India has unremittingly been attacked from Pakistan because it cannot get over the identity insecurity vis-à-vis the mother country. It relied on Islam for creation of its identity but even after losing East Pakistan in 1971. It was not ashamed of the fact that Pakistan as an Islamist project had died. The Jamait-e-Islami (JeI), which perpetrated the worst crimes on fellow Muslims in East Pakistan, was even more shameless. It vigorously peddled the nation that East Pakistan was lost because, Pakistan was not Islamist enough and had paid concessions to its Hindu past. The rulers of Pakistan, especially Zia-ul-Haq bought this preposterous theory of the JeI. Thus, Islamization kept growing in Pakistan till it created enemies out of Shias, Balochis and others.
Ten years down the line, Islamization got converted into Jihadism and Pakistan emerged as the biggest factory of Jihadis and suicide-bombers. A branch of the jihadi factory under several guises exists in India as well. It is this cross-border apparatus, whose progenitor was the JeI, facilitates proxy war. In three decades the JeI, Islamized the entire Kashmir Valley. Through these decades it killed Kashmiriyat and Insaniyat. They turned the dargahs in Kashmir into haunted places. It then began to spread its tentacles into the rest of the country. In the desire to destroy India, it began to forge partnerships with other anti-India forces like the Maoists. Hence, if India has to be secured from Pakistan, the nexus between the Jihadis and the Maoists has to be ruptured.
The JeI ideology must be reduced to ashes to kill jihadism. Consequently, not only will India be secured but the entire world will be spared of global jihad. It must be realized that JeI has served a vehicle for spread of wahabism in the Indian Subcontinent. Without Islamization, there can be no jihadi factory and without jihadi factory Pakistan will find it difficult to survive in its present physical and ideological form.
A recent report of National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism contracted with the US state department has revealed that India is the fourth in terms of terrorist victimhood, the other three being Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The jihad that consumes Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan is explicable, but why on this earth, India – a non-Islamic country, is being buffeted by terrorism to the extent that it has become the fourth worst victim.
It is pertinent to note that the first three are Islamic countries, which are in a state of destabilization for various reasons that continue to haunt the so-called Muslim World. Iraq continues to be destabilized since the US attack on Iraq in 2003. Similarly Afghanistan continues to be in the grip of violence since 2001. The vicious and bigot Taliban retreated from Afghanistan but retained the ability to wage ‘Jihad’. And as far as Pakistan is concerned it occupies a different category because it uses jihad as an instrument of state-policy and a tool for proxy war against India and Afghanistan, hence it cannot escape the blowback.
The jihad that consumes these three countries is therefore explicable, but why on this earth India, a non-Islamic country, is being buffeted by terrorism to the extent that it has become the fourth worst victim.
The answer lies very much in the said report. In 2015, 289 Indians died in terrorist attacks of which 43 percent of the 791 attacks were attributed to the Maoists. The Maoists of India in fact have been portrayed as the fourth deadliest terror outfit after Taliban, Islamic State and Boko Haram. These three organizations span Af-Pak region, West Asia and Africa. If the attacks by the Maoists were to be excluded the residual jihadi terror narrative in India would have been much milder. The comparative table with regard to terror attacks and the corresponding fatalities that they caused in 2015 are given below:-
An analysis of the above figures reveals that every terrorist attack by Boko Haram has claimed an average of 12 human lives. In case of Islamic State and Taliban it is 6 and 4 respectively. In this regard, the Maoists fall way below, causing less than one loss of human life for every attack.
The number of killed reflects the nature and modus-operandi of these outfits. Most of these jihadi organizations consider the segments of population as their enemy and hence, resort to mass-killings. Boko Haram is particularly the most inhuman in this regard. Most of these outfits are motivated by the concept of ‘jihad’ and ‘caliphate’, and consider international boundaries as incidental. All these groups resort to use of suicide bombers. In that even prayer (namaz) gatherings are not spared. As recent as on 16 September, 25 people were killed and 50 injured when a suicide bomber in Mohmand tribal region blew himself in a mosque during Friday prayers.
Just as jihad is a proxy war by Pakistan, Maoism is a proxy war by inimical interests like China and some Western countries, which are leveraging on ultra-leftists in various countries all over the world.
The low or subsidized killing rate of the Maoists is not a reflection of any human side that they possess. It is only that their objective is the State itself. They can only attain this objective by expanding their area of writ by intimidation of the population through selective use of terror. They calibrate violence in a manner so as to keep the target population in a constant state of anxiety. The spread of anxiety expands their writ.
The Maoists have a huge extortion industry, which can be adversely impacted by mass-killings. Such killings are resorted to when absolutely necessary.
There are more intangibles to the ‘Maoist terror’ as compared to ‘jihadi terror’. It is a terror that terrorizes business, communication, education, development and political activity. Just as jihad is a proxy war by Pakistan, Maoism is a proxy war by inimical interests like China and some Western countries, which are leveraging on ultra-leftists in various countries all over the world. These Western countries have only begun to come under the scanner now for promoting ultra-left extremism.
In March 2012, two Italian tourists were found to be in league with Maoists in Orissa, and one of them got himself abducted to further their cause. Later in April 2012, a group of ten French tourists were deported from Bihar when they tried to collude with the Maoists. Moreover, in January 2011, members of the European Commission descended on India when Binayak Sen was being tried for anti-national Maoist activities.
While the ratio between terrorist attacks and killings in case of Maoists may be low, the terror they engender is very high. The magnitude of this terror can be extrapolated by the number of kidnappings by the Maoists.
Despite the magnitude of Maoist terror, there is a tendency in the country to treat it as a routine affair. It is probably because we have over the years been culpable of giving too much of respectability of the Communist ideology.
In 2015, there were 862 kidnappings in India of which 707 were attributable to the Maoists. In the preceding year, there were 163 out of 305 kidnappings attributable to the Maoists. Between 2010 and 2015, more than 800 security forces personnel have been killed by the Maoists.
Despite this magnitude of Maoist terror, there is a tendency in the country to treat it as a routine affair. It is probably because we have over the years been culpable of giving too much of respectability of the Communist ideology. This ideology is basically violent in import. The mainstream communist parties very cleverly provide intellectual, political, social and economic protection to their ultra-leftist comrades. The English speaking cadres in the garb of intellectualism are the overt faces and exercise disproportionate influence in the political landscape of India. It is ironical that they are even included in the all-party delegations to assess nation problems that they have created. Beneath these displays of national concerns, they have the lurking agenda of peddling their own political ideology. Without insecurity, instability and poverty –communist ideology cannot proliferate. To create these conditions, the Maoists come in handy. An existential threat to any of these streams, i.e. main-stream or ultra-leftists compels them to come together for survival. The recent student elections in the JNU is testimony.
The report of National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism contracted with the US state department also says that terror groups during the Cold War era were driven by communist impulses, while the post Cold War terrorism is overwhelmingly religious in nature. In the case of India, however, both religious and political terrorism impacts in serious measures.
There is a commonality between the jihadi groups and the Maoists. Both abhor democracy. Both do not brook political or ideological opposition. Both are totalitarian. Both are violent. Both believe in terror. Both use women and children as militants. Both believe in sex slaves. Both believe in capture of the State. Both believe in repudiating symbols of nationalism including the national flag. Both are alien to Indian psychological landscape, spurred by ideologies bond on foreign soil. If not by anything else, they are united in their desire for destruction of India.
The real challenge for India is not the fighting prowess of the jihadis and the Maoists, but their capability of the ideology to create and perpetrate terror.
If jihad is incubated in the madrassas, the Maoists leaders are nurtured in some universities campuses. If the mullahs indoctrinate in the madrassas, the so-called intellectual teachers do it in the universities, whose ultra-leftist character is now well established. The jihadis and the Maoists have been feeding on each other for some time now. The country witnessed the tryst of these two-shades of terror recently in a university in the national capital.
The real challenge for India is not the fighting prowess of the jihadis and the Maoists, but their capability of the ideology to create and perpetrate terror. A country cannot be so liberal as to permit foreign ideologies, which incessantly produce terrorists to devour innocent and patriotic citizens.
Counter-terrorism is a battle of ideas, whose imperative the Indian establishment has ignored or found it politically inconvenient.
It is a salute to the resilience of Indian Security Forces that they have withstood the onslaught of two worst forms of terror, i.e. jihadi and the Maoists, despite the fact that political parties in India are either linked to them or use their terror network for electoral purposes. There are many politicians in India beholden to the Hafeez Saeed’s and Dawood Ibrahim’s Jihadi network. Similarly one Chief Minister of Jharkhand, heading a coalition government, owed half the seats to the Maoists. The only cause of a bit satisfaction is that in 2015, 20 percent of the perpetrators of terrorism were killed, which is a substantial improvement over seven percent in 2014.