Delhi 7 September 2011: An Historical Perspective
by Saradindu Mukherji on 16 Sep 2011 16 Comments

The legendary colonial administrator, Col. Sleeman, while travelling through the nawabi territory of Oudh [Awadh] in 1849-50, was surprised to see at Bahraich both his Hindu and Muslim soldiers offering obeisance at a shrine built in memory of a general of Mohammad Ghazni.


On enquiry, he found that this alien Muslim general was responsible for wanton and unprovoked invasion of this Hindu territory and the massacre of many Hindus trying to fend off the invader. While Muslims (though many of them must have been recent converts to Islam) may have had an obligation to do what they did, the Hindu worshippers had neither logic, nor history, nor a modicum of sense of honor on their side. But then, they were slaves – they had no option.


Much to the surprise of the Sleemans of the world, there are numerous monuments built in memory of such characters from Ajmer to Anhilwad [now Patan], Udaipur to Udaypuri (A.P), Vikramshila to Vaishali - many of them on the compulsory visiting list of our obeisance-offering VIP’s and gullible tourists! In fact, our collective amnesia and dogged refusal to learn the rudimentary facts of relevant history from an unending chain of Islamic terror-wreaking system may largely explain the UPA’s so-called lack of “political will”, its failure to either nab the Jihadis in Delhi or other successful Jihadi operators, as most recently in Mumbai, and get away without a scratch on its unsullied “secular” record a few days after the mayhem. Fortunately for our rulers, the nation, except those directly affected, goes into slumber soon after.


The latest attack in New Delhi on 7 September - certainly not the last - was not the first Jihadi attack on Delhi, but a millennium-old continuum. Those with some knowledge of history would remember the forces and ideology let loose on hapless Hindus / Jains in Delhi when 27 of their temples were razed to the ground, and a grand mosque built over the ruins, mostly with the remains from those very temples, in the 1190s, by Aibak, slave of Muhammad Ghori.


Those forces and ideology are still rampant. The negationists say this is part of our shared heritage! The only difference is that the earlier acts were perpetrated by alien invaders while the latest are the handiwork of zealots whose forefathers were Hindus/Buddhists etc, turned into tools of Arab/Islamic imperialism, with or without external support.


The mayhem on 7 Sept may also be traced to the preachings of another “renaissance” figure in 18th century Delhi – Shah Waliullah (1703-1762), who in his wasiyatnama called upon the “faithful”, “We are strangers. Our forefathers came to India from abroad - that there should not exist any religion in the world which was superior to Islam, and the slaughter of “Infidels also helped to diminish the evils away---”.


His followers like Sayyid Ahmad Shahid [Barelvi] wrote to foreign rulers to invade India and establish Dar-ul-Islam. Surely there are people and institutions in Delhi who uphold the message and memory of many Shah Waliullahs!


In many such attacks in the past, the Jihadis have candidly claimed to carry on the unfinished tasks initiated by Mohammad Ghazni, Mohammad Ghori, Firoze Shah Tughlaq, Aurangzeb et al, and exhorted their committed followers to attack our Judiciary, Parliament and all the pillars of our polity. Their exhortations against the Indian state and our civilisational interests are eerily similar to the fulminations of the likes Arundhati Roy who sermonise the chosen few regularly along these lines.


If the on-going Jihad is going on quite successfully in India, even after its partition on a religious basis, we must acknowledge the consistent and substantial service rendered to that cause by our “secular” establishment. When our incompetent de jure Prime Minister merely condemns such “cowardly” attacks, it elicits ridicule from all. Jihadis feel emboldened after such vacuous statements from the authorities and our spurious “intellectuals”.


Soon after the latest Mumbai blast, a section of the Indian media tried to obfuscate issues blatantly. A mind-boggling editorial mentioned Congress-Shiv Sena political rivalry in Mumbai and the latter’s “politics of grievance”, but desisted from saying anything which could explain to its readers the repetitive and highly successful Jihadi attacks by active “sleeper-cells”, the underworld linked with sections of the entertainment industry, its Gulf ramifications, and the centrality of our communal votebank-based political culture. One NRI historian ridiculously ascribed the blast to the divisiveness set in motion by Shiv Sena and its ‘nativist and Hindu nationalist political party”. When this writer wrote a letter that while Shiv Sena might have had a deleterious impact in Mumbai, one could equally look back to Muslim-Parsi riots of 1845 and the opposition Badruddin Tyabji faced from his co-religionists after his election as third President of the Congress in 1887, it was ignored. Such is their censorship of truth and encouragement of diversionary tactics!


Another columnist wrote, “Don’t give terrorists the satisfaction of having extracted a strong reaction from us”, while telling them that “they are certainly killing folks, but they are not getting too far in achieving any of their larger objectives, assuming they have some”. He suggested that as long as our large market remains unaffected, we must sit quietly, oblivious of their “larger objectives”. So they can successfully carry on one Jihadi attack after another, and if caught and punished, our “secular” politicians prevent/postpone execution of the death sentence for fear of “political consequences”. Because they had long-term objectives, there was total decimation of Hindus and Sikhs in Pakistan but no exchange of population from our side of the border. And many refugee-victims from Pakistan are today in the forefront of strengthening Muslim separatism by blatantly demanding communal job quotas, by declaring as our de jure Prime Minister did that Muslims have the first claim on our resources, and that both Pakistan and India are victims of terrorism and UPA itself was fomenting rebellion in Baluchistan! Indeed, we have a star-studded panel at the top.


Our ruling class prevents the potential victims from seeing the pattern - the umbilical cord that binds all such Jihadi perpetrators; this was reaffirmed when three “intellectuals” gave evasive answers on a panel discussion on the terrorist attack in a Sunday evening TV programme. One of them had once justified the invasion and destruction of Somnath; another believed that in the making of “modern India’ Syed Ahmad of Aligarh Muslim University & assorted “fame” and Mohammad Ali Jinnah played important roles, but not the likes Swami Vivekananda, Lokmanya Tilak or Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose etc etc.


The message is simple. There is an active lobby in India which is concealing the nature and ideological impulses behind the attacks. Hence our government had to do the unthinkable and stoop to manufacture the myth of Hindu and Saffron terrorism to “balance” the guilt on both sides. No one takes this seriously. But that Black lie carefully but insensitively manufactured by the likes of Chidambaram and Digvijay Singh and popularized by media, gave the BBC the opportunity to divert attention from the real perpetrators. On the 7 Sept. afternoon telecast, its newscaster (with an Indian name) said that given the diversity of the sources of terror – Islamic (they call it Islamist), Maoist and Hindus – operating in India, it was not clear who the perpetrators were. Mind you, this is Lord Reith’s legacy, the British Broadcasting Corporation, and that when England has never faced any attack from “saffronites” or Maoists.


The announcement of a special team to enquire into the blast went on giving us the CV of the officials. Let’s accept that they are the best, but does it solve the problem at hand, does it minimize the pain and angst of the people who lost their near and dear ones and all those potential victims who have been faced with the same terror over the centuries?


Our security apparatus and “experts” have hair-splitting arguments on the quantum of responsibility - the role of the one or other Jihadi outfit, whether it is Huji, Indian Mujahiddin, Lashkar-e-Toiba… They probably deliberately “miss” the fact that irrespective of nomenclature, these are devoted soldiers of a cause, and are loyal to the Ummah. The Islamic terrorist groups - state actors and non-state actors - are not separate water-tight compartments, nor are they like national cricket teams engaged in cut -throat competition to reach the top of the chart; rather, they are one composite whole, with unwavering commitment to the millat  [members of an ecumenical community], determined and consistent in achieving their “Holy” political-religious objectives, viz., the Caliphate and decimation of “Unbelievers”. To their credit, the Jihadis don’t hide their agenda, history and the mission. That onerous task is left for our politicians, media persons, their employers and the “progressive” public-sector intellectuals and their international patrons.


As Jason Burke in his “9/11 Wars” put it, they are “an amorphous, dynamic and fragmented movement based more on personal relations and a shared world-view than on formal membership of an organisation”. Is it not astounding that we can’t quote any Indian “security expert” worth the name on such serious matters? Why is it so impossible for Indian “experts” to be truthful? They would lose their “secular” tag and everything that makes for a “successful” career and unending assignments.


Capacity-building: In his latest press conference our Hon’ble Home Minister said capacity-building takes time. Perhaps true, depending on what your agenda is. But a civilization at the receiving end should not take so much time. Emergency situations call for emergency response – not dilly dallying and cooking an alibi for non-action.

It is not so much the late arrival of the NSG team in Mumbai in 2008, nor the absence of CCTVs in Delhi High Court which are to blame, as the unwillingness of our political class to anticipate danger and prevent or minimize the assault. Just think if such a mayhem occurred on the rain-drenched 9 September - even our vehicles would not have moved, no ambulance could have reached, so many things would have to wait for hours…  


International dimension: The Home Minister’s jibe to his political adversaries on the failure of authorities in non-UPA controlled states to solve Jihadi-terrorist cases was perhaps a bit of a faux pas. Jihadis have a global nexus, and they can be pursued at the international level only - a task beyond the jurisdiction of Raipur, Lucknow, or Ahmedabad.


The Indian media systematically sought to paint Anna Hazare’s Ramlila gathering as a “majoritarian” venture and objected to the picture of Bharat Mata on the podium and showed discomfiture over the chanting of Bharat Mata, and crudely raised fingers about not including minorities blah blah blah! They gave wide coverage to the rantings of some maulvis. Such mischief by sections of the media to create an apparition of the emergence of Hindus Rashtra adds to the groundswell of centuries old conflict which shows no sign of abatement.


Root cause: In a TV discussion the evening of the High Court blast, on the root cause of such troubles, a retired Intelligence official referred to some of the ideologues’ idea of restoring Mughal power, another “expert” immediately blurted that another root cause was the arrest of members of a particular community after such attacks!


This was so repulsive that the writer had to switch it the television and could not hear the opinion of the anchor. May be some arrests are made from areas which police call “no-go-areas”, may some innocents are detained for questioning, but these cannot be called ‘root causes”; they are an inevitable collateral cost to the devastation caused in the name of one community’s supremacy.


As an irregular TV watcher, one is unaware of the identity of the “expert” who gave such an outlandish rationalization, but he was certainly covering up the truth. We, witnesses to a history of vandalism and destruction spanning a millennium, precisely know the root causes – the concepts of Jihad, Momins, Kafirs, Dar-ul-Harb, Dar-ul Islam…


Only, India’s ostrich-like secular-liberal establishment has strictly censured public discussion of such uncomfortable ideas.


The author teaches History at the University of Delhi, Delhi

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