There is nothing new in the saber rattling in the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks. Indian jets straying into Pakistani space on December 13,2008 is the latest jejune trick of real politicks. To say so is not to diminish the enormity of the attacks in Mumbai but rather to highlight it.
The so-called ‘stateless actors’ who attacked the metropolis were dubious in character. If they were jihadists they were also drinking alcohol. If they were Muslims they were also killing innocent people and prominently passengers, women and children and smirking at their crimes. If they were Pakistanis they were also endangering their country into a retaliation that would be catastrophic to them, to say the least. If they were after an imaginary Islam that is based on sharias alone, India was not the place for it let alone an ideal place. However, their evil deeds have unleashed a pent up hysteria for war.
Some people in India have mistakenly believed that war could solve the problem of terror. Israel has fought more terrific wars with its Arab neighbours. But each war has spawned more terror. The doppelganger of Hezbollah is nothing but the product of war, the Israelis rue the day it was born. Who fathered LTTE after Singhalese terror of the yore?
Our neighbour is desperately trying to survive its own misdeeds of mixing religion and politics and playing second fiddle to the West. We are surely falling into the same pitfall. The shoe thrower journalist at President George Bush’s press meeting was also a warning us, as enormous amount of writing against the unjust war had not been heeded for so long. In no way is Pakistan going to benefit from the Mumbai attacks or any war.
But those who cry from the top of the roof of their house for war must reckon with the lumpen network of gangsters and cohorts of politicians. There is a thriving thralldom where rickshaw pullers and shopkeepers have to pay through their nose to the local muscleman or gangster regular hafta or extortion which ultimately reaches the pockets of the political bosses or the cops. They must also see how Madina Pathan of Gujarat is retracting. In the aftermath of the Gujarat genocide she had identified the accused who had raped her and burnt alive her family. But now she is recanting. She is saying that no one raped her and burnt her family. Considering the incidents of shocking violence and cruelty in Mumbai we are outraged. How is it that we fail to be outraged when we see victims of another outrage retract their accounts of those who perpetrated the worst acts of terror on them in full view of the public who till that morning were their neighbours and fellow citizens? Why is this gross violation of morality and decency not an outrage to us? Maqsood Mian Patan had seen senior police officer KK Mysorewala taking a black suitcase from Naroda corporator Vallabh Patel and Ashok Saheb and leaving the Muslims to be slaughtered in their hundreds in Naroda Patia and not arresting even when there was order of the commissioner to shoot Babu Bajrangi on sight. Maqsood is now turning hostile and is saying that these things did not happen. These cases have gone to the Supreme Court. Incidentally the same Mysorewala is in charge of Modasa that along with Malegaon suffered terrorist attack of September 29, 2008. Will he again prefer money to duty?
Why is one outrage prompting us to war on a neighbour country and another outrage not even making us give a rap on the knuckles of the rapists and murderers?
The Sadhvi accused in Malegaon blast and the Kasab accused in Mumbai attacks are perverted individual persons and their collective occupational nouns neither can whittle down nor enhance their crimes; nor can their gender nouns. They are satanic forces personified. To save the Sadhvi and group Shiv Sena, Bajrang Dal and BJP would go to any extent, even to the extent of civil strife. Similarly to deny legal succor to the Kasab the same groups would go to vandalism and violation of the constitution of the land. These hawkish outfits of Mars would be the pioneering forces that threaten to wage war within and without even before the formal declaration of war.
There are two conflicting and contradictory current theses on possibility of war between India and Pakistan. Pakistan had once tried to lead India into a military confrontation over the terrorist attack on the Parliament in 2001 when India responded by Operation Parakaram. But now India has grown wiser and this old alibi for not tackling terror by the neighbour will not work. Hence India must take on Pakistan. This view is coloured by the weltanschauung or world view of Islam as terrorism as it views the Mumbai attack as “jihadi offensive against civilized nations and values.” (K Subramanyam). Diametrically opposite to this is the view that in a situation of war Pakistan will have to take its soldiers from the western borders, which are hotbeds of terrorism of the al Qaeda and the Taliban type and deploy them on the Indian borders. That would not solve the problem of terrorism(Ahmed Rashid). Those who subscribe to the first theory believe war as solution.Ã‚Â
War begins in the minds of men. As Eugene O’Neill said of tragedy that we wear masques and our tragedy or misfortune begins when we evaluate ourselves through the eyes of others. Today we see through the western perspective, hence the corrective need to claim Mumbai attack as our tragedy (Arundhati Roy). Moreover terrorism is a technique (Zbigniew Brezesnki, a former national security advisor to the US president) and needs to be fought by a technique. But this time around as of now India is keeping sanity and not rushing where angels fear to tread.