Thursday, November 03, 2005

Delhi blasts

An opinion piece in today's Hindu analyses the rise of the Lashkar-e-Taiba. A couple of apparently innocuous things stick out - three key activists, from whom many associated networks trace their ancestry, 'were recruited by the Lashkar after the demolition of the Babri Masjid'; further - 'In 2003, both the Lashkar and the Jaish-e-Mohammad attempted to set up cells to draw on the anger of Gujarat Muslims after the state-organised communal pogrom that tore apart their lives the previous year.'

Author hastens to add that it would be naive to see the Lashkar as motivated primarily by righteous revenge for communal killings and that its objectives are more elemental: jihad for Jammu and Kashmir. That jihad, he writes, is not an instrumental battle for territory, but a part of an irreducible conflict between Islam and unbelief. He may be right, but more needs to be made, I think, of the mutually constitutive dynamic that exists between Hindu and Muslim extremism. And the Hindu right, which claims to have the defence of our national security at heart, needs to be shown up for the way in which it imperils it by providing the recruitment fodder that groups like Lashkar need and want. Familiar story?

Meanwhile, police are hunting for those responsible in Bangalore. 'Bangalore is a soft spot for terrorists', says the head of the Karnataka police force.

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