Saturday, December 6, 2008

Indian reactions to the Mumbai terrorist attacks

A couple of articles on Rediff caught my eye this morning:
1. Muslim leaders are coming out against the terror attacks, saying (a) they are Indians first and don't want outside help to avenge the Babri Masjid demolition and other communal attacks against Indian Muslims; (b) terrorism blemishes the concept of Jihad; and (c) "terrorists and communalists are cousins."
2. The Bombay Metropolitan Magistrate Court's Bar Association passed a resolution saying none of the over 1000 members would defend the lone terrorist captured live, Kasab.  Some say since he has been captured red-handed, and given the crime, nobody would defend Kasab.
That is just  stupid.  Do they not understand the concept of "everyone is allowed to mount a defence, and given a lawyer to help mount said defence"?  That is one of the basic underpinnings of a free society; what differentiates us from them.  I can't think of a credible defence for Kasab; but I also know that someone's terrorist is another's freedom fighter, no matter how twisted and tortured (pun unintended) that logic. [That's probably why I will never be elected to public office, if I ever did run.]
3. An online petition is being circulated that urges certain "minimum actions" that the Government of India must apparently take.  I urge folks NOT to sign this petition; I did not, and here's my response to the various "action points" detailed therein:

1 - "Destroy internal terror network" - this is easily taken to put away all sorts of people, particularly minorities. I hear the most prisoners under POTA were captured in... Jharkand! Alleged Naxalites. [Naxalites are like anarchists, calling for violent overthrow of the government.  Far-left extremists.]
2 - "All training camps outside should be destroyed" - this is a declaration of war against Pakistan. The US can afford to do this with targeted missile strikes, though not even that these days given the Iraq/Afghanistan situation, but not India. Any such missile strikes inside Pakistan will be a declaration to war, which will only help Al-Qaeda and LeT.

If War with Pakistan and state terrorism of minorities is the "minimum action required" - thanks, but no thanks.

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