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Crusade against the SIMI
By Obaid Nasir, Lucknow

With the arrest of a few Muslim boys in cases of alleged bomb blast the U.P. police have almost let loose a reign of terror against law-abiding Muslim youths just to please their saffronized political bosses in the name of curbing ISI activities. They have found a new target in the form of Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). Muslim youths, who have not adopted pop culture and live simply and offer five times namaz, are being branded as SIMI activist and their activities and movements are being observed.

It is another story that so far not even a single chargesheet has been filed in any court of the state as well as country against the SIMI activists. Not a single piece of concrete evidence could be obtained to suggest that SIMI is indulging in any anti-national or subversive activity. Not only this just three months ago state Parliamentary affairs Minster Hukum Singh had informed the state assembly that SIMI had not been found indulging in any anti national activity nor was there any proof to suggest that it has links with ISI of Pakistan or any other terrorist organization. 

But now a case is being made as if Mr. Hukum Singh had misled the house and concealed the facts. In that case is not this a fit case of privilege motion. 

Once bitten twice shy Chief Minister Ram Prakash Gupta who has earlier burnt his fingers in the case of Religious Places Bill 2000 was of the opinion that there is no need to ban the SIMI only its activities should strictly be checked . On the other hand the State BJP chief Mr. Kalraj Misra asserts that the activities of the SIMI are part of the proxy war being waged by Pakistan against India . Its links with ISI & Hizbul Mujahideen are established beyond doubt and the organization must be banned immediately. He is of the opinion that the CM must have his political and administrative compulsions in expressing his views against banning the SIMI, but he feels that in the matter of national security no compromise should be made. Mr. Misra is also at pains to explain that the move must not be seen as anti Muslim. UP is a peculiar case of an administrative system where the ruling party chief seems to have more access to vital administrative and secret information than the chief minister himself. 

Immediately after Mr Misra made his demand for the ban on SIMI things started moving fast. Administration geared up to impose the ban and the saffronized media started preparing the ground for it. A senior journalist known for his saffron tilt filed an imaginative story in a national English daily. A few lines are given here to prove the correspondents communal and irresponsible approach: ‘SIMI is a terrorist organization of Muslim youths and students responsible for recent bomb blasts at different places in the state and Sabarmati Express train on the Independence Day.’ He went on to say that various govt. agencies have been providing each and every information about SIMI including its activities, growing influence, increasing number of activists, its systematic meetings and distribution of provocative literature and source of huge funds.’ 

If this is what the English press has written what venom Hindi press would have spread can best be imagined. The govt. could not file even a single case against SIMI till a few days ago but it manipulated a court case against it in Allahabad recently. A few days later a case was also registered in Azamgarh and Lakhimpur districts. on fictitious and ridiculous grounds . For example a quiz competition was organized by SIMI in Allahabad in which besides many other questions there were two questions on which the police raised eyebrows and a case under different sections of IPC including 153 C were registered. These questions were (1) when did Hindu extremists demolish the Babri Masjid (2) What is the meaning of Jihad in this question. Four options were given one of them was demolishing the temple. The government has very cleverly concealed the three other options given. It also could not explain what other suitable words could have been for the destruction of Babri Masjid . Because if only the word Hindu would have been used that meant every Hindu was a part of the demolition squad whereas actually that dastardly act was performed by 0.2 - 0.3 million people a very tiny group out of about 800 million Hindus, majority of whom were opposed to this dastardly act. Another case was registered in Azamgarh for SIMI's alleged links with Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkare Toiba and speaking against the government alleging it to be anti Muslim. Both these allegations are so ridiculous that they do not need serious consideration . Central intelligence agencies could not do what Azamgarh police has done. Right to speaking against the government is part of the freedom of expression. But if might is right then every thing is right or wrong depending on the whims and fancy of the ruler.
It should be noted that both these cases were registered after Kalraj Misra's demand to ban the SIMI. That means first a demand is made then the ground is prepared to meet it, what a wonderful example of justice to all, appeasement of none. 

Though SIMI's links with any terrorist organization or their involvement with subversive activities is a nonsense .ut the organization can be blamed for irresponsible utterances particularly on every 6th December. This year they brought out a pamphlet ‘Praying for the emergence of another Ghaznavi showing Babri Masjid in the background. They very conveniently forget that Ghaznavi was nothing but an invader like many others of his era. He may be a hero for Pakistani Muslims who do not have their own history before 1947 except that of Muslim invasion of India in the Medieval period. For Indian Muslims they are nothing more than a chapter in a long history. 

Regarding the reconstruction of Babri Masjid every Indian Muslim desires it and it is his legal right also but it should be done legally and constitutionally, not the way it was demolished. Otherwise what will be the difference between a Momin and a Zalim. Don't forget Pakistan is the worst possible enemy of Indian Muslims. Its every action is embarrassing for Indian Muslims and against the noble teachings of Islam for example could Jihad be equated with terrorism and senseless killing of innocents whatever may be their religion and faith. We are living in a pluralist society and it has its own demands. If we expect from the majority community to be accommodative and tolerant should we not behave in the same manner.

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