Saturday, November 1, 2008

Selective thinking and terror

What IF Rahul Raj had been a Rizan-ur-Rahmaan and hijacked a bus in Ahmadabad instead of Mumbai and said that he wanted to teach Narendra Modi a lesson? Would the leaders from his community have appealed to the Prime Minister for a probe without having to face charges of protecting terrorism? Would the PM have demanded an explanation from the government of Gujarat?

Remember the Batla House case? Everyone raising questions was questioned. People on both the sides were injured. Is it true that Inspector Sharma died at the hospital? It is not about supporting police action in either case; it is about why the logic applied to the Batla House case did not apply to the Mumbai bus case and vice versa.

Every single news channel is saying that Rahul’s killing was not the only option but those who raised such voices in the Batla House case were condemned. Persons like Prof Musheer-ul-Hassan faced questions over integrity because he talked about providing legal assistance to those who were nabbed. The question is clear - why the Delhi Police had faith in the majority and the Mumbai police did not? Why we look at things with a bias?

When Union Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav said that meting out justice in Gujarat would have prevented these terror attacks, he was blamed for playing politics but in the Mumbai case no politically-motivated blames are being levelled. Remember the Gujarat encounters. Banjara is still in jail and paying for those encounters while Modi is enjoying power. Time alone will tell who will reap the benefits arising from the Maharashtra incidents.

The Home Minister of Maharashtra was very furious, promising ‘a bullet for every bullet’. But the same Minister was not furious when North Indians were killed and tortured by the MNS men.

Is it not another instance of Marathi crime versus Bihari crime? It is very clear that things would have been better if those in power had nipped the problem in the bud.

There is another snippet of news that stands out these days. Every news channel seems to be happy over using the phrase ‘Hindu terrorist’, as if before the Malegaon incident, no Hindu figured in terrorism. As if those working in Orissa, Assam or Gujarat were all saints. Ask Bashir Badra, the noted Urdu poet. He will tell you there is nothing wrong in Hindu terror as it is just an answer to Muslim terror. He said as much on the Ayodhya case recently. It was reported on the Internet edition of a news magazine, “Rawiwar”. Badra is not wrong. Some people are still invoking the barbaric tit-for-tat mindset. The same mindset was in evidence in Delhi in 1984, Ayodhya in 1992, Mumbai in 1993 and Gujarat in 2002. Sadly there is no termination of such a mindset and problems are growing faster than ever. Courts will decide the fate of each and every person arrested as terror suspect but till then we have time to think. Do we desire Atifs and Pragyas or Amartya Sens and Kalams?

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