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Death in Varanasi

Death in Varanasi

Author: Gautam Sen
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: March 10, 2006

Never has secular politics anywhere in the world been so steeped in communal blood, says Gautam Sen

When do successive acts of mass murder and carnage enter the phase of ethnic cleansing and civil war? The mass murders in Varanasi, Delhi and scores of others place are a routine tactic used by militant Islam everywhere, from Bangladesh and Pakistan to Dafur and numerous locations in West Asia, cowing and eventually expelling vast numbers of non-Muslims. India's politicians, with an eye exclusively on the main chance, which is a hand in the till through the tiresome business of electoral politics, are making the usual inane noises about 'mindless violence'. The steadfast refusal to recognise what is happening to their country suggests that India's national bird should be an ostrich rather than a peacock since wilful self-denial is the hallmark of its people.

The mass murder is anything but mindless, unfailingly orchestrated by India's newly discovered dear friend General Musharraf, for whom the world's media, Indian included, is lost for words coining paeans of praise. So bedraggled and morally bankrupt is India's English language television that it's entirely appropriately imitating in every detail the execrable BBC, the most determined surreptitious apologist of Islamic terror. One particularly dim interviewee insisted yesterday that Varanasi was like Mecca, while the interviewer confessed breathlessly to 'being frightened', presumably at a potential backlash rather than for the inconsequential dead Hindu worshippers of Varanasi.

As it happens, at the last count, there were no Hindu temples in Mecca though I could be wrong, nor are kafirs allowed into Islam's sacred city. Varanasi itself, by contrast, is barely a sacred Hindu city since it is now teeming with mosques. Adding insult to injury, at a moment of rising anger and profound distress, was the utterly deceitful suggestion that Muslims regarded the Sankat Mochan temple as somehow worthy of respect because Bismillah Khan played there. Is there no end to arrogance and deceit, no respect for the dead, no self-respect?

Just in case there is any misunderstanding, friend Gen Musharraf is letting his Indian supplicants know that President Bush may come and go and goodies may flow, but Pakistan will always be there. And tormenting India is its sole raison d'être and its GNP is mainly in the business of producing and exporting terror. As it happens, it is the hand of their friend, Gen Musharraf, the truly worthy successor to Jinnah, that is always behind terror attacks in India. He controls the ISI personally on a daily basis and it is they who train, fund and despatch its killers to do their deadly work. And such activities barely register on their moral Richter scale since they remain unpunished for monumental crimes in Bangladesh during 1971. And now we have a female descendant of Subhas Bose being quoted triumphantly by the Pakistani army, denying that it ever committed mass rapes in Bangladesh during 1971!

The Indo-US accord may be an unfortunate necessity, despite all the incomprehensible opposition to it, but the counsel of many, that a very long spoon is imperative while supping with the US, is well taken. A half-hour examination of what the US has done to Iraq and its people should remove any illusions about US propensity for honesty and goodwill. Alas, supping with the US has become an unavoidable necessity for India though remaining alert to the danger of betrayal must remain a constant refrain.

It also needs to be recognised that the US will choose Pakistan over India if push comes to shove. And, of course, the price that Americans are prepared to pay for snubbing Gen Musharraf, because US domestic politics no longer permits the earlier carte blanche sanctioned by the evil Dick Cheney for Pakistan's nuclear programme, is always denominated in the bodies of dead Hindu women and children.

Yet every bomb blast, leaving a trail of dead, consolidates the minority vote-bank in India, benefiting its unbearably misnamed secular parties. It is hardly credible that India's cynical politicians have allowed this marvellous happenstance to escape their attention. Hindus react by performing the sad last rites on their loved ones because they have no defenders in the quasi-Islamic State that India has already become. Muslims simply go out to vote in larger numbers and with greater conviction in favour of their temporary Hindu surrogates as Jamat leader Ansari, honourably, made clear in a public meeting at the IIC that I attended.

This is the price India's ruling elites are prepared to pay in the unseemly and no-holds-barred scramble for the additional 40 or so parliamentary seats they require to rule the roost in Delhi unhindered. Never has secular politics anywhere been so steeped in communal blood and the voiceless distress of one's own kin.

The pro forma Muslim denunciations of violence lack all conviction since nothing is allowed to happen in the interim that might reduce the Islamic truculence, fuelled by lies and incitement that constitute the backdrop to murdering Hindus. The restoration for POTA is not a measure Muslim leaders are now demanding for the security of their Hindu 'brethren' nor the scrutiny of illegal aliens nurturing assassins in their midst. Business as usual, until the next bomb and more dead Hindus, while worshipping in the most sacred sites in their own country. The expressions of sympathy remind one of a goat being petted with knowing cynicism just before its head is due to be chopped off. As for the defenders of civilisation, the less said the better because their credibility is at nadir. Their behaviour reminds one of communities who navigated successfully, making money and duplicitously betraying fellow Hindus, at the height of Muslim power in India.

By now, any self-respecting country would have announced its intention of breaking off diplomatic relations with both Pakistan and Bangladesh. The borders should also be sealed and new paramilitaries raised to enforce it. If there is opposition to such a move from the Government of West Bengal, a national emergency should be declared. No more than two divisions will be required to pacify the region. It took only a few months and two divisions, if I recall correctly, to crush the Leftist menace in 1972 though the campaign was masterminded by India's greatest military genius since Shivaji. A systematic and ruthless rooting out of infiltrators and terrorists requires that the two officers most capable of accomplishing it, one from the IPS and the other the IB, who have worked together in the Punjab and the Northeast in the past, should be given a free hand. The one word they should be debarred from uttering is mercy.

Any third country, like puny Australia or Sweden, raising human rights concerns, should have their historical record thrust in their face and diplomatic relations downgraded. It may cost the country, but given India's size, the economy can easily survive. Furthermore, India should be prepared to enter into a full-fledged alliance with Shia Iran, exchanging energy for whatever Iran seeks. India is at war and normal rules of diplomacy no longer apply. Finally, any business house seeking to subvert national security by lobbying for Pakistan, often the real problem in India beneath the surface, should simply be extinguished. India's survival as a nation is at stake and nothing less will do. Enough is enough!

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