Once Again And Again

151 Comments

Call it “Indian resilience in the face of terror” or the “manifestation of the spirit of city X” (X= city hit by terror). Or more precisely call it our ability to not really care for anything as long as it does not directly affect us or our loved ones. Call it what you will but what never ceases to amaze me and many others is how the terror unleashed by periodic bomb blasts, that take place every few months with ominous regularity, is totally obliterated from the public consciousness in a few days.

In that after the standard bromides of shock and condemnation are dispensed with,  everything goes back to normal.

There is never a sustained public pressure on the political parties to come up with a policy on terrorism, in the way for instance that different interest groups lobby for reservations. It is as if that people are so busy in appropriating a share of the government pie for their own community (caste, profession, state) that they forget that in order to take advantage of acquiring, for instance an OBC status or a few more districts from a neighboring state for their own, they have to first stay alive.

This time however the cookie has crumbled differently. The difference between successive bomb blasts in different cities is now not being  measured in months or years but in hours. The  comforting window of amnesia, at least for a few days, has been taken away.  Cars full of explosives are discovered in Surat. A plot to bomb cities in Tamil Nadu on August 15th has been foiled. As nightshows and shopping malls are closed down in Madhya Pradesh, the true impact of the strong Jihadi terror base is being felt—its power to strike anywhere and anyone.

Of course, as we all know, even after this nightmarish week, there will bring no long-term change. Political discourse will still take place on the standard lines: one party will ask for reinstatement of POTA/POTO and different variations of anti-terror laws as a single-point solution to all problems, another party will pander for votes by “addressing the root causes of terrorism” which in the Indian context is an euphemism for the worst kind of appeasement.

Noone will talk about treating terrorism as a “law and order” problem and champion, as a cause with the same passion that “packages for states” are demanded, the creation of a national agency for terror with branches in all state capitals.

An agency that comprises of well-paid, well-trained personnel with state-of-the-art surveillance equipment, backed by appropriate legislation that allows them to go about their job without interference from the local powers-that-are.

An agency whose employees would have a simple job description– fight terror. And not for instance to provide Z category security to politicians and sportsmen, to escort the minister’s daughter to her drawing class or to cut vegetables for the  DIG’s weekend party.

But we all know that something like this is not going to happen. There will just not be any sustained pressure from the citizens of the country to make  such an agency a reality. Far less to make national security the number one hot-button issue in the coming elections.

If there is anything greater than the tragedy of losing so many innocents to the shrapnel of Jihadis, it is this.

[Again please keep discussion civil. Discuss politics and not the done-to-death religious angles please. Moderation will be done otherwise. With regret]

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151 thoughts on “Once Again And Again

  1. Nice post.

    We might need more strikes before national security becomes a popular issue on which people actually vote. Right now, terrorists seem to strike just enough to cause fear and then lie low for months. Then Shivraj Patil pontificates, Advani demands Afzal’s hanging and things go back to being ”normal.” Hopefully, it will change this time.

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  3. We sure know our policemen are not enough to tackle this problem. Citizens themselves need to take action. This ofcourse would mean people getting paraniod but probably its justified in current conditions.

  4. Not sure if your facts are correct here, since there have been talks going on for the past few months in the Indian government about having a federal intelligence agency whose main task would be to tackle security issues (read “terrorism”) affecting two or more states.

    Quoting from the Google cache of an article in this regard published in May 2008 titled “India mulls investigative agency to check terror” ( India mulls investigative agency to check terror):
    “The Interior Ministry is presenting the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States as a model for a similar Indian agency and is proposing that the new agency, like the FBI, won’t require the permission of state governments to investigate a specified list of crimes, said a senior ministry official.”

    Let’s see if this gets materialized soon…

  5. @Loony Talk: Yes I have read about this in Rediff. I do hope you understand what “mulling” means. “Mulling”s usually do not get converted to anything concrete unless there is public pressure to make it happen (because not all sections of the political spectrum will support the creation of such an agency). I fail to see where I got my “facts wrong” since I never claimed that this idea was novel and has never been conceived of before. As a matter of fact, this is the most natural “next step” when we have such a systemic problem with terrorism. It has been mulled about for quite some time but never acted upon because the aam junta evidently dont consider it a priority.

  6. Well said.. I’m so tired of these politicians calling the terrorists “cowards” and then proclaiming that we are made tough and we will not give in to the pressures…. and they can try as much as possible… they will not kill the spirit and the all the BS that goes with it. The truth of course is that the terrorists are winning.. each time they kill someone, each time they bomb some place and the people go back to work, its not their spirit which is cause for it, but the need to earn a livilihood.
    What a sad day it is for us, that if there’s no bombing in Calcutta or Delhi.. I don’t care; and if there’s no attack in Chennai or Hyderabad, my Indian co-worker doesn’t care.

  7. Extremely thoughtful post. When the first string of blasts happened in Bangalore, I checked CNN on and off for 24 hours, there was no coverage on their website. The Qantas plane remained the headline grabber. Only after people started dying left and right in Gujarat that International media decided to give us some coverage.

    I think the question you raise goes back to the very foundation of our democracy. I hate saying this, but our democracy is a joke. A petty nuclear deal can bring the whole center to its last leg. Unless we chose the right educated people who can sit in the center with full confidence and make decisions for us, we will never get a rock solid terrorism policy. The politician are busy saving their ass and Kursi and pocketing money as fast as they can, they don’t care who dies.

    I worked for an year in Bangalore. When the streets you frequent become bombing targets the news loses its sensational value. It becomes a personal threat. Thank you for this post. Always good to find something that you can relate to.

  8. very good analysis GB. You are right in that we need something like a department of homeland security to tackle this terror. The basic duty of the IB still is information gathering to tackle external threats, this has to be changed such that it can handle internal issues.

    Forget about terrorism, even in tackling Naxalism there is no coordinated effort between the states. The only substantial response to naxalism has been the half-hearted misguided “salwa judum”. I still feel this is a larger malice than islamic terrorism that needs to be addressed urgently.

    Apart from attacking the disease, we need to find a way to stem the rot at the root. As B. Raman has pointed out the recent spurt in terrorism may be because of the justice or the lack thereof in the Mumbai blast and Gujarat riots issue(its amazing how he is ready with an article 5 minutes after every blast). Instead of appeasing the muslim sentiments with Haj subsidies, we need to start a dialogue and make sure that they dont feel isolated. However, at the same time we should not renegade from our investigations in the fear that it would antagonize the entire muslim community.

  9. There is no meaning in blaming govt or politicians. The fact is Indians do not deserve such things like independence, society, and life with pride. It is basically the lack of character and the system reflects our attitued. 99% of the Indians cheat in one or other way like at petrol bunks, builders, and even vegetable vendors. An average Indian means person without character. The only possible consequence in the the next 30 to 50 years is India will split into 8 or 9 countries, some occupied by Pakistan, some by China, and some independent countries. And that is the best thing. Degeneration is our future.

  10. Its really very chilling the way these blasts were carried out. Placing bombs in front of hospitals, timed at a comfortable gap so that it will kill those people also who bring in the injured, speaks of a chilling, ruthless mentality.. and the tragedy is that the common people of India are firmly under their grip. And what we hear the political leaders say? “Please stay calm”! Only Modi had the courage to call it what it is ” A war on India”…though for him also it’s just a political rhetoric, otherwise his police would not have been caught napping through this.
    And you have rightly pointed out the absense of any sort of pressure from the public on the govt… We are too mired in the SC/ST quota, nuclear deal etc. Also disturbing is the fact that there are certain elements within our country who view their own country as their enemy and takes great pleasure in maiming and killing innocents ( who have no say whatsoever on the govt policies) and all in the name of their God! And there are people of all colours and beliefs who are readily available to somehow link this bloody game of killing and maiming to some past perceived or otherwise “wrong”! The question is how many such acts will “right ” the “wrong”..

  11. : forgot to write the name

    Its really very chilling the way these blasts were carried out. Placing bombs in front of hospitals, timed at a comfortable gap so that it will kill those people also who bring in the injured, speaks of a chilling, ruthless mentality.. and the tragedy is that the common people of India are firmly under their grip. And what we hear the political leaders say? “Please stay calm”! Only Modi had the courage to call it what it is ” A war on India”…though for him also it’s just a political rhetoric, otherwise his police would not have been caught napping through this.

    And you have rightly pointed out the absense of any sort of pressure from the public on the govt… We are too mired in the SC/ST quota, nuclear deal etc. Also disturbing is the fact that there are certain elements within our country who view their own country as their enemy and takes great pleasure in maiming and killing innocents ( who have no say whatsoever on the govt policies) and all in the name of their God! And there are people of all colours and beliefs who are readily available to somehow link this bloody game of killing and maiming to some past perceived or otherwise “wrong”! The question is how many such acts will “right ” the “wrong”..

  12. Was expecting this post from you.

    You make it sound like we (the beaten/bombed to death “aam aadmi) actually has a say in the way the IB puts intelligence to use and Shivraj Patil runs home affairs.

    Agree “we the people” may not care for these acts of terror unless we have suffered some personal/emotional loss. But would you mind listing down the options we have? Except may be vote for someone else the next time EVMs make an appearance? No prizes for guessing what happens next.

    IMHO, the only institution that can exert this kind of sustained influence is the Fourth Estate… and we all know where that is right now.

    In the meantime, all ‘we the people’ can do is to go about our routines taking the sensationalised warning by the media “The next target could be you!!!!” with a spponful of salt.

    Call me a fatalist… but people deserve the representatives they elect.

  13. There used to be a spate of bombings in the ’80s when sikh extremists used to plant transistor bombs in public places. We eventually overcame that problem. I don’t see any reason to doubt that this current problem will be tackled too. If anything, we have far greater resources now than a quarter century ago.

    Not to trivialize the recent bombings in any way, but the fact that they are no longer entering Parliament building with cars loaded with RDX and are instead resorting to planting crude low-intensity bombs means that security is working to some extent. If they could, they would have brought down entire high-rise buildings in our metros killing hundreds of people. Credit should go to our security agencies that they have not been able to do such a thing. (No, I am not suggesting that we should be content that they are “only” killing dozens and not hundreds and thousands, but it doesn’t hurt to note whatever little progress has been made – things like RDX not being used for example).

  14. What irks me the most is how much pontification on the issue is done by the politicians in the media with so little being done about anything – the leader of one party attacks the other, and the leader of the other makes a couple of snide remarks against this one, the anchor asks irrelevant questions to both parties concerned.

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  16. What else do you expect from a government who was busy Buying the honorable (sic) Members of Parliament rather than focus on the few lives of innocent people…
    Rupees 30 crores for a vote,No value for an ordinary Law abiding Citizen………..
    I smell a Civil War in the near future.

  17. This reminds me of 15000 Brown people dead somewhere. The reason is there is no international coverage, voice for this kind of carnage being meted out. You see, others don’t care rightly because we Indians don’t care. Like in Jaipur when the IPL matches went on after the bombings there.

    Also the apathetic attitude of Indians without them resolving to any kind of organised protest by limiting/slowing down of government’s activities or the Press actually mounting pressure on those in charge would probably make them to get off their arses and do something to prevent this happening again.

    I feel for the poor average Muslim in Gujarat now, he will bear the brunt of it.

  18. Sir, i agree with what you have written about the apathy of the Indian political establishment and of the pressure groups within the nation to terrorism and national security. I have had personal experience of bomb blast in Nepal and Mumbai (fortunately from a distance) and i am subject to impotent rage everytime i hear of another blast in the country. I think that there is no scope of improvement in the security scenario of the nation until the stakes become so high that it becomes impossible for us to do anything but respond. Till that time however we can along with the politicians continue to participate in the ritual of expressing our indignation and pontificate about our resilience while we wait for another blast to happen.

  19. I fail to understand how such wide-spread attack and threats through the entire country has still left life “normal”. Isnt it pathetic, that though serial bombs are blasting through cities, and floods happening in some other parts (on top of the above), people are still going to work, checking up on celebrity gossip, and there is no real danger alert?

    Why would public memory not be short? There is no physical evidence of danger – no police, no real security measures, and media highlights only what they like to. Blasts in Surat being discovered was no less dangerous than the blast in Jharkhand – but they were barely mentioned. Bangalore already is just a passing mention in front of the blasts in Ahmedabad which also lost steam in front of new movie releases by late last night.

    I would prefer a Bush right now, who might attack the wrong people, but at least he attacked and vented his anger enough to pause terrorism for some time.

  20. This is the first time I’m commenting here, though I’ve been reading for a while. As you rightly pointed out, there are two aspects to this callousness about terror strikes and loss of lives – the politicians self serving ways and the apathy of the common man. We have become so engrossed in living our own lives, that our existence has become blinkered. The only time the ‘public’ actually raises its voice is when there’s a whole lot of propaganda and visibility of an issue – like the Jessica Lal case. If the apathetic Indians could spend their hard earned money to protest against the murder of one girl and consequent denial of justice, why can’t they protest against these mass killings?

    As for political initiative, to organise the kind of anti-terror program you have describes, you first need a strong, stable government. When the government itself is floundering, running from pillar to post to satisfy one ally today and another tomorrow, such positive, organised efforts to combat terrorism could hardly be expected.

    The other, really unpalatable truth is that in this poor country of ours, there is abundance of one thing – human lives, and when you have something in abundance, you don’t care about losing some of it. So while Bush launches a war (rightfully or otherwise) for the loss of some American lives, we react to losses far higher with mere rhetoric.

    As for those who feel that the security measures are working because terrorists are not attacking the parliament – I wish such measures were not working and terrorists did attack the parliament. They would do us a favour by obliterating all these politicians at one fell blow!

  21. Kishor truly summed it all up when he said

    “An average Indian means person without character”

    Sadly, almost all of us are ‘average’. we do not have the courage to do anything about this and so many other issues that affect us. And unforunately there is no exemplery leader who can herd this flock in the right direction. And even if there is, I doubt if we have the grace to embrace issues that petty matters like caste, region etc.

    By the way, as usual a good post: hits on the real issues and well. I hope the prophecy in last line will not come true

  22. Sorry, the last post should say

    ‘And even if there is, I doubt if we have the grace to embrace real issues than petty matters like…”

  23. @ GB
    They agency that you’ve talked about and which has been mulled by the govt, I think, would be inept to deal with a new kind of terrorism. The thing is how will any agency find out if the normal looking, normal working class educated people will carry out a terrorist act tomorrow? If there are foreign intruders, may be you can check each and every person on the Indian soil for their validity proof. But if your own people take up this task, how will you stop that?
    Is this the biggest loop hole, the terrorist organizations have exploited? Coz between these blasts we do not pay attention to whatever work the NSA or ATS does, by nabbing terrorists or foiling their attempts to carry out blasts.
    So the bottomline is, how do we tackle this ‘internal’ problem?

  24. 1. Hopefully, we won’t come up with a “National Agency for Terror”.
    2. As for fighting terror, a ‘national agency’ is not the answer. It sounds very purposive and vs. state police options, it has the same advantage in appeal, specially to middle class audiences, that the glitzy malls of our metros enjoy over the ‘Shopping Complex’ in provinces. But this sort of an answer will be substituting form for substance.
    3. Better intelligence gathering at the local level is a key ask. So is separation of ‘law-and-order’ from ‘investigation’ in the local police setup: these are very different jobs and should be resourced and managed separately.
    4. None of this requires a central ‘organization/ agency/ what have you’. It does need better policing at the local level. Police is a state subject in our constitution and absent any broader discussion re the country’s federal structure, talk of “…won’t require the permission of state governments to investigate a specified list of crimes…” should be left to semi-literate journalists.
    5. There’s a number of angles that a national (intelligence, not police) agency has to probe – e.g. conspiracy, cross-border influence/ inputs, etc. – for which we already have the IB. It needs to work better – the IB or CBI are not exactly poster-boys for ‘national agencies’.
    6. But to sort any of this out, better people need to get elected. After all, it is unfair to expect convicted/ under-trial criminal parliamentarians/ legislators to give attention to measures aimed at increasing the effectivness of the police force.

  25. well stated GB. we dont have any balls as a society. The true cowards here are the politicians. They just talk and talk and but say nothing. Terrorism is not a problem you can solve – you can just reduce it. If you have seen the perfunctory checks being done in our malls – one will get the heebie jeebies. Manpower is our strength – why not use it as such. No government can give guarantees to people – but they can at least show us that they are doing something about it. I think we need to get folks like modi into a NSA kind of org – he is a good administrator and he is ruthless. when the adversary has no qualms in bombing hospitals – one cant be soft in your response

  26. This is response to Nitin Ojha . Better intelligence gathering as a panacea for all our ills is i think an oversimplification of the issue. A sustained and successful intelligence gathering exercise over the length and breadth of a nation the size of India would be well nigh impossible without a central organisation. The logistics with regard to information collecting, sharing and verifying would itself require a central database. Leave aside the force required to analyse this information. Local level intelligence operations can be limited to their own sphere, further such operations would lead to duplication of infrastructure without the commensurate benefits and operational overlaps.

  27. @Dips

    “I would prefer a Bush right now, who might attack the wrong people, but at least he attacked and vented his anger enough to pause terrorism for some time.”

    Are you serious or is this one for the WTF category ?

  28. I believe even FBI style law enforcement agency wont be of much help stopping terrorists. Becoz FBI’s primary task is more post crime investigations and prosecutions. Its more needed to develop some NSA type agency to keep an eye on all domestic conversations and communications via internet, landline, cell, text message thus providing some advanced warnings or red flags before any disaster. Now this may compromise a bit of privacy and “freedom” … but i would say its a necessary evil.

    Given man power and expertise we possess I would say its possible come up with a NSA like domestic surveillance agency.

  29. We will need to dethorn many suspicious elements by making them loose their memory without the need to kill them as pre emptive measure.

  30. Its no use blaming the intelligence agencies.

    Why should the intelligence operatives go beyond their 9 to 5 job detail, when majority of the people of India and their elected leaders have refused and continue to refuse to heed and act upon the warning lights?

    Jihad can only be defeated by the people, especially the Hindus, who are the targets(whether anybody wants to accept this truth or not)

    The intelligence and security agencies can empower them with information and direction.

    And yes..people will die either way, whether terrorism wins, or terrorism loses.

    The choice is for the people of India to make.

  31. A great post which laid out what needs to be done to tackle an increasingly audacious extremist base. I concur on the urgent need to setup a national infrastructure/body that has branches & functions for the stated purpose of tackling terrorists. However, its easier said than done.

    If you take a headcount, India has one of the largest paramilitary & peace-time force in the world. I think more than creating a dedicated agency, it would be far more prudent & efficient to establish simple but effective protocols for the exchange of information & intelligence amongst various local, state & national agencies. Then, we gotto start collating all the various para-military & peace-time forces we got & assign them region-wise/problem-wise responsibilities.

    Anyways, the reason we keep forgetting GB is because we have gotten too used to all this and because we are tired of getting the same political mud-slinging that follows. So we choose to block it all out & forget it all.

    And hey, in an age of super high inflation, high oil prices, massive traffic jams, jam-packed public transportation, etc., terrorism doesn’t somehow figure in the agenda of the common man. He is too occupied worrying about how he pays his son’s graduation fees (which if donations are considered run into lakhs).

    It is the responsibility of the Home Ministry & the various govt protection agencies to worry and to take precautions. But unfortunately, there is a lot of incompetence in these agencies and blasts occur indiscriminately.

    Its sad but thats the way it is. And I agree with “JT” that we have a poor democracy which functions on the whims and fancies of ill-educated, power-hungry and self-obsessed netas. It will be a slow and painful process to slowly replace them with properly educated & enlightened citizens who can then take timely action. But that is the only way its gotto be done. And as another suggestion, we could have a kind of a “performance audit” of the various govt agencies to make them more accountable.

  32. @Sounak: You know your point about having an N.S.A. like organization while relevant is dangerous.

    The reason I am saying this is that the N.S.A. has been accused of some very serious & very grave eavesdropping on people who are not even remotely associated with extremism/crime. The N.S.A. a coupla years ago was accused of eavesdropping on various senators & political figures across the U.S. who were opposed to key policies of the U.S. govt. This blatant form of privacy invasion for the explicit purpose of gleaming information that could then be used to coerce/coax members of the U.S. Congress to vote on key govt bills was considered to be a form of political extortion.

    Keep in mind that in a country like the U.S., there are established protocols for interaction & information exchange between various entities & which are mostly strictly adhered to. And such misuse has happened.

    Just imagine what would Mayawati do when she becomes P.M.? Would she use ‘Indian-NSA’ to fight terrorism or listen in on Amar Singh’s conversations? What would the BJP/Congress do when they come to power?

    My point is that interception & surveillance are double edged swords – if they are abused, the potential for damage is immense.

    I am not against an NSA like agency in India – I think it would be a good idea. But it MUST NEVER be used for political upmanship – strict protocols & regulations have to be put in place before such an NSA is created. And it should NEVER be allowed to intrude on personal privacy to an extent which is morally & ethically incorrect!

  33. @Dips: Your comments (the last paragraph) made me ROTFLMAO!! I don’t think they can/should be taken seriously! If you still think they should be taken seriously, then I can only say that you live by a very warped logic.

    How in God’s name can Bush be proclaimed as being more preferrable if he targetted the wrong people (Iraq) and brought about the loss of 1,00,000 civilian lives, 20k American soldiers and set-off a chain reaction of spiralling oil prices!! LMAO!!

  34. Where Trees fall Algae survive.
    We will survive.
    Just wait for 3 days and you will start seeing real face of TV channels.

  35. @Rajiv there is always a possibility to use govt agencies for personal benefits or political leverage. During Indira gandhi time CBI became a pet dog of PM. There should be checks and balances always to control the power of an agencies. But since any agency is run by people there will always be some degree to corruption/misuse. But anyway I already pointed out that may be a “necessary evil” we have to bear. Otherwise the price people are paying is too high…

  36. @ Rajiv Iyer:

    I agree with you and have heard many experts say this. We don’t need another agency. We need our present agencies to be better equipped with resources and training.

    Otherwise we will get Supreme Homeland Intelligence on Terrorism. work the abbreviation out.

    @ on the indian police:

    i think handling terrorism is just one aspect which is only symptomatic of a deeper malaise in our men in brown. i believe the police in india is still carrying out a colonial role, terrorizing poor people into submission by not allowing them to ask too many questions and serving their political masters.

    @ before you abuse indian muslims:

    ive been reading some very interesting blogs and it’s refreshing to hear the other side even though i don’t agree with their views sometimes. but doing so really makes me believe that islamic fundamentalism will be defeated. not by america or hindus. but by muslims themselves.

    http://www.anindianmuslim.com/2006/08/list-of-muslim-bloggers-from-india.html

    (better reading that factusa for sure)

  37. @ w.t.f.ittabari

    Its good to see that you would like to pre-empt any discussion of the real roots of terrorism.

    The masochistic genuis that you are, I am sure you would like to avoid reading http://www.factusa.org because it would deprive you of the humiliation of being a Dhimmi.

    So, please repeat after me:
    “Arab Imperialism” is the Religion of Peace.
    “Arab Imperialism” is the Religion of Peace.
    “Arab Imperialism” is the Religion of Peace.

    And then tell me why your family had to flee erstwhile East Bengal, in first place?

    I would recommend that you first read Tathagata Roy’s book: “My People, Uprooted – A Saga of the Hindus of Eastern Bengal” at my blog link above.

  38. @Sounak: Agreed but the point is in presence of such an agency, what price would people pay? Sure, you could argue that the privacy of people is a small price to pay for their safety & I couldn’t agree more.

    However, inevitably the system would be misused to target people for economic or political reasons. This has serious consequences for both the individual and the state.

    I know it might be a controversial statement to make but I think this: I think that we cannot permit unconditional & unrestricted use of surveillance even if it means a lower collection of intelligence. It is just not tenable morally or ethically.

    I do support creation of the Indian version of NSA in principle, under an extremely regulated condition. But the question is who should be the regulator? And where does one draw the line? And who is to stop anybody from accessing undue influence and obtain confidential information on individual/organization/state, etc.

    So in practice it becomes a dangerous game of ethical & moral tight-rope walking. And the line keeps becoming thinner.

    And besides, NSA has been there for a long time now. How effective were all thier fancy algorithms & super-computers at stopping 9/11? Not effective at all.

  39. @w.t.f.ittabari: Haha yeah! That is what will end up! As it is, we have so many damn government divisions & sub-divisions and its all very chaotic. All we need to do is to introduce method in the madness.

  40. O wise w.t.f.ittabari,

    Sorry to ask you to a very politically incorrect question.

    How can there be no “religious” angle to this carnage when the “Indian Mujahedeen” email clearly dedicated this massacre [of Hindus] “In the name of Allah”?

    Who should I believe – The believers who have been doing it? Or you, who likes to cover for them?

    Source of the quote:

    As the picture in the above article shows, the gutters literally ran red with the blood of Hindu victims at the bombed hospital in Ahmedabad, India.

  41. Arnab,

    A very well balanced article. It is better than what most of the newspaper pundits have written. Forgive my ignorance of earlier comments, as I go on to insert my thoughts.

    The central issue in India is the grey zone between politics and organized violence. The intelligence and internal security agencies cannot complete their assignments: catch the culprits and bring them to justice. The judiciary cannot undertake their task: trying these elements. Terrorism, organized crime, narco and human trafficking use the same people and/or utilize the same networks. Come election time, our politicians use these elements to undertake their own ends, to either show sympathy toward or coerce sympathy from the oppressed. Naxalities, the various semi-bandit groups of the North East, and the Islamic movements are thusly used and discarded by our ‘duly’ elected representatives. There is no ‘terrorist’ and ‘government’ dichotomy in India; this at least is assumed in the US or in the UK.

    On the other hand, giving the administration babus a free run with the MISA-TADA-POTA laws can lead to a Pakistan like situation. The administration will quash the neutral political space and impose status-quo oriented law and order. This will exacerbate violence in the long run.

    What is the solution? I argue for transparent management of law enforcement and an independent and effective judiciary. Political decision makers have to come clean about their dealings; if not, their reasons for ‘letting go’ these elements must be clearly explained to both the administration and open sources. If the politicos do not do so, they should be open to prosecution. Moreover, the police and army should have the ability to sue politicians or ask for independent enquiry commissions on political decision making. These commissions should not be manned by super annuated IAS-IPS officers or semi-retired Rajya Sabha members vying for governorships and like posts. They should comprise of respected a-political citizens. Who chooses, and on what criterion? Well, that’s a whole new ball game!

    Vasabjit

  42. Good post GB.

    I agree with people who take the line – we get what we deserve, or order.

    The rot does not start or end anywhere, it is all around and all pervasive.

    Everytime a false identity card is made somewhere a potential terrorist gets access to his victims.

    Every time policement do not follow the lead on stolen vehicles new bomb delivery mechanisms are getting created.

    Everytime customs officers look the other way when trucks criss cross the country RDX and other explosives are brought in.

    Rare are the officers of law enforcement agencies who have laid down their lives in preventing these crimes. These crooks don’t even die when bombs go off.

    RAW is being run by the IPS lobby. The same IPS lobby that is mired in corruption from head to foot. How do you expect them to handle the external intelligenc. Forget about Pakistan, we can’t even take out handle terrorists given shelter in Bangladesh / Nepal.

    The less we say about the politicians the better. It is our misfortune as a nation and as a generation that the only choices we have are between Sonia ji, Advani ji and Behen ji. Prakash is in our destiny… but this is not light, it is Karat.

    All of us, including GB, will get back to our lives soon. A new film, a new review and all will be forgotten on GB.net as well!

    Let us type our 500-600 words and do our duty.

    Stay safe and take care.

  43. @GB: “If there is anything greater than the tragedy of losing so many innocents to the shrapnel of Jihadis, it is this.”

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. Such is the diffused nature of our large democracy that almost every problem (except ones involving specific interest groups) meets the “tragedy of the commons” end. What acts as salt on the wound are the numerous worthless visits by VIPs to the affected areas for taking ‘stock’ and ‘expressing heart felt condolence’ which are customarily followed by effete statements like ‘Evil designs of terrorists will be thwarted’. Seriously??

    And what bothers even more are articles by ‘researchers’ like these (http://www.indianexpress.com/story/312865.html, written after Jaipur blasts)-
    Quoting from it,
    —–
    “Another phenomenon resulting from a terrorist attack is the over-exaggeration of the threat of terrorism. This does not mean that it is inconsequential. Far from it. India had almost 3,700 deaths resulting from terrorist attacks between January 2004 and March 2007, the most in any country other than Iraq. To put this in perspective, HIV/AIDS killed about 300 times the number of people in India and traffic accidents over 150 times. Yet, unsurprisingly, these avoidable casualties receive much less attention than those resulting from terrorism ”
    —–

    Oh really!! So terrorism is nothing more than ‘casualties’, ‘events’ and ‘numbers’. What about the dark symbolism in it? By the same token why are people so much worried about robberies and thefts because after all they will loose much more money to inflation, decreasing interest rates etc. in the long run!!

    As far as creating a separate agency is concerned, yes it may be true that it might be bettered by existing apparatus. However, I think at least it will improve accountability to some extent by putting more pressure by decreasing the cross section of responsibility. Special task forces have not always been a total failure contrary to what some may think (e.g. NSG, the TN STF for Veeraappan etc.).

    I think time has come for our society to seriously start a discourse on public surveillance through cameras, limits of populist policies in the name of political correctness and above all how seriously are we going to consider our own lives. If our country can unite behind a swath of land where 99% of us are not even allowed to settle (read Kashmir) or where 99% of us will never go (read borders of Arunachal Pradesh) or help create a wasteland through our sacrifices where 99% of people hate us (read Bangladesh), why can’t we show the same solidarity when it comes to our own lives? At this stage we really need an ‘internal security mahatma’ who can create mass awareness cutting across all fault lines in society about a grave threat to our very existence.

    Coming back to terrorism itself, there is almost no doubt that last five years have been a feast for jihadis in india. In fact, they don’t even have to waste seventy two virgins in heaven because suicide part of the bombings are not needed anymore. I had always thanked the benevolence of terrorists while taking local trains out of Howrah for sparing such an easy target. But now I have to congratulate myself for being on the right side of random chance.

    Just like the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, the government should immediately start a National Urban Life Guarantee Scheme where it takes full responsibility for guaranteeing the life of at least one individual from a family for at least 100 working days.

  44. @ turtle
    @ rajiv iyer
    I wasnt exactly joking. Neither was I being literal.
    Bush’s decision was a bad one. It resulted in many people dieing. Heck! It was DUMB.
    But at least the man cared! So did the people of that country. They cared enough to enroll in the army and wage war against what they thought was wrong, against people whom they considered responsible.

    Bush may have had his own motives to target certain people and countries. But he gave the country a direction and the world didnt do anything to stop him- because even in his warped way, he was justified. Justified to say he needed to track down people cold blooded enough to fly a plane into a building.

    The least a leader can do is show the people under him a direction – by which they feel avenged, or develop the need to be avenged.
    Create an anti-terror squad or a new policy or new ways to stop terrorism. I really dont care what. I just dont think it is all right that we go on with normal TV telecast, let the ‘leaders’ of the country make their secret decisions and not let us know whats up. I dont think its fine that a leader comes on TV and in a dispassionate, uninterested tone states that ‘its a grave loss for the people and I feel for them’. The only thing I (as a common citizen) see him feeling is the pressure from his political counterparts.

    If the terrorists are trying to scare us, darn, let us be scared. Its time we were. Or at least, let us be angry enough to retaliate in some way. Not sit down and resume the daily inane work-home cycle.

  45. @dips,

    I understand what you mean about Bush. I agree, that Iraq was a wrong target for the “War against Terror” but at least that man DID something. Our politicians don’t even loose sleep over this anymore.

  46. @Rajiv

    Nothing can be more moral or ethical than saving a human life. We give away a bit of freedom for a bit of security. Like strip search, ban on gels in airports etc etc. Even todays agencies like IB, CID can/may snoop in ph conversations without any prior authorization. So anyway it has already been used for personal political mileage by people. What I was saying is forming an dedicated agency to do a more organized way of monitoring.

    I dont know how much the Fancy computers can detect or prevent but keep in mind only the successful bomb blasts or 9/11 makes the headline. All other busts are better to keep under wrap.

  47. Well, Kishor does speak sense sometimes, doesn’t he? 2 centuries is quite some time to make a “nation” utterly spineless, characterless, mindless, d!*kless, (Ok may be not the last one). But if we would question ourselves , haven’t we become like the ones who clap around traffic signals?… Agencies might bring some “comfort” to our minds, but then again it would be “us” again who would run it, isn’t it? Create a dozen agencies but don’t expect them to be Mossad.

    “People may come and people may go,
    This (great) nation will go on (like this) forever…”

    (Not quite) A. Tennyson.

  48. Modus operandi of the resident Jihadis in Ahmedabad:

    They exploded a bomb at one place; the timer was set such that the second blast took place in the same place five minutes later. They waited for the crowd to gather. Obviously, the injured will be taken to the city’s prominent hospital. So they timed the bomb for an hour later at the hospital.

    The blasts at hospitals show that our fight is with such despicable people. Even during war, enemies do not attack hospitals and its employees. Even medical vehicles or the Red Cross is never attacked during war. It has been proved that our fight is with people with such dreadful ideas. That is why there can be no sympathy for these people.

  49. I would like to see a person in charge of anti terror/bomb thingy. We need to create a position which is accountable/responsible to people.

  50. @Sounak: Fair enough. You have a good point there about the many successful catches made by NSA & other agencies kept under wraps. And like I said I couldn’t agree more that safety is before privacy. All I feel is that such an agency must be introduced with utmost care and extremely unambiguous & compartmentalized protocols of access, commands, etc. While privacy can be compromised for enhancing security, it must not be made common practice.

    @Dips: I now understand the gist of what you are saying. And having understood it, I still beg to differ. There is, in your argument a glaring ethical & logical defect.

    Bush didn’t launch the war because he had purity of intentions to get rid of the terrorists. We all now know that the Iraq war was a premeditated even before 9/11 happened (there is sufficient leaked memos & data out there to prove this). So the argument that “Bush atleast did something in response to 9/11” is incorrect, because all Bush was doing was fulfilling his own right-wing, neo-con dream of launching a war against a country for which he harboured deep prejudice.

    Also, I find it appalling that you argue in favour of SOME action, even if the action is blatantly incorrect and unfair!! It is like me taking a gun and going on a killing spree in response to a murder of someone close! Why the hell should innocents pay for your need for my revenge?!

    I find that deeply disturbing. I agree our politicians are dumb-wits who repeat a cycle of speeches and assurances which are supposed to be solemn but which come across as both pompous and hypocritical. I agree they have taken little or no action to stem the flow of terror.

    But to say that SOME action must be taken (and in your own words “the need for people to be avenged”) merely to satiate some public-hysteria is an extremely dangerous path to follow. It can have but only one conclusion: more bloodshed of the innocent.

    I agree we need to take action but I advocate erring on the side of caution. We MUST NOT make the same mistakes America (and the neo-cons led by dumb-wit Bush) has made – we cannot afford to be blinded by the need for revenge and end up attacking more innocent people.

  51. @Andalusian & Bengal Voice:

    Yes there is a religious angle. No question. I don’t think anyone is denying this. But it cuts both ways. Do you really think Muslim jihadis bombed the Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad & the prayer ground in Maharashtra? Really?

    Those culprits have never been caught either.

  52. @ Wafa
    to your question to Bengalvoice and Andalusian.

    Yes. Jihadis DID bomb the Mecca Masjid and (you forgot), the Ajmer thingie.

    Ever read, why Jihadis bomb their own Muslim brethren in Iraq or Afghanistan?

    It is a competition to be the best follower of Koran.

    We Hindus are the best the the brightest target (for reasons discussed many times before), but even Muslims who are not percieved to be “good enough” Koran followers are the targets.

  53. @ the rest

    The Jihadis cannot be stopped by security agencies. Treating the symptoms (and not the malady) will not solve anything, only delay and postpone attacks occasionally.

    Also, there is no pleasant way out of this.

    The rest, has all been discussed many times before.

  54. Terrorism is a threat to our country..no doubt!!! But I guess the bigger threat is the lack of any feeling of “Indianness” amongst Indians. Now you might argue that poeple have to think about the basic facilities (Roti Kapda aur Makaan!!!) first. You might be right but what do you say of Indians who go abroad and still belive in all those innumerbale dividers our country has -Religion, region, caste and the list goes on. It is indeed sad to read on the Indian websites in other countries which have ads lookin for roommates which goes on like ” Looking for a marathi roommate” “prefarbly should be from the south” and so on. Even the education , the distance from the country could not bridge these SAD DEPRESSING DISGUSTING emotions of the so called Indians.
    I am really clueless on how to solve these issues!!! Any answers??

  55. I guess these attacks against the ” pluralistic,secular,vibrant fiber” ,”communal bonhomie”,”aapsi bhaaichaara”(and all that crap) of this great country will continue as long as the truth which is apparent to most but inconvenient to most won’t be accepted.And that truth is in fact a cliche-Islamic fundamentalism is behind these attacks on India in general and Hindus in particular.
    The need to identify the root cause to wipe out terrorism is obvious on taking a look at the rise and fall of the Khalistani movement in India.

    All the talk about tackling terrorism will amount to zilch if the root cause can’t be spelled out without thinking of political correctness and all other bs which tantamount to showing “sensitivity”to the feelings of a particular community(read not saying that the overwhelming majority of terrorists follow Islam).

    Its quite clear that this political correctness which was otherwise limited to discussions offline/online or T.V. rants by Bore-Kiya Dutt et al has now entered the realm of anti-terror investigations and operations.Officers involved in such investigations have started taking all this as a “punishment posting” with the political pressure by our kafanchor netas at every step and witch-hunting ensured by the “civil-liberty” groups,”human rights” organisations,the media and “intellectuals” in India.One just has to take a look at the state of investigations(forget about the rate of convictions)related to the terror attacks in previous years.

    The greatly disturbing fact that comes out is Indians aren’t exactly blind to the situation but find it more comfortable to remain like ostriches(more cerebral perhaps!)- each with a bubble of his/her own,complete with rose/sepia/pink tinted goggles.That’s our approach to the issues that face India and in this case it’s responsible for the lack of any sustained public pressure on the govt(as mentioned by GB).And as long as our private bubbles don’t burst we don’t give a damn.So it’s mighty clear when all this will stop.It won’t!!

    And it may sound crass but in my opinion if a sustained,strong response against terrorism is to be initiated and continued it’ll need all efforts of Islamic fundamentalism.Cuz unless and until our society’s attacked relentlessly with terrible casualties resulting in mayhem and chaos{mayhem n chaos being purely relative terms),I don’t see how Indians will be jolted out of their passivity.n Honestly, I don’t know what will it take!
    Till that happens,one can –
    1)gush over how just a single person died in Bangalore,how the blasts were low intensity ones,how RDX has been replaced by ammonium nitrate(due to the efficiency of security agencies),how terrorism has no religion
    2) gloat with that it-had-to-happen feeling while linking the Ahmedabad bomb blasts(as with all terror acts after the Gujarat riots) with Modi’s “pogrom” and thus justifying these blasts.
    3)Wait for bomb blasts to rip through other parts of India and give reasons as in “2”(how about Indore for starters…?It has all the makings of a backlash-by-the-tormented-minority-backlash)
    4)look for “political” conspiracy theories
    5)say how all this could be the handiwork of Hindu terrorists
    6)forget about all previous terrorist acts and lend a helping hand in the success of track 2/3/4 diplomacy with our Pakistani brethren and fellow victims of terrorism.
    7)curtail meaningless Hindu pilgrimages and contribute towards environmental conservation by helping the citizens of our northern neighbor-The Islamic,Secular Republic Of J & K.
    8)praise/salute the spirit of Bombay,Delhi,Bangalore,Chennai,etc etc and that of India in toto(the same spirit which allowed us to “enrich” our culture by living under foreign rule for decades),take part in candle light vigils,peace marches and mutter “thank god it wasn’t me”
    9)follow the saying “Victory lies in the victim”
    10)Wait for one’s turn.

    and for the time being..Why so serious?

  56. correction:

    “living under foreign rule for decades” should be “living under foreign rule for centuries”.

  57. India doesn’t have the infrastructure and the foundation to stop these attacks and the political setup of the country doesn’t help matters.I hope that atleast there is a start in the right direction.

    But till date i am baffled at the logic of these so called jihadi groups, the attacks on India would just increase the distress of muslims. Aren’t these groups concerned about that?

  58. @ achiles
    No achiles. The Jihadis very well know, that Hindus have already been defeated in the psychological war of attrition.

    Jihad is less a physical war, and far more a psychological one.

    It has worked in the past 1300 years and it is working now. Only the technology has changed.

  59. Give up this silly obsession with pseudo-secularism. What has it got us? Nothing.

    Hindus love to overlook history (both recent and ancient) and indulge in appeasement of the bully.

    Every gesture Hindus made to “our beloved brethren” was construed as our weakness and emboldened them to a stage where they are brazenly bombing us – day in and day out.

  60. @TheDumbGraduate: I too read that blighted article in The Indian Express and was left gasping.That hobo’s supposed to be “researching” South Asia in the USA (en-route to becoming another “expert” on these matters I guess!!)

  61. Pingback: staying.cool » Blog Archive » blowing up. and over.

  62. The [C]Hindu says in bold – ” Muslim bodies decry blasts”..

    Actually they are *not*. Here’s what they are saying – “The timing of the blasts, in the run-up to the general election, posed the question “who stands to gain from such attacks.”

    And if that insinuation is not enough, here’s what they want.. “urged the government to form a high-power neutral panel of retired judges, human rights activists, top lawyers and journalists “

    retired judge – U C Banerjee
    human rights activist – Teesta Setalvad
    top lawyers – Majid Menon, Indira Jaisingh
    journalist – anyone amongst Burkha Dutt, Vinod Mehta, Praful Buidwai will do.

  63. I think one reason why politicians are not concerned is because most of their relatives are now settling abroad. Their children get married off to an Indian Doctor or Engineer settled abroad and their grand children are born in foreign countries and they lose that sentiment attached to their motherland. As for the grandpa’s, they can keep earning money, buy property etc in India and earnings will be deposited into their foreign accounts.

  64. @ bengal voice:

    thanks for responding to my comments. im sorry if they offend you in any way. they were not directed at you.

    im too brainwashed into believing in liberal democracy of which secularism is a very important pillar. the muslims are going to kill me. ive made my peace with it. save the others.

  65. @ wtf ittebari

    Yeah man…i remember, u had expressed that wish of wanting to be a victim of jihadi attack in a previous conversation on this blog.

    My best wishes.

  66. HOW COME I HAVE KEY RESULT AREAS(KRA’S) IN ALL ASPECTS OF MY LIFE BUT MY GOVERNMENT DON’T?
    NO FARMER SUICIDES, 3% INFLATION, NO BOMB BLAST, 24 HOUR ELECTRICITY ETC – CAN ANY GOVERNMENT PROMISE THAT THEY MEET THESE CRITERIAS TO STAY IN POWER? CAN I STOP MY TDS FOR THE MONTH BOMB BLAST HAPPEN OR INFLATION CROSSES 7%?????

    WTF- WE ARE LIKE LAMBS TO THE SLAUGHTER IN THIS COUNTRY

  67. And at a time when Narendra Modi and Manmohan Singh are exchanging notes on the Ahmedabad blasts, you have Sushma Swaraj blaming the UPA for engineering these blasts in order to take people’s attention away from the trust vote victory. She claims – the fact that within days of the trust vote, there are blasts in two NDA ruled states is circumstantial evidence of my claim.

    WTF!!!

    I mean this takes being opportunistic to a whole new level altogether.

  68. @Bengal Voice

    The question to ask yourself is, “What am I going to do to solve this problem?”

    This is a very poignant question indeed. As an average citizen there are three ways in which the present apparatus can be affected, first by vote (directly voting or through activism leading to an effect in vote pattern), secondly by resources (taxes, compulsory duties, volunteering etc.) and last but not the least, via moral pressure (activism leading to moral outrage but not necessarily putting any immediate electoral or financial cost on the government).

    I have voted every single time it has been possible for me and have generally made an informed choice, I have paid my taxes honestly and ready to pay more if the need arises for higher security etc. and I have done my part of moral pressuring through whatever means via mainly debates and talks in college/university which I admit may not have lead to any effect on the larger electoral picture. On top of that, I try to keep myself alert and abreast of things happening around me so that at least I don’t fall prey to other machinations of the ‘other side’ (which by the way is more active than ever before in influencing and recruiting young minds). All these may look insignificant but considering the fact that most of us pursue our jobs to keep our families (and the society) running and in addition may be inept in organization, public speaking etc. direct activism may not be possible for everyone of us (if that is what you were alluding to at the first place).

    Sadly, we have come to a juncture when we have to ask ourselves what we can do about the very kind of problems for which we have our government at the first place. Call me pessimist but when GB says –

    “But we all know that something like this is not going to happen. There will just not be any sustained pressure from the citizens of the country to make such an agency a reality. Far less to make national security the number one hot-button issue in the coming elections.”

    All I can say is ‘sad but true’.

    @Kunal

    I totally second your thoughts and will like to quote the joker again – ‘What happened, have your balls fallen off?’ as a rhetorical question to Shivraj Patil our very own mompurush(wax-man). And lesser said about Dutta and inc. the better it is. I don’t know if you noticed but while chastising the ‘elite’ for opposing the OBC quota for colleges, she abruptly but unsurprisingly changed her colors when it came to her own alma-mater St. Stephens’ decision to have more Christian quotas (see http://www.persecution.in/node/1985).

    And coming back to the so called ‘researcher’, God forbid, if he becomes an ‘expert’ based in US, our media will wrap him up as the next poster boy for ‘successful’ indians abroad. On a side note, there is a rabid anti-hindu guy named Ravi Zacharias (an indian and hindu by birth, converted later to christianity) and he leaves no stones unturned to humiliate Indian culture in general and Hinduism in particular especially during the so called ‘university debates’ in the US. I was shocked to find him being invited and feted as an ‘esteemed spiritual speaker’ and a ‘wise intellectual’ who has spoken at prestigious universities abroad and blah blah at IISc, Bangalore campus last December!

    @Achiles

    I agree that many muslims in India are feeling themselves in a very tight spot and I know that from personal experience with my friends. But lets face it, for Jihadis involved in this war, they simply don’t count. A small collateral to be paid for the ultimate victory over the infidels. And as Rishi Khujur has pointed above, they may even be willing to sacrifice them considering such moderates as miserable failures by their own jihadi standards.

    @EMC

    I think your observation is true but there is a definite element of electoral pandering involved for staying in power. I distinctly remember Mulayam Singh defending SIMI as a benevolent, meek and mild social organization not long ago and the late Sitaram Kesri yelling from rooftop that Coimbatore blasts was a handiwork of RSS/VHP even before the final death toll was released. On top of it, add the utter communalization of foreign policy by the left front and such assorted amoebas called third front constituents. I think politicians (at least a lot of them) are very much concerned about all this but only to cynically make sure that the side effects (read bomb blasts) of their policies are not negating the gains made from such pandering.

  69. @ Dumbgraduate

    🙂 dont beat urself down. U are one of the smarter one here.

    You wrote to Bengalvoice: “All these may look insignificant but considering the fact that most of us pursue our jobs to keep our families (and the society) running and in addition may be inept in organization, public speaking etc. direct activism may not be possible for everyone of us (if that is what you were alluding to at the first place)”.

    My take:

    You may be underestimating your capabilities and will power. Yes, you may not be religiously endowed and strategically empowered like the jihadis, to blow 50 people up and lead 50 million more to paralysis, but trust me, you can do your bit inspite of being a grahasta.

    let me know if you have questions, rishi_khujur@rediffmail.com

  70. @ chatterji
    thanks! at least someone understand the need for action among this adda-marofying community.

    @ rajiv
    Rajiv, every coin has two sides, every action has an action which is wrong and not justifiable. But sometimes on needs to take a stance, and not just talk about taking a stance. It is high time someone in our country who has the power granted to him/ her, do so. Ethics are all very well for textbooks, but in that case Kargil was not justified either.

    Like I said, Bush’s decision may have been to satisfy his own personal reasons, but the reason people in USA supported him was because they were outraged that terrorists could dare to attack their countrymen.
    They did not just talk about how awful that was, they gave up their lives for it.

  71. @ wtf ittebari

    “im too brainwashed into believing in liberal democracy of which secularism is a very important pillar.”

    You are not brainwashed. You are just too naive and on top of that too stubborn to learn from people who know better.

    DO YOU THINK ISLAM IS COMPATABLE WITH LIBERAL DEMOCRACY. I dont know how much time you have spent time thinking about it, but this is the point of contention to many economists/ social scientists.

    Just look at the present data. “Of the forty-six sovereign states that make up the international Islamic Conference, only one, the Turkish Republic, can be described as a democracy, and even they have faced numerous obstacles in their path to democracy. Of the remainder, some have never tried democracy; others have tried it and failed; a few, more recently, have experimented with the idea of sharing, though not of relinquishing, power.”

    Dude, pick up the Indian constitution, or any other constitution of yout favorite liberal democracy and pick up the Koran. And judge for yourself if they are compatable.

    Then we can talk more.

  72. I feel that possiblity of a Federal agency exclusively for fighting terror in India seems bleak. I work in Bangalore and the low intensity bomb blasts happened in the vicinity of my office. But we went about our work as if nothing had happened…Indians we are. That evening, my colleague was travelling to mysore via bus. (He related to me events that happened during his travel) En route, around five people boarded the same bus. They were looking susupicious – faces like Afghans, they had huge bags, plus they had turbans too. He enquired with the conductor. They had purchased tickets to Mysore. My friend, being very cautious as he is, informed the control room of Mysore that he was suspicious of some passengers in his bus, gave them the bus number, route, departure and expected arrival time. And at every checkpost, he expected appropriate action from the police. But it was never to come. The suspicious passengers got off along with their luggage at Mandya which is halfway to Mysore. The bus reached Mysore without any intervention by police.

    I dont know if the police receive too many such calls to take action on each of them, nor do i say that police should take action on every such call. But considering that situation, i felt the police must have had a heightened vigil.

    More shocking news came on sunday that there had been dry test runs of the bombs in Channapatna which is also enroute Mysore.

    My friend vows never to go the police again.

  73. @ GB – Exactly my and most of my friends feeling! can i have permission to post url of ur site on our internal website ?

    @ Dips – I understand where u r comming from. its a pity! i dont recall seeing any solid statement from govt in the newspaper forget any Bush like action. On top of that, you have ‘senior politicians’ like Sushma Swaraj who are trying to gain political mileage by blaming UPA for all this ! FTW !
    @ Ha HA – Exactly!

  74. Banglore serial blasts are followed by Congress accusing the newly appointed BJP-led govt of incompetency and denial from latter. In the centre , its the reverse where BJP led opposition points fingers at Congress-led UPA. This has always been , and sad to say but will be for a long time to come,the bane of Indian society. Every massacre or crisis , instead of leading to stronger ramifications , peters out in a political mud-slinging match.
    At best, there are knee-jerk reactions that in themselves are hardly a solution or even a preventive measure. Soem of these actions themselves lead to a horde of other problems. Take for example the scheme called ‘Salwa Judum” where ordinary village folks are given fire-arms and made to fight a guerilla war against Maoists. begs the question how putting arms into civilian hands and prodding them to kill is going to restore peace in places already mired in violence!!!!!!

  75. If we leave everything to the eunuch police force of the country then we better start packing our bags for the longer journey.. guys, tell me what do we do to fight terror in our vicinity?? take a look at this report for eg:
    hxxp://www.telegraphindia.com/1080729/jsp/calcutta/story_9614565.jsp

    the reporter himself could have gone on and informed constables posted there about the tiffin box., but no he waited ( and silently prayed) for it to blast from a good distance i’m sure.

    do we keep our household maids, drivers, peons etc keeping the local police station in loop??
    do we inform police if we find out that a fight is being fought between some men in ur locality?
    do we protest and raise alarm if we see a girl being teased in public??

    the answer is no. so lets shut up and do our own bit for a change.
    terrorism is the biggest threat for atleast people like me who has a brother or a cousin in every other indian metros.. i’ve started following news channel like never before..

  76. Did u know…

    Did u know that all the recent bombings were staged by left and BJP because the UPA survived the vote of confidence.

    Did u know that the inflation caused in the country is because money minting machines of RBI are rusted and not working.

    Did u know that the oil price increased in the country because Tatas buying out millions of barrels of crude oil in their quest to become the next oil tycoon.

    ok, I was joking. On a serious note , the country is never run by the politicians or the cabinet. It is run by the bureaucrats and…. well in case of India, unfortunately , its only bureaucrats. Bureaucrats push the ideas and are specialists in their fields , like brajesh mishra was with the BJP. These people do all the hard work and push for the strategies in nations best interest. The country, to a large extent , depends on the excellence and the right proportion of the club of bureaucrats. But along with these bureaucrats , the country needs a breed of special minds connected to or from the RAW/IB/military who are as powerful as (in case of US, read more powerful than) the bureaucrats. These security advisors to the government hold the key to the national security both internal and external. In case of India , we really did not ever emphasize on organizing and formalizing these special minds or demarcated their role. Like I will propose for India, a bureau only for internal security represented by a suitable advisor to the government whose job will be , on one hand , things like ensuring identification mapping for every citizen , while on other hand , focusing only on intelligence/investigations which are directly related to security threats within the nation’s premises , e.g. terrorism , naxalism.

    Afterall do u really believe that we Indian’s with the democratic set-up that we have , would have survived till 2008 as a sovereign country running *ONLY* on the ideas and thoughts of our politicians . Hah! count the odds.

  77. sorry forgot to put my name in the previous comment I made , btw , those “Did u knows …” can well be the next aaj tak or zee news breaking news for the day!!

  78. From what i read here …my belief is that what would be more effective is to provide more teeth to local law enforcement. To do this you need to separate it and treat it the way you treat your armed forces with central and state aid.

    The reason i say this also lies in the nature of terrorism. No longer does it work on a centralized basis. while ideologies remain centralized or unified, operations are decentralized and autonomous. They operate in local contexts.

    given the nature of the enemy, does it make sense then to centralize it or does it make sense to decentralize it and probably do that by taking away the political yoke on the police and other agencies?

    My bets lie with a decentralized structure…

  79. @ rishi khujur:

    if you were on that boat in batman i am sure you would have blown the other people up to stay alive (kahani mein khujur twist).

    try living with yourself after that. there are things in life worse than death.

    @ nibaron sen:

    let’s just check a few facts:

    1. large parts of central india are completely out of the control of the Indian state and in the hands of Maoists. Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh…do you have any idea about how many policemen that have been killed in the last three months ALONE?

    2. the indian state is unable to provide drinking water and sanitation to its citizens let alone primary education and health care.

    3. indian politics is severely corroded by opportunism and corruption.

    4. the indian state has been unable to come up with any response to terrorism as best marked by last weeks serial blasts.

    5. indians make movies like love story 2050 and baghbaan.

    6. There is a fevered clamour to abolish secularism and rising intolerance to any sort of criticism of their religion by hindu organizations. people who defend the pillars of the indian state are constantly ridiculed as weak, ignorant and spineless.

    and let me get this straight.. you’re saying MUSLIMS are unable to support democracy?

  80. @ w.t.f.ittabari

    Your following response to nibaron sen skirts the point he made. It is totally off the mark – seems like you didn’t even understand what he said. Please read his post again.

    nibaron sen:

    let’s just check a few facts:

    1. large parts of central india are completely out of the control of the Indian state and in the hands of Maoists. Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh…do you have any idea about how many policemen that have been killed in the last three months ALONE?

    2. the indian state is unable to provide drinking water and sanitation to its citizens let alone primary education and health care.

    3. indian politics is severely corroded by opportunism and corruption.

    4. the indian state has been unable to come up with any response to terrorism as best marked by last weeks serial blasts.

    5. indians make movies like love story 2050 and baghbaan.

    6. There is a fevered clamour to abolish secularism and rising intolerance to any sort of criticism of their religion by hindu organizations. people who defend the pillars of the indian state are constantly ridiculed as weak, ignorant and spineless.

    and let me get this straight.. you’re saying MUSLIMS are unable to support democracy?

  81. Till now 18 live mombs have been found in Surat!

    It is not impossible that the whole country becomes a minefield! VIPs will live on though..

  82. 1. large parts of central india are completely out of the control of the Indian state and in the hands of Maoists. Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh…do you have any idea about how many policemen that have been killed in the last three months ALONE?

    So? Maoism like Islam is not compatable with liberal democracy. So it is not surprising that they are killing policemen. Again, I dont know what you think Maoism or communism is but the fact is that its basic premises are antithesis of liberal democracy.

    2. the indian state is unable to provide drinking water and sanitation to its citizens let alone primary education and health care.

    So? I fail to understand your point here. Surely, the democracy in India has been far from perfect, more so because for most part of its 60 years life, it has been in a confused state of mixed economy rather than a free economy which is an integral part of liberal democracy. But how the hell does that justify maoism or Islam?

    3. indian politics is severely corroded by opportunism and corruption.

    True. So? For a champion of liberal democracy, which you claim to be, you must realise the pitfalls of an emerging democracy like India.

    4. the indian state has been unable to come up with any response to terrorism as best marked by last weeks serial blasts.

    There lies the problem. The Indian state has failed to realize that Islam is the ideological root of the terrorism problem and efforts have to be made to root out the ideological basis of this problem.

    5. indians make movies like love story 2050 and baghbaan.

    ???? I am not a great fan of Bollywood movies so I am not sure what you are talking about. BTW, being a liberal democrat, since when you started having problem with movies, a legitimate freedom of expression.

    6. There is a fevered clamour to abolish secularism and rising intolerance to any sort of criticism of their religion by hindu organizations. people who defend the pillars of the indian state are constantly ridiculed as weak, ignorant and spineless.

    My dear WTF, you are full of rhetoric but lack substance. What Hindu organizations are trying to do here when they are ridiculing you as weak, ignorant and spineless is exercising there legitimate freedom of speech in making you aware of the dangers of Islam and the prenicious effect it had on our civilization.

    and let me get this straight.. you’re saying MUSLIMS are unable to support democracy?

    My statement was, “Islam is incompatable with liberal democracy”. That naturally makes a true muslim, who follows Quran unable to support democracy.

    Dude, let me reiterate. Educate yourself with the basic ideas of liberal democracy of which things like civil liberties, freedom of belief etc. are integral part and then educate yourself with Quran.

    Then come back and we will talk.

  83. @kishor
    I cant believe that somebody got away with saying that an average indian means a characterless person.True,we may not be the most honest people around,but neither are we the most dishonest ones.
    I dont know who granted you the moral authority to say that 99 pc of Indians are cheats.Care to enlighten me on that?

    What has been mistaken for as bravado and unanimously condemned as apathy on this forum is actually the helplessness of the common man to get on with the buisness of earning his living.

  84. should we become a staci run police state?
    i lived in one, in the soviet union.
    very very big brother watching you all the time. everybody was a police informer, just to survive.

  85. There was a perfect opportunity of pushing our point forward and showing to Pakis what we are made of when 15 of those AHs violated the ceasefire and crossed LOC at Nowgam.
    But what happenend? We lost a Jawan, 11 of them went back safely and the officials are “raising protest” with their Paki counterparts.
    Are we so spineless that they enter our territory, kill one of us and still we dont feel the fire to blow up their bunkers?
    I agree with the Indian policy of no-first use, etc… but why we dont react when we are blatently targeted. Raise protests, but do that after killing 10 Pakis for every Indian Jawan.
    In these blasts, the enemy is faceless, we dont know whom to bring to justice, but I really doubt that as shown by above and the much talked about Afzal Guru’s story, our Government wouldnt had reciprocated even if they knew who’s behind these attacks.

  86. @TheDumbGraduate:yeah,I had the chance to go through Padmashree Dutt sahiba’s column in HT in which she lambasted Christian reservations in St.Stephen’s while conveniently having selective amnesia about her own stand over the whole reservation issue.And thanks for the link.
    Actually ,I had glimpses of the “progressive”,”moderate”,”intellectual” and “independent” facets of Ms.Dutt’s character during the anti-reservation movt at AIIMS when her “concern” for students fainting during hunger strikes/disregard for merit etc transformed into sneers and smirks while we were called “elitists” etc etc by the time she went on TV.
    And It’s a lamentable fact that dingbats like Dutt,Zacharias and Mr.Researcher/Expert go on to be the face of India.
    A vacuum is a mighty cranky thing…attracts a lot of filth!!

    p.s. that “mompurush” was a good one!

  87. Just look at how sick, cruel, twisted and absolutely heartless a self admitted bleeding heart liberal can be.

    Shivam insinuates that the blasts were not carried by the Islamic terrorists but by the BJP.

    Small question: What sort of ‘Indian Mujahideen’ would explode bombs in Muslim dominated areas and leave the Hindu middle class areas untouched?

    Oh, Sushma Swaraj and Narendra Modi must know.

    So for Shivam, just like the karsevaks in the train started the fire themselves to ensure a BJP win, the BJP is itself setting up these bombs. His logic is dumbfounding and deserves a dedicated blogpost by you to let more people be aware of his insidious nature and designs.

    Note that the article he quotes from selectively as being the basis of his conclusion explicitly concludes that Islamist terrorist are to blame.

    He attributes it to the fact that the Muslims of Gujarat are diffident. “I see more and more diffidence in them. Muslims in Gujarat have realised that there is no solution of the issue (communal politics).”

    However, he is not denying the involvement of Gujarati Muslims in the serial blasts. “The large terrorist group must have taken the support of local people. But I don’t see the widespread support of Gujarati Muslims to such violence at all,” he says.

    “The terrorists have served twin goals. By hitting BJP-dominated areas, they have sent the message to the chief minister that his claim of security is hollow. In spite of a red alert in the city, they have shown their capacity to strike at places they want. Second, by hitting hospitals in a cruel and dastardly manner they have caused the maximum damage.”

    But our “must feel smug and holier than thou” friend has his own agenda and will go to any length of falsehoods and insinuations to fulfill it. Utterly shameful!!! He must be condemned for writing thus.

  88. @GB: “Discuss politics and not the done-to-death religious angles please”

    Can’t thank you enough for that rider. Surprisingly, the discussion has been civil and based on the politics of religion for the most part. The usual suspects have not attempted to ram their googled expertise on translated Suras and Hadiths down our throats. Maybe it’s just a matter of time…

  89. @ nibaron sen:

    [note to self: do not joke with the khujur group. they are too intelligent and well read for such banalaties. they are also far too intelligent to understand piffle like innuendo]:

    1. democracies are notoriously hard to maintain. [my point earlier]

    Ask julius caesar. Look at africa. are you going to draw the same inferences about race as you do about religion? that black people are incapable of living in democracies just like muslims? maybe you can ask lewis hamilton, tiger woods and barak obama on their opinion on this. or they just random exceptions like ‘liberal’ muslims? what about democracy in south america? are having latina women around unconducive to democracy?

    2. religion and democracy are fundamentally incompatible.

    this is not true for islam alone. the best example is how child molestation cases were killed/evidence was destroyed by the Papacy. why? because the Pope considers himself above local governments and possesses the executive authority to do so within Catholicism.

    better example, what happens when a Constitution of a country has a constitutional directive in its DPSP’s to institute a UCC but successive governments choose to ignore it for religious sensitivities?

    3. religion is a mechanism that allows clergy to rule a state and to expand its circle of influence

    true in hinduism (brahmins) [note to khujur: we are talking about de facto not some normative aspect of hinduism. kshatriyas are not above brahmins, they’re below them. they’re the Presidents coming up with policy and vision. the CEO does all the work. Ask HHBB, he’s an expert].

    true in islam. true in christainity. it’s even true in buddhism [dalai lama/tibet]

    even now, look at the way the religious right influences politics in a so called secular democray like the USA. Ariana Huffington for further reading.

    4. hence, secularism

    secularsim is not weakness. its supposed to ensure fuck ups like we see in India on a daily basis dont happen. it’s a fundamental cornerstone of a functioning democracy. talking about a dog’s tail, this a point of mine that mr. khujur has repeatedly dodged not answering.

    the need of the hour is support liberal muslims, to promote a higher questioning of islam. not to kick people like taslima nasreen out of the country when they question whether islam is mysogynistic. [done by marxists of all people]. to reform muslim personal laws for their own benefit and basically to practice true secularism.

    and trust me that’s much easier than our friend khujur’s plan to reconvert 150 million muslims back to hinduism.

    but no gee… there is only ONE muslim democracy in the world apparently. (of course egyptians are not fighting tooth and nail for democracy. of course syrians and mauritians are not secular. of course afghanisthan never used to be one of the most liberal muslim countries until russia invaded it. and most importantly, of course, indian muslims have contributed 0 to indian democracy. it is hindus alone who have done everything in this country)

    i think maybe if you expanded your statement to say that christianity, islam, judaism, hinduism and all the religions in the world are incompatible with democracy, i would agree with you.

  90. @ muslims and democracy:

    more ignorace from the fool (me):

    1. status on elections in muslim countries

    http://www.cfr.org/publication/9481/muslim_democracy.html

    2. national geographic on islam and democracy

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/10/1021_031021_islamicdemocracy_2.html

    3. turkey is not the only muslim democracy in the world.

    hint: it’s the third largest democracy in the word. and if you think their democracy is a failure, then go back to my point of indian’s making baghbaan. (it’s a JOKE! i loved baghbaan).

  91. Years ago, my cousin’s father-in-law, who was an IAS officer posted in Assam, was blown to pieces because of a bomb that was placed in his office. She was just 12 years old at that time and her brother was 10. Their mother was 35 years old.
    Who were those bombers fighting against? Whom did they kill? What did they achieve?
    One family lost its dear father/husband/son and the country lost an IAS officer.
    It does not matter to the country – there are several hundred more IAS officers, but to that one family, the loss mattered.

    I think we need to get to the root of this type of problem – where and why does so much hatred emanate that human beings plan and blow up other human beings?
    We are not sure at this point just who was behind the bombings, but what comes to my mind is that a person like Modi must not be allowed to function as a “leader” – he has done so much harm in so many ways that he should be sent on exile.

    Any time of harmony, achieved over long years, is precious – so easy to mess it all up and so very difficult to sustain it and progress.

    Our politicians are thoroughly useless as their only goal seems to be to amass as much wealth as possible in the time they get the to be in the limelight.
    So who is to take up the fight against terrorism? Me? Just what am I supposed to do? Any ideas?

    I grew up in Madras in the 80s and am thankful that there were no major problems at that time – it was relatively peaceful and I enjoyed my schooling and college education. Don’t we owe it to our children too?
    What can we, the commoners, do? How can we go about making our country a safer place?

  92. @ WTF Ittebari:
    Did u actually read the articles u posted?
    Or are you going to actually do your “oh boy! just lost the argument..so lets call it a joke routine”.
    Saudi Arabia having elections, and u calling it a democracy 🙂

    Ittebari.. are you sure you were not visited by the Tablighi Jamaat recently?

  93. TO Mr. WTF IT – TAA – LEGA – BARI- BARI,

    The next time you post links to articles, please read them first.

    This public service message was brought to you by Sanjay.

    Thanks.

  94. @ rishi and company:

    i was under the misapprehension that the debate was based on the ‘fact’ that turkey was the only muslim country to be a democracy.

    at that time i was not aware that the mere mention of saudi arabia holding its first elections in 2005, one in which women were not allowed to take part, completely discredits the achievement of muslims struggling to set up democracies in egypt, aghanisthan, iraq, indonesia, lebanon etc.

    i will make the mistake of saying this again: democracy is a hard thing to make work. the miserable track record of india is the best example of this. i dont think indians should look down on any country which is not a democracy because india is BARELY one itself. (Particularly upper and middle class indians who don’t contribute money to political parties, do not stand for elections and do not vote. AND especially, those indians who consider india to be a ‘hindu country’ have ABSOLUTELY NO RIGHT to sneer at muslim countries which are not secular. that’s sheer hypocrisy.)

    my bad. you guys win. i crack jokes. im a loser. sorry.

    thank you sanjay and cary grant. i too believe that the best way to contribute to debates is by witty abuse.

    and rishi, dodged the point about secularism being intrinsic to democracy again?

  95. @Rishi Khujur

    Thanks I appreciate your response and though I may not agree with everything you say, I envy your skills in debating and your enthusiasm for your cause.

    @Kunal

    Wholeheartedly agree.

    @W.T.F. Ittabari

    “If you were on that boat in batman i am sure you would have blown the other people up to stay alive (kahani mein khujur twist). try living with yourself after that. there are things in life worse than death.”

    I do not know what Rishi Khujur would have done but if I came to know that the other boat contains such people as Osama Bin Laden, Sayed Sallauddin, Taliban top brass, ISI top brass, raj thakrey, togadia, prabhakaran, Mohd. Shahabuddin, Pappu Yadav, Surajbhan Singh and the interchangeable Ansaris I would have blown it off without much ado. And I agree there are things in life worse than death – like living with dead parents, wife, brothers and sisters who were blown up on their way to work by – well you know whom we are taking about here.

    @WTF

    1. democracies are notoriously hard to maintain. [my point earlier] Ask julius caesar. Look at africa. are you going to draw the same inferences about race as you do about religion? that black people are incapable of living in democracies just like muslims?

    True that democracies are harder to maintain and the link between democracy and liberalism and general welfare is at best tenuous. As far as lack of democracy in africa (sub-saharan) is concerned, there are some very deep seated reasons (please see relevant chapters of this book written by Jefferey Sachs). But what is amazing and disturbing is even after lack of all those factors mentioned and studied in this book and by many others (which includes rampant poverty, communicable disease and geographical problems) many Islamic countries are failing to strive for democracy. In fact, some of them are almost 100 times richer than India and have no ethnic problems on their own to get mired in and inspite of this donot even give their women the right to have a driving license (i hope you know which country i am talking about).

    2. religion and democracy are fundamentally incompatible.

    this is not true for islam alone.

    Although I agree that it may not be true for islam alone, other peoples have moved on. Modern day legal system derives its basic power from enlightenment day philosophers’ claim of ‘self-evident’ truths like freedom of speech and expression etc. While you may object (rightly so) whether there is anything like a ‘self-evident’ truth, fact is that’s how laws became independent from divinity. Laws no longer needed any divine justification or appeal to miracles anymore. They could be modified and argued for on purely secular and worldly basis.

    In Islam on the other hand, all laws need to be routed through the divine. If a law does not conform to their God or divinity, it is simply impotent. Once this hole is dug, its hard to get out unless one admits an external source of justice and morality. And this is where a lot of Islamic countries (Turkey is a notable exception but then we know why) spur with ‘modern’ outlook of governance. And failure to do so prevents them from having undiluted constitutional institutions guaranteeing a system of checks and balance to make a real liberal democracy possible.

    secularsim is not weakness.

    No it is not. But my beef is with the ‘Indian’ version of it.

    the need of the hour is support liberal muslims, to promote a higher questioning of islam. not to kick people like taslima nasreen out of the country when they question whether islam is mysogynistic

    Throwing Tasleema out was probably one of the greatest assault on the spirit of India’s constitution. I am fine with supporting liberal Muslims but I doubt it will take it too far unless secular laws are brought and modern education steamed into the community. That education must include comparative religious education so that respect for other religions is at least taught to them. As far as total reversion is concerned, I doubt if 150 million people can be converted (If done, it will be a record of sorts in modern times). Questioning your own religion is almost akin to questioning your sexuality and its not a very pleasant thing to do for most. Religion runs in families (like caste you have the same religion as your parents to start with) and it needs a definite amount of knowledge and inquisitiveness to figure out the many problems in it.

    About the links you asked us to go through

    Are you sure, you want me to read this (taken from the first link):

    According to the 2005 Freedom House study, there were “modest but notable increases in political rights and civil liberties” in the Middle East this past year, and over the past ten years. In 1995, one majority Muslim country was “free,” thirteen were “partly free,” and thirty-two were “not free.” In this year’s report, three countries are labeled “free,” twenty are “partly free,” and twenty-three are “not free.” 🙂

  96. @Rishi Khujur
    and secularism is intrinsic to Hinduism.

    True, it is certainly not incompatible with the Indian version. I have not done much studies on ‘Rajadharma’ but the equivalent of divine rights of king was never there in Hinduism (Or buddhism) as such.

  97. :NOTICE: –

    A HUGE SILENT MARCH

    will be organised by

    HINDU SAMHATI

    In Protest of

    CONTINUING JEHADI TERROR ATTACKS

    Gathering at : Collage Square, Kolkata

    On 1st August,2008,Friday, at 1.00 pm

    March will end at METRO CHANNEL, Esplanade.

    Memorandum will be submitted to The Governor of West Bengal.

    All are invited to join the SILENT MARCH and make it a success.

    For more details, visit: http://hindusamhati.blogspot.com

    .

  98. Turkey I thought was supposed to be a secular country, no ? You may call it a Muslim majority country in terms of religious beliefs of its citizens, but they are essentially a secular democracy.

  99. @W. T. F Ittabari

    “i was under the misapprehension that the debate was based on the ‘fact’ that turkey was the only muslim country to be a democracy.”

    If few google searches brought you to the conclusion that this is not the case, let me rewrite your RAM with the correct information. Turkey is the only muslim majority country which is also a liberal democracy. If you include Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Iran or Saudi Arabia in that list you need to do some more ‘google’ research.

    “i think maybe if you expanded your statement to say that christianity, islam, judaism, hinduism and all the religions in the world are incompatible with democracy, i would agree with you.”

    Good. So you agree Islam is not compatable with liberal democracy (BTW what brought you to this conclusion. Did you do the homework I gave you).

    But to satiate your fluffy ego you add hinduism to the list.
    Dude, an innate caste system does not define hinduism. If it does, you have a twisted/misinformed understanding of Hindu philosophy. And this time just a google research wont redeem you. Go and read Swami Vivekananda and Sri Aurobindo.

    Let me give you a brief synopsis of what you will learn from them. Hindusim is institutionalization of things like freedom of belief and freedom of thought. Dont just clamour that ‘I am a liberal democrat’. Understand what it is and contrast it vis a vis hindu philosphy/spirituality.

    “, those indians who consider india to be a ‘hindu country’ have ABSOLUTELY NO RIGHT to sneer at muslim countries which are not secular.”

    Once you have understood hinduism, you will have no problem in rephrasing your statement to

    “, those indians who consider india to be a ‘hindu country’ have EVERY RIGHT to sneer at muslim countries which are not secular.”

  100. @BengalVoice – don’t you think it is extremely important to reach out to moderate muslims in India as well ? What do you think ?

    Moderate muslims should take a lead in combatting terrorists. I think this jihad stuff gives them a bad name and affects them negatively. It is in their interests to fight against it tooth and nail.

  101. @ the dumb graduate:

    “In 1995, one majority Muslim country was “free,” thirteen were “partly free,” and thirty-two were “not free.” In this year’s report, three countries are labeled “free,” twenty are “partly free,” and twenty-three are “not free.”

    im looking at the glass half-full. others look at it half empty.

    if anything this disproves your statement that ‘many Islamic countries are failing to strive for democracy’ (partially, you’re still correct) or the 300000 billion years of regressive mentality in islam theory that HHBB and Khujur love to talk about.

    if this were true you’d see the numbers towards freedom DROPPING, not INCREASING.

    two primary reasons stopping democracy in the arab world:

    1. lack of a reformation in islam. i admit it. but the co-relation is not that simple as ‘muslims cant establish democracies’.

    2. America supporting the Wahabbists (Saudi Arabia), Pakistan and Israel, as well as destroying legitimate democracy in Iran supporting the Shah, leading to the Ayotollah taking over. This has had ramifications on Syria and Lebanon. This is not even going into Israel and Palestine.

    but thanks for your views. i will definitely read the book by jeffery sachs you suggested.

    @ hinduism is inherently secular:

    so then we dont need a hindu state do we, mr. khujur? 🙂

    anyway, the BJP has politicized hinduism (debasing and defiling it in my opinion) and people like Bal Thackeray by calling for hindu terrorist groups are no different from Jinnah or any rabid muslim imam. the spiritual aspects of it cease to have any relevance the moment it becomes a POLITICAL IDENTITY. for godssake, hindu groups issue fatwas! where in hinduism is that sanctioned?

    there is no such thing as a secular religion. it’s like being half-pregnant. come on khujur, come to the dark side of secularism and muslim defending.

  102. W.T.F.Ittabari wrote: i think maybe if you expanded your statement to say that christianity, islam, judaism, hinduism and all the religions in the world are incompatible with democracy, i would agree with you.

    O Wise W.T.F.Ittabari,

    If you think ISLAM is SIMILAR to christianity, islam, judaism, hinduism and all the religions in the world, then good luck to you and please ignore me.

    But if you think there might be a very good possibility that ISLAM might be responsible for how muslims think and ACT, then you might want to know more about ISLAM. And we all know that these terrorists are very religious, don’t we?

    If you think that the terrorists are your enemies, then you might want to follow Sun Tzu’s advice and know your enemies.

    A good start will be to hear from an ex-Muslim who knows ISLAM inside out.

    Google “Ali Sina” and find out yourself.

    .

  103. @Not MeAgain:
    Isnt that so convenient…lotus eater.

    Rishi_Khujur,
    In your excessive hurry to abuse, you forgot to remove the link to your website. But hey, you’ve got a whole busload of nickerwallah-jihadis on this blog with you these days. So I guess you win…:-)
    We’ll wait for the next bomb to go off, so that you can start your sermons again. You should visit Surat. There’s a riot-in-waiting that needs your attention.

  104. Dibyo,

    Let’s not delude ourselves about any so-called “Moderates”, even though it provides us with a false sense of comfort and security.

    The Extremists and Moderates complement each other’s duties efficiently. Their “good cop-bad cop” strategy is very simple:

    – On the one hand, the Extremists will continue to fulfill their scriptural obligations to massacre non-believers explicitly and openly in the name of their God, until all the non-believers are wiped out. (Ex: East Bengal, Kashmir and now in the rest of India)

    – On the other hand, the so-called “Moderates” provide a “Trojan Horse” for their extremist brethren, by immediately pre-empting any discussion of the real roots of terrorism in their belief system.
    These so-called “Moderates” keep trying to lull the non-believers into complacency and denial – by loudly repeating the following lie a thousand times (to make it seem like the truth):

    “Our belief system is THE Religion of Peace.
    Our belief system is THE Religion of Peace.
    Our belief system is THE Religion of Peace.”

    Whose words/actions should we believe – The former who openly state why and who they are doing it for? Or the latter, who likes to cover for them?

    It’s a Win-Win situation for “Arabian Imperialism”, either way. 😀

  105. @ Pranay Jha

    so are you saying its not 99 % and more like 98 % ?

    look at the shit way things are run and then comment about us…we are mostly cheats, lazy, soulless hypocratic excuse of humans ..there are exceptons like Khujur and HHBB and Nibaron..but even the country was split to satisfy one man’s political ambition and appeasement and I dont see ppl like sardar Patel around in the Indian psyche anymore..corporate or political or administrative. So we are getting ****ed and if we didnt see it coming, we should feel sorry for ourselves…go, get a drink !

  106. @ nibaron sen:

    thank you for the link. i read it.

    i think you have it firmly established in your head that im ignorant and stupid for you to derive any meaning from debating with me.

    i have read many comments on this website. i see hinduism has become sectarian and exclusive. where is the universality that you speak about when the debates are constantly about us and them? have you understood hinduism the way sri aurobindo did? are bal thackeray, the VHP, the RSS and advani practitioners of this hinduism?

    i will sum up here by saying that when you mix religion and politics, there is no religion left, only politics. hinduism has become an ideology like communism or capitalism.

    it is sad that sri aurobindo gets used to justify bal thackeray. its not sad, it’s sick.

    “Our belief system is THE Religion of Peace.
    Our belief system is THE Religion of Peace.
    Our belief system is THE Religion of Peace.”

    who says this: muslims? or is hindus as well?

  107. WTF wrote:
    i see hinduism has become sectarian and exclusive. where is the universality that you speak about when the debates are constantly about us and them?

    Rishi’s response:
    Yes, the “us” and “them” are NOT defined by the Hindus or Hindism. But the “us” and “them” definitions have to be kept in mind when interacing with those that believe in them.

    This, exactly shows, why your comprehension and understanding of Sri Aurobindo seems so distorted.

    This is the 10,000th time probably that has been explained to u Ittebari.

  108. @ India

    Quoting the last 2 paras of Maharishi Aurobindo’s speech at Uttarpara, Bengal

    “……This then is what I have to say to you. The name of your society is “Society for the Protection of Religion”. Well, the protection of the religion, the protection and upraising before the world of the Hindu religion, that is the work before us. But what is the Hindu religion ? What is this religion which we call Sanatan, eternal ? It is the Hindu religion only because the Hindu nation has kept it, because in this Peninsula it grew up in the seclusion of the sea and the Himalayas, because in this sacred and ancient land it was given as a charge to the Aryan race to preserve through the ages. But it is not circumscribed by the confines of a single country, it does not belong peculiarly and for ever to a bounded part of the world. That which we call the Hindu religion is really the eternal religion, because it is the universal religion which embraces all others. If a religion is not universal, it cannot be eternal. A narrow religion, a sectarian religion, an exclusive religion can live only for a limited time and a limited purpose. This is the one religion that can triumph over materialism by including and anticipating the discoveries of science and the speculations of philosophy. It is the one religion which impresses on mankind the closeness of God to us and embraces in its compass all the possible means by which man can approach God. It is the one religion which insists every moment on the truth which all religions acknowledge that He is in all men and all things and that in Him we move and have our being. It is the one religion which enables us not only to understand and believe this truth but to realise it with every part of our being. It is the one religion which shows the world what the world is, that it is the Lila of Vasudeva. It is the one religion which shows us how we can best play our part in that Lila, its subtlest laws and its noblest rules. It is the one religion which does not separate life in any smallest detail from religion, which knows what immortality is and has utterly removed from us the reality of death.

    This is the word that has been put into my mouth to speak to you today. What I intended to speak has been put away from me, and beyond what is given to me I have nothing to say. It is only the word that is put into me that I can speak to you. That word is now finished. I spoke once before with this force in me and I said then that this movement is not a political movement and that nationalism is not politics but a religion, a creed, a faith. I say it again today, but I put it in another way. I say no longer that nationalism is a creed, a religion, a faith; I say that it is the Sanatan Dharma which for us is nationalism. This Hindu nation was born with the Sanatan Dharma, with it it moves and with it it grows. When the Sanatan Dharma declines, then the nation declines, and if the Sanatan Dharma were capable of perishing, with the Sanatan Dharma it would perish.

    The Sanatan Dharma, that is nationalism”.

    This is the message Maharaishi Aurobindo gave more than half a century ago.

  109. “…..AND especially, those indians who consider india to be a ‘hindu country’ have ABSOLUTELY NO RIGHT to sneer at muslim countries which are not secular. that’s sheer hypocrisy…”

    Hahaahahaahaahaahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa…….

    Here is one more nugget of information for you {via googlesearch} – China is not a chinese country……..it is full of mexicans. Australia is not an australian country…….it is full of chinese…..

    Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa……….

    India is secular because it is HINDU – HAMMER THIS IN YOUR BRAINS WISEMAN.

  110. For those living in Kolkata, if you are interested in spending the evening in a silent march (I personally think its a waste of time.
    Those interested though can write to me @rishi_khujur@rediffmail.com
    ———————————

    http://hindusamhati.blogspot.com/

    HINDU SAMHATI is organizing a silent march

    In Protest of

    CONTINUING JEHADI TERROR ATTACKS

    Gathering at : Collage Square, Kolkata

    On 1st August,2008,Friday, at 1.00 pm

    March will end at METRO CHANNEL, Esplanade.

    Memorandum will be submitted to The Governor of West Bengal.

  111. Pingback: Why I chose to ignore the blasts ? « The Chronicles of being BONGO !

  112. @ st. rishi (who will be remembered fondly for bringing 150 million
    people ‘back’ into the fold of hinduism):

    and let me explain to you for a thousand time:

    people like you who reduce hinduism to a political identity, twisting it to fit your world view, who do the religion a big disservice.

    the issue is not what shri auribindo or hinduism stands for spiritually.
    it’s how the religious right interpret the religion for their own narrow ends of prejudice. to pepetuate its own hegemony and power.

    and like ive said a million times, i see no difference in your world view and that of an islamic fundamentalist. for godsake your admitted goal is the conversion ..sorry…’reconversion’ of the muslims of india, just the way muslim and christain fundamentalists want to convert everyone else. HOW ARE YOU ANY DIFFERENT?

    in fact, its startling how your assumptions are the same, it’s just that you’re sitting on different sides of the conflict. and all of you are responsible for dragging the world into this ZERO SUM game.

  113. @ sanjay:

    i was not aware that ‘chinese’ and ‘mexican’ were religious identities. keep congratulating yourself my friend on hinduism’s secularism. and dont forget to join rishi khujur’s ‘secular’ reconversion party.

  114. “and like ive said a million times, i see no difference in your world view and that of an islamic fundamentalist. for godsake your admitted goal is the conversion ..sorry…’reconversion’ of the muslims of india, just the way muslim and christain fundamentalists want to convert everyone else. HOW ARE YOU ANY DIFFERENT?”
    >
    There’s a BIG difference, I think. As long as he doesn’t use force to convert, or kills those who don’t convert or drives out people who don’t convert, he’ll be different, I think.
    .
    On a more personal level, why do I support the ‘reconversion’ (as Rishi calls it)? Well, I’m what might be commonly called an ‘atheist’, I have no chance of surviving, forget being allowed to follow my ‘non-beliefs’ in an Islamic system, I’ll be subjected to a medieval 7th century code of law — the examples of Pakistan/Bangladesh and now, increasingly, Indonesia/Malaysia — in a ‘Hindu’ India (even in the most extreme of cases), I’ll be considered a freak but will not be systematically persecuted.
    And I’m sure, even if I had been a Muslim/Christian/non-Hindu, the story wouldn’t have been much different (me being allowed to practise my religion, in a ‘Hindu’ society, that is).
    .

  115. A lack of paranoia and a state of non-fear is probably the single largest factor keeping a nation of 1 billion united and content and unafraid-of-thy-neighbour. I reckon all opinions should be formed after considering this …

  116. @W.T.F. Ittabari

    After reading your comments and your convoluted logic, I’ve come to the conclusion that you are f’d up big time. WTF happened?

    Just an observation…

  117. Rishi,

    Note: In the essay below, I have used politically correct terms by replacing all references to “Islam” (with: “Arabian Imperialism”) and “Muslim” (with: “Believer”) respectively.

    ————————

    Adapted from Dr. Peter Hammond’s book: Slavery, Terrorism and Islam: The Historical Roots and Contemporary Threat

    “Arabian Imperialism” is not a religion, nor is it a cult. In its fullest form, it is a complete, total, 100% system of control over everyone’s lives.

    “Arabian Imperialism” has religious, legal, political, economic, social, and military components. The religious component is a beard (cover) for all of the other components.

    “Arabian Imperialisation” begins when there are sufficient Believers in a country to agitate for their religious privileges.

    When politically correct, tolerant, and culturally diverse societies agree to Believer demands for their religious privileges, some of the other components tend to creep in as well. Here’s how it works.

    As long as the Believer population remains around or under 2% in any given country, they will be for the most part be regarded as a peace-loving minority, and not as a threat to other citizens. This is the case in:

    United States — Believers 0.6%
    Australia — Believers 1.5%
    Canada — Believers 1.9%
    China — Believers 1.8%
    Italy — Believers 1.5%
    Norway — Believers 1.8%

    At 2% to 5%, they begin to proselytize from other ethnic minorities and disaffected groups, often with major recruiting from the jails and among street gangs. This is happening in:

    Denmark — Believers 2%
    Germany — Believers 3.7%
    United Kingdom — Believers 2.7%
    Spain — Believers 4%
    Thailand — Believers 4.6%

    From 5% on, they exercise an inordinate influence in proportion to their percentage of the population. For example, they will push for the introduction of halal (clean by “Arabian Imperialistic” standards) food, thereby securing food preparation jobs for Believers. They will increase pressure on supermarket chains to feature halal on their shelves — along with threats for failure to comply. This is occurring in:

    France — Believers 8%
    Philippines — Believers 5%
    Sweden — Believers 5%
    Switzerland — Believers 4.3%
    The Netherlands — Believers 5.5%
    Trinidad & Tobago — Believers 5.8%

    At this point, they will work to get the ruling government to allow them to rule themselves (within their ghettos) under Sharia, the “Arabian Imperialistic” Law. The ultimate goal of “Arabian Imperialists” is to establish Sharia law over the entire world.

    When Believers approach 10% of the population, they tend to increase lawlessness as a means of complaint about their conditions. In Paris , we are already seeing car-burnings. Any non-Believer action offends “Arabian Imperialism”, and results in uprisings and threats, such as in Amsterdam , with opposition to Mohammed cartoons and films about “Arabian Imperialism”. Such tensions are seen daily, particularly in Believer sections, in:

    Guyana — Believers 10%
    India — Believers 13.4%
    Israel — Believers 16%
    Kenya — Believers 10%
    Russia — Believers 15%

    After reaching 20%, nations can expect hair-trigger rioting, jihad militia formations, sporadic killings, and the burnings of Christian churches and Jewish synagogues, such as in:

    Ethiopia — Believers 32.8%

    At 40%, nations experience widespread massacres, chronic terror attacks, and ongoing militia warfare, such as in:

    Bosnia — Believers 40%
    Chad — Believers 53.1%
    Lebanon — Believers 59.7%

    From 60%, nations experience unfettered persecution of non-believers of all other religions (including non-conforming Believers), sporadic ethnic cleansing (genocide), use of Sharia Law as a weapon, and Jizya, the tax placed on infidels, such as in:

    Albania — Believers 70%
    Malaysia — Believers 60.4%
    Qatar — Believers 77.5%
    Sudan — Believers 70%

    After 80%, expect daily intimidation and violent jihad, some State-run ethnic cleansing, and even some genocide, as these nations drive out the infidels, and move toward 100% Believer, such as has been experienced and in some ways is on-going in:

    Bangladesh — Believers 83%
    Egypt — Believers 90%
    Gaza — Believers 98.7%
    Indonesia — Believers 86.1%
    Iran — Believers 98%
    Iraq — Believers 97%
    Jordan — Believers 92%
    Morocco — Believers 98.7%
    Pakistan — Believers 97%
    Palestine — Believers 99%
    Syria — Believers 90%
    Tajikistan — Believers 90%
    Turkey — Believers 99.8%
    United Arab Emirates — Believers 96%

    100% will usher in the peace of ‘Dar-es-Salaam’ — the “Arabian Imperialism”ic House of Peace. Here there’s supposed to be peace, because everybody is a Believer, the Madrasses are the only schools, and the Koran is the only word, such as in:

    Afghanistan — Believers 100%
    Saudi Arabia — Believers 100%
    Somalia — Believers 100%
    Yemen — Believers 100%

    Unfortunately, peace is never achieved, as in these 100% states the most radical Believers intimidate and spew hatred, and satisfy their blood lust by killing less radical Believers, for a variety of reasons.

    ‘Before I was nine I had learned the basic canon of Arab life. It was me against my brother; me and my brother against our father; my family against my cousins and the clan; the clan against the tribe; the tribe against the world, and all of us against the infidel.
    — Leon Uris, ‘The Haj’

    It is important to understand that in some countries, with well under 100% Believer populations, such as France, the minority Believer populations live in ghettos, within which they are 100% Believers, and within which they live by Sharia Law. The national police do not even enter these ghettos. There are no national courts nor schools nor non-Believer religious facilities. In such situations, Believers do not integrate into the community at large. The children attend Madrassas. They learn only the Koran. To even associate with an infidel is a crime punishable with death. Therefore, in some areas of certain nations, Believer Imams and extremists exercise more power than the national average would indicate.

    Today’s 1.5 billion Believers make up 22% of the world’s population. But their birth rates dwarf the birth rates of Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, and Jews, and all other believers. Believers will exceed 50% of the world’s population by the end of this century.

  118. @ hujur:

    interesting comment.

    the point which you make about islam is equally true for any religion. (because religions are the previous incarnation of human society before nation states). that is once 100% is achieved, it will be brother versus brother.

    the concept of a uniform religion with a nation state as a method to protect peace has failed throughout humanity and in particular in the 21st century.

    looking at the way the hindu religious right is seeking to set the agenda for the country, moral, military, criminal laws etc, i do not share the assessment that hinduism is a non-political religion. in its roots it is. but i’m going hoarse saying its irrelevant once advani and thackeray enter the scence.

    i am not optimistic about mr. khujur’s final solution for india making the country a better place.

    to the others:

    thank you for your scorn. you have my unreserved pity in return.

  119. It’s interesting the way WTF chooses to reply only to last part of Hujur’s long post — 100%, brother vs. brother…… Is it an admission/acceptance of the fact that “Arabic Imperialism” differs from whtaver religion the “non-believers” follow, (at least) in all stages prior to this 100%?
    .

  120. @ hujur:

    one would assume that half-truths are mendacious as well.

    @ anonymous:

    no.. im only addressing the assumption that eliminating islam will lead to/go a long way in the peaceful co-existence of human beings. even if one succeeded, the basic cause of conflict, that is the non-acceptance of diversity will remain. today’s its islam, tomorrow it will be scientology.

    as rishi alway says, stop addressing the symptoms and treat the malady.

  121. @WTF:
    .
    But isn’t it Islam itself that refuses to accept diversity? I don’t think the problem is acceptance of diversity (in form of Islam) by other religions, it’s more the acceptance of diversity (in form of other religions) by Islam. Everything must conform to whatever a 7th century book says or ‘our feelings are hurt’,’we’re insulted’,’Jewish/Christian/Hindu conspiracy against us’ and so on.

  122. @MW : “Noone” is not a word.

    Noone (in GB’s text) synonymises with the MANGO-MAN.

    Gosh. “Synonimises” is not a word either. Well now it is. 🙂

  123. Why the Surat bombs didn’t explode

    Well, if they had, then more Kafirs would have been killed.

    http://www.rediff.com/news/2008/aug/22ahd4.htm

    The bombs planted in Surat did not go off as their integrated circuit chips had faulty programme, sources in the forensic laboratory, where the unexploded bombs were examined, said on Friday.

    The Directorate of Forensic Science, after detailed analysis of unexploded bombs, said it has been found out that the programming of the integrated circuit chips in the bombs were faulty due to which they did not explode, sources in DFS in Gandhinagar said today.

    As many as 25 bombs were found from various localities of Surat after the Ahmedabad blasts — in a plan by terrorists to target the diamond hub of the country — but none of them went off.

    All the other components of Surat bombs were up to the mark, like the batteries used as detonators and the explosive in the form of Ammonium Nitrate gel, the sources said.

    “Surat bombs were different from those used in Ahmedabad as those which exploded in Ahmedabad had timers while those in Surat had the integrated circuit chips,” the sources added.

    The analysis was trying to find out when the bombs were programmed and what kind of technology was used behind their programming, they said.

    The analysis is likely to be completed by the end of next week and a detailed report would be submitted to the police, they said.

  124. Interesting excerpts from Rediff’s second part on the series, on how the Gujarat police cracked the Jihadi puzzle, bares the heart, mind and soul of India’s enemy:

    http://www.rediff.com/news/2008/aug/22spec.htm

    – A confidant of [Gujarat SIMI chief Kayamuddin] Kapadia, Usman [Agarbattiwala] was doing a diploma in human rights at Baroda University. The SIMI leadership wants its cadres to penetrate the legal field, media and human rights outfits all over India.

    – Imran’s old father was treated at the Ahmedabad civil hospital recently. He stayed with him there. But the same man was a part of the conspiracy that planted a bomb in the civil hospital. They have no remorse. They dispute the idea of nationalism.

    – When Zahid Sheikh, who allegedly planted the bomb in the civil hospital, was produced at the magistrate’s court on August 17 he proudly showed the victory sign to television cameras. A police officer says, “Zahid and others think that, at last, now they are on the right track in life as guided by Islam.”

    – Yunus Mansoori allegedly told the Gujarat police that when he asked Mufti Bashir why he want to join the conspiracy, Bashir reportedly asked, ‘Jannat sirf aap ko hi jana hai? (only you want to go to heaven?)’

    – When Bashir was handed over to Himanshu Shukla of the Gujarat police, his first demand was for a green cloth to cover his face instead of the usual black one. He said green is the colour of Islam.

    – Predictably, the police says neither he nor his colleagues have any remorse for what they have done.

    – One accused is so toughened that when the police gives him a tough time he starts reciting verses, ayats, from the Quran.

    – Zahid Sheikh, after his arrest, reportedly told the police, ‘We believe in a borderless world. Nationalism breaks the universe. Islam unites. You should convert to Islam.’

    – Mansoori told the police: ‘There will be peace in India if everyone converts to Islam.

  125. Pingback: blowing up. and over. « staying.cool

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