Can “human rights” activists be far behind?
We know the routine. ‘Concerned citizens’ write open letters and petitions on the pretext of condemning “cowardly acts of violence”. Once the obligatory boilerplate is dispensed with, they come to the point—that it is the state and its agencies that are really at fault. We’ve seen this in the case of Naxalites and as Yossarin points out, ‘concerned citizens’ have turned up to make a statement in the case of the Jaipur terrorist attacks too.
Let’s take the statement apart.
After strongly condemning those behind the acts of terror Ram Puniyani, Asghar Ali Engineer, Digant Ozha et al write:
The worst part of handling acts of terror, which has a bearing on the preventive measures, is the prevalent theory guiding the investigation authorities. As per this theory these acts are done by some Pakistan trained groups who want to spread communal disharmony. On this pretext many Muslim youth are hauled up and investigation is presented as a success.[IHRO]
Only political correctness of the most stupid kind will deny that Islamist terrorists are not the prime suspects. And if you want to track down Islamist terrorists, you would look for them among Muslim youth. This is common sense.
So many such acts of terror have taken place, Malegaon, Banaras, Mumbai, but how many places have the communal disharmony erupted? Are the terrorist’s fools to repeat the act which is not having the desired result?
The terrorists failed to spark the communal tinder. Perhaps they believe that they can succeed. Perhaps they are fools. What do “concerned citizens” know? And who says terrorists can’t be fools?
Then, the investigations done so far are clouded in mystery and under the cloak of secrecy. The social audit of these investigations has not taken place barring an odd exception. The present theory of investigating agency deliberately overlooks the case of two Bajarang Dal workers getting killed in Nanded in April 2006. It also does not want to give serious thought to the narco-analysis of one of the survivors of the Nanded episode who said that now we Hindus should also do the acts of terror, in front of crowded mosques, else we will be regarded as eunuchs.
And where do investigations take place in the full glare of the media? Perhaps ‘concerned citizens’ could show examples where they are not carried out under secrecy. And what’s this business of “social audit”? Is this some kind of constitutional requirement? Why don’t ‘concerned citizens’ put their faith in checks and balances, the judicial system and the right to information just like everyone else.
So the ‘concerned citizens’ accept testimonies by Bajrang Dal workers under narco-analysis. But then what about testimonies by jihadis? If police investigate Muslim youth on the basis of the latter, it is a theory and a pretext. But the testimonies of the Bajrang Dal members requires “serious thought”. The ‘concerned citizens’ give their game away.
If they imply that the bombings are carried out by “Hindus” then why is it that communal riots are not taking place? Surely, those devious Hindu terrorists who are clever enough to kill people outside Hindu temples to shift the blame to the Muslims would have planned anti-Muslim riots in the follow-up phase. Why didn’t these happen? The insinuation doesn’t add up, dear ‘concerned citizens’.
They go on to offer recommendations on how we it could all be so different:
There is a need to have a National body with due representation from the socially concerned citizens and Human rights activists who can have a say in these matters and also who in an unbiased way can go to the truth of these acts, unlike the ones at present, where the pattern of investigation can be predicted right in advance due to the prevalent prejudices, which by now have become institutionalized.
That’s a super long sentence. In simple English, “Let us set up an upside-down kangaroo court, which will set the suspects go free and indict the policemen”. It takes some chutzpah to demand an extra-constitutional role for oneself (obviously, who are those socially concerned citizens and human rights activists but the writers themselves?).
In a way, now communal violence is being substituted by the acts of terror to consolidate the electoral base by communal party.
That’s arrant nonsense. And the use of the term “communal party” in the singular is obviously a reference to the BJP. They don’t even bother to use the fig leaf of saying “communal parties” in the plural. They give their game away again.
They conclude by summarising their demands. Note that none of these address how terrorists might be defeated. They are only about how counter-terrorism can be diluted. So it is not about human rights at all. It is merely a denial that Islamist terrorists might have been the perpetrators, an insinuation that Hindu terrorists might have set off the bombs and an attempt to point fingers at the BJP. Honourable people who really believed this would have said so openly. To pass them off under the rhetoric of human rights is cowardly and devious.