by Shamsul Islam —
All Indians are devastated by the massacre of 40 para-military personnel and maiming of many of them by the notorious, Azhar Masood led Jaish-e-Mohammed [JeM] who tops Security Council’s list of most wanted terrorist. The most heinous part of this carnage was that the victims were not on the battle-front but travelling. As was expected PM Modi strongly condemned the massacre and declared that not onlyperpetrators would be punished but all those who aided and abetted would have to pay a heavy price. He also shared the fact that that security forces were free to take their own decision in avenging this crime. Common people have come out in support of the families of the martyrs.
It is to be noted that this blood thirsty criminal, perpetrator of the Pulwama massacre, Azhar Masood is not new in organizing terror attacks against India. This sadist criminal who had been responsible for countless mass killings and bombings of progressive-secular individuals/organizations and trafficking of women in Pakistanhas been the master mind behind hijacking of Indian Airlines Flight 814 (coming from Kathmandu, Nepal to Delhi) to Kandahar, Afghanistan in December 1999, Mumbai terror attack in 2008, attack on Indian Parliament in 2001 and Pathankot Air Force attack in 2016 and now of course, Pulwama massacre.
But the spilling of blood of the CRPF martyrs at Pulwama raises some mind-boggling questions which demand answers from the RSS/BJP rulers.
(1) WHO GAVE NEW LEASE OF LIFE TO THE MOST WANTED TERRORIST AZHAR MASOOD?
It was Indian Government led by senior RSS ideologue and leader, Atal Bihari Vajpayee in December 1999. This chronic hate-monger entered Indian Kashmir in order to give impetus to the terrorist activities in the Valley in early 1990s but was arrested in February 1994 and put in the Kot Bhalwal Jail, Jammu, to face charges of war against India. However, he was released in exchange for the passengers of IAC’s plane which was hijacked on the eve of X-Mas, December 24, 1999. He was released with two other dreaded terrorists, namely, Ahmed Umar Saeed Sheikh and Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar. They were released unconditionally as per the demand of the Taliban patronized JeM. These terrorists were picked up from theKot Bhalwal Jail and put up in a special plane to Taliban controlled Kandahar, Afghanistan accompanied by the then foreign minister, Jaswant Singh. Indian minister, a darling of RSS then personally handed over these terrorists to the hijackers on December 31 who were allowed to sneak into Pakistan by the Taliban militants.
Incidentally, the current National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval was the IB chief at that time whoalso headed the 4-member Indian negotiation team at Kandahar which led to the release of these dreaded terrorists!
(2) DESPITE IRREFUTABLE CLAIMS EVEN SHARED WITH THE INTERNATIONAL AGENCIES THAT PAKISTAN ARMY AND RULERS SHELTER JeM, AZHAR MASOOD AND MAFIA DON DAWOOD IBRAHIM,DID PM MODI ATTEND A PRIVATE MARRIAGE PARTY OF NAWAZ SHARIF IN DECEMBER 2015?
Our PM’s love for Pakistan PM was to be seen and believed. While returning from a foreign trip his plane with more than hundred VIPs on board was ordered to be diverted to Lahore. To global surprise, Modi was to attend marriage of grand-daughter of Sharif at latter’s ultra-luxurious private Castle known as Jati Umra. According to PTI Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s favourite dish ‘saag’ was among other delicacies prepared for him during a lunch-cum-dinner at Jati Umrah…All dishes, including saag, dal and vegetable food, were cooked in desi ghee. Kashmiri tea was presented to the Indian premier who was accompanied with 11 important members of Modi’s delegation. Modi out of respect touched the feet of Sharif’s mother also.
Over 100 other members of the delegations stayed at the Lahore airport and enjoyed feast there. Importantly, it was first trip to Pakistan by anIndian premier in more than 10 years. Modi visited Pakistan not to demand repatriation of or check on Azhar Masood, protest against attack on Pathankot air base which took place less than a year before but for merry-making in a private gathering of the PM of Pakistan. This visit symbolized the attitude of our PM towards Pakistan based enemies of India. Such gestures only emboldened the Islamist terrorist based in Pakistan. Sadly, during this very visit of our PM when he was enjoying Punjabi hospitality at Sharif’s private party, two Indian soldiers attained martyrdom at the hands of the Pakistan army.[i]
(3) THE RSS/BJP RULERS BOAST THAT UNDER MODI’S STEWARDSHIP INDIAN STATE IS A MASCULINE STATE AND DAYS OF INDIA BEING SOFT STATE ARE OVER. THEN WHY DESPITE A HUGE DEFENCE, INTELLIGENCE BOTH MILITARY AND POLICE, IB, RAW PARAPHERNALIA WE COULD NOT DETECT THE PULWAMA CONSPIRACY? WILL ANYBODY FROM POLITICAL, CIVIL AND MILITARY LEADERSHIP BE HELD RESPONSIBLE?
It is true that no state or power can unearth every conspiracy but in the case of Kashmir for almost last one year RSS/BJP rulers, military and police brass were boasting that militancy had been crushed. This claim has turned to be hollow. The Carnage has proved that despite ruthless military campaigns including use of pellet gunsand large scale killing of ‘terrorists’, situation has only worsened. The brave CRPF personnel were not killed in some dangerous terrain but on one of the most highly secured road in the whole of India; Srinagar Jammu Road. The martyred were given false hope of travelling in a safe zone. If the guilty are not punished it would be crocodile tears for the martyrs.
India has become a sort of policeman in the South Asia. To cite the newest case, when Dubai princess 33-year-old Sheikh Latifa, daughter of Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, escaped from UAE in March 2018in a yacht with her rescuer (Herve Jaubert), alleging torture by her father, was captured by the Indian Coast Guards and sent back by an Indian Navy helicopter to her ruthless father who has six wives with 30 children. The last communication from princess was on March 4, around 4.30 pm, alleging that she and her friend, Herve Jaubert were “surrounded by men” who werefiring at them. These men were from Indian Navy.[ii]
According to press reports it was Ajit Doval [National Security Advisor] who thought up the March operation in which the Dubai princess, Sheikha Latifa, was arrested some 50 km off the coast of Goa and handed back to the UAE authorities.[iii]
This chief Indian spy master at the service of six-wifer Shiekh ruler of Dubai remained clueless about this terrorist attack at home! Will Doval tell us who was responsible for such a costly lapse?
(4)Who made hundreds of brave CRPF personnel to ride buses on journey from Srinagar to Jammu thus making them sitting duck for the terrorists? Why were they not air-lifted?
India is ranked 4th as a military power in the world, the fastest growing economy, its foreign currency reserves have surpassed all past collections, it has the third largest number of billionaires, it has installed the largest statue in the world with an airport attached, it is building infrastructure for one of the fastest ‘bullet train’ worth billions of dollars, its PM has travelled to and fro by air to 93 countries in first four years of his term, Indian PM, President and Vice-President have at their disposal modern; state of the art, big aircrafts like USPresident but we were not able to provide air transport to defenders of the nation!
Indian home minister, Rajnath Singh went to Pulwama to give kandha [pall-bearer] to mortal remains of the martyrs, it was well-publicized but we missed the point that if home ministry had provided air lifting to the victims there would have been no need for home minister’s kandha!Rajnath Singh claimed that home ministry never ordered non-use of aircrafts for the movement of armed personnel in Jammu & Kashmir. India must hold an independent enquiry to know the truth. Will the higher-ups who forced armed personnel to ride buses be given exemplary punishment?
(5) RSS, the Hindutva fraternity, corporate embedded media using this carnage for spreading hatred against Muslims but do their family members recruit in the Indian armed forces?
Using Pulwama carnage in which a Muslim soldier too was martyred, the above mentioned degenerated lot is creating a hysteria against Muslims and for war. A war in which they will have nothing to suffer because they rarely recruit in the Indian armed forces. RSS whose Hindutva icon VD Savarkar organized recruitment camps for the British army in early 1940s, when Netaji Subhash Chander Bose was trying to liberate India militarily, may declare its love for Indian army personnel but it has never sent its cadres for the recruitment in the Indian army. Their favourite dictum seems to be that youth of poor peasants and families of lower strata will recruit in the armed forces, will sacrifice their lives while children or family members of RSS, Tatas, Ambanis, Adanis, Birlas, political leaders, administrators, religious leaders will mourn their deaths and rule. Let RSS, Hindutva leaders and owners of media houses who love war, come out with the names of their family members who are serving in the Indian armed forces?
(6) Is it not true that it is second time that Jaish-e-Mohammad has come to the rescue of RSS-BJP rulers?
JeM sponsored attack on the Indian Parliament on December 13, 2001in which 6 Delhi police personnel, 2 Parliament security officials and one gardener lost their lives. The timing of the attack was significant. National democratic Alliance government headed by a senior RSS ideologue, Atal Bihari Vajpayee facing nation-wide protests against its neo-liberal and pro-IMF policies was bent upon supressing these protest terming them as anti-national acts. It is to be noted that two powerful anti-terror laws, namely, POTO and TADA were already in existence. Not content with these, Vajpayee government introduced harsher anti-terror law named as POTA. This bill was defeated in Rajya Sabha but after attack on Parliament opposition fizzled out, POTA was passed thanks to this attack by JeM.
The JeM sponsored Pulwama carnage has occurred when RSS/BJP government led by Modi was faced with worst electoral defeats and losing mass support even in the Hindi belt. The ill-effects of demonetization, unemployment, rising pitch of corruption allegations on Rafael and other deals, rise in farmers’ suicides, spiralling violence against women, Dalits and minorities, privatization of education, fiasco of Citizens Bill which put Hindus against Hindus, loot of banks by people close to PM Modi and destruction of national institutions made it clear even to die-hard supporters of Modi that his return to power in 2019 was doubtful.
But terrorist adventure by the JeM has altered the scenario altogether. All the above issues have disappeared in the thin air. The RSS/BJP cadres who had disappeared from the public places are back on streets with slogans of revenge, hatred and demanding war with Pakistan. It seems there could not have been a better or more appropriate time for this carnage at Pulwama from the point of view of RSS/BJP rulers. It is second time in history that most wanted terrorist, Azhar Masood has come to the rescue of Hindutva establishment. Only future will tell whether India as a democratic-secular polity survives or this ganging up has the last laugh!
Shamsul Islam is a retired Professor of University of Delhi.Email: email@example.com