The World Needs You
By Abdul Basit
The frequent innovative methods of terrorist attacks seem to leave us in a constant state of shock. While we were startled by the recent incident of hijacking of huge Saudi Oil tanker by the Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden that has been unheard of in the recent past, we were soon overwhelmed by the terrifying news of the assault on one of the largest metropolis in the world, Mumbai, with a population of 20 million by a group of 20 to 30 youths in their twenties who approached by boat. These terrorists not only silenced this metropolis teeming with activities round the clock to a standstill and took over high profile hotels and iconic landmarks, but also kept one of the largest and most powerful countries in the world with the most powerful armies at the edge for two days leading to the death of 185 innocents including three outstanding police officers. The terrorists attained this merely with AK-47s and grenades!!! We are stunned, confused and dismayed. What is happening?
While all eyes where glued to the TV as if watching a live thriller movie, the shock and desperation gave way to contemplation and in trying to make sense of these senseless incidents. What has infected our society and to where are we heading for? What were the target and motivation of the terrorists who meticulously planned this operation and fought for two days against around 400 NSG commandos?
The Target of Terrorists
While arguments and conspiracy theories continue to pour in about whom was behind the Mumbai attack, the most important factor to consider is about the aim of these terrorists. Although they targeted the high profile hotels and iconic landmarks of Mumbai, their aim was much beyond the physical concrete structures and innocent lives. Their aim was to destroy the spirit of oneness and unity in diversity for which the Indian nation stands. They wanted to destabilize this country by splitting the Indian people on the basis of religion and to create fragmentation in their minds and spirits. We should ensure that these enemies of humanity do not succeed. The actions of a handful of terrorists from any religious background should not create division and hatred among the different religious communities.
External And Internal Enemies
The Indian nation is much beyond the narrow comprehension of these terrorists and the divisive forces of hate that aim to destabilize this country. The inherent strength of India depends on the unity of a wide variety of religious, racial, geographical and linguistic communities. Here is a nation that is exclusive from other world nations due to it inclusive and accommodative nature and wherein all religions and cultures flourished and greatly contributed to the world in the field of spirituality, medicine, art, meditation and culture. This pluralism, tolerance and mutual respect between people of different religious, racial and cultural backgrounds is the strength of Indian nation and if any group of people try to manipulate or tamper with this diversity and attempt to create any type of uniformity, they are in fact trying to tear down the very foundation of the Indian nation.
This inherent strength and resilience has helped the Indian Nation that has a heritage of thousands of years (which include the Indus Valley civilization that goes back to at least 5000 year), to overcome extreme challenges during its long history and to become a beacon of diverse cultures that has been cherished throughout the world. Compared to the challenges that it has overcome during its long history, neither the recent stunts that were shown by some diehard terrorists nor any divisive acts of all or any of the neighboring countries including Pakistan will in anyway be able to disrupt or destabilize this great nation, as long as this nation stays united within.
But the greatest challenge to Indian nation comes from within. Although these internal rift and conflicts date back to time immemorial, it was more evident during the freedom struggle against the British colonialists and the resulting partition of the country during the middle of the last century. And this process of destabilization and internal threat has particularly grown during the last two decades with the growth of Hindutva Nationalist forces represented by the present opposition party and its ideological parivar of RSS and the demolition of the Babri Masjid. The greatest damage to social fabric of India has been done by Hindutva leaders like Narendra Modi, Bal Thackerey and Praveen Togadia and the resulting reactions by extremists to the actions of these leaders, which even the extreme enemy nations or groups could not dream of. Intentionally or unintentionally, the actions of the external terrorist groups and these communal and fundamentalist organizations are mutually supportive as the aims of both are to communalize the Indian populace. The greatest beneficiary from the Mumbai attacks will be the Sangh Parivar led by BJP who will reap the benefit in the upcoming election. The demolition of Babri Masjid and the ensuing communal riots, the Gujarat massacre that cost huge innocent lives, the attack on Christians minorities in different parts of India and the recent string of bomb blasts have created immense fragmentation in the Indian society. The issue of Kashmir that has been bleeding the subcontinent for many decades has also created much distrust among the neighbors and has been the main reason for most of the terrorist attacks that are taking place in India
An Appeal to Sangh Parivar
The actions of Sangh Parivar and its leaders like Narendra Modi and Praveen Togadia which has resulted in the lose of many innocent lives and deterioration in the relations between the different religious communities have only helped the enemies of India. If we want to prevent any further destruction and hatred, the Indian people require a total change of heart from the Sangh Parivar leaders and their ideologues. After all, change of heart is also part of the Indian ethos when the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka changed for the better and pledged not fight any more wars after the seeing the destruction in the battle of Kalinga, as revealed in Ashoka Dhamma.
We have to restore confidence among the Hindus, Muslims and Christians and strengthen the cohesiveness and trust between all the sections in the Indian society. For this we have to rebuild the lives of families affected by communal violence and bomb blasts so that their future generation overcomes the trauma and revenge mentality that sustain this hatred and instead unite to build a bright India.
Awake India, The World needs you…
The incidents in Mumbai are only one of the symptoms of the disease that has infected the global community in general and India in particular. If we have to prevent these terrorist attacks and conflicts, we have to address the whole problem in totality. The September 11th incident and following wars have resulted in the worsening relationship between different religious, racial and ideological communities, as well as the growing social fragmentation and sectarian divisions in different parts of the world, leading to civil wars, violence and social unrest. There is a great deal of fragmentation, hatred and intolerance at the individual, social, religious and national level that has had an affect on all the sectors of the society. The wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and the tribal regions of Pakistan, the anti-Muslim feelings that are widespread in Western world and the worsening relations between religious communities; shows the gravity of the situation.
The attack on Mumbai is mentioned as India's 9 /11. But what the world cannot endure is another "George Bush style" reaction from India especially when we can see the chaos he has brought to his own country. India is different from United States of America.
The recent financial recession and climate change crises that had repercussions on all countries and continents have emphatically proved that we as humanity have a common destiny. No part of this planet will escape the consequences of growing poverty and hunger due to the financial and climate crises. The Indian nation can help the world to organize beyond the confines of geographic, racial and religious boundaries and unite to address the common issues that concern existence of the humanity as a whole and sustaining habitability of earth and to overcome the infinite physical and mental boundaries that have divided mankind into many nations, religions and creeds, which is the basic reason for these conflicts.
With its vast religious, cultural, racial, geographical and linguistic diversities, India can contribute to the building of a one world where the mental, physical and geographical boundaries disappear based on tolerance, mutual respect and democratic principles. Contrary to the western approach of hegemony and subjugation of other countries, this "Unity in Diversity" and pluralism is the message that the Indian nation has to offer to the world and can be emulated worldwide. This diversity has helped India to be the home and birthplace of great religions and spiritual movements and has contributed some the most beautiful art and cultural forms.
In this hour of global crisis, to face the challenges to the humanity, the world must unite as one human community on the basis of peace, tolerance and mutual understanding and the Indian nation has a major role in this regard.
Awake India Awake!! The World needs you…