I’ve spoken to several people since July 11 and can’t help notice the anguish that creeps through their voice when they speak about our government’s inability to stop terror strikes on our soil. Why is it that the largest democracy, heralded as a world power by many, isn’t able to protect its citizens? When the United States was attacked in 2001, President Bush came down hard upon the terrorist organisations and the nations which were suspected to harbour them – to the point of launching a full scale war in coalition with some of the strongest armies in the world. Why then can’t India perform such a feat against a country that it knows is responsible for several terror attacks in the past?
Our search for the answer begins on the premise that that the minority community feels insecure in India which political parties look to exploit.
Over the years I have seen the BJP and Shiv Sena combine champion the Hindutva cause. L. K. Advani has openly incited Hindus to bring down the Babri Masjid. Bal Thackarey used Saamna to encourage his party workers to launch offensives on Muslims during the riots of 1992-93. And in spite of the findings of the Sri Krishna Commission, the perpetrators of this violence are going scot-free. In such a situation, the insecurity that the community feels is not unfounded.
The problem is further aggravated by more politicians, who portray themselves as benefactors of the downtrodden. Parallels are drawn between the Hindus in Pakistan with the Muslims in India. The message that Muslim youth receive is that India is not their home and any act of violence that they help perpetrate upon its citizens will show their loyalty to their own motherland. Enter the LeT or Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, and their steady supply of weapons, explosives and training camps. These organisations fuel their terror operations on this sentiment.
In this vitriolic political scenario we bring in a government composed of a rickety coalition of parties with conflicting ideology. The Opposition is looking for every opportunity to criticize the ruling coalition and bring its government to a grinding halt – the country be damned, we want our seats back. And we expect this government to lead the country into an offensive war? Against a country which a sizable segment of the population considers their true homeland? That is wishful thinking at best and ridiculous misunderstanding of the political situation of India at worst.
All I can say to conclude is that India will never launch a war on terrorism unless its citizens unite in their opinion of what they call their homeland. And the power to do that lies with the citizens themselves.
- Always treat your communal neighbours the way you would want to be treated.
- Boycott media mouthpieces which carry a communal twist to their reporting.
- Speak up against wrongdoings by politicians, whether they are against the majority or minority community.
- Teach your children about the equality of religions and communities at an early age.
- Never violate human rights in an attempt to seek justice for wrongdoings.