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Mainstream, VOL LIX No 29, New Delhi, July 3, 2021

Resumption of terrorism in the subcontinent: nascent | Mustafa Khan

Friday 2 July 2021


by Mustafa Khan*

Terror came to India via the US and Russia. This willy-nilly precludes the phrase ‘thanks to’. What was there to thank anyone. This also includes the assassination of the magistrate of Nasik by the gun supplied by VD Savarkar. It happened in 1909 Arthur Jackson had earned name for his scholarship in Sanskrit, his scholarship in orientalism and praise by the ‘nationalist’ leaders of India then. But those who subscribed to Abhinav Bharat Society of Savarkaer were extreme radicals. Ganesh Savarkar was elder brother of Savarkar. Anant Laxma Kanhere and the eldest of Savarkars Baba Rao Savarkar who published 16 pages of Kavi Govind’s poetry drew the attention of the Magistrate and he recommended prosecution of Baba Rao that angered Ganesh. A conspiracy was hatched against him. Anant Kanhare was a student in Aurangabad. The Abhinav Bharat Society founded by VD Savarkar was busy in sedition. Babarao had printed 16 pages of poetry by Kavi Govind. Jackson recommended prosecution of Babarao. Krishnaji Karve and his group decided to assassinate Jackson about ten days later. Fate intervened when Jackson was promoted to become the Commissioner of Bombay. A grand function to give a farewell to Jackson was arranged by the people. Anant Kanhere threw himself before Jackson and shot him dead. There were two officers Palshekar and Todalmal who attacked Anant. Shortly after it Anant was hanged, Vinayak Deshpande and Karve were also hanged for hatching the conspiracy . Even their ashes were thrown into the sea near Thane. This is the primordial prototype of terror in the subcontinent. There were three-tier terrorists. Anant was the first. He tried to poison himself after killing but was prevented; second was Vinayak next and the third was Karve. So inveterate they were!

In contrast is the compulsive ideology of President George Bush vis-à-vis “either you are with us or against us”. In fact, even earlier Pakistan had facilitated the US to establish relationship with the Chinese. But then the Russians invaded Afghanistan. Al Qaida was not the figment of Pakistan’s imagination. But to drive them out Pakistan was coerced to ‘terrorism’ that was the hallmark of the US. President General Musharraf had to side with the US against the Al Qaida. This was Hobson’s choice imposed on Pakistan by the Americas. They used them to drive the Russians out of the subcontinent and then turned against those Talibans who were brothers-in -arms against the communists. Osama bin laden and his followers were armed for this. Pakistan was used against Russian hegemony and then against the Talibans and Osama.

However, foreign policy is fickle. PM AB Vajpayee and Narendra Modi came under the influence of Samuel Huntington and Bernard Lewis who opined that even the innards of the Muslims are full of blood of their victims including their neighbour. Vajpayee went to the Goa conclave in 2002 to dismiss Modi on account of the genocide of Muslims earlier in the same year. Within a week of 9/11 attack in a debate attended by Dr Rafik Zakarya, Narendra Modi, Rajdeep Sardesai etc; a new coinage appeared on the scene, Islamic terrorism that has provenance in the Islamic scripture. This was planted by Modi and thus began a pursuit of blaming Muslims as terrorists while Hindus cannot be terrorists because it is not in their blood. This is the most pernicious doctrine from hell. Revenge from hell as was Satan’s. This has willfully persisted into our own time where India has sided with Afghanistan. The Americans are leaving Afghanistan and Indians are replacing the Americans in the vacuum. The fallout came on a platter: the bombing of the head office of Inter- Services Intelligence coinciding with PM Imran Khan’s scheduled visit there.

The departure of the US forces from Afghanistan is now another chess board spread before the subcontinent. Towards end of June there were events which show that old rivalries between India and Pakistan and Afghanistan have reappeared. The front of Hafeez Saeed’s house was bombed. This is obviously a provocation by the Indian side. The reprisal was quick when drones dropped bombs on Jammu air force base.

The assassination of Arthur Jackson or Delhi February 2020pogroms of Muslims have assumed hiatus in significance. The first was killing of a single person while the latter is manslaughter on a much larger scale of those who were Indian. Their regretful situation is that they were humiliated by Anuraj Thakur and Atul Mishra. The Indian Nero once again fiddled away his time and did nothing. But the situation in the face of India sending 50000 more troops to eastern Ladakh and bombing air force base in Jammu have different implications. It was very narrow mindedness of the government of rightwing Hindus to throw all precaution and fair mindedness to the wind. And exhorting to shoot the “traitors” meaning Indian Muslims. The world also neglected what was transpiring in India and the whole subcontinent. India’s stance on Pakistan especially on the Kashmir issue leaves out much that is desirable. Moreover, India is confronting China without being aware of the economic strength of the Chinese. It was Modi who had invited the Chinese President to India especially to his own Gujarat state raising the heckling of the local regional parties like Shiv Sena. And India that is so provincial and sectarian can hardly face China. Moreover, the economic development of theirs is far greater than India’s. Bombing Hafiz Saeed’s house in retaliation of Mumbai attack in 2008 but ignoring the grafted liquidation of Heman Karkare raises ugly head of suspicion. Why did the government ignore the affidavit in which the accused in 2006 terror attack in Malegaon mentioned that ATS officers had told him that they would take him out of prison after those who were casting aspersion (meaning Hemant Karkare who assumed office on August 1 2008) on their earlier investigation report in which SIMI was blamed for the bomb attacks in Malegaon on September 8, 2006, were removed from their path! This kind of official behavior is typically subcontinental where national matters are subsumed under sectarian consideration.

Now that election in the largest state in UP is near India has not taken into consideration what Karkare recorded that Abhinav Bharat officers of the right-wing Hindu party had a meeting with Yogi Aditynath and Nepalese royal family was planning to establish a Hindu government and seek help from Israel. They wanted to overthrow the government and establish a Hindu government.

Radha Kumar of Delhi Policy Group believes that it is Pakistan whose stand would have greater leverage on Afghanistan and not India’s the time has come to jettison the familiar hobby horse of blaming Indian Muslims for terrorism! And not to forget that it is Pakistan which is a neighbor of Afghanistan and not India! Riding hobby horses is effete policy in the changing scenario.

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Abrar’s affidavit in the court

(Author: Mustafa Khan is based Malegaon, Maharashtra and blogs at:

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