Nothing New

49 Comments

Hyderabad burns, confirming once again why India loses the most number of people to terrorism after Iraq. Weeping families, burnt and charred bodies, blood on the streets. And drowning out the wailing of the sirens and the cries of agony and loss reverberate the words of a state legislator declaring that he is a Muslim first and an Indian second and of another Hyderabadi politician publicly announcing that it would have been legitimate to kill a dissident author.

Shocking –yes.

New–no.

Nothing new also in the West’s coverage (or the lack of it) of this massive loss of life—-after all brown men having their heads ripped off in the black hole of India isn’t news. It’s not as if its London or Madrid or even Bali for that matter (large number of foreign tourists)—no need to get the candles out and walk in solidarity for the victims of terror. And you cannot blame them too—after all people getting blown to smithereens in India is about as common as Paris Hilton having sex. So why bother?

But sometimes no news is good news if only to spare us the ever-present tone of suspicion present in media coverage of terrorist acts in India, a tone that is conspicuously absent whenever such acts of terror occurs in the West.

Officials said extremists wanted to foment tension between India’s Hindu majority and its Muslim minority, though they provided little evidence linking Islamic militants to the blasts in Hyderabad. Many Muslims here say Hindu extremists are behind the attacks.

[The New York Times]

Meanwhile, Hyderabad expatriates in Dubai downplayed the role of foreign forces, reports the Gulf News. Among Dubai’s Hyderabadian community, the general consensus was that the bombings had been carried out for internal political reasons, namely as an attack on the regional government in Hyderabad. “The blasts are politically motivated to bring down the government,” said P.N. Rao, an Indian from Hyderabad living in Dubai.

[Christian Science Monitor]

Again nothing new.

[ As a macabre sidelight: While SIMI backed jihadists walk the land, the UP administration is otherwise occupied: going all out to nail those deshdrohis who dare sullied the name of Madam Mayawati on Orkut.]

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49 thoughts on “Nothing New

  1. Actually you know what GB, maybe the blasts were conducted by Indians and not foreign militants. I’ve been saying it for a while now, that the Muslims feel oppressed/threatened ever since the babri masjid fell in ’92. These blasts could just be an outpouring of that emotion.

    The first instinct is to say that “Pakistan is responsible”, they did it. That’s not always rite. Its a pretty well admitted fact that the state machinery is inefficient in tackling terrorism in most states of India. So, when a bomb goes off, w/out any evidence they claim “foreign extremists” are responsible. Its about bloody time that we internalized and realized our own mistakes.

  2. @Anonymous: Thanks

    @Rohit: Noone says the blasts could only have been done by foreign militants. The foreign powers provide logistics support and training and mostly use local “talent” to carry out the dirty work.

    Internalized? Realized our own mistakes? If you think that the Babri masjid demolition justifies these acts (wages of our sin) then by the same token the Gujarat riots can be justified by Godhra. And the pulling down of the Babri Masjid justified through the original actions of Islamic invaders.

  3. @ Rohit –

    “These blasts could just be an outpouring of that emotion.” Absolutely atrocious. Can I bomb your house and label it as an act of emotional outpouring borne out of your statement?!

  4. And now we have the PM thinking about setting up a corpus fund to help the victims of terror. Its like telling us ” We cannot do anything to stop these terror attacks but at least give us some money to compensate them for their loss”.
    And again, as usual, no strong words about catching the terrorists per se

  5. The persistence in bias of the Western news agencies in such coverage is clearly indicative of their following certain guidelines, even the tone seems pre-meditated and skewed, just the facts change. But if Western media could care less about Indians, it is likely that the average Westerner could care even less. So why exactly are we supposed to be bothered about their lack of just and fair attention towards developing world’s plight (when India’s netas make do with perfunctory speech)? In post-colonial world, Western superciliousness never deserves explicitly ruing about.

    Btw, Patil’s argument against recall of POTA (I know little about its invocation) is almost guilt-ridden, he could, by the same token, advocate scrapping the legal system since crimes happen in spite of it…

    Are you aware of any public (NIC type) web resource that enlist the variety of information that may be produced from such incidents (including casualties, immediate/prolonged official actial/inaction, armament/ammunition usage details, aid promised & delivered, local demographics, etc.)? Are statistical models for pattern recognition and prediction done? (We do these for infectious disease outbreak/control, in fact, in Hyderabad.)

  6. @ GB
    You seem to have misunderstood me when i said “realize our own mistakes”…..By mistakes, i didn’t mean the babri masjid demolition(even though i think it was a national disgrace)…..I meant the lack of initiative,guts and courage shown by the powers that be in tackling terrorism…..9/11 happened in 2001. Ever heard of a “terrorist” attack on US soil since? Thats the kind of result we too shud endeavor towards achieving after the Hyderabad blasts.

    Also, of course the bombs don’t in any way justify the demolition. Two wrongs will never make a right.

    @ Dhananjay

    What i said was “these blasts could just be an outpouring of that emotion.”. I didn’t say that i agreed with that kind of outpouring.
    Also, Yes, emotional outpouring does lead to acts like these, incase you think otherwise. Take the N. Ireland separatists whose “emotional outpouring” resulted in them bombing England from time to time. Or take the militants who attack our soldiers in J&K saying that they are “hurt” by the harm caused by the jawans to the people of kashmir. All this arises from an emotional state of un-wellbeing.

  7. this is really sad. i think slaman khan’s jail sentence got more coverage on the news channels (as it happened on the same day.)

  8. Arnab,

    This is going to continue until and unless the state of India decides to take a strong stand against terrorism and ACTS on it.

    Short sighted scheming by politicians of all hue have created an ideal breeding ground of internal strife and our friends from across the borders are nurturing these elements. I hope that these spineless schemers realise that the bomb does not discriminate between religion, age or friends/enemies while bursting.

    Coming from Bengal and having spent a size able amount of time in Upper Assam and Kashmir, I would dare say that it has always been a joint effort of indifferent selfish politicians and nosey neighbours which has resulted in major strife.

    It is always the innocent man on the street who suffers.

  9. Its time we, as Indians, stand up against these attempts to divide the country along communal lines. . A dangerous trend is setting up in our (sub)consciousness of srcutinizing each incident (criminal or otherwise), personal achievement etc in communal light. That’s why we (as secularists) feel good that an Azim Premji could become so successful in free India ( come on, I didn’t even know he is muslim until the media pointed out). That’s why we feel good that in our cricket team we have a Zaheer khan, a Irfan Pathan, that our dream world Bollywood is filled with Khans. We wish that the world would see these blatant examples and stop branding us as a “majority Hindu nation out to teach a lesson to the minorities”. But the rest of the world choses to ignore this and continue to harp on Babri masjid only. Some people never forget to mention that the bombay blasts were in retaliation for the riots, but these same people forget about the Godhra incident when they talk about the Gujrat riots.
    Agree that it was a grave lapse on the part of the govt to let anyone touch Babri masjid. Nobody should try to play tit for tat with history.Otherwise we would end up as Israel and Jerusalem (the bone of contention between the christians, the jews and the muslims)

    Dialogue, discussion should be initiated at every level to ease the communal tension that is growing. For this participation of both the communities is necessary.It should not be “my religion vs. your religion”, rather ” my religion and your religion”. I remember while growing up in my hometown in Assam we would eagerly wait for the Id invitation from our muslim friends, whereas the muslim kids would come out in their new dresses in Durga puja. Don’t know if its still the case though, because of the large scale illegal infiltration from Bangladesh.

  10. The funniest part is of course that the government is not willing to take the necessary measures to stop terrorism because they care about the Muslim vote. Heh. As if Muslims don’t care about their own lives.

  11. When you utter words like “original actions of Islamic invaders” and when others talk of how all the government cares about is Muslim votes, I am saddened by how horribly opinionated your words are. Needless to say, they were Indians who lost their lives… and it’s about time you realised and came out of the “brainwashed jihadists are behind everything” mindset. Anybody who is found to be behind such blasts needs to be punished… Establishment or terrorists… Though I can’t think of one probe which was conducted in a fair manner… Mumbai? Malegaon? The masses are ignorant, and establishment is having a field day…

  12. We have nearly 12-15% believers of Quran in India. We cannot stop terror attacks of this type (assuming this is a Jihadi attack, by all pointers as of now), even if a very very small minority of this population generates the motivation and resources to act upon Islamic tenets, literally.

    Having said that, the government has failed miserably in strenghtening and empowering the intelligence and security apparatus, directly responsible for countering this kind of threat. Here is a interesting article by Ajay Sahni, who also writes in Frontline once in a while
    http://www.satp.org/satporgtp/sair/index.htm

    @ Nazim
    You wrote” When you utter words like “original actions of Islamic invaders” and when others talk of how all the government cares about is Muslim votes, I am saddened by how horribly opinionated your words are.”

    Rishi’s resp:
    Read through GB’s post “Banana Republic”, especially Hujur’s posts at the end…. after that I can continue if needed.
    Facts are NOT opinions.

  13. Thank god im not a muslim. How do you reconcile to the fact that the most violent and regressive of your faith have become your representatives? How do you live with the burden of atrocities your forefathers committed on the conquered people who now use the crimes of the past that you had nothing to do with to perpetrate hate against you? How do you defend your history that you are forbidden to condemn? How do you uphold and venerate religious symbols and texts and words and gods, that, in popular imagination, have become synonymous with fanaticism, terrorism, intolerance, male chauvinism and the darkness of the middle ages.

    What is a liberal muslim supposed to do to lessen the pain of belonging to a faith maligned more by your bretheren than others? Do you risk your life a la taslima and acknowledge and condemn all that has gone wrong with the community? Distance yourself from the issue and ignore the anti-muslim sentiment till it knocks on your door? Or, once and for all, get rid of the discomfort of dealing with an unpleasant reality by joining forces with the the fanatic brigade?

    Thank god i’m not a muslim. Though i’m acutely aware it’s only a matter of chance. I could very well have been born one. Narendra Modi too, for that matter.

  14. Arnab,

    The problem in Hyderabad, is that the MIM, treated Old City of Hyderabad as it’s own fiefdom. The MIM, follows the brand of Islam, so much favored by the Taliban. For years, it has fooled the Muslims into being backward and illiterate for it’s own purposes. Today’s Jehadi attacks are a result of that policy.

    At times the Left does some sensible things, and one of them has been taking the MIM head on in the old City of Hyderabad. While the major parties like Congress and TDP, hobnobbed with them, for political benefit, it was the Leftist parties, that took Owaisi’s gang of thugs head on, and managed to make the Muslim masses focus on real issues. Today a major chunk of the younger Muslim population is moving away from the MIM’s dogmatic politics, and thats why its legislators resort to those thuggish attacks, moral policing and of course moral support to the jihadists.

  15. @Indiaholic

    The political parties are still caught in a time warp. They still believe that all Muslims admire Osama Bin Laden, and so they think that going soft on terrorism, would bring them votes. Unfortunately for them, the younger lot of Muslims is waking up, and trying to come to grip with modern times. There is a large section of Muslims, which is saying “We want to live a peaceful life, we want to be educated”. Unfortunately the politicians never listen to them, and the media gives more importance to the Bukharis, the Owaisis, the Shahbuddins, people who have no credibility within their own community.

  16. @ nizam >
    This guy is suggesting that “establishment” planted the bombs; who is he alluding to by “establishment”. My obvious guess is state/central governments, not so obvious guesses: BJP, heck, RSS, rotary club of hyderabad, Andhra chamber of commerce? Till date all bombing attacks have been carried out by “misled individuals” from the “original peace loving religion” aka Islam; yet it amazes me to see seemingly educated people like Nizam who try to reconcile with their subconcious guilt of belonging to the “original peaceful religion” by living in constant denial, much like the women of 80s movies who would shreik out Nahiiiiiii, keh do ki yeh jhooth hey when informed of their husband’s sudden death!

  17. ns wrote:
    Thank god im not a muslim. How do you reconcile to the fact that the most violent and regressive of your faith have become your representatives? How do you live with the burden of atrocities your forefathers committed on the conquered people who now use the crimes of the past that you had nothing to do with to perpetrate hate against you?

    Rishi’s resp:

    The Muslims (especially in the subcontinent) themselves are the conquered people. Thats the saddest part.

  18. Even those people that we say as Internal (Indians only did it) is because they have Indian Passports, Ration cards, Voters Id etc – which they have bought for a mere 40,000 Rs. If they (Bangladeshi refugees) had not bought it, then it was given free of cost by the Sonia Manmohan Singh couple during election time for gaining votes.

    As for “state legislator declaring that he is a Muslim first and an Indian second and of another Hyderabadi politician publicly announcing that it would have been legitimate to kill a dissident author” —- We are just getting slowly used to hearing and ignoring all these which if had been said 20 years back, would have brought the legislator to his knees.

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/yates/yates38.html

  19. @ EMC3

    It is incorrect and misleading to call Muslim infiltrators and illegal immigrants from Bangladesh as “refugees” as you called them.

    There are millions of refugees from Bangladesh who are Hindus (spread all over India) . There are some Buddhist refugees (Chakmas) who have now settled in Tripura.

    The need for this urgent and important distinction is relevent to this discussion.

    The refugees from Bangladesh are themselves victims of Islamic terror.
    For more info visit http://www.hrcbm.org

    And Muslim illegal immigrants from Bangladesh have the ideological groundwork to perpetrate acts of Jihad.

  20. Nazim wrote:
    Anybody who is found to be behind such blasts needs to be “punished”.

    My take:
    You are right. True punishment needs to be given to the real culprits–[Hujur, I have edited this part out as I believe this crosses the line of discourse into an area I am not comfortable with (as per comments policy)]…… for legitimizing the mass-rape of Kafir idolator women, advocating the mass-killing of Kafir idolators and making the mass-destruction of Jahil Kafir civilizations (like India) into a “spiritual” obligation for all eternity.

    I strongly believe Muslims ought NOT to be blamed, because they are just victims of this self-destructive cult, first converted from the Kafir idolators and then brainwashed into complying with this Unceasing Jihad in the Dar-ul-Harb.

    Dr. Ali Sina explains it more eloquently and suggests a simple way out of this mental hell-hole:

    http://www.faithfreedom.org/

  21. The only way to deal with terrorism is the Rajesh Pilot / KPS Gill way in Punjab, The Jagmohan formula in Kashmir, The Rakesh Mariah formula in Bombay, The Chinese formula in Turkmenistan and The Israel way in West Bank / Lebanon.

    No fuss. No reporting. No nothing. Pure *action*.

    P.S : Both Jagmohan And Rakesh Mariah’s efforts were cut short by political establishment just when their efforts were bearing fruits.

  22. GB – “Nothing new also in the West’s coverage (or the lack of it) of this massive loss of life—-after all brown men having their heads ripped off in the black hole of India isn’t news. It’s not as if its London or Madrid or even Bali for that matter (large number of foreign tourists)—no need to get the candles out and walk in solidarity for the victims of terror. And you cannot blame them too—after all people getting blown to smithereens in India is about as common as Paris Hilton having sex. So why bother?

    When you and I don’t care about India, why should the West?
    We and others like us can’t wait to abandon India, once we get our degrees, and then sitting in our comfy apartments, critique the Indian system.

    If we had any decency, we would pack our bags and take the next flight home. Especially now, when India, more than ever needs our talents.

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  24. Kautilya, you first man, as much as I dig mutton curries I like burgers with real beef in them.

    jk, I am or used to be a muslim. I find the root of all evil is not money, it’s religion and unfortunately Islam is suffering from the worst case of it at this point.
    Now I am speaking for religion in general: Why do the most close minded, quick to judge, and violent in our society also seem to be the most religious? when was the last time an atheist or agnostic blew themselves up for their beliefs, or lack there of? Many of the same people that voted for the high priest Bush would also resort to such lowly tactics if they had to. The extremist mentality is here in the US as well.

    Young girls are mutilated and killed in the name of religion everyday. Hindus have their own shame with the way certain people in their societies are treated.
    I have to admit it’s fucking embarrassing to be a muslim in this day and age. Even my parents can’t deny that fact. They are very moderate but still practicing. This will be my first year not fasting, etc. In the past it was a good way for me to dry out from my partying(hypocritical, I know) but even if I do fast this year it will not be motivated by religion. I think there are many benefits for fasting, both physically and spiritually. I just don’t see a need to make it so religion specific.

    Education is the only way to help society at this point but in the long run it may not be enough. I think more people than would like to admit think that organized religion is ridiculous. We tend to go long with the motions and ceremonies just because it’s easier. Any rational educated person cannot see the benefit of organized religion that was created just to control the simpler masses.
    I can go on for a while but I’ve said enough for now. Some people will read my post and think, “bechara, he has lost his way.” When in fact, I have never been clearer of thought.

    – A comedian once said that we should crop dust entire violent regions with high potency marijuana smoke to chill everyone out. at this point it can’t hurt…….

  25. @ Teabaggins

    lol…Your words remind me of a ex-Muslim (now Hindu) friend of mine from Turkey.

    For a while, he was all for the marijuana idea too. Nowadays he sings Vaishnava Bhakti songs in ISKON events.

    Btw, donno where u live, but for the best greasy burgers, BK still takes the cake…

  26. This one takes the cake. This is from our very own homegrown “intellectual” Pooja Bhatt.

    You create a terrorist because you mete out injustice in the name of justice. You do not give them their due. At the time of Partition, you promised them that there will be no bias on the basis of religion but the reality is something else. [Link]

  27. teabaggin, your response proves my point. thanks.

    also, it seems you are more peeved at muslims, rather than islam, no?

  28. What is the most irritating about regular attacks of terror in India is that absolutely nothing is done about it. The government just waits for a couple of weeks for matters to blow over. Then officials comment about our “indestructible spirit” as if it means anything…does one have a choice to stop? No one can be cooped up in the relative safety of his/her home forever. As for compensation, not only is it generally paltry but it is also delayed. I wouldn’t be surprised if a poltician or government official gets his cut. Theories, often without investigation are all they can offer, as for justice, they probably haven’t ever bothered to understand the concept. Making speeches is their substitute for action.

    I can understand why the foreign press does not give any coverage to terrorist attacks in India, when “we” don’t care why should they?

  29. @Vishak: What would strong words do? The Indian state still remains impotent.

    @S.Pyne: I understand that the West’s neglect in covering the loss of Indian lives is just a manifestation of the lack of interest in any human being who is not white and who doesnt stay in the US or Europe. Of course that doesnt make it any the less worth condemning.

    @Rohit: Ok. Agree

    @Sang.Froid: And Katrina Kaif coming to meet him.

    @Anirban: Hmm

    @Rick: Hmm

    @Indiaholic: Hmm

    @Nazim: Absolutely. Its the Indian government which did this to tarnish poor Muslims. Yep. Now please go and drink more of the Kool Aid.

    @NS: Hmm

    @Ratnakar: Hyderabad from Rizvi’s days during the Nizam rule has always had a problem of Islamic militant -ism and then these parties like MIM make public statements of beheadings and the primacy of Islam over the Indian constitution—they are making them for a reason. Someone is buying it !

    @EMC3: Hmm

    @Kaunteya: That would work in China with no free press.

    @Kautilya: Why does our sitting in US make us care less than the one who is in India? Why does staying in India itself count as an act of patriotism? While I myself have done nothing for the country per se, there are many Indians sitting in the US who are doing far more than the average IT guy sitting in an office in Bangalore.

    @Teabaggins: Interesting

    @ Shiloh: Thank you

    @Susanth: Nope it wont

    @DV: Oh boy. Oh boy.

    @Reshma: Indeed.

    @Anon: Because I am in the West. And I would like the world to care about Indian victims and to be aware of the battle we fight everyday against terrorism and Jihadi Islam, if only to show the light to many Westerns who think they are the biggest target.

    @Tarzan: Thanks

  30. nice article. well structured. i would like to add a few thoughts. i might sound a little off-beat, but here goes.
    the only thing people have been voicing is a thread of cliched ideas. i hate to see the same opinions being raised in every blog, in every group, in every “serious” social gathering, practically everywhere where some self proclaimed intellects(the best part is these people show their modesty in such places. its really funny, u know. i simply call it pseudo modesty). anyway, what im getting to these public responses are like a blunt pencil-absolutely pointless.
    another cliched is the theory of power of ideas. oh yes, it is. please dont get me wrong here. but its powerful only if the truly “powerful” people voice them. (come on, the story of guy fawkes in v for vendetta is only fiction).
    so what im getting to is this. unless it really(i really mean ‘really’) affects you, quit making a mockery of yourself and get back to your job.
    ps: this is not totally against u, gb. i read ur work. some of it is good. its in general about the cliched responses.

  31. kautilya- I am peeved at anyone that takes any form of religion literally and uses it to justify acts against humanity. I am peeved at the ignorant sheep that follow so called religious leaders and allow such acts to happen. Originally humans had to create religion in order for us to be civil towards each other but now we are doing the opposite. I think the time for organized religion has passed. I believe it’s unnecessary in this day and age and does more harm than good

  32. Hi Teabaggins,

    Excellent posts and wonderful attitude. I agree with everything you say except one thing : “Originally humans had to create religion in order for us to be civil towards each other”.

    Can you please cite some examples of this? I think humans created religion in the past for many reasons, but none of them for being civil to one another :

    (a) Palaeolithic people created their religion as a means to fend off the unknown (night from day, life from death)

    (b) Neolithic men created religion to ‘plead’ for protection against the elements (storms and floods) and a way of contacting departed ancestors (spirit worship)

    (c) Bronze Age people created religion to gain power (thunder gods, storm gods, emperor gods), over elements and other men.

    (d) Iron Age & post-Iron Age people created religion to use that power to conquer their enemies (Multiple city states of Sumer, Assyria, Babylonia, Hittites, Magna Phonecia, Magna Graeca .. even Judaism).

    (e) A small bunch of people created religion to explore esoteric mysteries (Dionysian rites, Hermetic practices, Mithraism). Very small and very secretive.

    (f) The Judaic faith has it’s genesis in (d).

    (g) Even Xtianity did not start out as a faith to bring all people together. It centred around a cult with a host of miracles and fabulous tales at its core. Its popularity spread like wildfire in the extremely heightened uncertainty of the Roman world after 200 CE, from its unfounded claim of assured salvation, a claim that more candid faiths did not feign.

    (h) Islam on the one hand offers fraternity to its members, yet consistent, brutal intra-Islamic conflicts belie this. Also, its unbelievably narrow view of non-believers demolishes any pretensions of universality.

    Hinduism contains all elements of the above. I like it not because I’m born in to a Hindu fold, but because it is the only faith that offers a scientific approach to spirituality. Even then, the final intention of ‘most’ Hindu movements is not civility towards one another, but personal salvation / bliss.

    Civility may be a by-product of culture, even of developed spirituality. It certainly wasn’t the ‘intention’ of religions.

  33. I believe religion was created in an era when nationality did not existed.Human beings like conformity and there you go…Religion and segregations was the only answer from the side of our pea brained ancestors. The concept of religion is outdated and no more required. If not being a world citizen , let nationality be the new religion. It can make things a lot simpler.
    @ GB : dude , you said it really well.concise and to the point.

    @ Nazim: I think govt does need to do much more and be more action oriented rather than just process oriented but keeping everyone on red alert 24-7 would simply create panic … dont you think?

    @ NS : I liked what u wrote.I thank my luck for the same not god !
    @Teabaggins: dude, ur take on this seems well rounded.if only we had more people thinking like you !
    @S.Pyne : I hate it when people say that West( more like US) doesnt care for us! Why the hell do we want them to take care for us ? Are we less able ? Are we insufficient within ourselves? I am not saying our nation should become like an 8 year old introverted kid but we can take care of our problems ourselves though help will always be appreciated.

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