Attack on RSS headquarters- Worse is yet to come!

via Ajith Gopal published on June 12, 2006

The pre-dawn terror attack on the RSS headquarters in Nagpur must have come as a rude shock to ordinary RSS workers and sympathizers across the globe. The terror was finally at the doorstep of the world’s largest Hindu organization. As BJP president Rajnath Singh put it “The attack was not on RSS but an assault on nationalism and all ideals for which the Sangh and its activists have given blood and life since 1925” 
But this terror attack is no surprise for those analyzing the worsening security scenario in the country. It is a fact that in the last few months, especially after the UPA government at the center consolidated its position and sent out signals to the Kashmiri separatists and Pakistan, terrorists are a much-emboldened lot. 
This is very much evident in the recent pattern of terror attacks. Terrorists are today striking at their sweet will. Clearly the Pak-supported terror work spreading its tentacles in India, has come a long way. 
This was not the case earlier. During the NDA rule under Vajpayee, though India took some bold initiatives to resolve the Kashmir impasse, it was from a position of strength. “We have to resolve this, or else our options lie elsewhere” was the clear message. Strategies like hot pursuits and cold killings pursued by security forces in Kashmir valley and elsewhere, with silent approval of New Delhi had a deterrent effect on the Islamic terror network.  
But not any more. Slowly but surely India is returning to its old image of being a soft state. A state and an administration soft on anything- be it corruption, a cancer that destroys us from within to terrorism, fanned by external enemies. 
This doesn’t mean that terrorists were silent or dormant during NDA rule. There were killings, extortion and attack on Hindu places of worship under NDA rule too.  But the big question is why terrorists are much emboldened today? 
The answer lies in another paradigm. Evidently we are here treating the symptoms, not bothering about the root cause. 
It is high time that our security experts and administrators realize that Laskhar E Toiba or Jaish E Mohd are just symptoms. Behind all of these groups, small and big, is the all-powerful ISI or inter service intelligence. That has evolved itself into a parallel government in Pakistan today. Sadly, the driving force of ISI, the unifying factor of the conflicting interests within the ISI, is the strong anti-India hatred. 
Till two decades ago, Indians and devils were one and the same for common Pakistanis. Bred on strong dosage of anti-Indianism from school curriculum, accounts of the often one-sided horror stories of partition days- all resulted in the evolvement of generations that saw evil in anything and everything Hindu or Indian. 
But the picture is just changing in Pakistan with tryst with new age technology and free media. But ISI simply refuses to change. 
In this scenario, it is clear that we can go on engaging in talks with Kashmiri separatists or Pakistani leadership, but ultimately we have to deal with ISI, the ‘real’ government. But how far our security agencies have tried to understand ISI – the real menace behind India’s worries – is a million dollar question. ISI is today omnipresent in India barring a few districts that have no strategical value. From the coastal belt of Kerala to the high ranges of J&K, from the barren marshy tracts of Gujarat to the dense forests of Assam. You name the place and ISI is there. Lurking under the mask of anonymity, some ISI contacts are dormant, some active and rest hyper active, all waiting for the right opportunity to strike on us. 
Apart from creating troubles inside using innocent Muslim youth, ISI is also using external routes to weaken India. (It is said that ISI’s Indian counterpart RAW never uses Pakistani Hindus for their operations inside Pakistan as the Hindu community in Pakistan is on the verge of extinction!) 
It has been now established that the ISI contingent is active in all the neighboring countries of India. Their priority is not collection of intelligence from that country. ISI uses them as a safe base for carrying out covert operations inside India.  
How do we tackle this catch 22 situation? First of all we need to have a bold and consistent policy on terrorism. On one side, open all possible channels of communication with our own citizens, try to resolve their grievances, but at the same time deal sternly with the perpetuators of terror by giving them strong response in the language that they understand. Try to weaken them at their home turf.  
Are our agencies capable of doing this? Of course, say experts. The combined strength of security forces, intelligence agencies supported by modern technology and surveillance systems can deal with any enemy, and Pakistan is a small fry, they add. 
But then why this ‘small fry’ is taking us to ransom and bleeding us through our weak spots one after another- Punjab, Assam, Kashmir…?? 
The answer is simple, but solutions are complex. The lack of political will, lack of consistency and lack of directives from top authorities to the intelligence agencies- all have weakened us- quite considerably too. 
The situation has to change. Today our forces and security agencies are on defensive dealing with the symptoms as and when they occur. For a permanent solution, we need to boldly take on the enemy, bust their network in India and take the war to their doorstep. Or else we would be hearing more of such pre-dawn and post dusk attacks on holy shrines and places that we hold close to our heart.

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