Monday, December 01, 2008

One leader of the Bajrang Dal (a paramilitary Hindu right-wing group) described his own role with pride: "There was this pregnant woman, I slit her open. ...They shouldn't even be allowed to breed. I say that even today. Whoever they are, women, children, whoever, nothing to be done with them but cut them down. Thrash them, slash them, burn the bastards. ... The idea is, don't keep them alive at all; after that, everything is ours." ... All of this is terrorism, but most of it doesn't reach the world's front pages. When it does make it into newspapers outside India, the word "terrorism" is rarely used. The result is a perception, in India and abroad, that Muslims are the bad guys in every incident of terrorist violence.

(via Yasmin and Molly's blog)
More than 2000 Muslims were massacred in Gujarat in 2002 - poor people, native people, and no Europeans. Hovels were ransacked and destroyed, hotels, airports and railway stations were untouched. So not such a big story then?
When I first heard reports of the Battle of Mumbai I thought, "This is Muslim payback for 2002", but not so according to the Indian authorities. So what is the truth? We're not going to get that from the Indian authorities, or the Pakistani government, or for that matter from the British or US intelligence apparatus.
Is there a "Deccan Mujahidin"? Were the terrorists trained and equipped in Pakistan? Could the attentat have been executed without local support and intelligence? The Indians appear to be peddling that line. Could just ten gunmen have caused such mayhem and held out against armed police and military for so long?
The British media were selling a line that this outrage was directed at westerners, and that people holding British and US passports were being singled out. The casualty figures don't support this claim - 188 dead, of whom 28 were foreigners, one being British. It appears from these figures that no particular group was targeted; that this was the kind of atrocity favoured by fascists (stategy of tension) and religious terrorists. That is, there was no goal beyond maximum human casualties and maximum destruction of property; in other words terrorism in its purest form.

Addendum: I forgot to mention that governments sometimes use this form of terrorism in order to make their populations less resistant to their arrogation of excessive powers, and suppression of civil rights. An external agent is always blamed.
I also forgot to acknowledge the linked article by Professor Martha Nussbaum.
There is some unconfirmed information on the terrorists on wikipedia under the title "Deccan Mujahidin.

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