With Islamist militancy, has India passed the tipping point?

July 29, 2008

Victims of the bombings in AhmedabadThe bombings that killed 45 people in the communally sensitive city of Ahmedabad have shaken India’s establishment. It is now sinking in that India faces homegrown Islamist militant groups operating with a scale and sophistication unheard of in
previous years.   

A group called “India Mujahideen” claimed responsibility for the attacks, the same group that said it carried out the bombings in Jaipur in May that killed 63 people.

For years, India had been seen as country that had largely rejected the attractions of global militancy spurred on by wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. U.S. President George W. Bush notably said there were no Indians in al Qaeda.

But mainly Hindu India is home to one of the world’s biggest Muslim populations, around 13 percent of its 1.1 billion people.

It only takes 0.0001 percent of India’s roughly 150 million Muslims to form a nucleus of 15,000 militants, as Uday Bhaskar, former director of New Delhi’s Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, told me.    

And the attacks on Ahmedabad may have involved dozens of people.    

“We have crossed the tipping point,” he said.

Has India being ignoring a simmering revolt from disaffected Muslim youth? Over the last two years there have been a wave of bombings, nearly all blamed by the government on some local Islamist groups funded or backed by Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Reading the Indian newspapers, they are quick to blame Pakistan and Bangladesh. The home-grown front — perhaps the banned Students Islamic Movement of India — is seen as having its roots abroad.   

But there has been signs of growing dissatisfaction within the Muslim community, especially since the 2002 riots in Gujarat when around 2,500 people, mainly Muslims, were massacred by Hindu mobs.

Take the Gujarat riots. Hardly anyone has been brought to justice. The Hindu-nationalist chief minister at the time, Narenda Modi, was accused of turning a blind eye during the riots, is now a rising political star in India.

Data also shows that Muslims are one of the poorest segments of Indian society, and some of the most neglected people.   

The years since Gujarat has also coincided with a rise in global Islamist consciousness, with television and the Internet providing people in remote Indian villages with news of what is going on in Iraq and Guantanamo.

Some commentators point to the fact that ultra-conservative versions of Islam like Wahabism have been making inroads into India in recent years.

There has been a “well-funded effort to bring these ideas and these ideologies to Muslim communities across India,” said Ajai Sahni of the Institute for Conflict Management.

In May, the Indian Mujahideen threatened senior Muslim clerics including Khalid Rasheed, head of the oldest madrasa, or Islamic religious school, in Lucknow, over their pacifist stance.

Rasheed said his peace movement had received support from the influential ultra conservative Darool-Uloom Deoband madrasa in northern India, whose strict interpretation of Islamic law is said to have inspired the Taliban in Afghanistan.Victim of Ahmedabad bombings

But how many young Muslim youths are now ignoring these clerics? How will these bombings in India’s most entrenched Hindu-nationalist state be received among alientated and poor Muslim youth in other parts of the country?

Or will the Indian Mujahideen tactics of bombing hospitals as well as many in their own Muslim community backfire?

64 comments

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“Or will the Indian Mujahideen tactics of bombing hospitals as well as many in their own Muslim community backfire?”

Of course terror bombing will backfire on the Mujahideens. Show me one single terror organization in the world that has managed to achieve their objectives with this type of strategy.

Posted by Tom Vrazek | Report as abusive

“It only takes 0.0001 percent of India’s roughly 150 million Muslims to form a nucleus of 15,000 militants”

Try 0.01%.

In any event, I think the home-grown Maoists are more of a threat to India than radical Muslims.

Posted by Bricker | Report as abusive

Being a non-Indian and a non-Hindu, I find this article an utter disgrace. Mr. Alistair Scrutton certainly needs to do more research on the Gujrat riots and the popularity of Mr. Modi in India.

I hope to read better articles on reuters.

Posted by Jonathan Smith | Report as abusive

Yes India has given so much to these Muslims and in return what they receive is terror.

Check h Islamic problem in India:http://civilisationalconflict.blog spot.com/search?q=One+God

There are always a few malcontents that give the whole community a bad name. Indian Muslims have been a integral part of Indian society for over a millenia. Their bloodlines and heritage are Indian. Despite their tribulations, they have accepted the secular ways of Indian society. They know that turning to extremism will lead to chaos and bloodshed. It is to their and India’s benefit if they ignore political and religious warmongers. The problems of our society will be resolved through cooperation amongst all sects and not sectarian warfare.

Posted by Sanjeev Kumar | Report as abusive

the Muslims in India should move to pakistan if they are not happy living in a multi-cultural setting.
Or, the indian govt should offer to move them to pakistan.
India and pakistan became separate nations, partially out of cultural and religious differences.
If Indian Muslaims cannot live in peace with others,
an offer to move them should be made and held open for as long as they want to utilize it.

William Fraser Austin Texas

Posted by william Fraser | Report as abusive

The author has neatly tried to put in a cute justification for the amdavad bombing, i wonder if they can find a justification for the millions of ‘disaffected muslims’ around the world reeling against US imperialism for 9/11 ?

Posted by bharat | Report as abusive

The question that *needs* to be asked here, of course, is whether there would have ever been such a serious conflict between Muslims and Hindus in the first place were the Muslim religious ‘authorities’ to have officially taught the Doctrine of “resurrection” as a Doctrine of ‘Rebirth’; which is not identical, but is at least similar to the Hindu teaching on ‘reincarnation’. That is, the perception of at least ‘similarity’ in religious viewpoint can be helpful in reducing *political* conflicts.

Michael Cecil

http://after-the-false-peace.blogspot.co m/

Clearly, *these* “Mujahideen” have NO appreciation whatsoever for the fact that the Doctrine of “resurrection” taught by Mohammed in the Koran is a Doctrine of ‘Rebirth’. (Buddhists, for example, are *not* typically found killing people with bombs.)

That is, the quickest way of ‘striking at the *root*’ of this EVIL is by publicizing, as quickly and as massively as possible, that these Muslim Fundamentalists are in *flagrant* violation of the Revelations received by Mohammed; something for which a news organization such as Reuters not only can be quite helpful, but must also assume a certain *responsibility*.

Michael Cecil

http://after-the-false-peace.blogspot.co m/

Sadly funny, how non-white dead bodies are displayed with no dignity given to the murdered, but if this was a white country (more importantly white people) then the dead wouldn’t be shown. I guess even in death ethnicity matters……

Posted by SB | Report as abusive

Any suspects should be shot at sight, it shouldn’t matter if they are hindus or muslims, there is no smoke without fire. Besides, if a couple innocents are killed to save 100 other innocents the cops/government should do it. Any person remotely affiliated with the Indian Mujahideen or SIMI should be shot dead at sight. These people don’t deserve trials. Human rights are for people who know what it is and respect and uphold others’ right to the same.

Posted by Abhi | Report as abusive

In Gujarat, however, most Muslims want to coexist peacefully with their Hindu neighbors. Muslims in Gujarat are generally quite prosperous relative to Indian standards. They generally condemn attacks by Muslim extremists. The bombings in Gujarat are not in retaliation for anything. They are in fact meant to disrupt the economic and social progress Gujarat is making. The terrorists are supported by both the Pakistani and Bangladeshi governments and India’s poorer states, such as West Bengal. They want some of the international investments that flow to Gujarat, to come their way. The bombings therefore, have nothing to do with vengeance, but everything to do with politics and economics.

Posted by barry | Report as abusive

@ barry: I think your statements regarding the motivations may be incorrect. Honestly though, there is no way to figure out the true reasons unless we can confront the culprits directly. There surely must have been ill feeling since in the Gujrat riots, the majority of the victims were Muslims and those responsible were not prosecuted. But that may be one of many reasons, including attempts to destabilize India, instilling fear and so on…not to get their demands met (since none were put forth) but just to spread terror for its own sake (and religion being a poor excuse); thus their moniker as ‘terrorists’.

how can ppl like that justify bombing civilians, including hospitals anyway; seriously! i can’t understand HOW they think its justified. no religion on earth supports such reasoning. the gap in such logic is astounding.

So the basic theory Mr. Scrutton is making is that since the Muslims are impoverished and struck down actively and uniformly by ALL the Hindus, who are portrayed to be the current day hitlers, the muslims are retaliating, and people like Mr. Scrutton can take some sadistic enjoyment in dreaming that the Stability of Indian state is shaken. This is typical western trite thinking.It reminds me of one of the US pastors who said 9/11 was caused because the US tolerated Gays :).

What Mr. Scrutton misses is that most muslims are backwards because they chose to remain so. If you want to see a state that has muslims who want to move forward and HAVE moved forward go to Kerala. Kerala muslims are very forward looking unlike there counterparts in otherstates, and as a result are very well off.

Another point that Mr. Scrutton and other blanket-commentators miss is that most of the master minds behind these blasts are well educated muslims from Kerala and Bangalore(in case of UK:- which probably would be Mr Scruttons fatherland)

Mr. Scrutton, please keep writing the semi trash stuff.. it just gets exiting by the day :)

I am seeing loose references to ‘riots in 2002′.

Let’s wait a minute and ask why did these riots take place? Because a train carrying Hindus was set ablaze. If we keep going back like this we logically come to ‘figures and numbers’. And the numbers show that riots in 2002 is an unusual and spontaneous reaction to a Hindu massacre. Such killings always went un-retaliated before!

Let’s not call it ‘chicken and egg’ issue because chicken and egg phrase is intended for an ‘isolated’ incidence. Bombings by Militants is a specific trend and riots in 2002 was just one reaction to it.

These bombings by militants mean that ‘Let us do the massacre(s) and if you “react” to it we will cowardly retaliate more and more’!

I am a patriotric Indian Muslim. I am strongly opposed to any form of terrorism and militancy. It will never help anybody or any organisation to achieve their goal. On contrary it will alienate the people from these organisation. India has been facing not only religios terrorism but regional too over the years. Why India is targeted by militant outfits? Are all the masterminds behind these attacks are Muslims? Or somebody else is trying to fan communal hatred in India under the garb of Muslim?. It is a blind truth that Muslims are targeted across the world.
We can not reach a cnclusion that all these attacks are masteminded and executed by Muslims. For example a recent blast in Tirunalveli in TN. It was mas masterminded by a group affiliated to the RSS. A thorough investigation should be done into all the recent incidents.

Posted by Sainul | Report as abusive

Someone commented rightly that Indian Muslims are backward becoz they choose to remain so. Hijaab, oppression of women, family of 10 on the most meagre income, thinking of Quran and the only source of any knowledge worth having, orange beards, living like sheep/goats in filthy slums. Every poor person thinks he/she is poor becoz the rich is keeping him/her so. They should ask their parents why they were brought into the world when the parents knew they don’t hv enough food also to give them.

Posted by amit | Report as abusive

Thanks for the comments. I’d like to emphasise that the blog was not meant to be any justification for the bombings, as some respondents said. I do believe, though, that it’s important to try and understand the roots of violence. The blog was meant to open discussion about what those roots might be. There have been similar debates about the London and Madrid bombings, and 9/11. The more that is discussed the better for everybody, whatever religion.

Posted by Alistair Scrutton | Report as abusive

The article is fairly OK and unbiased, methinks. But it’s always a bit disheartening to observe the presence of tones of sympathy for the “large”, “disaffected”, “poor”, “neglected”, “uneducated”, “economically backward”, “suppressed”, “discrimated against” Muslim community of India. Such expressions will form a belief and view that this Mulism community is in NO way to blame for its plight. But it’s the villanous Hindus who are responsible for the sorry plight of these Muslims.

Posted by amit | Report as abusive

I am from Pakistan. I am really sad to read the views by the fellow indians. Where on earth do you find the evidence or even a slightest of trail to acuse Pakistan and its intelligence agencies behind the attacks? Pakistan itself is badly hurt by terrorism mind you all. And how could people say that it was carried out by muslims? The authorities have made it a simple way to get away with the responsibility by blaming either muslims or Pakistan. A few views suggest that those muslims who follow hijab and have 10 children are poor sick backward people. I must tell you that muslims take pride in thier hijab and it is beyond me that how can hijab stop you from being a part of a civilized world. Dont forget India and china are what they are today mainly because of the population power. Just how every other attack is labeled on muslims is beyond me. grow up guys

Posted by Zuhair | Report as abusive

Having 10 children when you have enough means to give them good food and proper education is one thing; but it’s certainly not a good thing when one is living in a shanty and doing a job that doesn’t even give you 2000 rupees a month (and this applies regardless of one’s race, ethnicity, relitious ties). THAT is backwardness (besides being bad for environment and resources in general, which are fast deteriorating). The comments are not meant for ALL muslims. Certainly India has highly sophisticated, learned and quite celebrated Muslims as well. Only the staunchest Muslims will feel comfortable having conversations and normal relations/freindships with a person whose face is not visible.
Recently, France denied a Muslim woman citizenship because she refused to be photographed without her Hijaab :). Perahaps most rational people would agree with the French decision.

Posted by amit | Report as abusive

Badly researched piece, shows complete lack of any local understanding. Which by the way is understandable since these reports must be written for people in London and New York — who the hell here would anyway read what a couple of ill-informed foreign correspondents dish out in the name of journalism. Please do some research or speak to some local guys in your set up.

Posted by Aditya | Report as abusive

Has any one read the email sent by Indian Mujahidins? Its on some website. Mr. Zuhair, if you can find that mail, please do read and tell if you agree with that? Even if you don’t agree to that, then it still implies the involvement of your community bretheren. If someone talks of atrocities on Muslims during Gujrat riots, then who will answer the atrocities by Muslim Rulers for 1000 years on Indian Public. But I still condemn the killing of innocent people and it doesn’t matter to which religion, region, community or race they belongs to. Every one should condemn the killing of innocents.
Its for us to make this world a better place. If you want to follow Islam or any religion please go ahead and do that. Follow Hijab, Shariat or whatever, but dont’t force it to be right and makes it your right if it doesn’t suits to some other society. If you are getting out of your society then you have to follow the rules that exists for all. And that rule is humanity. In your own society you are free to have 10 children, Hijab, Shariat, Crusades, Jihad and whatever but remember only inside your own society.

Posted by Pulkit | Report as abusive

India has been silently allowing the majority Hindu communalists to dominate every major aspect of the national life and more so the politics..Whenever these rowdies create havoc and killings they are never followed and brought to justice, on the other hand Muslim organisations and individuals are targeted in pogroms and police led false encounters.

Posted by Anthony | Report as abusive

This article is hundred percent true and the reality for Indian minorities is much worse than shown.

Posted by Memon | Report as abusive

India is a remarkable example of a nation with the most number of different religions and sects all under one roof. Islamic terrorism is a global scourge and India is not immune to it but nevertheless copes with it. This article is not only inaccurate, but also somewhat incite-full. What is the objective here? and without sounding cynical, they (British) managed to divide India then, may be the premise is to do it again.

Posted by kulwant | Report as abusive

The dastardly attacks in INDIA, all throughout the course of 61 years of independence stem not just from Pakistan, Bangladesh and the domiciled Islamic population but also from the fundamentalist Saudi Wahabbi regime that promotes and preaches the most vilest form of Islam meant to kill the infidels, convert them and make the infidel women their sex slaves. Such disgusting ideologies need not only a befitting reply, but also absolute destruction and annihilation from the democratic countries like US, UK, INDIA and EU.

I am glad to see quite a good number of people in this forum are well aware of the Indian subcontinent history – namely with partition and the hostile Muslim sentiments not just against India but now also against the West and Israel.

I pray for the innocent fellow citizens who have lost their lives and their families.

Long Live India !!

Abhishek

Posted by Abhishek | Report as abusive

why these so called “Daring People or Cowards” – terrorists hindu or muslim kill the innocents people

Kill the orhodox people/leaders who spread the hatered and think they are born to serve their religon

Sad to read these ..what so called advanced india is doing other then just blaming.. why intellegince lags so much..why there is no arrests ? wht happened to rajasthan killings … Indian leaders and top officiers and agency are corrupt .. they don’t respect the law becuase they feel they become gods .. Nonsense

It will be difficult to fight and control such sick people if indians don’t start lookng above themselves

Posted by Satish Rawat | Report as abusive

No law/society in any country can stop you from wht you want ? if you are sick from mind ..Does not mean blame whole coutry for entire community

You can have 1000 kids but first decide wht future you have for them ? Its easy to have kids …Pigs can also 30 babies at a time…But what is more important is what future you hold for them or what they become in the end

Some of them thinks neglected and become terriorist and then they kill you on the road with bomb while you were buying grocery …and that time we blame whole country for neglecting them !!! strange ..Hello its INDIA not CHINA ..Democracy

Posted by Fahad Khan | Report as abusive

Your blog entry was very informative. Thanks for your effort. We have started a new site called FaithTube

(http://faithtu.be). It contains religious videos from all around the internet. If you could visit us then it would be great.

Thanks.
Simone.

Poverty is common in India even after 60 years of Independence from English rule. It is not Muslims but other too are poor. In fact the rich in India is a very negligible percentage. Please do not judge the country by Ambanis and Mallias. But it is not poverty alone that dirves thes types of violences. It is their doctrine of removing all ‘infidels’ from the world that wreaks havoc. If only poverty of Muslims in India is the cause then Pak and Afghan should not have any conflict.Or the entire Pak and Afghan muslims are also poor? Religion was invented by mankind to put some reins on mankind but when religion has become such a monster that the very existence of mankind is at threat then it is time for all of us to reject any religion in any form. whatsoever.

Posted by RANGARAJAN A L | Report as abusive

Its all very easy for some foreign corrospondent to just sit in his cozy room and yawn away with a serious looking article. Not knowing even an A-B-C-D of ground facts doesnt seem to bother them one bit..!!! Bravo…!!! Bravo..!!!

Posted by niel | Report as abusive

very poorly researched report

Posted by abhishek | Report as abusive

I feel sorry for the victims and my deepest sympathies to the victims families.
But as a extended family member of the victims of Tamil Tigers of Sri Lanka I think Indian politicians deserves a country like that.They destroyed Sri Lanka completely and forever by creating Tamil Tigers and arming them.In 1978 India trained and armed more than 20,000 Tamils against Sri Lankan government just because Indira Ghandi did not like Sri Lankan politics and open economy procedure of Sri Lanka. As a result 70,00 people died and still are dying.She made Tamil Nadu a safe heaven for terrorists. She destroyed one of the most beautiful countries of the world forever and she and her family got eliminated for that.(Call it bad Karma!!)
So I think now it is India’s time.
I respect my Indian friends but Indian politicians made RAW train and arm terrorists and still India is bullying it’s neighbors.India has blood on its hands and must stop playing bad games with neighbours.

Posted by ashok | Report as abusive

very badly done broad stroke article. Why didnt Tibetans retaliate with bombs in hospital or schools?why didnt Kashmiri Pandits bomb Kashmiri Muslims’s hospitals after they were systematically ethnically cleaned ofcourse by generous support of Pak intel ISI and “a very objective/ambivalent pre-9/11″ USA who wants “Kashmir-issue” to be solved. These blasts are clearly the work of ISI which tries to localise jihad, by recruiting and training SIMI with “local explosives” instead of pak-trademark RDX to take heat away from Pak. May be PM Gilani Saheb is not aware of Kabul car bomb plan,or systematic LoC ceasefire violation, Ahmedabad-Bangalore-Jaipur-Mumbai,train- MeccaMasjid blasts etc..Its time to dismantle ISI. I am pretty sure Pak civilian establishment dont want war with India at this point of time. Its the Pak army-intelligence complex working against interests of Pak people.

Posted by Jayadev,India | Report as abusive

Most of the people talk about discontentment of Muslims, or roits that took place in Gujarat. These same people never mention anything about the riots caused by Muslims in places like Hyderabad where the mejority of the victims are Hindus. The polical class also nicely ignore these incidents. One thing is for sure no matter what these discontented people are given, they still indulge in destructive activities in the name of happenings that are taking place in other countries which is not in India’s control. They are the enemies of humanity. Tough and coordinated actions have to be taken by all affcted countries.

It is very easy to blame majority for everything that has happened to a minority. There are so many jobless Hindu youths (or Sikhs, Christians, Jains, or other youths of India) in India. They do not resort to terrorism.

The fact is that Hindus of India are the one of the most pacifist, and least violent religions of the world. That explain why a small Muslim minority was able to rule over Hindus for 1,000 years, destructed our temples, massacred hundreds of thousands, and converted many to Islam.

Even after all that India was magnanimous in cutting itself into two to offer Muslims the Pakistan. But I do not think that is going to satisfy Muslims. They will keep on trying every other means that very well includes terrorism.

Please stop blaming largely peaceful Hindu majority for every problem that Pakistan or Muslims in India have. The only solution for India is to be resolute and aggressive as the United States have been after 9/11 and make every terrorist or their sympathizer pay for what civilized countries never deserved. Be it Mumbai blasts of 1993, or recent one, or 9/11, July 7 London, or Jaipur, or Ahmadabad, or Bangalore.

Posted by Raj | Report as abusive

I think the problem in India is more of enforcement and delivery of criminal justice, both during Gujarat riots as well as during and after any terror attack. For example, Gujarat rioters and for that matter, Punjab ones have not been brought to the book. At the same time, people who attacked Parliament are still under consideration of pardon of death sentence by the President. That just reflects how tolerant we are. We tolerate corruption (mostly giving rather than taking bribes), dysfunctional democracy, riots and what not.

Posted by Sunil | Report as abusive

India is secular not because muslims live here.India is secular because HINDUs are secular.This basic fact should be clear to all.All concious muslims know and understand this and so do hindus.At the time of partition of INDIA,all the muslims did not opt for Pakistan and those who stayed back knew what they were doing.Looking at the Pakistan of today,choice of staying in India does not seem be to wrong in the hindsight. As regards their poverty and backwardness,both the community and Indian state are responsible.

Posted by S.C.PAUL | Report as abusive

I carry a deep feeling that others donot understand we INDIAN,let alone westners,not even PAKISTANIS.How can a people understand us who have not experieced what a democratic polity is.We have remained a secular and a democratic society despite prophesies to the contrary by powers that be. God willing,we shall overcome the pit falls.Great nations make their mark by moving forward by dumping ugly acts into the dustbins of history and WE will do that.Misguided/hurt and bruised muslim youth will be cared for and brought back to main stream.

Posted by S.C.PAUL | Report as abusive

Alistair, where is your dignity? Are you lowering yourself to the gore-hungry perverted sickos who get their cheap thrills looking at mutilated dead people? At least have some respect for the dead and cover their bodies for the picture. I don’t expect this cheap thrill photography from Reuters, but a ‘class’ of sickos who thinks it’s exciting seeing and probably smelling another persons mutilated body eg: People in Java, Indonesia lining up with their children to see the police dig up the remains of murdered and mutilated victims (women and children) in someone’s back yard. You don’t live in Java do you? That is not normal or acceptable behaviour in western society.

Posted by Conscientious Observer | Report as abusive

Hello,
Let’s get real. The last 50 years has seen a rise in fundamentalist, violent Hindus, who primarily traget Muslims. They now target Christians also. India is becoming a Hindu based Pakistan – goingbackwards into a primitive society. Even educated Hindus with PhD degrees are pretty primitive in their thinking and behaviour – they love and perpetuate the caste system and are religious fundamentalists. these are people who worship animals and have idols of wierd concoctions of manand animals. They are superstitious.

Folks, this is a primitive backward society that is run by corrupt politicans. The country is filthy – a representation of the mind of the people. Look at people like Advani, Modi, Thackeray – these are violent killers.

No wonder there is a Muslim backlash.

Posted by Joe | Report as abusive

Mr. Scrutton writes:
“Thanks for the comments. I’d like to emphasise that the blog was not meant to be any justification for the bombings, as some respondents said. I do believe, though, that it’s important to try and understand the roots of violence. ……”

Well Mr Scrutton, such a discussion would occur when there is solid evidence placed on the board rather than your dishonest and biased reporting and on top of it a request to discuss the root cause based on half facts and generalizations that you have piled up in this “article”, do we need any other evidence to identify a hypocrite :).

Any rational person who is not morally corrupt (in other words unbiased) and has been in India for long enough would identify your article for what it is: a load of biased generalization.. or in politically incorrect terms: BullShit :)

I found this aticle to be a biased towards what India gave to muslims after partition against Pakistan to their own population. The pictures pasted on this article are not upto the quality of the Reuters News standards and internal poicies.If you Use this kind of photos for reporting people will will spit on the reporter and the editor. Recently one canadian man cut his fellow passenger head while sitting beside him. But that photo was not reported. This is the kind of biasedness followed when reporteing in third world countries.

I immediately demd to remove the above photos.

Posted by Kiran | Report as abusive

The author has forgotten or infact overlooked a few things in this writeup . He has mentioned India as Hindu india but India is a SOVERIGHN , SOCIALIST , SECULAR, DEMOCRACTIC , REPUBLIC according to the PREAMBLE OF THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA. Just because India has a Hindu majority does not make India a Hindu country. Another very important point i would like to make is India has the THIRD LARGEST Muslim population in THE WORLD after Indonasia and Saudi Arabia. In India all castes , and religions enjoy the same level of freedom of speech. Another point i would like to bring to the authors notice is that the Gujarat riots started because two bogies of peaceful RAM SEVAKS WERE BURNT TO ASHES by the Muslims at GODHRA . After this incident how does the author expect peace loving Hindus to react to this type of carnage?. This whole thing of treating the MINORITIES as their votebanks by present and previous CONGRESS LED GOVERNMENT who have been ruling India for almost 45 years and APPEACEMENT of the minorities has led to an uneasy calm among the furstrated Hindu community .Let the governments present and future not take Hindus for granted anymore. Just to bring to he authors notice the Hindu community’s level of tolerance does the author know that 99% of the temples are controlled by the government of India? . The temples revenue is used for the overall development of the state or country. Can the author point out to any ONE COUNTRY IN THIS WORLD where the CHURCH’S and MOSQUE’S REVENUE OR DONATIONS are controlled by the government?.

Posted by harish | Report as abusive

Forgot to mention this one . In India when 100 Muslims are killed in riots or bombblasts the headlines in the newspapper or tv channels read \” 100 MUSLIMS KILLED IN BOMBBLASTS ( OR RIOTS)\” AND when 100 Hindus are killed in riots or bombblasts the headlines read \” 100 PEOPLE KILLED IN BOMBLASTS ( OR RIOTS)\”. So when Muslims are killed it is news and when Hindus are killed it is just routine. How is that for yellow journalism

Posted by harish | Report as abusive

Where ever Muslims are present they create trouble. They fight with christians in Lebnon , Philipines , Turkey ,Serbia ,Coratia and many other countries. They fight with Jews in Palestine. They fight among themselves almost every where like Afghanistan, Iran ,Iraq ,Syria Pakistan, Bangladesh etc. So who are the trouble makers .

Posted by harish | Report as abusive

Why are so many people confused and concerned. India is GODs birth place, so many Avatars took place here on this land. Why worry… God will take care of every thing. BE HAPPY !!!

Posted by Avnish | Report as abusive

This is response to Michael Cecil’s comment.

Michael, you make a great point. But it has already happened. There are 73 or 72 sects in islam and many were formed in India including ahmedia , bori, bahai , ismaili, etc. If you look at these sects they don’t have slightest bit of act of aggression in them. in my opinion sunni sects in india gets funded from saudi and hence go into radical islam. they are current culprits. although they could corrupt the minds of the peaceful sects. the very truth of presence of multiple muslim sects is not well known even in india.

Posted by vivek | Report as abusive

To Mr. Bullshit, who proposes to be unbiased:

Sorry, but we are all biased, racist, sexist, whatever-ist…

That is the human condition – we are NOT GODS. No matter what you or whoever your guru/priest/iman/rabbi says…

This is all the typical banter of people who are blinded by one perspective, and must therefore condemn any and all others…

If one is to be truly enlightened, pick any religion, and try to get to the base of it, which in my humble opinion is to get over being full of yourself and start trying to understand other people, and maybe even to take care of them instead of coming up with reasons for killing them…

Interesting article and reaction…. A few days back I read in TOI about Shiv Saniks performing puja at Taj Mahal. That piece was followed by comments from the readers. I noted that Hindus were divided about the actions of the Shiv Saniks but Muslim readers were unequivocally angry/against their actions. Mind you no one died in the puja.

Here, when score have died, I find that Hindus are unequivocally angry/against the blasts, but Muslims are cautiously against, with excuses and and potential reasoning for the blasts (example Memon on July 30)… Does it say more about the Hindus or about the Muslims is up for debate…!

Posted by Pankaj | Report as abusive

To DZ amoeba who takes upon his shoulders the task of educating everyone else except his own sorry self about the subtleties of Religion and Godhood:
Why don’t you be kind enough to give those ‘practical’ hints, which I am sure you yourself have a complete disregard for, to all those pyscho-lunatic jehadis, who roam the streets of India with the sole intention of wiping out the last Hindu who walks on this land?
You seem to me like the typical westerner – who knows nothing himself but wants to dictate three millions of laws to the whole wide world. On top of all this you agree to be biased,racist and sexist?!! Take my advice – GET A LIFE!

the reading is misleading. to prove a point – india is home to the second largest assembly of muslims. muslims enjoy equal rights in this great country just like a hindu, or christian or any other body. if muslims (certain of them) are backward it is because of their own doings. let them make use of the many concessions given to them (where on earth other than in india)by indian govt. as a reader said, kerala state has a high litracy rate and the muslims there are well educated and they dont complain. gujarath is a fast developing state and by bombing places in developing places these ultras are trying to instill fear and break the unity in india.
this willl not at all happen and terrorism whether in india or any other place will stand defeated. and there is saying which we follow … your belief (in any faith) shall protect you…..

Posted by pa vijayakumar | Report as abusive

ok the story so far

1. russians invaded afganistan
2. US wanted russians out
3. US trained contra like rebels with pakistans help( the contras had been successful ) to fight against the russians. the new rebels were called mujahids
4. the russians got out of afganistan rather quickly after they started losing their choppers due to the US supplied stingers
5. the war over pakistan had a huge surplus of these fighters how obviously were not gonna go back and become farmers or tailors or what ever they used to be
6. pakistan started pushing them into kashmir .. why ?? because bangladesh is still a bitter memory
7. kashmir became a terror spot with the ethenic clensing started by the terrorists. most kashmiri hindus fled kashmir and moved to jammu and refugee camps in north india.. this started way back in 1989
8. now 20 years later and a whole generation of millitants/ separatists/ terrorists later pakistans realised that what goes around comes round. its homegrown pitbulls are biting pakistan in the ass
9. pakistans economy is down , the country has been under dictators and weak governments these past years after jia ul haq died.
10. the economy is virtually down. the stock markets are crashing and the paki rupee has bottomed.
11. pakistan still manages to push millitants into india , trys to fund madarsas , cry foul in international meets. its schizoid ministers talk about India trying to establish a hegemony over pakistan. Seriously is there any doubt ? bihar’s GDP is higher than pakistans and thats only the white money we are talking about.
12. US pays pak money for its fight against terror. Seriously paying pakistan to fight terrorism … thats like paying someone to commit suicide. the US keeps losing soldiers in afganistan and keeps praising pak and musharraf for being an ally. wake up and see the writing on the wall guys.
13. back in india .. pakis still like to get some traction in India . getting unemployed youths to make some noises over amdavad.

the way india has moved on is a sign of this country’s momentum. but the fact that we dont act tougher on these vocal minorities ( i am talking about the terrorists ) , shows that in being a liberal social country we have also become a soft state.

but the fact is that we are a nation that has survived worse and we will be up there at the top marching along while pakistan has disintegrated , self destructed by its acts of its own creation.

Posted by vikram | Report as abusive

I would like to state some facts first. Root cause theory is propagated by a lot of people for many otherwise unjustifiable things. These are not the acts of poor downtrodden Muslims avenging economic injustice meted out to them. These are the acts of fundamentalist or militant Muslims. They are the best of the lot. They have a different world view of Islam as the chief or the only religion of the world. .

THEORY OF ROOT CAUSE.

During the partition it was clear that Muslims are not willing to live under majority Hindu Rule. So partition was inevitable. Population of Muslims was not mere than 14 per cent of undivided India. But by use of coercive methods like “direct action and riots” they secured almost 22 per cent of the land mass. Much larger than their proportion in the population of united India.

Muslims should have left the India for their forefathers had got much more than they were entitled to in terms of land and resources.

It was agreed between Indian and Pakistani leaders that transfer of population will take place in due course of time. However, after the bloody riots, in 1948 there was a pact between Prime Minister Nehru and Prime Minister Liaqat that the remaining population of Hindus in united Pakistan and Muslims in India may remain there. It was almost 6 per cent on both the countries i.e. 6% Hindus in Pakistan and almost similar number of Muslims in India.

FACTS:

Today Hindus just make 1.5 per cent of Pakistan (or West Pakistan’s Population). Whereas Muslims have grown to 14 per cent to total Indian population.

Unofficially their actual number is much larger and Muslim leaders claim with pride that now it is 25 per cent and they would not tolerate any thing. Government of India’s census workers do not have nerves to go inside the sensitive Muslim colonies and count the real numbers. They are fudged.

Pakistan purged itself of remaining Hindus systematically. Not only Hindus, but Christians and other sects of Muslims like Shias, Ahmadiays and Kadiyanis are also persecuted by majority Muslims in Pakistan. Indian Christian respondents should not forget the charges of blasphemy put on their community members in Pakistan some times back. Shias should bear in mind bombings of Shia mosques and killing of Shia leaders by Anjuman-A-Sipah Sahaba (A Sunni Extremist Org.) in Pakistan.

In India Muslims are backward. True. So are Hindus. May be Hindus are slightly better off economically. However they are highly vulnerable demographically. Muslims are growing in numbers and in aggressiveness.

Fundamentalists among them are audacious enough to respond to any thing that is perceived hegemonic aggression by them by way of riots and bombings. Majority population of Hindus, their domination of state Police, Paramilitary and Military do not deter Muslim Fundamentalists in carrying out their designs.

Hindus in Pakistan: A non existent entity. In Pakistan Hindus have just disappeared.

THINK ABOUT THE POSSIBILITY:

Had all the Muslims had been sent to Pakistan at the time of the partition, even in just and honorable manner. India would have been a better place to live in minus one forty million people.

THINK! About the problem of unemployment, hunger and other problems that arise out of population explosion.

This is not just terrorism and bomb blasts, Muslims are determined to change the demographic profile of this country. Unfortunately there is no power that seems to be able to stop it. It has acquired its own momentum, no amount of persuasion or even observation by India’s apex court can discipline them. Many of Indian cities are turned Muslim majority areas. You just need to see the visuals of Muslim festival, long and unending queues of Muslims offering prayers on festivals like Id and Bakara Id. Military is just protecting the border, but inside the whole country is slowly sliding towards a position where Muslims would make up majority. Muslims did not seek security from Indian state; they seek security, in a Hindu Majority India, by increasing their own numbers, by being aggressive and by being prepared for any eventuality. That is the reason you would find large number of illegal arms in their ghettos, they have just internalize it. That is why mad rush to increase population and to arm the community. And this mindset is detrimental for India as a whole.

The country is future Pakistan.

WHAT HINDUS WANT?

Strict observation of one or two children policy by all – Hindus and Muslims. If Hindus say that we would have any number of children but Muslims must stop at one…two or three then this is hegemony of Hindu majority. But this is just the opposite. Fundamentalist Muslims say that we will do what we want and you just can’t help it.

INDIA: THE COUNTRY THAT FACES THE GRAVEST THREAT ON THE EARTH.

Perhaps, helpless Hindu majority India is the only country in the world that is faced with such grave internal and external threats. Total number of Muslims in Indian subcontinent is more than 450-500 million (Muslims in India combined with their brothers in Pakistan, Bangladesh). Hindus are just 850-900 millions in numbers and that too heavily divided in upper castes/backward and scheduled castes – no unity, no sharing and without any common thread of cohesiveness among them on the issues.

However, silent majority of Hindus, particularly young, educated urban generation is increasingly getting aware about the shape, size and nature of the threat before self.

And Mr. Scrutton, as a journalist you should be aware about the concept of EURABIA – Muslims make up more than 10-15 per cent of today’s Europe’s population. And very soon they will outnumber you people, too. Today’s more than 60 per cent Muslims live in non Muslim majority countries and fundamentalists among them pose the gravest threat to the societies they inhabit. Just try asking any security/intelligence chief or government official about the threat perception in the near or the long run. The answer would be an eye opener for you.

Being a journalist does not mean that you should provide half baked information. Journalism is also not meant for projecting artificial harmony in the name of preserving social fabric of the society. You must have courage to call a spade a spade. Introspection is a must for both Hindus and Muslims. And true introspection can not take place when journalists like you avoid discussing the real issues in the name of objectivity, fairness, obligation to some kind or policies or just don’t dig deeper. Or you just can’t comprehend the problem.

NEED FOR A DEBATE:

There is a need for free wheeling debate on television between two communities to settle the issues – WHAT THEY WANT FROM EACH OTHER. However, now Muslims have upper hand for they know that Hindus can’t catch up with them in increasing population because of various lifestyle or cultural reasons or reluctance to procreate beyond one or two children.

Posted by True Indian | Report as abusive

As a nation we can not ignore this movement of radical Islam in India. Our State Department must engage India and encourage them to not only strike at the criminal elements that are committing these heinous crimes, but must address the grievenances of the 150 million muslims. These muslims will lend an ear to the radical religious ideology if they know their government will not. The Hindu and Muslim differences are long and embittered but must be addressed. The government of India can be more aggressive in communicating how they are attacking these criminals and yet communicating with the Indian Muslim community. I am saying anything different? Yes. This strategy works. We see President Uribe in Colombia end decades of stalemate with the FARC through attacking the criminals and bringing the opposition into the political process. We see in Iraq, Matquah Al Sadr stand down his Mahdi militia to join the political process. And we even see in Rwanda the reconcilition that had to occur between the Hutus and Tutsies finally occur after incredible crimes against one another. But the question is, who is going to be the catlyst of change? Will it be the countries own government, gaining credibility, or will it be an outside source, i.e. the United States State Department, that can bring the voices of each interest into negotiations like we have done in Iraq. The people will decide. For the people will decide who has their best interest in mind and give to that leader the political power to act on their behalf. The people of India do not want the terror of bombings in their hospitals, but are they willing to negotiatite and reconcile with their Muslims neighbors? You can see now why terrorism is selected by the poorest and most out numbered populations, it forces more powerful elements to the table of negotiations. But to nip these actions in the bud is what our governments must do and recognize early. Does India give the Muslims responsible for this crime amnesty, no!, but they must quell the conditions that are creating Indian muslims to resort to these actions.

I wrote my above comments as an officer in the US Army, MAJ Eric Carnahan, student, CGSC US Army, Combined Arms Center. “The views experessed in the message are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army or Department of Defense or the US Government.”

i think you should educate the people first, in the right way.
educate them about what’s good and what’s bad. for some its a very thin line.
teach them religion which practices peace.
teach them religious tolerance.
educate them about what’s going on in the world.
give them a positive perspective of things.
cultivate in them the habit of accepting a failure and be positive.

if something goes wrong against them,
teach them how find justice according to the law, not to take revenge.

the terroist organizations are doing the same but in the opposite direction
they are teaching people religion which hates other religions
they are teaching how to take revenge, how to cause terror for something that went wrong against them.
these organizations are cashing on people’s weaknesses (economic status, hunger, social standards etc)

i think education should be the weapon used to eradicate terrorism. (prevention is better than cure)

it’s not easy, but we have to remember that rome was not built in a day.

Posted by Niranjan | Report as abusive

Any suspects should be shot at sight, it shouldn’t matter if they are hindus or muslims, there is no smoke without fire. Besides, if a couple innocents are killed to save 100 other innocents the cops/government should do it. Any person remotely affiliated with the Indian Mujahideen or SIMI should be shot dead at sight. These people don’t deserve trials. Human rights are for people who know what it is and respect and uphold others’ right to the same.

Posted by anwar mirza | Report as abusive

Hindus have been a fairly tolerant community. The fact that we exist inspite of over 800 years of invasions and looting by muslim invaders and british occupation is the fact that we have the tenacity to stand by what we believe in a peaceful manner.. and fight for our rights without harming the sentiments of others.

The past 50 years has seen the rise of pseudo-secularism where the majority is disregarded to please minorities.

Imagine this..
> In the 40s .India provided pak with a partition fund which was diverted to invade india.
> The Civil Laws give special privileges to people on basis of religion
> the govt can annex Hindu temple at will.. and route the donation to fill their own pockets
> 300000 Kashmiri Pandits are looted, raped, tortured and made to migrate from their homeland.. and today u call it a Muslim state while the Ladakh is still a peaceful buddhist community

When 95% of all terror attacks are communally motivated by a group that belongs to a 150 million community. Give me a reason why shoudl we not target it.

Havnt we had enough??? people talk of Godhra.. what about the children, women and men who burnt alive in the train??

Let get this right.. we are a hindu nation and we respect every religion as long as you can live in peace.

Never level an allegation that we are Hindu Fanatics… not when Azim Premji runs one of the largest IT companies..Not when Abdul Kalam was made the president by the BJP Govt(Hindu centric)

Posted by Venkat | Report as abusive

The only grievance the Muslims have into India is, that they are not in charge,….Yet.

Posted by Melvin Leppla | Report as abusive

The first photograph shown does not seem to be from Ahmedabad. It seems to be from Sri Lanka.

Posted by Rajesh | Report as abusive

dear mr Alistair Scrutton

i quote

“Take the Gujarat riots. Hardly anyone has been brought to justice. The Hindu-nationalist chief minister at the time, Narenda Modi, was accused of turning a blind eye during the riots, is now a rising political star in India.

Data also shows that Muslims are one of the poorest segments of Indian society, and some of the most neglected people. ”

who is to blame for this,

i care for humanity, do not subscribe to any religion,

however, when we talk of terrorist attack, why the influential and respected muslims keep mum and do not come forward to educate fellow muslims to condemn the attack.

they know whois behind it, why they do not expose them in public.

as far education is concern -they themselves to blame unless they come out of ” medressa”

rashmi

Posted by rashmi | Report as abusive

Lets be more analytical and less of stereotypes by blaming only a particular community and rather understand it from a macro level as to who is gaining from all these…

0.0001 % or whatever percentage of minority …nobody is going to gain whatsoever by bringing distrurbance at home …

Its time for us to be more tactical in approach and tackle this global problem of terrorism ..

as it has been said time and again that the perpetators of Terror dont cling to any community or religion but to their short term needs .

Jai Hind ….

Posted by sajjad | Report as abusive