Dismantle the Islamist gangs !


Humanity is the essence of all religions. All great souls--- Rama, Krishna, Abraham, Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed , Nanak-- teach us to profess and practise loving the fellow human beings. The Gita and the Quran command us to oppose the injustice and violence of all forms against any individual or group anywhere in our world. There are multiple schools within different religions to defend and promote humanity.

Ironically, however, each religious community has had its own share of crooks and gangsters. In pursuit of their own personal interests, such elements invent some or the other distorted version of their religions and indulge in the politics of hatred and violence against groups and individuals belonging to other faiths and ideologies.

History bears out the Muslim community is no exception in this regard. The gangs within it, too, have occasionally invented a parochial interpretation of  Islam and used it  to spread hatred and violence against other social segments  , including those within their own community , who do not accept their version of the religion . All good Muslim rulers in India were aware of this evil . They dismantled such gangs by invoking the composite Indian culture and effecting a credible intelligence and security mechanism . They ensured no gangs misused Islam to threaten humanity.

I wonder why our post-colonial leaderships have not done the same to crush the Islamist gangs that threaten our Nation today . In India’s post- Independence landscape such gangs have been known as radical Islamist groups. They  have claimed over the years lakhs of innocent lives across the nation. Radical Islamist terrorism has been the life-blood of the ongoing militant secessionist movement in Kashmir. Its main target has been minorities  Hindus and Sikhs in the Valley.

Regrettably, New Delhi continues to deny radical Islamism poses any threat to India. It  claims the evil is being effectively neutralized . New Delhi continues to stress the need to evolve international consensus to combat Islamist terrorism. In his address to the G20 summit in Hamburg last month, our Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and the Haqqani network were active in South Asia just as Daesh (IS) and al-Qaeda in the Middle East and Boko Haram in Nigeria. Prime Minister Modi said all of them shared the same ideology to spread hatred and violence. He lamented some nations were  “ using terrorism for achieving political goals.”  He suggested more cooperation was needed to fight the menace.

The Prime Minister presented an 11-point ‘Action Agenda.’  This agenda included suggestions for exchange of lists of terrorists among G20 nations, easing and expediting of legal processes like extradition and concrete steps to choke funds and weapon supply to the terrorists.

Also, New Delhi has continued stressing to work with the world’s leading democracies to combat the evil. During his visit to Washington ( June 26, 2017)  Prime Minister Modi  promised to fight harder against the “scourges of  terrorism, extremism, and radicalization” by “doing away with the safe shelters, sanctuaries, and safe havens” of terrorists and  enhancing intelligence sharing.

Prime Minister Modi, together with American President Donald J  Trump, called on Islamabad to ensure not using its territory to launch terrorist attacks on other countries and “to expeditiously bring to justice the perpetrators of the 26/11 Mumbai, Pathankot, and other cross-border terrorist attacks perpetrated by Pakistan-based groups.”Most of the world’s leading democracies have never taken India-specific terrorists seriously. They still seem to think the terrorists against India are no threat to them and can be managed differently .

New Delhi’s must discard its traditional approach to combat Islamist terrorism. The international community has been too divided to take on the evil. Most of the states in the world today do publicly back India’s old initiative for a  U.N. Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism. But they have hardly been serious about it. They themselves are too disrespectful to human rights at home to take on the evil in question. 

Recently, the Pentagon has announced it would withhold $50 million remaining in military reimbursements to Pakistan for fiscal year 2016. It claims Islamabad has not done enough to blunt the Islamist militant Haqqani network allegedly behind several recent attacks on the Western assets in Afghanistan.

But Washington does not apply the same measures to rein in the forces hostile to India in our Kashmir and other parts. Islamabad continues to back militancy in India’s Kashmir. It still describes militancy in Kashmir a “freedom movement .”

When will New Delhi be serious about dismantling the Islamist gangs  ? Time is running out. Emboldened by our successive governments’ inertia and passivity on this front , the radical Islamist forces continue to penetrate deeper into our composite Indian society !