After terrorists, their apologists strike

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.

38 thoughts on “After terrorists, their apologists strike”

  1. The concern from these ‘concerned citizens’ is only towards the human rights of terrorists. Apparently, the human rights of the victims & their family do not deserve any concern. As you rightly pointed out, there’s no concern or demand or even a suggestion to defeat the terrorists.

    Another matter of common sense, which you again pointed out, is that when tackling Islamist terrorists, the focus is obviously going to be on Islamists. Only people of questionable mental efficacy cannot fathom this.

    Our leaders have again failed to realise the need for a sound anti-terror policy & strategy to defeat our enemies. This is evident when they say that we have enough provisions in the IPC & more legislation is not needed. (Pure lack of will). Well, have all those IPCs helped in combating terrorism? Is it so tough to get this?

  2. Great analysis, Nitin.

    Spread the word. No longer can these self-appointed ‘Human rights’ activists be allowed the pretence to intelligence, fairness, honesty, legitimacy or national interest.

    For too long have these witches and warlocks gone unchallened, aided by a pliant angrezi media which shares their leftist sympathies.

    Now I guess, we only need to look out for these ‘concerned citizens’ to inveigle national awards (like Sardesai, Sagarika, Barka etc) or international awards (like Binayak Sen, Arundhati sen) so that their ridiculuous demands will appear genuine and/or legitimate.

    JMTPs etc.
    /Have anice day.

  3. Remember Khafeel Ahmed, Dr. Sabeel Ahmed and Dr. Mohammed Haneef, the trio of Indian origin suspected in the Glasgow bombing? The first died of severe burns he had suffered in the act, the second, convicted for withholding information, was deported to India recently, and the third was acquitted by an Australian court for lack of evidence, and later returned to India. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh famously complained of sleepless nights after watching the mothers of the accused on TV, and gave expression to the personal anguish he had felt when “every ordinary Sikh in India was labeled a terrorist in the 1980s”.

    Who is labeling every ordinary Indian Muslim, or for that matter, every South Asian doctor as a terrorist, because the Glasgow trio happen to be Muslims, Indian citizens, and doctors (Khafeel was a Ph.D. candidate in computational fluid dynamics according to the Wikipedia, and the other two are medical graduates)? Not me. Not the author of this blog, and none of its readers, I presume, with the possible exception of a few trolls and temporarily insane. No reasonable person will say that the Muslims are collectively responsible for the acts of terrorism committed by a few among them. That does not imply, however, that a targeted search for the terrorist(s) among a particular community, done with due diligence and judicial oversight – not some nonsensical “social audit” concocted by hearts that bleed for the terrorists but never for the victims – somehow violates every individual Muslim’s rights, or that it has a nefarious motive. It is usually a matter of technical efficiency, and nothing more, nothing less.

    Any sensible investigation to untangle any puzzle must start with a theory and a set of deduced hypotheses. There is no guarantee that the hypotheses will not be rejected by the data. Without a theory, however, an investigation will make little more sense than a fishing expedition in the Sahara. (I wrote on this a while ago here and also here.)

  4. On the other hand, you have people like Omar Abdullah calling a spade a spade

    National Conference President Omar Abdullah has accused Muslims of being mute spectators at the time of exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley in the 1990s.

    “It’s so easy to say that we will lay down our lives to bring Kashmiri Pandits back to the Valley and I appreciate the sentiment as I am sure the Kashmiri Pandits reading it will. Pity that sentiment was missing when our mosques were being used to drive these people out,” Omar said in his blog on the official website of his party.

    “None of us was willing to stand up and be counted when it mattered. None of us grabbed the mikes (microphones) in the mosques and said ‘this is wrong and the Kashmiri Pandits had every right to continue living in the valley’,” he said.

    “Our educated, well-to-do relatives and neighbours were spewing venom 24-hours a day and we were mute spectators either mute in agreement or mute in abject fear but mute nonetheless. [Rediff]

  5. “Note that none of these address how terrorists might be defeated.”

    It is not that terrorists might be defeated, they would rendered jobless. Because, their job of disturbing the social harmony & peace, would be taken by these “concerned citizens” in a peaceful manner.

  6. The IHRO letter reflects a significant lack of confidence in the authorities at least those on the field to conduct unbiased, “diligent and judicially overseen investiagations” (TRF).

    Quoting TRF again from Connecting the dots:

    “Because the entire exercise is error prone, we should be careful in interpreting the findings and acting on them. Discretion must necessarily play a big part here, and one should allow for the possibility of egregious interpretation and action, with or without malicious intent. Discretion should only be given to those with the experience, wisdom, and humility to avoid even inadvertent transgressions on the fundamental liberties…”

    How do we ensure this: humility, wisdom, experience etc?

    I’m okay with profiling and super-laws if:

    – it is recognized that it is more likely that investigating authorities under pressure in a high-profile case will gather up likely suspects from the ‘target community’ and extract results from them thru dubious means, especially when they can rely on public memory being short and ppl forgetting all about this when the case folds a year or so later.

    – we realize the scope here for a double negative, this not only lets the real perpetrators escape but also likely sets some embittered innocents towards a path of violence.

    – we realize that empowering a corrupt police force has inherent risks ( they view it as an income enhancer, with threats like “TADA ke andar band kar doonga” to maximize their take ).

    and develop checks and balances against any such misuse.

    Maybe some of these steps are:

    Strengthening the police forces with training that dilutes any inherent bias of the base population they are recruited from, more recruitment from minority areas. More emphasis on intelligence aspects, police should develop mini spy wings.

    But also:

    A high-powered committee that could review such investigations similar to what the IHRO letter proposes is not a very bad idea. Could be constituted with sitting / retired judges, ex-police officers etc. on the panel along with the ‘human rights’ activists. Operating a step or two behind the investigating teams, it wouldnt slow them down too much but even just by being there it would help.


  7. Nitin,

    Werent you saying earlier on your blog that a stable Pakistan is good for India…. but what is happening is exactly the opposite of what you said/predicted? Pakistan remains the same… Kutte kee dum etc etc..

  8. shadows,

    Not that Pakistan is anywhere close to being called stable, but you should read that post again. I don’t think Nitin’s argument was ‘if elections are conducted, Pakistan would stop all anti-India activities’. His argument was at a much broader level.

  9. Shadows,

    Yes, you should read that piece again. But whatever made you think that Pakistan is stable today?

  10. @Jai

    How do we ensure this: humility, wisdom, experience etc?

    I agree that there is a danger of due process being compromised by the authorities – “TADA ke andar band kar doonga”. Potential misuse of authority, however, cannot be an excuse for no exercise of authority, resulting in the breakdown of law and order.

    In a pluralistic democracy, there are institutions in place to check this tendency to misuse authority. Judicial oversight is obviously one of them. India has a functioning judiciary that is, in my telescopic view, fairly impartial and wise, particularly the Supreme Court.

    The will of the people is heard through the parliament, the legislatures, and their committees, that are responsible for the strengthening of the existing laws and the passage of new laws, if necessary, to ensure the integrity of the process. These institutions are not perfect, but in this context, are more likely to err on the side of inaction than excesses.

    And then, there are the non-governmental watch dogs such as the Press, the Amnesty International, the Arundhati Roys, and the Amartya Sens. I don’t see the need to give these NGO’s teeth through extra-constitutional committees as suggested by the IHRO, though. Giving them authority with no accountability for their “social audit” would be a mistake. At best, the bureaucracy’d be further bloated, adding another layer for influence peddling, and enhancing the income (to use your words) of the retired sexta-septua-octo-genarians at the tax-payers’ expense. Paraphrasing the Queen in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass, the professionals will be left to run faster and faster, just to keep in the same place!

  11. ”A high-powered committee that could review such investigations similar to what the IHRO letter proposes is not a very bad idea. Could be constituted with sitting / retired judges, ex-police officers etc. on the panel along with the ‘human rights’ activists”

    Jai, I hope you read the letter carefully. What they are demanding is an extra-constitutional authority which would ensure only the ”guilty” are punished. Sorry. But it is the courts which are supposed to decide to who is guilty or not. It cannot be outsourced to a committee however well meaning it might be. (Not for a minute though I believe Puniyani et al. are well meaning.)

    Sure, you can argue that courts are not perfect. But that is an argument in favor of improving the oversight mechanism rather than appointing a super-committee. At the very least, even if such a body is appointed, the Supreme Court is quite likely (and quite rightly) to throw it out.

  12. I agree with Jai and Rohit above. Terrorist incidents like this are obviously a concern because our police can target certain communities. To that extent the attacks have already succeeded in dividing citizens.

    I hope our media and judiciary remain alert to any infringement of civil liberties during times like these. Creating another committee won’t help matters, in only undermines existing constitutional structures.

  13. I’m as much for protection of civil liberties as the next guy.

    The problem of course, is one where existing structures become inadequate, as often happens when the state fights organised opposition (as opposed to unorganised crime). Typically, new laws get drafted, standards of proof tweaked etc. Works for a while. But when you are faced with armed insurrection (with external support) as happened in Punjab and Kashmir, things really go out of hand. An AFSPA is needed, and the battle is fought, literally, on a war footing.

    The jihadist problem outside J&K has not reached a stage where we declare emergency powers to the enforcement agencies. Let us pray such a situation never comes to pass. Cost to civil society apart, it would irretrievably corrupt our armed forces, period. Nehru understood well when he said “Never let the forces taste power”.

    Procedural and other delays in court, suspects getting off on technicalities etc can and should be stopped. Its not even that difficult. Application of logical thought is all that is required to start on this road. Committee after committee has pontificated, yet little has happened. Special, dedicated, 24×7, mobile fast track courts are needed to try terrorism cases. The criteria for warrants and detention can and should be relaxed in terrorism cases. Why is that so hard top figure out?

    There’s another danger to giving these ‘inhuman rights’ hacks any more attention. The entire judical system comes under a cloud. These activists will applaud courts only when they free terror suspects. Other times, they will go so far as to attack the courts themselves. DOn’t believe me? consider what happened in the Afzal case. UPA sarkar lost credibility irretreievably in my eyes because of its disgraceful behavior in the Afzal case. SC convicted that turd and ordered him hanged. The SC, I tell you! Shouldn’t that be the end of story?

    These same inhuman rights activist crooks displayed their soiled hands in that case when they argued on tv (yup, Arundhati Roy among them) that Afzal was ‘wrongly’ convicted. I ask you!. SC had freakin’ convicted that toad! Shouldn’t that have been enough??

    Further, insult to injury to all decent countrymen, the UPA sarkar went so far off the deep end that when the families of the jawans killed defending Parliament returned their medals etc, it remained unapologetic, even defiant. The dhimmedia pliantly buried that story. Remember? My blood still boils thinking about it. And come poll season, this same sarkar now rakes up Kandahar?!?! Do they know what kind of pressure the NDA was under? BTW, I still think Kandahar was a mistake.

    My point: Civil liberties of even terror suspects should be protected as far as possible. But not at the cost of victim’s rights to justice. Activists’ perceptions of police bias in searching for or detaining suspects are mischiveous and untrustworthy. See through their BS.

    JMTs and IMVVHOs etc.
    /Have a nice day, all.

  14. Nitin,
    I posted your comments in an internet forum, and got a load of ‘usual responses’ – that it’s you who are spreading hate! One of the members (C K Vishwanath) of the forum forwarded the mail to Ram Puniyani and here is his reply:

    Dear Vishwanath/Friends

    The criticism of this statement is totally biased

    1. What is being argued is that since the theory that terrorists want to spread communal violence has not been true or not succeeded there is a need to look beyond the same thesis, unless we have decided to close our mental faculties sticking to theories which suit the politics of some.
    2. Every criminal must be punished and there is no case for defending the wrong doer, the argument is that due to communalization of investigating agenicies and section of political leadership there is a need to develop mechnisms which can ensure punishment to the guilty at the same time protection to innocnents.One recalls while human rights are integral part of our constitution, some commissions for protection of human rights of weaker section have been formed. And since now due to terrorist violence our society is sufferng immensly and the present mechanism is not able to address the issue comprehensively a new mechanism can supplement the exisitng one. One also recalls Supreme court decisions to shift the cases out of Gujarat, indicating that all is not hunky and dory as far as our systems are concerned.
    3. The argument that ‘Jehadi’ terrorists are to be found amongst the Muslim youth as such is most communal , reflecting the mind set of the writer.
    4. Yes Communal party is BJP. It is hte only party, which is tied to the appron strings of RSS, whose goal is Hindu Rashtra and not secular democratic India. Not to say that there are other parties which are not forthrightly secular, are halfway houses but BJP is out and out wedded to the long term goal of Hindu Nation.
    5. While Narco analysis does not hold legal ground it gives some insight to the issue in conjunction with the total picture, in case of Jehadis as well as bajrang dalis.
    6. This is just a statement and not a total elaboration of the theme of terrorism. Please refer to for different articles on terrorism, outlining malady and its relation to global and local politics and that it is a political phenomenon not a religious one, it has to do with multiple factors which need to be kep in mind while dealing with the problem.

    best wishes


  15. Here’s some food for thought. Just like the pinko-socialist-intellectual-activist class miss the point about economics (you must have production before you can talk distribution), they also miss the point about liberalism in times of terror (you must have life and limb in one piece before you can enjoy civil liberty). Sai below pontificates in Rediff:

    I am not sure how much of the Internet-savvy generation knows anything about the Sikh insurgency that almost sundered India in the 1980s. Punjab was more or less out of India’s grasp, newspapers daily told horror tales of Hindus being singled out and shot dead, and the name of a putative sant struck terror all around, ably fanned by his cross-border friends in Pakistan. (Aside: Plus ca change, Plus c’est la meme chose [the more things change, the more they remain the same]) New Delhi then was a city under siege, with roadside bunkers being the most common scenery.

    Today one wonders if it is the same Punjab with its mustard fields that one sees digitally colourised in Bollywood films. How did it happen? How was the battle that was so nearly lost, won?

    The glib assessment puts it down to a battle fatigue, but I am not sure Julio Ribeiro and K P S Gill — yes, the latter is the same name that adorned news bulletins just a few days ago (Aside: Oh, how the mighty’ve fallen!) — who are very much around, will agree with it.

    Because peace in Punjab was won through waging war. And Ribeiro and Gill were the men sent in to clean up the mess created by politicians. Twenty years later, why are these men still provided security? Because, the men they fought have very long memories. And more than a few guns.

    You can lay all kinds of charges at the door of Indira Gandhi [Images], including that she was the Frankenstein who created the monster, and not be terribly of the mark. But to her eternal credit, when push came to shove she delivered even if it meant paying with her own life.

    You can debate till kingdom come her decision to send the army into the Golden Temple. But she knew a State cannot exist within a State, and that is what the shrine had become. It cannot have been an easy decision, to go against the shrine of a people who have spilt their blood in India’s defence like none other. Yet, she did it, and today we once again look at Punjab as the nation’s granary, not armoury.

    The point I am driving at, have always driven at, is that you cannot fight terror through peace.


  16. Dear Murali,

    Thanks for posting the response. It appears that Mr Puniyani just allows his hatred of the RSS/BJP to cloud his judgement to objective reality. Mental faculties are indeed closed.

    The rest of his claims are filled with contradictions: the constitution that affirms our fundamental rights also provides a mechanism to protect them. These do not require the “social audits” he asks for, nor do they call for the minority specific commissions that the UPA has instituted. Equality being a fundamental right, to see human rights through the prism of religion, ethnicity etc is self-contradicting. And if the SC has moved the riots cased out of Gujarat, to ensure justice, isn’t that a supreme example of wanting to see justice being done?

    I believe Mr Puniyani is on the IIT faculty. He should perhaps learn Bayes theorem from one of the undergraduate students there. Unless Mr Bayes was a communal RSS member, it should give no reason for an objective person to understand that it makes good sense to look for jihadis among Muslim youth. It is Mr Puniyani who is communalist for seeing this as somehow targeting the Muslim community itself.

    He cleverly sidesteps the main criticism against his point on narco-analysis. The point was not about its legality or even efficacy. The point is how he decides that the testimonies of one set (Bajrang Dal) should be taken seriously while dismissing the testimonies of the other set (jihadis) as being “theory”. This comes directly from his argument about BJP/RSS being the only communal party.

    Since he admits to this bias, (a) his letter must be dismissed as partisan (b) the argument he makes therein, calling for “social audits” by unelected human rights activists, falls flat.

  17. Hello Nitin,

    The Indian national security challenges of the 21st Century are enormous. Two hostile nuclear armed nations on both sides of its borders, a 20 year old guerilla war for which India still has no answers, two new fronts in the form of bangladesh and nepal, open borders, open searoutes, rise and spread of the maoists in seven Indian states and an internally degrading intelligence and security apparatus.

    Added to this cocktail is the unity among the balkanizing forces, i.e., the communist + islamic + samajwadis and their political hold over the nation-state apparatus. The growing internal political diffusion taking place in India since 1990 onwards helps the balkanizing forces to a great extent. This political enterprise, if they come to power, would willfully allow the continued degradation of our security and intelligence units.

    People like puniyani and hashmi, one a commie and the other an islamic activist, do the job of a snake oil salesman. This letter, along with a lot of their activities, is meant to throw everyone of the trail. To trap Indians into convoluted time consuming discussions about something that is pure nonsense, while the real challenges keep on becoming greater and greater.

    In any other country that is security aware, puniyani, hashmi et all would be under continous 24 hour watch list. In India, given the political diffusion, they are used by those in power to settle scores or demonize.

    We must not be waylaid by full time charlatans.

  18. Puniyani’s 4th point is convoluted. SP, Communists and Congress survive on the votes of Islamic supremacist groups in UP, Bengal, Kerala and elsewhere–groups whose goal is to make India an Islamic state. Without the voting purses and the influence of Islamists they can have no hope whatsoever to come to power, and are directly attached to the belly of the beast. That sure does make them communal.

  19. The concerns about the police violating civil liberties are neither new nor unjustified. It is a fact that the average man on the street doesn’t have trust in the police. Unless the police puts effort and succeeds in building this trust with the common man, the terrorists and the so called apologists are going to be there.

    For the Bayesian minded, some food for thought:
    “The Politics of Paranoia and Intimidation”

  20. Rohit,

    1. Maybe Pramod Biligiri’s is the kind of attitude we need 🙂 This is too serious an issue for me to take pole positions on and say “if you are with me you cant be with Rohit etc.” kind of Bushism.

    If you recognize scope for bias and misuse, what are your proposals to at least mitigate it? (may not be possible to eliminate)

    Thats why I reformatted the patently unacceptable social auditing panel into one with judicial presence (TRF’s point) and even senior police officers.

    There should not be possible a Guantanamo kind of situation, where cops can lock away somebody and nearly throw away the key. The panel I had in mind is one the cops think about when they go threatening ppl with TADA/ AFSPA whatever.

    These draconian laws *will* serve to neutralize some clear and present danger, hopefully pre-emptively when police dont have enough evidence to pass muster under normal laws. Some method by which the cases can be heard within some reasonable time and dismissed if they havent come up with more real evidence by then is an absolute must.

    2. Statistically yes I have no problems with authorities looking into profiled communities more intensively esp when its not my community :-). But all this achieves is that terrorists would start looking and acting like non-profiled communities and enjoy greater protection. Esp. easy when there are no well-defined visible racial characteristics that separate these. I suspect they may already be doing so.


  21. PS on Puniyani and ‘communal’

    Yes parties that are not the BJP can and have been communal, and have allied in various states with even more communal outfits for electoral gain. This guy does seem overly focused on RSS etc.

    If one can look past that, is there any positive take-away from this? is what I was driving at.


  22. Nitin,

    These apologists of terror are equally dangerous – if not more (!) – than the terrorists with arms.

    Security forces, of course are capable of fighting terror only if they are allowed to do the job. After every terror attack these ‘secular jehadis’ come out and start blaming the ‘security personnel’ for their ‘alleged’ failure to protect! BUT, if an honest officer detects a potential terrorist and eliminates him/her before ‘He/She’ could kill ‘innocents’…these guys paint the towns red ‘howling’ fake encounters, fake encounters, baying for the blood of security persons involved!

    A friend above mentioned about the Punjab. I personally am a victim of terror, I sustained ‘twice’ bullet – luckily both times in legs – injuries in two separate terror attacks. Terror in Punjab was successfully eliminated by the security forces, and the same officers who ‘culled’ terrorism were ‘hounded’ by these ‘dime a dozen’ human right activists, pushing some of these valiant officers to commit suicide.In any other country theses officers would have been ‘heroes’.

    This amplifies my argument, that these self serving, self promoting, secular liberal men/ women have a more ‘sinister’ agenda than those who ‘in effect’ carry out these attacks.

    Fight against terror is incomplete with out identifying these people and bought to book. There is certainly a ‘method in their madness’ of these ‘ideologically’ driven ‘secular jehadis’.


  23. Dear Jai,

    I sincerely doubt whether there can be any equivocation in the battle against these terrorists. As the ‘political manifesto’ of the Indian Mujahideen makes explicitly clear, they are engaged in a war against us. Where’s the middle ground in this?


    As for your point about the gap between police and the ordinary citizen: so why don’t those disaffected ordinary citizens organise themselves into a terrorist group and declare war against the Indian state? Not all of them do. So why do those Bangalore-bred chaps declare war on the UK? Oh, bad relations between cops and citizens, again? And please answer me directly: if the police don’t put effort and build trust with the common man, do you suggest that the common man is justified in becoming a terrorist. I’d appreciate a yes or no answer, please.

  24. Whenever terrorists strike, FoTs attempt to whip up a paranoia about an imagined denial of civil liberties to people by police. This is done to divert attention away from the _actual_ and _real_ denial of civil liberties that has just happened: the killings and maimings by terrorists of hundreds of innocent people. Anti-terrorism efforts must include effective methods to counter this propaganda centered around the bogeyman of trampling of liberties by police — a bogeyman that, as any careful observer can see, is raised after EVERY terrorist atatck. Administration also needs the courage to state unequivocally that terrorists don’t deserve civil liberties; their victims do.

  25. Nitin,

    The answer in short is No. (Terrorists are going to be there coz the police and intelligence is inefficient not because the people who are disaffected, are turning into terrorists. Apologists are going to be there because the people don’t trust police.)

    What I meant was the ordinary citizens think the police are in general corrupt and inefficient. The lack of progress in incriminating the perpetrators of any of the terrorist incidents till now is a case in point. So, any draconian laws in such a situation are only going to be seen with mistrust and fear. The same is the case with naxal sympathizers, which we have seen for decades now.

  26. >>Apologists are going to be there because the people don’t trust police

    This is not true. Apologists exist because they are the overground face of underground terrorists. If they really existed to address alleged police excesses, they would be camping in Kolkata demanding that Jyoti Basu and gang be brought to justice for their crimes against humanity in Nadigram.

  27. I don’t usually comment on Bollywood movies but I wonder if you have seen Dhaoka.

    The movie seemed to justify terrorism. It portrayed the terrorists as acting out of some personal extreme injustice done to them by the Indian Government.

    The female suicide bomber had been raped by Indian Police Officers after they killed her father. The other terrorist in the movie was her bother.

    I am certainly not saying that people don’t suffer such extreme personal injustices but I do believe that it doesn’t really reflect the profile of most terrorists.

    If the villains who did this bombing are caught I am almost positive that you would not find any extreme unjustice in their background. Sure they would feel some general sense of “unjustice” done to “their people” but as for something personal happening to them or a family member like in Dhoka, you most likely will not find that. That has been the case in Israel with the suicide bombers there. Usually there was no personal injustice done to them except for a more general sense of victimhood. It wasn’t because the bomber was raped or father killed or child was killed, etc, etc.

    What bothers me is as long as terrorists are falsely portrayed as victims as they were in this movie, Indians will not have the necessary focus needed to defeat this evil.

Comments are closed.