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Monday, September 29, 2008

Bahukutumbi Raman, "Terrifying sameness: An open letter to Vinod Mehta," September 29, 2008.

Despite its focus on issues local to India, Raman's candid letter exposes some universals. -jlt]

  The way we kick around the problem of terrorism like a football blaming everybody else except ourselves can be seen in the TV debates and media columns. The same arguments are repeated without worrying over their validity.


Anger is one of the common root causes of all terrorism. Unless this anger isaddressed, professional handling of the threat alone, however effective, cannot bring about an enduring end to this threat.

8. An effective political handling has to start with a detailed analysis of the causes of anger and action to deal with them. Our young Muslims, who are taking to jihadi terrorism, are not bothered by issues such as lack of education and unemployment, reservation for Muslims etc. They are angry at what they consider to be the unfairness to the Muslims, which, according to them, is widely prevalent in India. They are angry with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for destroying the Babri Masjid and with the Congress (I) for not preventing it.They are angry with both for not implementing the Sri Krishna Commission report on alleged excesses committed by the Mumbai Police in dealing with the riots by some Muslims after the Babri Masjid demolition. They are angry with the BJP for what happened in Gujarat in 2002.They are angry with both the BJP and the Congress (I) for their studied silence on the alleged violations of the human rights of their co-religionists in Afghanistan and Iraq. They are angry with our political class----particularly the BJP and the Congress (I)--- for not uttering one word of criticism about the special detention centres for Muslim suspects set up by the US in Guantanamo Bay in Cuba and in Bagram in Afghanistan. Even Tony Blair, who was widely perceived as an American poodle, criticised the Guantanamo Bay detention centre through a statement by his Attorney-General in 2006 before he left office, but none of our leaders has uttered a word on this subject. Manmohan Singh claims himself to be secular at home, but he profusely praises President George Bush, who is strongly disliked by large sections of the Muslims of the world. His unfortunate statement that the people of India like Bush is not shared by the 160 million Muslims of India and many others.

9. Unsatisfactory political handling of the Muslim youth by all political parties is an aggravating cause of the threat from jihadi terrorism. Thepolitical class is not prepared to mend its ways and play its role in dealing with this problem. How can they expect the professional class toproduce a miracle cure?

Read the whole letter here =>
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