By Sajjad Shaukat
Although India has been supporting the forces of extremism and separatism in Pakistan and Chinese Tibetan and Sinkiang regions, yet it is rapidly been heading towards its own disintegration.
In this connection, while quoting a cable of the Wikileaks by U.S ambassador to India, Timothy Roemer, The Times of India reported on December 17, 2010 that India’s renowned “political leader and Congress Party’s heir, Rahul Gandhi feels that the “the bigger threat (to India) may be the growth of radicalized Hindu groups which create religious tensions and political confrontations with the Muslim community.”
The Times of India further indicated, “comments from Congress Party leaders about internal threats from radical Hindu groups are not new, the fact that Gandhi expressed his views to US interlocutors is certain to spark a political firestorm in India in what is already a season of confrontation. The reported remarks add to the already controversial statements from Congress Party general secretary Digvijay Singh pointing to dangers from Hindu extremist groups.”
The young Indian leader displays no inhibitions in describing the dangers from majority communalism, in a wide-ranging conversation seated next to Roemer at the dinner. The US envoy reports that Gandhi “expressed concerns regarding the challenges surrounding the UPA coalition’s ability to implement its programs, and speculated about radicalization among Hindus and Muslims.”
In a separate cable, describing a meeting between India’s National Security Adviser M.K.Narayanan and FBI Director Robert Mueller, a US official reports the former as saying “India is also seeing the beginning of Hindu extremist groups that use violence.” The cable indicates that the Director Mueller points, “terrorists come from more than just Muslim backgrounds.”
In this regard, Guardian reported on December 16, Rahul Gandhi, the “crown prince” of Indian politics, told the US ambassador at a lunch last year that Hindu extremist groups could pose a greater threat to his country than Muslim militants.
For the last 25 years, India has been providing its military and intelligence agency RAW with huge funds in order to support insurgency, separatism and extremism in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhuttan, Sikkim and China. Although these covert activities vary from country to country, yet the same intensifies in case of Pakistan. In this respect, a well-established network of Indian army and RAW has been working to destabilise Pakistan by supporting insurgency in the Frontier Province and separatism in Balochistan. New Delhi has been spending huge money to train and equip the militants who have been entering Pakistan on daily basis and have been conducting suicide attacks in our country, and assaults on our security forces.
Indian anti-Pakistan plan has also been endorsed by a 72-page white paper handed over to its Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the aftermath of Mumbai carnage. The paper, titled, War on Terror: The Agenda for Action, (Also available on the website of India Today) advised New Delhi to “exploit the divisions within Pakistan and expose its weaknesses in Balochistan, FATA and Azad Kashmir” including building of pressure on Islamabad especially by the US.
Surprisingly, India has been endangering the regional peace by dreaming to become a super power. In this regard, New Delhi has been paying no attention to its internal multi-faceted crises such as Hindu fundamentalism, extremism and separatism which have become serious, threatening the Indian union.
One of the important causes of the disintegration of the Russian Empire was that its greater defence expenditure exceeded to the maximum, resulting in economic crises and extremism inside the country. However, militarisation of the Soviet Union failed in controlling the movements of liberation, launched by various ethnic nationalities. On the other hand, while learning no lesson from its previous close friend, India has been acting upon the similar policies in some other way.
Under the mask of democracy and secularism, Indian subsequent regimes dominated by politicians from the Hindi heartland—Hindutva (Hindu nationalism) have been using brutal force ruthlessly against any move to free Assam, Kashmir, Khalistan, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tamil Nadu and Tripura where wars of independence continue in one or the other form.
Recently, Maoist intensified their struggle, attacking official installments in the major Indian cities. In this context, The New York Times wrote, “India’s Maoist rebels are now present in 20 states and have killed more than 900 Indian security officers…India’s rapid economic growth has made it an emerging global power but also deepened stark inequalities in society.”
As regards the Indian-held Kashmir, since 1947, Indian forces have intermittently been employing all the possible techniques of military terrorism such as curfews, crackdowns, sieges, massacre, targeted killings etc. to maintain their alien rule. In the occupied Kashmir, Indian brutalities keep on going against the current phase of Kashmiri uprising.
Post-Napoleonic era in Europe proves that it is not possible to suppress the independence wars through military terrorism. In that context, Prince Metternich, emperor of the Austro-Hungarian Empire did what he could to subjugate the alien peoples by employing every possible techniques of state terrorism. According to Indian historian, Mahajin, Matternich had to admit that he was fighting for a useless cause, and the empire disintegrated, resulting in the independence of Italy, Bulgaria and other states. In the recent past, despite the employment of unlimited atrocities by the President Milosevic, collapse of the former Yugoslavia could not be stopped.
Every entity of South Asia is well-aware that even under the rule of Congress which claims to be a secular party, Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP), Rashtriya Swayamsevak Singh (RSS), Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), Shiv Sina and Bajrang Dal have missed no opportunity to communalise national politics of India. Although violence against the other communities has been used by Hindu fundamentalists as a normal practice since partition, yet anti-Christian and anti-Muslim bloodshed in the last decade coupled with thedissemination of Hindutva has increased. Besidesprevious genocide of Muslims and destruction of the Babri Mosque, more than 2500 Muslims were massacred in2002 in the BJP-ruled Indian state of Gujarat. OnSeptember 13, 2008, the communal riots in Uttar Pradesh killed more than 200 Muslims. In one of the most tragic incidents in Assam, Hindu extremists burnt alive six members of a Muslim family. Similarly, assaults on Christians and their property have continued by the Hindu mobs in Orissa, Assam, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. Other minorities of India are also target of Hindu terrorism.
It is mentionable that ideology of Hindu nationalism prevails in every field at the cost of other minorities groups. It is even supported by Indian defence forces clandestinely. This fact could be judged from the recent past, when on April 6, 2008 in the house of Bajrang Dal fundamentalists in Nanded, a bomb went off. The investigations proved that the militants belonging to the Bajrang Dal were found in the bomb-making and attack on a mosque in Parbhani in 2003. Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of the Maharashtra arrested a serving Lt. Col. Srikant Purohit and along with other army officials, indicating that they were helping in training the Hindu terrorists, providing them with the military-grade explosive RDX, used in the Malegaon bombings and terrorist attacks in other Indian cities. ATS had further disclosed that Lt. Col. Purohit confessed that in 2007, he was involved in bombing of Samjhota express, which brunt alive 69 Pakistanis. Leaders of the Indian extremist parties, Shiv Sena, BJP, VHP and RSS are now pressurising the Congress regime to release the culprits.
Indian fundamentalism and mistreatment of religious minorities could also be assessed from some other development. After serving the BJP for 30 years, Jaswant Singh was expelled from the party for praising Mohammad Ali Jinnah and echoing the pain of the Indian Muslims in his book, “Jinnah–India, Partition, Independence.” While pointing out the BJP’s attitude towards the minorities, Singh wrote: “Every Muslim that lives in India is a loyal Indian…look into the eyes of Indian Muslims and see the pain.” He warned in his book, if such a policy continued, “India could have third partition.”
Nonetheless, the artificial union of India is advancing towards self-destructive path owing to the threat of extremists.
Sajjad Shaukat is a regular writer for Opinion Maker. He writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations.
On the subject, another recommended article: Insurgency Movements in India