Sri Lanka didn’t listen. If only they had listened.
When India gave them inputs on possible suicide bombings, Sri Lankan officials ignored the warnings. They thought India was trying to point fingers at the Muslim minority in Sri Lanka and trying to drive a wedge between them and Pakistan.
India trying to drive a wedge between Sri Lanka and Pakistan? It still baffles me that anybody at all in the whole world would want to get close to Pakistan! Have they been living under a rock? Can they give me an example of a single good thing that has ever come out of Pakistan? And yet again, after paying a terrible human cost, another country learns never to take the threat of Islamist terrorism lightly.
Even The New York Times, no fan of the Indian security agencies, admits that India had been providing very *specific* inputs to Sri Lanka.
Wait. There is another angle here. Why would Sri Lanka think India was trying to point fingers at the island’s Muslim minority? Why would Sri Lanka think that India was trying to disturb the communal harmony on the island between Buddhists and Muslims?
Two obvious suspects emerge here. One is political correctness, a tendency to tiptoe around the ever-present threat of Islamic fundamentalism, downplaying the dangers, closing eyes and pretending that everything is fine.
The other is the vicious slander campaign in both domestic and global media about India being an “intolerant country” where the Muslim minority is persecuted. A simple Google search shows how The New York Times, for example, has been churning out scary headlines about India on an industrial scale.
Or look at this headline in The Guardian.
Such viciously unfair coverage about India in the world’s most influential “news” outlets is bound to have an impact. What started with desperate anti-Modi media in India possibly calling in favours with friends in the West might well be driving impressions about India among the general public everywhere. And perhaps more importantly, such media has its maximum impact in top diplomatic circles where policy is really decided.
Recently, I wrote about how big news channels in distant South America are being fed outright lies about India, such as projecting Sardar Patel as a “right-wing bigot” who liked to annex Muslim ruled states! This tells you the scale of the campaign launched to defame India.
Did this campaign have an impact on the minds of officials who ignored Indian intelligence inputs possibly on the assumption that “intolerant” India was trying to point fingers at their Muslim minority?
Does it help India’s image when Indian and global media suggest that India’s bid to punish Pakistan after the Pulwama terror attack was driven by some kind of anti-Muslim agenda?
Look at this article in Firstpost, which suggests that India’s military response to Pulwama attack had something do with “BJP’s anxiety” or with attitudes towards Indian Muslims:
Can you believe the stuff that is being written about India in supposedly ‘mainstream’ outlets? India’s strikes on terrorist camps in Balakot has something to do with “Muslims” being the symbolic enemy? What are they even talking about? Our Air Force strikes at a Jaish terrorist camp and you decide to treat it as an attack on Muslims in general?
Can The New York Times be far behind when it comes to connecting India’s military action against terrorist camps with some imaginary anti-Muslim agenda? See?
Accusing Modi of making Pulwama the basis his campaign that is supposedly built around a “terrorism-Pakistan-Muslim” threat!
For at least two months now, the liberal media has been going to town telling everybody that India is a hateful country that is fighting not terrorism but innocent Muslims.
This fake propaganda might be having very real and very tragic consequences. Do you remember Sunday, Apr 21, when the blasts were still happening in Colombo and the body count was going up with every passing hour? Claims began to surface on social media, accompanied by some documents, suggesting that India had provided intelligence inputs about the possibility of Islamist terror attacks in Sri Lanka.
Do you remember what our liberals were doing on Apr 21? They were busy trying to “debunk” the obvious truth, trying to prove that it was not even an Islamist terror attack at all! One alleged fact checker, who co-founded a website that is much promoted by liberals in India and abroad, spent his entire day trying to prove that India provided no intelligence inputs and that it was not even an Islamist terror attack! Remember?
Hundreds of innocents have lost their lives in bombings in Sri Lanka. And the global slander campaign against India could have led Sri Lankan officials to view Indian intelligence reports with suspicion. Will liberals pause and reflect? Or is defaming Modi govt such a priority that they don’t care any more?