23 June, 2021

Give Us Our Daily Slingshots

Hindutva bigotry vs Islamic jehad. The history of terrorism in India is that of competitive communalism.

Give Us Our Daily Slingshots

It’s a measure of the cynical and populist politics of our time that Rahul Gandhi’s remark about Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) looking for recruits among riot-affected Muslim youths of Muzaffarnagar should be met with so much hostility and scorn. Ironica­lly, some of that animosity has originated from the Muslim community, which was the intended subject of Rahul’s empathy. Rahul could be criticised on many counts—for framing it clumsily or inadequately, for not speaking about the all-consuming horrors of terrorism, for not warning Pakistan about fishing in troubled waters. The real question, however, is whether Rahul has got the essence of the history of communal violence wrong.

Excluding Kashmir and the Northeast, which have their own unique reasons for militancy, the history of terrorism in India is the history of competitive communalism. The single biggest reason for the radicalisation of scores of Muslim youths has been the organised mob violence of the Sangh parivar. Hindu and Muslim fundamentalism have had a long...

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