cause of Muslim anger are legitimate and I remember clearly, as a Hindu I was very disappointed when they happened. We were in school, and college respectively when they happened. Me and my classmates took extra effort to understand and talk to our Muslim friends and classmates about them. To apologize and to explain that these were isolated events of extreme anger and not the overall mindset of the Indian Hindu community. We also reminded them that there were numerous examples where India has been treating its minorities equally, especially in providing opportunities to be leaders in Industry, Sport, Politics and Social/Academic fields. We reminded them that never has there been systematic suppression of the Muslim community. In college, our topper was a Muslim and everyone (teachers, staff and students) were extremely encouraging, friendly and supportive of him.

Finally, we explained that Hindus too have been at the receiving end of perceived injustices of the Indian law enforcement. Hindus too haven't won justice for the Kashmir massacre/genocide and forceful eviction of Hindu Pandits (who continue to live as refugees in 'zhopadpattis' across India, worse than Palestinians for whom the world cries). Where was justice for Godhra victims, for victims of numerous bomb blasts over the last 20 years. But the 1 billion Hindus of India have not rose up in revolt of terror against the Muslim co-citizens. Some of them have, but the Indian Govt. is nipping this 'Hindu terrorists' in the bud, sometimes more brutally than they would handle Muslims. BJP was perceived as pro-Hindu and anti-Muslim (correctly or incorrectly) and India voted them out of Government.

Muslims (and Hindus also) should understand and appreciate the efforts put in by the common Indian in maintaining the plurality of India, instead of indulging in terror, which only perpetuates the hate indefinitely.

For Muslims who do harm to India on behalf of Pakistan or Saudi Arabia should understand that Muslims are treated better in India than either of these countries.

Krishna Kacker said...

Muslims in India do not have to prove their patriotism or wear it on their sleeves, as Javed Akhtar, and Shabana Azmi have frequently said.They also must get over the seige mentality, develop self confidence and participate in the growth and developmenent of the country as proud citizens of India.Nursing grouses on account of a few distortions, here and there, must not be allowed to colour their thinking. Unless they do so,the needle of suspicion will keep on getting pointed at them everytime some incident like 13/7 happens.

ambi said...

ahem, mr raman! remember there is a state called bihar in india? remember, there is a place called bhagalpur? remember cons were ruling bihar that time?, remember how muslims were kicked by great secular congress? remember no one was punished for that? remember they were richly rewarded by high command? thoda dimaag pe jor dalo toh. why muslims didnt indulge in violenece then? kindly explain. chota aadmi choti baat. kya karoon!

congress ka pyaar pyaar, bjp ka pyaar lafda. congress kare to business, bjp kare to dhandha. wah bhai wah. thats what i love about u congis.

Sagar Chandratrey said...

India is under attack ever since the birth of Islam...so saying that Muslim community has turned to terrorism recently because of the events since 1992 is rubbish.Muslims need no reason to attack infidels..It is their sacred duty as mentioned in the Koran..the sooner we realise this the better it would be for world peace...

Kumar said...

You are indirectly blaming Hindus for Islamic Terrorism in India. Mentioned three incidents contributed to the growth of militancy, but how do you explain ethnic cleansing of Hindus from Kashmir before these incidents. What did Indian Muslims do when Hindus raped, massacred and chased out of their homeland? They silently supported the Islamic terrorism. This dubious act of Indian Muslims has created anger within Hindus and was expressed in Ayodhya. You forgot to mention Massacre of Hindus in Godhra by Muslims. Reason Islamic Terrorism grown in India because of Vote Bank politics, religious fanaticism and Pakistan support.

Carlos said...

I agree with Raman. And, the instigator of all the THREE incidents were the BJP/RSS/VHP/BajrangDal/SS.
India has external enemies like China and Pakistan. We also have internal enemies like the radicalised Muslims and the goonda lunatic fringe so-called Hindus of the RSS. Both should be destroyed ruthlessly.

ambi said...

we understand mr carlos, like u madam ji also wants to destroy RSS. but rest be assured she wont be able to. let her try. i dont know what problem u have with RSS. what they have done to other communities. kindly explain. and also let us know what u mean by crushing them.

woh yeda nehru bhi RSS ko khatra manta tha. mooh border kee taraf karne ke bajaay apna pichwada border ki taraf kiya, aur andar ke RSS se ladne ke tayyari karne lage. huwa yeh ki, RSS se toh India ko kuch khatra huwa nahin, 62 mein mao uncle, nehru uncle ki tabiyat se maar ke chale gaye. nehru ekdam OOya tha. ullu ka pattha. look at these idiot pakistani generals. woh bhi india ko khatra mante hain, jab ki unko khatra andar se hain. taliban aur alqaeda jab chahe unki maar ke chale jaate hain, aur woh yeda kayani, india ki taraf fir bhi mooh karke baitha hain. maturity demands rationality. really some idiots refuse to grow up.