Plight of Muslims under terrorism

Never before was the situation for the Muslims in India so awful as today. An accused in terror attack in Mumbai 26/11, Fahim Ansari, wants bail to come out and search a lawyer who can defend him. Reason: his lawyer Shahid Azmi has been shot dead by Chhota Rajan gang in the name of “patriotic killing.” His move suggests that he accepts the judicial system. Despite its shortcoming he still trusts it to exonerate him ultimately. Azmi himself had gone through the rigmaroles of the judicial system and had successfully overcome hurdles including five years in jail when he completed junior college education and graduation. He knew that the system was biased against the minority and yet he did not lose faith in the institutions of the country. They redeemed him only to be killed as he was fighting for many others like him who were incarcerated. The Sachar commission has already documented that the highest number of jail inmates everywhere in the country are Muslims.

Another accused is Saquib Nachan booked for local train blast at Mulund 2003. He has petitioned the SC to investigate all the cases of terrorism since 2002. There is something terribly wrong with the conduct of investigation and the judicial system. According to him the Muslim youths are languishing in prisons across the country without trial. He has spent seven years in prison and others have also gone through the same length of time and even more. The suffering of Nachan and Ansari or the late Azmi must also be viewed as an off-shoot of the global strategy of Americans in the region. The gravitational pull that India and Pakistan exercise over the Americans is reflected in local bomb blasts in India.

Obama’s operation Af-Pak
Of late, President Obama has authorized operation Af-Pak; and Marjah in Afghanistan has been baptized in fire. The fall out of this can and does affect situation in India. Muslims as a community in India are unconnected to the war on terror either in Afghanistan or Pakistan or even in Kashmir valley. The Af-Pak strategy and the Pakistan’s strategic depth into Afghanistan primarily bring the US into the subcontinent. Every drone attack or ground advance beyond the Khayber pass means more bomb attacks in Pakistan and its spill over into India.

If Pune blast is a consequence of this, it proves foreign secretary Nirupama Rao right because she had pointed out at the possibility. “We have to be constantly alert to this possibility.” However if we have not got the clues and found any lead in the matter, it would give away our weakness in the investigation of the matter. In a hurry, as it often happens, to show some breakthrough to the bosses or to affiliates in ideology, it is also possible that more people like Ansari or Nachan would be made to wear the cross. Or, like some of the accused in Malegaon blast of 2006 whose only “crime” was to carry placards depicting Laden and denouncing the unjust war of George Bush  on Iraq.  The entry of terrorism thanks to America has destroyed what Alexander Pope rejoiced: “happy the man whose wish and care a few paternal acres bind, content to breathe his native air in his native town.”

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 March 2010 on page no. 13

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