Terrorism: India Losing War of Ideas

RSN Singh
September 19, 2016 OPINION 333 Views

A recent report of National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism contracted with the US state department has revealed that India is the fourth in terms of terrorist victimhood, the other three being Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
It is pertinent to note that the first three are Islamic countries, which are in a state of destabilization for various reasons that continue to haunt the so¬ called Muslim World. Iraq continues to be destabilized since the US attack on Iraq in 2003. Similarly Afghanistan continues to be in the grip of violence since 2001. The vicious and bigot Taliban retreated from Afghanistan but retained the ability to wage ‘Jihad’. And as far as Pakistan is concerned it occupies a different category because it uses jihad as an instrument of state¬ policy and a tool for proxy war against India and Afghanistan, hence it cannot escape the blowback.
The jihad that consumes these three countries is therefore explicable, but why on this earth India, a non ¬Islamic country, is being buffeted by terrorism to the extent that it has become the fourth worst victim.
The answer lies very much in the said report. In 2015, 289 Indians died in terrorist attacks of which 43 percent of the 791 attacks were attributed to the Maoists. The Maoists of India in fact have been portrayed as the fourth deadliest terror outfit after Taliban, Islamic State and Boko Haram. These three organizations span Af-¬Pak region, West Asia and Africa. If the attacks by the Maoists were to be excluded the residual jihadi terror narrative in India would have been much milder. The comparative table with regard to terror attacks and the corresponding fatalities that they caused in 2015 are given below:¬
An analysis of the above figures reveals that every terrorist attack by Boko Haram has claimed an average of 12 human lives. In case of Islamic State and Taliban it is 6 and 4 respectively. In this regard, the Maoists fall way below, causing less than one loss of human life for every attack.
The number of killed reflects the nature and modus¬ operandi of these outfits. Most of these jihadi organizations consider the segments of population as their enemy and hence, resort to mass¬ killings. Boko Haram is particularly the most inhuman in this regard. Most of these outfits are motivated by the concept of ‘jihad’ and ‘caliphate’, and consider international boundaries as incidental. All these groups resort to use of suicide bombers. In that even prayer (namaz) gatherings are not spared. As recent as on 16 September, 25 people were killed and 50 injured when a suicide bomber in Mohmand tribal region blew himself in a mosque during Friday prayers.
The low or subsidized killing rate of the Maoists is not a reflection of any human side that they possess. It is only that their objective is the State itself. They can only attain this objective by expanding their area of writ by intimidation of the population through selective use of terror. They calibrate violence in a manner so as to keep the target population in a constant state of anxiety. The spread of anxiety expands their writ.
The Maoists have a huge extortion industry, which can be adversely impacted by masskillings. Such killings are resorted to when absolutely necessary.
There are more intangibles to the ‘Maoist terror’ as compared to ‘jihadi terror’. It is a terror that terrorizes business, communication, education, development and political activity. Just as jihad is a proxy war by Pakistan, Maoism is a proxy war by inimical interests like China and some Western countries, which are leveraging on in various countries all over the world. These Western countries have only begun to come under the scanner now for promoting ultra ¬left extremism.
In March 2012, two Italian tourists were found to be in league with Maoists in Orissa, and one of them got himself abducted to further their cause. Later in April 2012, a group of ten French tourists were deported from Bihar when they tried to collude with the Maoists. Moreover, in January 2011, members of the European Commission descended on India when Binayak Sen was being tried for anti-national Maoist activities.
While the ratio between terrorist attacks and killings in case of Maoists may be low, the terror they engender is very high. The magnitude of this terror can be extrapolated by the number of kidnappings by the Maoists.
In 2015, there were 862 kidnappings in India of which 707 were attributable to the Maoists. In the preceding year, there were 163 out of 305 kidnappings attributable to the Maoists. Between 2010 and 2015, more than 800 security forces personnel have been killed by the Maoists.
Despite this magnitude of Maoist terror, there is a tendency in the country to treat it as a routine affair. It is probably because we have over the years been culpable of giving too much of respectability of the Communist ideology. This ideology is basically violent in import. The mainstream communist parties very cleverly provide intellectual, political, social and economic protection to their ultra¬leftist comrades. The English speaking cadres in the garb of intellectualism are the overt faces and exercise disproportionate.
Influence in the political landscape of India. It is ironical that they are even included in the all¬party delegations to assess nation problems that they have created. Beneath these displays of national concerns, they have the lurking agenda of peddling their own political ideology. Without insecurity, instability and poverty –communist ideology cannot proliferate. To create these conditions, the Maoists come in handy. An existential threat to any of these streams, i.e. main¬stream or ultra¬leftists compels them to come together for survival. The recent student elections in the JNU is testimony.
The report of National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism contracted with the US state department also says that terror groups during the Cold War era were driven by communist impulses, while the post Cold War terrorism is overwhelmingly religious in nature. In the case of India, however, both religious and political terrorism impacts in serious measures.

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