Take a look at this man. This is the Facebook page of Mohammad Rafi, a sharp young man with good looks, well educated, and an Assistant Professor.
“Human being first then a Muslim.”
Hmmm… An enlightened man as well, who puts the cause of being a human being above some sectarian or religious affiliation. Probably popular among his students too.
Except this man is a terrorist, who was neutralized by Indian security forces yesterday in an encounter with the Hizbul Mujahiddeen.
But he seems so “normal”, doesn’t he? My curiosity led me to dig through his timeline, which wasn’t too hard because he happened to post fairly frequently on Facebook. Let’s find out what a terrorist would post on his timeline.
Barkha Dutt interviewing somebody. Fairly mainstream stuff. Okay, what else?
A hitjob in The Quint against Savarkar. It should not really qualify as mainstream stuff, but such smears against Savarkar and the Sangh are so common that nobody bats an eyelid. What else?
Ah! Ravish Kumar fighting for justice as usual. What else?
Some nondescript social science/humanities conference in Kolkata where intellectuals are expected to be in attendance. Anything else to see?
Ah! A Hinduphobic article in The Print regarding toilet use habits of Hindus vis-a-vis the Muslims.
Again, it all seems so “normal,” no? This is all garden variety stuff that you will find on the Facebook page of the average Modi-hater.
And that is exactly my point. The terrorists, the anti-nationals, the enemies of India blend very well into the anti-Modi crowd. They use the same language, they watch the same TV news shows and they read and share the same news articles on the internet.
We know that the terrorists are in our midst and they go around dressed as liberals. This one was an academic, with a doctorate in sociology, a young Assistant Professor. This one got exposed because security forces actually got him red handed fighting for Hizbul terrorists.
For every one that is caught, how many more are going free? Intellectuals have been caught breaking bread with ISI on foreign shores: remember Pakistani agent Ghulam Nabi Fai who was convicted in America and his network in India? Intellectuals from multiple institutions have faced accusations of aiding jihadi terrorists in Kashmir and Communist terrorists in the forests of the heartland. Are you certain all of them were innocent?
Most of them are free today, talking up pretty much the same game as this Mohammad Rafi was. How do you tell the wolves from the mere sympathizers? More importantly, how do you deal with the shades of grey: the ones who are not active terrorists, but help in getting their message across and building favourable public opinion towards them? How about the ones who chase the security forces around, combing through each operation, trying to find the smallest lapses that can show our military in poor light?
How much of it is independent work driven by their own conscience and how much of it is done in active connivance with terrorists?
How do you know? Like you can see on Mohammad Rafi’s FB page, the terrorists sound exactly like the garden-variety liberal.
Have the terrorists evolved to seek cover by sounding like liberals or did the liberals evolve to give cover to terrorists?
So far, the liberal establishment has been able to fend off such questions, by throwing the usual accusations of jingoism and anti-intellectualism at the right. I bet Mohammad Rafi would have said the same a day before he went out to fight with the Hizbul Mujahideen.
But it is time to ask the liberal establishment some probing questions. It’s not paranoia if they are really out to get us.
Abhishek Banerjee is a math lover who may or not be an Assistant Professor at IISc Bangalore.