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اتوار، 27 جنوری، 2013

India befuddled by internal fissures

There is nexus between extremists’ groups, Indian military and select group of print and electronic media who are out to project Pakistan in bad light. Such a dominant select group of Indian elite create situations in which innocent people are targeted while powerful media is used to exploit the situation to blame Pakistan. Indian media uses extremely derogatory and insulting language against Pakistan, posing it as a rogue state.
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For some time, Indian military seems to be calling the shots not only in India’s security matters but also in foreign policy domain. On the other hand, Pakistan’s military is supporting the peace initiatives of Pakistan’s elected government, and does not create roadblocks in the way of peace in the region. India’s military top brass spew venom against Pakistan, but statements from the government functionaries are reflective of their desire to have good relations with Pakistan. Indian government seems to have realized that India can implode from within, and upping the ante with Pakistan would not help create cohesion.

It is perhaps in this backdrop that India’s Home Minister, Sushil Kumar Shinde alleged that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were running training camps with the objective of promoting Hindu terror across the country. To prove his point, he cited the examples of the Samjhauta Express blast (February 18, 2007), the Mecca Masjid (May 18, 2007) and Malegaon explosions (September 8, 2006). 

Whatever the motive behind this statement, India’s Home Minister has been candid in acknowledging the injustice meted out to minorities and in exposing Hindu Terrorism. In January 2012 a month before the 5th anniversary of Samjhauta Express tragedy, startling revelations were made by RSS worker Kamal Chouhan who explained how Samjhauta Express bombs were brought to the capital; who had taken these bombs to railway station and sequence of events leading to the tragedy that killed 68 passengers, most of them Pakistani nationals. Chouhan, had reportedly said that he had no “regrets” over the Samjhauta bombing. He told interrogators that there were four “planters” who came in two separate groups to Old Delhi Railway station with four suitcases, each one carrying a bomb. Chouhan said that he was among 11 people who were given arms training at Bagli and also the “firing lessons” - organised by Sunil Joshi (now dead). Indian Home Minister’s statement read with the confession of Chauhan is reflective of the fact that Hindu Terrorism is to blame for many acts of terrorism in India.

Human Watch reports often point out about the violence against 150 million former untouchables and millions belonging to other minorities. Human rights organizations regularly publish reports about atrocities committed on Christians, Muslims and Dalits. Kashmiris are, however, the worst sufferers on earth, perhaps only second to Palestinians. In June 1984, Indian army had attacked the Golden Temple with Tanks and armored cars killing more than 2000 Sikhs though government count was 492.

In another episode, with more killings and subsequent flight of nearly 400 Christians who walked over 300 km through mountains and forests to reach the Young men’s Christian Association camp in Bhubaneswar to take refuge speaks volumes about the plight of Christians in Hindu-dominated India’s eastern state of Orissa. Despite condemnation of violence by Pope Benedict and Italian government’s reaction, Christians were being forced to change their religion in Orissa. Muslims are also being forced by Hindu extremists to convert to Hindu religion.

In many provinces, there is disaffection because of policies of the Indian government, and when pushed against the wall they resort to acts of terrorism, but India has been blaming Pakistan for every act of terrorism. In 2009, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had acknowledged that home grown groups were now carrying out bombing in India. The facts narrated in Shinde’s statement about RSS-BJP nexus in promoting Hindu Terrorism have been confirmed by India’s Minister for External affairs Salman Khurshid. He backed home minister Sushilkumar Shinde’s statement on Hindu terrorism saying it was based entirely on facts made available by investigative agencies. He, however, added that terror has no religion and color. “Let me just say this to you very clearly that our stated position, that is shared fully by the home minister and past home minister, is based entirely on facts as the investigative agencies have made available to the government,” Khurshid told reporters here.

It appears that there is nexus between extremists’ groups, Indian military and select group of print and electronic media who are out to project Pakistan in bad light. Such a dominant select group of Indian elite create situations in which innocent people are targeted while powerful media is used to exploit the situation to blame Pakistan. Indian media uses extremely derogatory and insulting language against Pakistan, posing it as a rogue state. The objective is to create anti-Pakistan feelings and maintain negative public emotions against Pakistan. Recent clashes between Indian and Pakistani soldiers on the Line of Control is a case in point. They not only martyred Pakistani soldiers but also propagated against Pakistan Army for having crossed the LoC and beheading two Indian soldiers. In fact, this was done to counter Pakistani protest on martyrdom of Pakistani soldiers by Indian attackers. On 16th January 2013, Indian News TV Channel reported that Raj Thakery an extremist Hindu leaders (MNS leaders) has said that recent killing of Indian soldiers at LoC was an act of Indian Government to divert the internal crisis.

He further said that Indian government has been stage-managing such acts to divert the attention of public from internal crisis, and once again Indian government has manipulated the incident to ease internal pressure. On the other hand, most media men in Pakistan keep mum and do not counter Indian media’s propaganda blitz. In fact, domestic media should have exposed India for having done it deliberately in order to divert the attention of its masses from the case of gang rape of a medial student, who succumbed to her wounds and the issue had the potential of becoming an anti-government movement. Pakistani media must tell the world the fact that on 6th January Indian forces had actually crossed the LoC and raided a Pakistani post, killing one of our soldiers and wounding another. Indian Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde’s statement accusing Hindu nationalists of promoting terrorism and blaming it on Muslims goes to prove Pakistani stance that internal fissures in Indian polity force India to target Pakistan. 
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By Mohammad Jamil


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