Is talibanised South the Swat Valley of India?

via HARAN B R published on March 15, 2009

Islamabad’s peace deal which allowed Taliban to takeover Swat Valley,
the latter took out a massive two-day rally, openly denigrating
democracy and establishing Sharia. As a mark of things to come, a Geo
TV journalist was murdered in the immediate aftermath of the takeover.
While the connection between Al Qaida and Taliban is no secret, India’s
most wanted criminal, Dawood Ibrahim, has also reputedly struck a deal
with the Taliban.

The spread of Taliban into the interiors of Pakistan and its nexus with
extant terror outfits is confirmed by the latest ambush on Sri Lankan
cricketers. The attack exposed the failure of intelligence and
security, the complacency of the Army, and the incapacity of the
security forces to meet surprise challenges by terrorists.

The rogue state of Pakistan, the most potent breeding ground for
terrorists, is now experiencing terror attacks on its own soil. The
present government, which came to power on a ‘sympathy wave’ following
the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, is wanting in all areas of
governance. It can neither control the ISI, nor the terror outfits, and
in fact surrendered the Swat Valley to the Taliban. Pakistanis in
general have been too willing to accept the Wahabi order and Sharia. In
a nutshell, Pakistan is a failed state!
Pakistan’s talibanisation has evolved slowly since Partition. Having
declared itself an Islamic State, it ensured that the minorities were
driven out, liquidated, or converted. At times, even Shiites, Sufis and
Ahmadiyas were not spared as Wahabi Sunnis took control of the country.
While clandestinely supporting Taliban and Al Qaeda, Islamabad enjoyed
American patronage on the pretext of assisting the latter in
Afghanistan, and used US largesse in its machinations against India,
from the Kashmir Valley to all corners of the nation.
Jihadi attacks

Successive Indian governments, committed to minority appeasement, have failed to realize that this breeds separatism and that “indoctrinated” elements are working against the nation. The fundamentalists have increased and jihadi “sleeper cells” have come up in several states in concert with Pakistan’s ISI.

The advent of the UPA government led to a sharp rise in sleeper modules
and the rejuvenation of SIMI under different names, such as ‘IndianMujahideen’ (IM), and a plethora of terror attacks on Indian soil. UPA’s
inefficacy in tackling terrorism resulted in two dozen ‘major’ terror
attacks (excluding Kashmir) – from a bomb blast on 15 August 2004 in
Assam to the Mumbai carnage of 26 November 2008. Major cities and towns
such as Ayodhya, Varanasi, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Jaipur,
Hyderabad, Malegaon and others were affected
, and thousands of innocents lost their precious lives, while many more were injured, some maimed for life.

Yet the UPA
was naïve enough to withdraw thousands of troops from the borders and
facilitate terrorist infiltration through buses and trains in the name
of Confidence Building Measures
(CBM). It also almost
surrendered the Siachen post, but timely intervention by the Chiefs of
Armed Forces and BJP top brass staved off this calamity.

Pakistan as co-victim

The UPA inexplicably dubbed Pakistan as a “victim” of terrorism and
proposed a “joint mechanism” against terror, when Pakistan is the main
“perpetrator” of terror against India. Its concern for Muslim votes not
only tainted its Pakistan and Kashmir policies, but also the
anti-terror policy and decisions on national security. The Prime
Minister did not blush saying he lost sleep over the plight of terror

Most astonishingly, the UPA invented something called “Hindu Terror’ and “Saffron Terror,”
which served only to dilute the fight against jihad. At the fag end of
its term, it took the grim carnage at Mumbai and the deaths of hundreds
of innocents for UPA to sober up.

But is it awake?


Dr. C. I. Issac, delivering the P.A. Ramakrishnan Memorial Lecture in
Chennai on 8 March 2009, dwelt extensively upon the fast-breeding
Talibanisation faced by Kerala. He cited various instances over a
period of time and exposed the aiding and abetting of Talibanisation by
political fronts. This writer had a short discussion with Dr. Issac
regarding a similar trend in Tamil Nadu. As both states share a vast
border from Nilgiris and Gudalur to Coimbatore and from Theni to
Thirunelveli and Kanyakumari, it is not a surprise that both have
become a breeding ground for fundamentalist elements. 

There has been a surge in the growth of Jihadi elements in Tamil Nadu in the last two decades. When a countrywide ban was enforced on SIMI, the Tamil Nadu unit took the avatars of “Al Umma” and “Jihad Committee” and Al Umma made its first major strike at the RSS HQs in Chennai in November 1993, killing 11 swayamsevaks.

The Jihad Committee, which has been regularly indulging in communal
riots in the state, disintegrated when its leader Palani Baba was
murdered. Thereafter the TMMK (Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam) was
launched in 1995, giving a political colour to Islamic fundamentalism.
It was founded by Hyder Ali, a SIMI activist and former associate of
Palani Baba in the Jihad Committee, who left Al Umma after a tiff with
its president Basha.

When Al Umma was banned for the Coimbatore blasts in February 1998, it changed colour as ‘Manitha Neethi Paasarai”
(MNP). Thus, neither the banning of SIMI and Al Umma, nor
disintegration of the Jihad Committee, reduced Islamic fundamentalism
in the state. In fact, it started growing in different avatars with the
support of Dravidian parties, which go to any extent for the sake of

There is a general feeling outside the state that Tamil Nadu is
normally peaceful and that terror attacks are confined to the RSS HQs
attack of 1993 and the Coimbatore blasts of 1998. The reality is that
between 1993 and 1998 there have been several terror attacks, to cite
but a few:

1] Wife of a Dalit-Hindu activist died in a blast in Nagore on 4 July 1995.
2] Blast in Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple on 18 May 1996; TMMK leader
Naina      Mohammed and Sait Saheb, Raja Hussain and Fakrudin (cadres)
3] Bomb attack on Doordarshan Kendra’s Thanjavur office on 6 June 1997.
4] Scores of bomb explosions occurred within 20 months prior to the Coimbatore blasts.
5] On 6 December 1997 bombs exploded in Coimbatore-bound Cheran
Express, Madurai-bound Pandiyan Express and Allepey Express in Trichur.

6] On 10 January 1998, a bomb exploded on Anna Flyover in the heart of Chennai city.
7] On 18 September 1997, five Hindu activists murdered in different places; three fundamentalists arrested.
8] On 9 December 1997, a cycle bomb exploded in Coimbatore suburb killing three women; Sultan Nazar and Abdul Quayum arrested. 

The growth of Islamic fundamentalism was apparent during the DMK regime between 1996 and 2001.
Though the law and order was comparatively better during AIADMK rule
between 2001 and 2006, clandestine operations continued and sustained
fundamentalism. This became evident when five MNP cadres were arrested
on 22 July 2006 in Coimbatore (DMK came back to power in May 2006) on
charges of plotting serial bomb blasts similar to the 1998 blasts. The
five were acquitted on 9 February 2008 on grounds of being arrested on
false charges!

Besides, half a dozen cadres of Al Umma were suddenly released from
Palayamkottai prison in May 2006, within days of the present DMK
government taking charge. During the Ganesh Chaturthi festival and
visarjanam (immersion) processions, the TMMK habitually creates hurdles
in many places. The worst incidents occurred in 2007 in Thammampatti
near Attur in Salem district, where hundreds of innocent Tamil Hindus
were arrested on false charges and it was alleged that state police
committed human rights violations against arrested Hindus.

Regarding the release of Islamic fundamentalists by the DMK, Indian Express (8 August 2006) reported, “senior
Policemen in Thirunelveli were shocked by what they termed the DMK
Government’s ‘blatant sympathy’ for the Muslim fundamentalists
This misplaced sympathy for the sake of votebanks is allegedly the
reason behind the government’s refusal to appeal against the acquittal of Abdul Nazar Madani in the Coimbatore blasts case.

With the release of these fundamentalists from various prisons, Muslim pockets have begun to be Talibanised.
A good example can be seen in Muslim-dominated ‘Melvisharam’ in Vellore
district, where the dominant community refused civic amenities to
non-Muslims of ‘Keezhvisharam,’ who have to depend on Melvisharam for
anything. Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy approached the
Madras High Court and later the Supreme Court to order a separate
Panchayat status for Keezhvisharam, to save non-Muslims from dependence
upon the oppressive Muslims of Melvisharam.

Dr. Swamy commented, “Islamic theology
does not classify nations according to percentage of Muslim population,
but according to the nature of the majority – whether it is united and
aggressive or divided and passive. India is in the latter category, and
hence even where Muslims are less than five percent as in Tamil Nadu,
in pockets in the state where Muslims are in majority such as Thondi in
Ramanathapuram district or Melvisharam in Vellore district, Muslims
have established Dar ul Islam where Hindus are denied all civic
amenities and live de facto as dhimmis

With Talibanisation comes the oppression of women. A woman running a
tea shop and another working in a local beedi factory were waylaid and
murdered in broad daylight in Thirunelveli, for trivial reasons, in the
name of religion. Indian Express (26 March 2007) reported, “the
police spoke of Al Umma, the fundamentalist outfit which had become
weak after the arrest of more than 100 of its members in the Coimbatore
case, which under the DMK regime had been rejuvenated and was trying to
enforce edicts on the Muslim community in the districts of south Tamil

Recent events in Pakistan, particularly after Mumbai 2008, pose a real
threat to India. Fundamentalists took out a huge rally in Calicut,
Kerala. Though ignored by mainstream print and electronic media, the
Tamil daily, Dinamalar, reported (19 February 2009) that the Popular
Front of India (PFI) organised a massive “National Political Conference” in Calicut from 13-15 February 2009. Whether coincidence or planned, the Taliban simultaneously took out huge rallies in Swat Valley.
The conference was attended by members of PFI from 16 states including
Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Goa and
Delhi. Its ‘theme’ was “Power for People”!

At the conference, seminars for students and NRIs were conducted
separately. Leaders from various politics-oriented Islamic outfits
participated; one seminar was titled “Political power and
Alternatives.” A seminar “against” terrorism was inaugurated by
Magsaysay Award winner and Human Rights (sic) activist Sandip Pandey,
and attended by ‘secularists’ like Swami Lakshmi Sankaracharya from
Kanpur, advocate Prashant Bushan and Chennai-based Prof. Arunan.
Secularist Kavitha Srivatsava, president, PUCL-Rajasthan, inaugurated
the seminar on “Women power in politics”. National Ulemas organised a
seminar on “Religion in granting power”. Sri Goya, editor, ‘Tejas’
chaired a meeting of media persons. A seminar on “Reservations” was
also held. PFI’s National Political Conference culminated with a
massive rally and public meeting attended by over two lakh people. 

On 17 February 2007, The New Indian Express, Chennai,
reported: “The ‘Q’ branch of the state police is now concerned about
the formation of a new Islamic outfit, ‘Popular Front of India’ (PFI),
a coordinated effort between three organisations – Karnataka For
Dignity (KFD), Karnataka; Manitha Neethi Pasarai (MNP), Tamil Nadu; and
National Development Front (NDF), Kerala. The new organisation was
launched on Friday (16th February 2007) in Bangalore, ‘to coordinate
& strengthen grassroot level developmental activities throughout
the country,’ followed by an ‘Empower India’ conference in the garden
city. Though the organisation’s agenda has been well spelt out –
democracy & social justice, the state police fear that the
organisation had been set up to propagate hardliner ideology. A ‘Q’
branch official had said, ‘What is worrying us is the fact that a
majority of the leaders of this new front belonged to the now banned
SIMI’. The decision to launch Popular Front of India (PFI) has been
taken at a conference of KFD, MNP & NDF held on 22 November 2006 at
Calicut. The leaders of PFI include K.M. Shareef, President of KFD,
Gulam Muhammed, leader of MNP and Abdur Rahman Baqari of NDF and they
have decided to confine their activities to South India’.

A close look at the choice of words in their nomenclatures tells us how
cleverly they are getting into mainstream politics! Soft and gentle
words like Dignity, National, Development, Manitham (Humanity), Neethi
(Justice), Popular and Munnetram (Improvement or forwarding), have
replaced hardline words like Jihad and other Arabic or Urdu words. They
claim to work for Democracy, Social Justice and Development! Similar
nomenclatures were used in the just-concluded Calicut conference. The
MNP attempted to take out a rally in Madurai last Republic Day; wall
advertisements put out by the outfit allegedly carried the figure of
the JKLF-Flag.
MNP is also alleged to be the new name of banned organisation Al Umma,
just like the TN unit of SIMI changed itself to Tamil Nadu Muslim
Munnetra Kazhagam after the Centre banned SIMI.  

On 26 July 2006, Indian Express carried a report on MNP indulging in ‘conversion’ and conducting classes in the name of ‘Arivagam’
to brainwash new converts, especially scheduled castes, to train and
recruit them to Jihadi squads. The MNP is reportedly active in places
close to the Kerala border (Theni, Coimbatore, etc), so it can connect
with Kerala-based NDF easily. Investigations
of Jaipur, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Delhi and Mumbai blasts reveal that
Kerala has been a permanent and save haven and a training ground for
Islamic terrorists who have been sent on Jihadi missions from Kerala to
. Just last month, the TMMK inaugurated its political wing in the name of “Manithaneya Makkal Katchi” meaning “Humane People Party”! The leaders of these outfits have also participated in the Calicut conference. 

There seems to be a sudden surge of Islamic outfits to capture or share political power in India. While pseudo-secular politicians use the term ‘Talibanisation’
for utterly irrelevant episodes and outfits, Muslim-dominated spaces
are getting increasingly Talibanised. This is an ominous sign and the
next government has a heavy responsibility on its shoulders.  

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