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Never forgive or forget this ‘Deep State’ which echoes Pakistan

The last two weeks have been truly amazing. Balakot has meant that India could strike deep within Pakistan; that nobody in the international forum—not even China—comes out in their support; that Pakistan won’t play the nuclear-bomb card. The paradigm has shifted. “Aman ki Aasha” narrative is flushed down the drain forever.

India commanded attention from its citizens in the last two weeks. In an uninterrupted stretch, Pulwama terrorist attack was followed by a counter-attack on JeM in the Kashmir Valley, diplomatic and economic measures, airstrikes deep inside Pakistan territory, the Abhinandan saga and renewed shelling from across the border. A real war loomed.

Since the early 90s, Pakistan had followed a very successful yet predictable pattern. Bleed India endlessly through its terrorists. Next, ensure India doesn’t resort to a deterrent action. Follow it up with more bloodshed. More and more soldiers are killed. The morale of Indian armed forces dissolve; its alienation with its political class grows. Kashmiris are displayed on world forums as victims of Indian state’s brutality. Turn 185 million Indian Muslims into a hostile force against majority Hindus and Indian state.

So why didn’t India take any deterrent measure? Why was Pakistan always allowed a free goal? Who made India complicit in designs of Pakistan? And why did India follow Pakistan’s agenda? These are important questions. Its’ awareness could save or break our country.

In the three decades of terrorism in India, out of the 10 worst terrorist attacks on Indian soil, but for one on Parliament in 2001, the rest were all under Congress (UPA) rule (the one in Uri and Pulwama have been successfully avenged). Here is the chronological order, in terms of casualties and damage:

  • 26/11 Mumbai attacks: Hafiz Saeed’s Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) caused mayhem in Mumbai for four days, targeting Nariman House, Hotel Taj, Hotel Oberoi, Trident, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Leopold Café, Metro Cinema, Cama Hospital etc, killing 166 and injuring 293 innocent citizens;
  • 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blast:  On March 12, 1993, a series of bombs shook Mumbai. 257 dead 713 injured;
  • 2006 Mumbai train blast: On July 11, 2006, a series of seven bombs exploded in seven local trains. 210 people dead. 715 injured;
  • 2016 Uri attack: On September 18, 2016, Pakistani militants killed 17 soldiers, most of whom were burnt alive;
  • 2001 Parliament Attack: On December 13, 2001, terrorists breached security but couldn’t reach the main buildings. Six policemen and three staff were killed;
  • 2008 Ahmedabad serial blast: On July 26, 2008, series of blasts hit Ahmedabad. 21 bombs exploded within 70 minutes. 56 killed; 200 injured;
  • 2008 Jaipur serial bomb blast: On May 13, 2008, 8 synchronize bomb blasts killed 63 persons. 216 were injured;
  • 2008 Bangalore serial bomb blasts: On July 25, 2008, nine bombs went off; killing 2 and injuring 22 persons;
  • 2008 Delhi serial bomb blasts: On September 23, 2013, series of bomb blasts took lives of 30, injuring over 100 persons;
  • 2007 Samjhauta Express bomb blasts: On February 18, 2007, bombs set off in two carriages of Delhi-Lahore Samjhauta Express. 68 dead, dozens injured.

All these attacks were done with impunity. The first step thereafter is to soften the outrage (in wake of Pulwama, it was the fake narrative of how Kashmiris across the country are fleeing!). Lutyens Media are the first movers which stick to Mahatma Gandhi and his “an-eye-for-an-eye-would-leave-the-world-blind” morality. Its Indian readers are told that an escalating war between two nuclear-armed nations would cause mayhem; newspapers are splashed with stories of state brutality in Kashmir Valley; the famous “never-say-die spirit” of Mumbai is evoked; “Aman ki Asha” is propped up in narrative; Bollywood starts singing  “terrorism-has-no-religion” etc – all are aimed to assuage the anger. So that the next round of violence could begin. (See the above list of terror attacks: no less than 4 major ones took place in 2008 and what did UPA-1 do: Nothing).

This orchestrated narrative couldn’t have happened without a nexus between the political class and media/academia. One could assume that newspaper barons don’t have the sanctity of news as their uppermost goal. Tangible and intangible benefits could be a priority. Why bite the hands which feed? But what about political powers. Why did they sing in harmony to Pakistan’s tune?

Viewed from this prism, the pattern becomes clear. This ‘Deep State’ in India echoes Pakistan. It doesn’t matter if India goes to pieces. Its’ brave soldiers lose live by thousands. Innocent citizens go up in smoke. Widows and orphaned children bewail.  The country is scarred and brought to its knees. These are the forces which manufacture scare about Hindu extremism (imagine, even 26/11 was nearly plastered on this narrative!!!).

The last two weeks have been truly amazing. Balakot has meant that India could strike deep within Pakistan; that nobody in the international forum—not even China—comes out in their support; that Pakistan won’t play the nuclear-bomb card. The paradigm has shifted. “Aman ki Aasha” narrative is flushed down the drain forever.

You and I are happy by the turn of events of the last two weeks. There is a general, all-around respect for PM Narendra Modi. But did you ever hear this gang say so? Why are they unhappy when the nation is happy? In India’s moment of triumph, they have a sense of despair.  Let us hang them out to dry. No point in naming these politicians and journalists/academicians. But we all know them. Never forget or forgive. If they thrive, terrorism would too.

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Ashish Shukla
Author of "How United States Shot Humanity", Senior Journalist, TV Presenter

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