Spare Indian Muslims, confront Taliban in Afghanistan, Mr Modi
It’s a golden opportunity for our Hindutva brigade flexing its muscles at the hapless unarmed poor old Indian Muslims to go to Afghanistan and rescue some people from the clutches of the brute Taliban
As in the past, the phantom of Islamic terror has risen once again to aid the Modi-Yogi led Bhartiya Janata Party to win the crucial assembly elections of Uttar Pradesh, whose victory shall determine the success of the BJP in the 2024 general elections. This time it is the scary, bearded, visibly barbarian medieval Taliban who have “conquered” a long-time traditional friend of India—Afghanistan, to establish their “Shariah” rule in that hilly land locked western state.
Ever since the humiliating defeat in West Bengal assembly elections earlier this year by Mamata Banerjee led Trinamool Congress, the saffron brigade is licking its wounds and has not forgiven Mamata for her impunity to defeat simultaneously the combined might of two communally polarising colossal behemoths, comfortable in the general perception of being invincible.
But that has not really helped and so the safest bet is, return to the time tested stratagem of raising the spectre of the “evil Muslaman” and so even though the elections are not due in Delhi, but because of its sheer proximity to the largest state in the country, it is witnessing a deliberate and conscious design of holding street corner demonstrations attacking tombs, letting loose lynching mobs. In the poll ready UP there is an attempt to capture the imagination of the 'bhakts' by staking claim to the Gyanvapi mosque of Varanasi.
Meanwhile friends from UP are descending upon Jantar Mantar to publicly raise the threat of “Mulle (Muslims) kate jayenge ostensibly in the name of “Bharat Jodo’ (unite India) on the call of former BJP spokesman Ashwani Upadhyaya, a leading legal practitioner. Similarly in Kanpur BJP MLA Abhijeet Singh Sangha created tension in the midst of ten-day long Moharram mourning by threatening to bury alive all those who dare bring their Tazias for burial to mark the last day of Moharram. This upfront involvement of BJP men is to send out a message to its constituency who’s leading the charge against that bearded gnome, the Musalman.
Even a survey conducted by a pro-Modi national English weekly has demonstrated a visible fall in Modi’s popularity graph since the Bengal elections. Presumably, this might be the outcome of the insensitivity towards the patients dying during the second wave of Covid-19 this summer or the stubborn refusal to heed the farmers’ demand to withdraw the anti-farmer laws or the multi-billion-dollar scam in the purchase of Rafale fighter planes from French company Dassault. The latest revelation of spying on Rahul Gandhi, judges of Supreme Court and related persons, former Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa and a host of anti-establishment journalists and activists came in later and could not have influenced the subjects of this survey.
Modi’s Independence Day announcement to observe August 14, Pakistan Independence Day as “Horrors of Partition Day”, also seems to be one more attempt to inflame the anti-Muslim hatred.
And yet the saffron camp is not exuding the confidence of yore. Then came the capture of entire Afghanistan right into Kabul by the Pakistan-backed Taliban hankering after power and pelf, in a swift operation as the US forces went home handing over all their highly sophisticated state of the art arms worth billions of dollars at the disposal of these barbaric marauders.
In 1999 when the same set of Pakistani marauders captured Kabul, Pakistan had merely armed them with AK-47 and AK-56. But now these Pakistani proxies have the best equipment at their disposal as well as an open border into Pakistan for ready replenishment of all supplies.
Modi’s kept media—private TV channels and digital media, including sections of Hindi press are deliberately and consciously interpolating Indian Muslims with the Taliban, by inviting some apparent Muslim clerics to project that the Indian Muslims are celebrating the Taliban takeover of Kabul. No doubt it takes all kinds to make this world and Muslims are no exceptions, particularly those who subscribe to the conservative Wahabi creed of Islam. But they comprise only a microscopic section of Indian Muslim population.
The bulk of Afghan population loves India and is hostile to their next-door Eastern neighbour for I can’t recall since when. Certainly, before I was born, perhaps on account of how the Pakistanis ill-treated great Pathan nationalists led by Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, nee Frontier Gandhi who opposed the creation of Pakistan till the last day and even after its creation never reconciled to it. Or Baluch leaders like Ghaus Bux Bizenjo or the Marxist guerrilla fighter Sher Mohammad Marri who eventually died in Delhi in 1993 after the collapse of the Saur Revolution in Afghanistan or the former Baluchistan chief minister Atalullah Mengal and even today Ahmed Massoud the son of the Lion of Panjshir Ahmed Shah Massoud, who was killed deceitfully by the Talibanis in 2001 after they took over the country under their vile looking leader Mullah Omar. Unlike Pakistan, before the intervention of both Russia and the US, Afghanistan was a modern state.
We advertise here Modi and his BJP’s great gesture of emancipating Muslim women by decreeing against triple Talaq when, the incident of triple talaq is rare. All Muslims acknowledge that triple talaq is awful. And it is restricted to only a small section of Muslim population. For instance, it is banned among various streams of Shia Muslims. But there are women in Afghanistan who had acquired some degree of independence and autonomy in these last 20 years which is severely threatened by the medieval anti-women Taliban determined to keep women subjugated as chattel. Our dear leader Modi’s help to free Muslim women from bondage of those barbarians, might actually prove how much he cares for the emancipation of Muslim women.
It’s a golden opportunity for our macho saffron Hindutva brigade flexing its muscles and lung power at the hapless unarmed poor old, infirm Indian Muslims to go to Afghanistan and rescue some people from the clutches of the brute Taliban.
I briefly heard a Godi media TV anchor tell his viewers how the only one vanquishing the Afghans was the Sikh king Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Fine, that was very long ago we have the wherewithal to take on and defeat the Taliban for all the covert support they receive from Pakistan. Besides, we have invested heavily in developing and creating Afghan infrastructure post the last extermination of Talibans.
My younger cousin Abbas Muzaffar set up the Kabul TV there. We did a lot of work and we have no right or business to abandon all that and just flee the country. We have to stick it out and fight and defeat the Taliban. We have to prove we are a martial race and can chase out some medieval barbarians. We have a commitment to the people of Afghanistan, men, women and children young, old and inform, students and scholars, all.
But we see the Modi government getting weak in the knee in front of the Talibani marauders. In fact, our External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar attended in September, 2020 a virtual peace conference with the Taliban leaders hosted by Qatar at the prompting of the US special envoy Zalmy Khalilzad. Then on June 9 this year Jaishankar again went to Doha to indicate India’s willingness to “peace” negotiations with the Taliban. Did we have no idea, what it meant to hand over our friendly nation to the mercenaries of our enemy? We did. Even now someone as eminent as the former Army chief General Shankar Roy Chowdhry counsels that “"We need to understand that the victory in Afghanistan is being seen (by terror groups) as a Pakistani victory and an Indian defeat.”
The General stressing upon a more active Indian involvement to save and secure our long term strategic and security interests recalled that “During the period the Taliban rode to power in the mid-1990s, India steadfastly refused to do business with the regime which it saw as a brutal proxy for Pakistan's military. It continued to support the remnants of the Afghan government and later the Northern Alliance, aiding them with training and supplies.
His counsel is worth pondering seriously. But will Modi’s saffron brigade bite the bait?
Views are personal