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:
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.
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.
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
Tamil Nadu was the epicentre 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
B. Raman 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.
Thank you to all those who have taken the trouble to read the article and share their thoughts. Out of the arguments made here, there are two that perhaps need answering. So here they go.
1. The first part of the article compares outcomes (relative percentages of population of the religions concerned) irrespective of the process that led to those outcomes - whether immigration, relatively faster population growth or conversions. This was for two reasons. One, to put the figure of 2.3 per cent in "numerical perspective", as the article itself explained. The second reason was that outcomes are ultimately what the crux of debate is about. The rest of the article in any case dealt with process - or conversions in this case, from both a contemporary and historical perspective.
2. Some commenters have tried to cast doubts on the reliability of Census 2001. Those who do this should bear in mind that Census 2001 was conducted by a BJP government. Considering the extreme importance that BJP gives to this issue, it would be reasonable to expect that IF it had perceived a problem with the methodology that was distorting the numbers, it would have fixed it. As the article mentioned, BJP or BJP-supported governments have been in power for 10 of the last 40 years, or about a quarter of the time, and the only reasonable conclusion one can arrive at is that any misreporting of numbers, real or perceived, would be marginal and hence, not of importance.
To all other arguments made, my answer is the following: Please read the article again, with particular focus on the quotations of Vivekananda and Monier Williams, and the history of the missionary efforts in Bengal and their outcome.
Every group, faith and sect has a lunatic fringe element. One that is inflexible and always at odds with everything else that they believe is wrong and against God or goodness. Every faith system except Islam. Here this is the mainstay. Flexible , accomodating and broad minded are the fringe elements of Islam. Nobody listens to them and infact it is the easiest thing to declare them apostate and "wazibul qtal"; worthy of killing.Happens all the time. Governor of Pakistani Punjab; their minority affairs minister come to mind immediately.
Islam is the best religion in the world! Muhammed is the very last and best prophet and everyone else is false Kufr ! There can be no change in quran and every word is final! Anyone that says otherwise must be resisted by Muslims as an act of faith! These are some of the fundamental articles of this faith. There is no room for flexibilty ; there is no room for accomodation and no room for discussion. You believe or else. Radicalisation is in built and part of the faith's DNA. Let us stop making lame excuses.
This post-mortem analysis by Mr.Raman may not help much in identifying these people !!
I do not think all doors are closed for these Muslims groups in India so that they thought of terrorism as the only weapon.
Terrorism in Muslim groups in India has its roots in fanaticism, glorification of terrorism or Jehad, or preachings of selfish ,power hungry mullahs and our indecent neighbour. It is very difficult to control these groups unless there is an immediate information flow to nullify them. What I mean by providing "social justice",immediate redressal of grievance etc., would not stop these groups from resorting to exploding bombs in crowded places. If at all there could be any benefit by placating these types of people, it could probably help in getting some information about these terrorist gangs or it may help reduce their support base.
It also depends on how much "fear" we can instill in these groups. Terrorists , specifically these jehadi always search for very soft targets, their resource mobilisation , either it is money ,latest weapons or vehicles is very ,very poor. Their source of strenght is their religion, or its preachers or small,splintered support groups. Their source of strength is also their extreme fanaticism which is a type of madness.
So, the post-mortem anaysis of the july 13 bomb explosion in public places in Mumbai pointing out only social injustice is not wholly relevant though can not be completely deniable.
If someone has to analyse in the same manner the incident of bombings in the underground trains of London , it does not make sense because babri or Godhra type of incidents or similarities do not exist at all. First of all does a social injustice to a community leads to terrorism or not is a big question.
Mumbai explosions on july 13 , show hatred towards a community or groups of people who have nothing to do with their social injustice either perceived or real. These explosions show jealousy,hatred and belief in islamic jehad and nothing else. This belief must be shattered and they must be forced to run. This is possible only when we "break" them and instill "fear" in them.
Otherwise we shall be ready to face some more explosions and many more deaths of innocent people.
A recent WikiLeaks cable offers a briefing on India’s 150 million Muslims as a community largely unaffected by violent extremism.
India’s vibrant democracy and all-inclusive culture have ensured that the large Muslim community has a voice in politics and Muslim voters are courted actively by political parties. Although there are a wide variety of Islamic religious, political and social organizations, most Muslims join or support secular groups without a specific Islamic identity. Recurring attacks by Hindu extremists on innocent Muslims and periodic bouts of bloody communal rioting, have led a small number of Muslims to cross the line from sympathizing with violence to engaging in terrorism.
Though the Indian media have published sensational stories implying that madrasas are recruiting centers for Islamic terrorism there has been little or no hard evidence linking them to terrorist recruitment.
Though there is evidence of some support for extremism among Muslims, the bigger threat may be the growth of radicalized Hindu groups, which create religious tensions and political confrontations with the Muslim community and Hindu extremist groups could pose a greater threat to India than Muslim militants.
As the US Embassy cables reveal, democracy is what gives the Muslims of India a sense of involvement in national affairs. Muslims should strengthen this democracy while curbing extremism in their midst.
Had it not been for the stupidity of Nehru & his Congress collegues, except Sardar Patel, in India's first Govt., in 1947, all the Muslims in India would have gone to their beloved Pakistan. After all they all voted for a country of their own.We wouldn't have an enemy within problem.These inbred Indian Muslims are thick enough to yearn for Pakistan but still enjoy India's hospitality.After over 64 yrs of creation of Pakistan the Indian Muslims in Karachi are called 'Mohajirs, (Immigrants).They are despised & loathed by the rest of the Pakis.These wretched 'Mohajirs' live like rats in fithy over crowded slums of Pakistan.They of course breed like rabbits & multiply like vermins.
The Indian Muslims don't need any excuse to be murderous thugs.Mr Raman uses the term of 'alleged' when mentioning the murder of Hindu Kar Sevaks on the train.What a cowardly term ! There was nothing alleged about the Kar Sevaks being roasted alive by the Muslim savages.Let me remind Mr Raman & his associates that hundreds of Hindus too were killed in the Gujarat riots.Muslims world over are trouble makers.If fanaticism is removed from Islam, it will disappear from the face of the earth. There would be nothing left to bind this primitive religion.
In the case of sohrabuddin, 40 odd ak47 were found near his house in jhirnya. Diggi and CBI run by congress government at center suppressed the case by accusing gujarat police of planting guns. Because sohrabuddin was diggis man and would have spilled the beans if interrogated properly. Congress governments actively support every anti hindu organisation.
We at Outlookindia.com welcome feedback and your comments, including scathing criticism
1. Scathing, passionate, even angry critiques are welcome, but please do not indulge in abuse and invective. Our Primary concern is to keep the debate civil. We urge our users to try and express their disagreements without being disagreeable. Personal attacks are not welcome. No ad hominem please.
2. Please do not post the same message again and again in the same or different threads
3. Please keep your responses confined to the subject matter of the article you are responding to. Please note that our comments section is not a general free-for-all but for feedback to articles/blogs posted on the site
4. Our endeavour is to keep these forums unmoderated and unexpurgated. But if any of the above three conditions are violated, we reserve the right to delete any comment that we deem objectionable and also to withdraw posting privileges from the abuser. Please also note that hate-speech is punishable by law and in extreme circumstances, we may be forced to take legal action by tracing the IP addresses of the poster.
5. If someone is being abusive or personal, or generally being a troll or a flame-baiter, please do not descend to their level. The best response to such posters is to ignore them and send us a message at Mail AT outlookindia DOT com with the subject header COMPLAINT
6. Please do not copy and paste copyrighted material. If you do think that an article elsewhere has relevance to the point you wish to make, please only quote what is considered fair-use and provide a link to the article under question.
7. There is no particular outlookindia.com line on any subject. The views expressed in our opinion section are those of the author concerned and not that of all of outlookindia.com or all its authors.
8. Please also note that you are solely responsible for the comments posted by you on the site. The comments could be deleted or edited entirely at our discretion if we find them objectionable. However, the mere fact of their existence on our site does not mean that we necessarily approve of their contents. In short, the onus of responsibility for the comments remains solely with the authors thereof. Outlookindia.com or any of its group publications, may, however, retains the right to publish any of these comments, with or without editing, in any medium whatsoever. It is therefore in your own interest to be careful before posting.
9.Outlookindia.com is not responsible in any manner whatsoever for how any search engine -- such as Google, Bing etc -- caches or displays these comments. Please note that you are solely responsible for posting these comments and it is a privilege being granted to our registered users which can be withdrawn in case of abuse. To reiterate:
a. Comments once posted can only be deleted at the discretion of outlookindia.com
b. The comments reflect the views of the authors and not of outlookindia.com
c. outlookindia.com is not responsible in any manner whatsoever for the way search engines cache or display these comments
d. Please therefore take due caution before you post any comments as your words could potentially be used against you
10. We have an online thread for our comments policy:
You are welcome to post your suggestions here or in case you have a specific issue, to directly email us at Mail AT outlookindia DOT com with the subject header COMPLAINT