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Thursday, December 7, 2023

How To Counter Radical Islamists

Picture an era when one specific religion exercises hegemonic powers and runs on the principles of exclusivity. Anyone raising voice against their religion, is silenced – barbarically, people questioning their beliefs are butchered like animals, social paradigm has become flawed from within and the aggressors are ruthless. The enemy operates on a brilliant strategy and are driven with extreme hatred for anyone not subscribing to their religion. Most of them openly – and some of them secretly – dream of establishing an Islamic state. “They desecrate our temple, break our idols, plunder our wealth, convert our countrymen forcibly to their religion, kill cows openly”.

The era is late medieval 17th century of course; but most of its description strikes an unfortunate cord with ours too. Chhatrapati Shivāji Mahārāj’s above words (New History of Marathas Volume 1 Page 97) – everything from temple desecration to killing of cows – still resonates with the reality. “We will suffer this treatment no more. We possess strength in our arms” added the great king rallying his men, determined to put a strong resistance. “There is no such thing as good luck or ill luck. We are the captains of our soil and the makers of our freedom”.

If Shivāji Maharaj would’ve spoken those words in today’s freedom of speech championing democratic state, he would’ve been jailed for verbal trespassing of the mostly applicable-to-only-Hindus laws. It’s obvious that the land and governance of Bharat has changed from what it was back then and that we can not – in spirit of constitution – speak as openly as Chhatrapati did.

But one thing didn’t change, a certain section of society’s knavish flagitious nefariousness towards those who are different. They have – along with time – updated their strategy, making it more flexible, less authoritarian and more deluding; but the underlying aim remains the same as earlier – establishment of an Islamic state.

While we have almost completely lost our resistiveness, our strong colour of determination has been systematically brushed over with the paint of secularism. To understand why Hindus are still consistently prone to jihadi attacks, we must look at the radicals’ strategy.

How do Islamists operate?

Their line, causes and aims of operation are rather clear to most as we’ve been witness to it for decades. But their way of operation – that is the process behind the attack – is varied and those variations are directly proportional to the status of victim. For instance on the problematic grounds of ‘blasphemy’, most of the time masses are fueled or provoked en mass, by the religious preachers (Maulanas) to assassinate the person who, in their view, disrespected their religion or their prophet.

And the community, almost every-time, gather in huge numbers to demand death to the blasphemer. And if death is not accorded, they take it in their own hands to somehow assassinate or behead the ‘blasphemer’. That was the case with many including Mahashay Rajpal and Kamlesh Tiwari.

Riots, high scale en mass violence and burning of structures and vehicles are all the things happening between Maulana’s provocation and eventual assassination. Blasphemy is one spot where majority of Muslims will stand openly demanding death of person and small group of moderate Muslims will go numb silent in their hiding holes, far away from even pointing a finger at all such extremism.

No supposed secular and democratic Muslim criticizes these fundamentalist terrorism; which makes them equal part of the larger game. So the masses – after sermons and fatwas from Maulanas – take on rioting and desecrating everything they can with an hidden aim of terrifying the other population. And someone eventually carries out the murder, with active help from others. At the end in the aftermath, moderate Muslims try to divert the situation and the delude the victim’s community. 

What should be done?

There are multiple bleak shortcomings and loopholes in the constitution which can be seen even by the nonlawyer eyes. But the problems runs deeper than policy framing or law making. The real devil’s hand is the religious preaching which by modern terminology will be termed process of radicalization, a no strange realm to Islam, and embedded hatefulness.

Children admitted to Madarsas are taught hateful contents from start and are embedded with a certain inferiority complex and exclusive fundamentalism, thereby basing for a increasingly malevolent behaviour. The entire ecosystem catches the extremist aggressive ideology and bases itself for creation of Islamic state.

And so to prevent the manufacturing of further extremism, their factories – the Madrasas has to be controlled. It’s on the shoulders of the establishment to create a compatible society and hence, the same establishment must bring some courage to take on to these extremism factories. 

Law enforcement agencies often take the soft hand approach towards criminals and radicals from this certain section of society. We have witnessed countless instances when enforcement of law has been stricter on Hindus than on Muslims. The latest being the Kamlesh Tiwari’s aftermath when actions from police, unambiguously, were stricter for Hindu netizens on social media posts.

Police departments are often deeply deluded with banal concepts and are entrenched by an unwritten dogma of veiling jihad angles in these kind of cases. The state’s pusillanimity on part of exposing the truth as it is, has helped many radicals in their ideological strengthening. If we were to fight a highly motivated and eerily passionate brigade of radical Islamist, we must put a spine in our system first.

But despite the enemy’s lethal brutality, intense extremism and state’s spinelessness and delusional functioning; the biggest clog lie in the Hindu society itself. Our unorganized approach, like minor protests or social media revolts, yields little benefit against an enemy with on ground major force working everyday to deface our society.

Lack of any institutional and organisational reach or lack of our commitment towards strengthening of existing organisation; hounds us in many ways. Kamlesh Tiwari had a small organisation but in the absence of Hindu society’s commitment towards it, organisation like them seldom fosters to become a major on ground force. 

Even if Hindus want to put up a small resistance like carrying out large-scale country-wide protests, it requires a ground force or an organisation capable of it. We have seen how a meagerly financed group like Bajrang Dal has stood for the protection of society on multiple occasions, recent examples being the aftermath of Chandni Chowk Delhi’s Durga Mandir destruction. Or even if Hindus want authorities to change its course of biased functioning, we must make sure presence of an ground organisation representing us. 

On the quick run, Hindus must unwaveringly demand government for the fulfillment of certain demands like implementation of Uniform Civil Code, bringing of population control law so as to prevent rapid demographic changes, quashing of all discriminating articles of constitution against Hindus and freeing of temples from state control so to create a temple ecosystem which can be instrumental in influencing people of its periphery. 

Kamlesh Tiwari’s horrendous killing has bought the danger of radical Islam to our doorsteps. And it is no cosmos wisdom, that Kamlesh Tiwari was neither the first victim of this hatred nor will be the last. This cycle of jihad will only take further turns towards the darker realms, becoming exceedingly vindictive. Those who wish not to fall prey to the predator of jihad; must unite, organise and resist bravely against the brute force on every grounds possible.

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Yogendra Thakur
Yogendra Thakur
A student and two time state topper in Astrophysics and Art of Lecturing. Primary focus areas are Indology and Economics.


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