[Assam] Tavleen Singh Wants Arundhati Roy Out of India
dilipdeka at yahoo.com
Sun Dec 24 18:19:07 PST 2006
If nothing else, I got a chuckle. Tavleen Singh vs. Arundhati Roy. Does Arundhati care?
Published in the Sentinel:
ON THE SPOT
The punishment for terrorism should be death. Along with the rape of children and murder for reasons of ethnic hatred, terrorism counts in my book as the most cowardly and despicable crime in the world. So if Mohammad Afzal was involved in the conspiracy to blow up Indias Parliament, I am among those who would want him dead. But having covered the rise of terrorism in Punjab and Kashmir and having watched closely how ill-equipped and inadequate our security forces were to deal with terrorism, I am not convinced that Afzal is the mastermind or even one of the main plotters of December 13. He seems peripheral to the plot and also seems to have been used as a scapegoat, while our investigating agencies evade the bigger question: who were the five men who died in the attack and why do we still know absolutely nothing about them?
It is my view that our investigating agencies have not fully understood that terrorism is war probably the only war India will fight in the 21st century. If they had, there would have been signs of change in their tactics, tools and strategy. There is no evidence of change either at the level of the Home Ministry in Delhi or at the level of our State governments which is why it has been so easy for the terrorist war against India to spread its tentacles into cities like Mysore and Bangalore that have nothing to do with Kashmir or the worldwide jehad.
While I am unconvinced of Afzals guilt may I say that what I am certain of is that Arundhati Roys latest pamphlet in his defence is a disgraceful and offensive attack on the nature of the Indian state. It is called 13 December: The Strange Case of the Attack on the Indian Parliament, and as I read it I found my sympathy for Afzal evaporate. Ms Roy has collected together the writings of a group of her Leftist friends nearly all of whom seek to prove that India is the sort of depraved country that is capable of electing a government so evil that it would attack its own Parliament.
In her introduction to the pamphlet, Ms Roy poses thirteen questions in a childish gimmick that implies that there would have been fourteen if the attack had happened the day after. Question 5 and 6 indicate that she believes that the Indian government organized the attack on Parliament as an excuse to go to war with Pakistan. A few days after 13 December, the government declared that it had incontrovertible evidence of Pakistans involvement in the attack, and announced a massive mobilization of almost half-a-million soldiers to the Indo-Pakistan border. The subcontinent was pushed to the brink of nuclear war
Is it true that the military mobilization to the Pakistan border had begun long before the 13 December Attack?
If Arundhati Roy believes that the Indian state is as malevolent as this, then she should keep her promise and emigrate. When India tested its nuclear bomb in 1998, she declared herself no longer Indian; well it is time for her to go. The pamphlet she has lent her name to is less defence of Afzal and more a vicious denunciation of the nature of the Indian state, Indian democracy and the Indian justice system. Every one of the 15 essays makes the point that India is the kind of country that is incapable of guaranteeing such things as fundamental rights and a fair trial. And, that its rulers are cold-blooded thugs so deficient in responsibility that they would take the country to the brink of a nuclear war without thinking of the consequences.
This is not just outrageous. It is sick and very much a piece with the lies told about Kashmir by Indian journalists who make a living out of maligning India in the Western media. Western newspapers pay well. And some of Arundhati Roys fellow travellers have written articles in the past that have made the Indian Army sound like the sort of rogue armies that exist in totalitarian states and military dictatorships.
The massacre of Sikhs in the village of Chhatisinghpora five years ago was one of the incidents that was blamed on the Indian Army when anyone who went to the village could have confirmed easily that it was the work of Pakistani terrorists. As someone who did go, may I say here that everyone I talked to confirmed that for several days before the massacre Pakistani terrorists had walked through the village on their way to a hideout in the jungle. The killers who lined the Sikhs up against a gurudwara wall and shot them in the back were in Indian Army uniform. If it was a covert operation, would they not at least have worn Pakistani army uniform?
There is much wrong with the way governments in Delhi have dealt with Kashmir. Terrible mistakes have been made. Human rights have been abused, torture used to extract confessions, and there is a long list of people who have disappeared. It is possible that Afzal is a victim of these primitive methods of fighting terrorism, but to conclude from this that the Indian state is undemocratic, unjust and evil is beyond sick. Mohammad Afzal has been singularly unfortunate in his supporters but this does not mean that he should hang. If a mistake has been made, it must be rectified. That is how democracy and human civilization work.
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