Akbar and Jihad
Where do we stand though?
By Faraz Ahmad
Read a moving Centre page article by my former Editor M J Akbar in the Times of India today, December 18, 2014 on the butchering of 150 school children in Peshawar, Pakistan.
One couldn’t agree more with Akbar’s analysis that the seed of the massacre by Tehrikee Taliban of Pakistan (TTP) goons on December 16 and their earlier actions have been germinating for long in the direction its Army-Mullah leadership took this geographical entity from its inception. The very creation of Pakistan was on communal and theocratic grounds.
Trust Akbar’s vision to expand the horizon to note the simultaneous killing of 150 women many in advanced stage of pregnancy the same day in Iraq for resisting rape by ISIS jehadis. The same medieval barbarism and a conscious and deliberate attempt to deny and destroy everything modern and progressive was evident here too. The message by these fanatics, be they in Pakistan or Iraq and Syria is simple, those not following my diktat are our enemies and have to be ruthlessly annihilated.
Akbar also rightfully stated that while the Jamaate Islami (JI) or its offshoot in Pakistan, Jamiatul Ulemae Islam (JUI) may try to obfuscate the connection with these mad mullahs, there is no denying that the Madrasas of these organisations have for long spawned the philosophy producing these mad barbarians blinded by their narrow , sectarian and fallacious belief in the primacy of their faith.
However Akbar is the spokesman of the BJP whose MPs get up in Parliament and openly declare that those not with Modi have no place in India (Ramesh Bidhuri in the Lok Sabha in the Budget session). Another MP Sakshi Maharaj pronounces Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin a “Patriot” implying that Nathuram Godse did nation a good service by killing the father of the Nation in a cowardly cold blooded manner.
Akbar’s other esteemed colleague Union Minister of State for Food Processing Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti whom Akbar is duty bound to aggressively defend as the party’s spokesman, publicly pronounced all those opposed to Modi as “Bastards.” She told a gathering of BJP supporters in West Delhi on December 2, “Aapko tay karna hai ki Dilli mein sarkar Ramzadon ki banni hai ya Haramzadon ki.” So those who are not Ramzadas, meaning Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, and other Hindus who do not subscribe to Hindutva are all Haramzadas in the BJP leader’s perspective. And no, neither she nor Modi apologized for this. She sufficed to say, “If anybody is hurt by my utterances, I express regret.” And what did Akbar’s great leader Modi say, “Oh don’t mind please, let it be, she is new to Parliament.”
Cow slaughter surely hurts the sentiments of the Hindus of Indo-Gangetic plains and therefore long ago it has been banned in the mainland and with some justification. But why target non-vegetarianism per se, when majority of Indians are not vegetarians? You travel by Air-India or Rajdhani Express on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays post Modi’s rule and they refuse to serve you non-veg pleading that it may hurt the religious sentiment of other co-passengers. I personally experienced it while flying Air-India to Thiruvanantapuram on October 20.
The RSS is busy reconverting the Muslims and Christians. Yogi Adityanath and K K Navman are undeterred by the SP government’s attempt to stall their programmes through administrative measures. Almost immediately after the results of the general elections were out giving the BJP a clear mandate in the Lok Sabha, VHP international president Ashok Singhal held a press conference announcing that Hindus stood emancipated first time after 1000 years. We have a Prime Minister who gives lessons in plastic surgery and genetic engineering to medical students citing the elephant head of Lord Ganesh and the birth of Kunti’s son Karan. Inspired by his leader a BJP member, a former chief minister of Uttarahand Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank rose in Parliament to reiterate the faith as final scientific knowledge. Education Minister Smriti Irani beholden to RSS, has banned learning German and is forcing the school children to learn Sanskrit instead. National holiday to celebrate Mahatma Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri’s birth anniversary, has been scrapped by Akbar/Modi government. Next in line is Jesus Christ’s few days from now. And this is just the beginning. Yet Akbar argues that “India is a modern state which believes in democracy, faith freedom,” et al. It was, and we hope it will continue to be so. But many of us skeptics are not too certain about its future. Will it continue the Nehru-Ambedkar way or will it drift the Ziaul Haq way?
Let me remind Akbar that throughout the rule of General Mohammad Ziaul Haq in Pakistan, which lasted all of eleven years, no BJP leader ever uttered a single word of criticism of that Mullah in Khaki whose chicken have come home to roost now. In fact the saffron brigade seemed to be in some kind of awe and admiration of that mean, vile, vicious Jihadi calling himself Ameerul Momineen (a title bestowed on Ali by the Shia community implying the ruler of the believers) who consciously nurtured the Islamic fanatics to browbeat all modern and progressive ideas and movements if any in Pakistan and the neighbouring Afghanistan, with active US support, no doubt. He started the war against India through terrorism first in Punjab and then in Jammu and Kashmir. It was his thesis of “a thousand cuts” which his successors happily followed.
Akbar may have joined the BJP only lately, but he was no less an admirer of Ziaul Haq. I recall a cover story in the Sunday magazine sometime in 1979-80, done by Akbar with an interview of that cross eyed Mullah. This was soon after he killed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in a blatantly judicial murder. So, no need to gloat. We may not be there yet. But who knows how long we will take to cover the distance Pakistan and other Islamic jihadists have already traversed. After all there are marked similarities between the new Avataar of Ziaul Haq, Recep Tayyip Erdogan ruling Turkey and Narendra Modi and we can see how Erdogan is turning a modern Muslim state into a medieval Islamic society.