It is not enough to take cosmetic action like banning the SFI, like the SIMI before it. The people involved in this form of warfare must be rounded up and punished on an urgent basis

With the proliferation of an organised series of movements such as the PFI and erstwhile SIMI, groups of radicals are openly threatening anyone they wish to target. These range from ordinary Hindus like a tailor beheaded in Udaipur, and another victim in Amravati, Maharashtra.

It is not enough to take cosmetic action like banning the SFI, like the SIMI before it. The people involved in this form of warfare must be rounded up and punished on an urgent basis. After 9/11, which took place during the George W Bush presidency, over two decades ago, in 2001, America has not had any Islamic terrorist attacks or incidents within its landmass.

This is mostly thanks to the stringent Patriot Act which was passed just two months after the warlike attack that killed thousands, destroyed two high-rise towers at the World Trade Centre in New York, destroyed part of the Pentagon, brought down three fully laden passenger planes, even as one of them was headed for the Capitol in Washington DC, or possibly the White House itself.

The Patriot Act, as it is popularly known, practically bypassed the normal legal system in the US, to crack down hard on suspected terrorists, their sympathisers and supporters, their sources of funds and their flows, both at home and abroad.

This, alongside very strict and ruthless covert action to foil and nip terror plots in the bud with extreme prejudice. It was designed to intercept, obstruct and prevent another terror attack, big or small in the US.

It held in abeyance most of the provisions of the American Bill of Rights. It could jail anybody on mere suspicion, even if there was no criminal action or record. It could access all public and private documents, tap phones, confiscate funds, blend intelligence and law enforcement, pretty much as the people working under it saw fit.

It worked in tandem with Guantanamo Bay jail outside the jurisdiction entirely of the American legal system. This place, still operational, despite promises to close it down by President Barack Obama, is notorious for its third-degree methods to extract information and confessions. The jail was located in Cuba and housed terrorists captured, quite often, in Afghanistan.

The Patriot Act attacked international terrorism as it affected America, head on, without apology.

The law was allowed to lapse in 2020 when the US House of Representatives (Congress), did not extend its provisions. It was modified in 2015, loosening some of its draconian provisions, most notably its powers to invade privacy.

The Patriot Act, internally, was combined with massive US and NATO military action against Afghanistan (purportedly the home of Al-Qaeda) though parts of it were also based in Sudan. There was military action also against Iraq (where a bogus WMD charge, as it turned out subsequently, was levelled). All of this did not however result in the destruction of terrorism internationally.

This was mainly because the fountainhead of terrorism, namely Pakistan, was not harmed in any way. Even today, Pakistan enjoys covert support from America which sees it as a geo-strategic asset in the region. This, despite multiple and clear links of the 9/11 attackers to it. The attackers were mostly Saudi nationals radicalised by Al Qaeda, but trained and indoctrinated in Pakistan by the ISI and its agents.

India is suffering every day because of the work being done out of Pakistan. But the only way India can comprehensively attack and destroy terrorist infrastructure and personnel, including that of the ISI, within Pakistan, is with American permission. A Balakot strike or covert Research & Analysis Wing action is surely not enough. But with US support, the implied diplomatic and military backing, it would stop China/Pakistan from acting injudiciously.

This nod may be forthcoming, in stages, as we go forward, starting with permission to reclaim PoK and Gilgit-Baltistan. Back-channel talks are said to be ongoing. This action on India’s part would at once put a severe crimp in Chinese and Pakistani hegemony in the area.

The reason for this changed perception and stance is American strategic backing for a free Tibet, and a push back against an economically weakened China at this time.

In the meantime, as it will surely result in a multiple-front limited war, India is busy building up its military muscle.

The head of Al Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden, who admitted to being the inspiration for 9/11, if not its chief planner, was sheltered for years in Abbottabad in Pakistan, next door to a Pakistani military base. It was almost as if Bin Laden enjoyed Pakistani protection, with the US in the know.

He was eventually eliminated by a US helicopter-borne covert commando action, just before President Barack Obama won his second term in office. Was this too agreed by Pakistan? It probably was, given its meek acceptance of the violation of its sovereignty. This sort of intrusion was overlooked, not only in this instance, but in multiple drone strikes against terrorists within Pakistan territory, carried out by the Americans from within Afghanistan.

In the case of America, with a miniscule native Muslim population of some 4 percent of its own, the Islamic terror threat is essentially from imported actors and foreign funding. However, random shootings of innocents and children by the natives themselves, some actions with political and white supremacist overtones, have become rampant lately.

America is a highly armed society, the right to own and bear firearms of various kinds, is protected by law.

In India, as the ascendancy of the Hindu Nationalist BJP seems never-ending going forward to the 200 million plus Muslims, more and more bloody attacks against the Hindu majority are becoming commonplace.

This includes desecration of mandirs, and attacks against Hindu religious processions as they pass through Muslim heavy areas. These, in turn, lead quite often to riots, arson, loot, rape, murder, mainly in states not run by the BJP. The Hindu abhorrence to cow slaughter is openly provoked, and sometimes raw meat is flung into mandir courtyards. The powers that be in opposition states generally attempt to gloss over such open hostility, often aided by sections of the Liberal-Left media.

But, with the proliferation of an organised series of movements such as the PFI and erstwhile SIMI, sponsored by the Pakistani ISI and other leading terror groups from Pakistan and Syria, groups of radicals are now openly threatening anyone they wish to target. These range from ordinary Hindus like a recently beheaded tailor in Udaipur, and another victim in Amravati, Maharashtra, to BJP MPs, journalists, businessmen, and even the prime minister.

The by-and-large non-violent Hindu population still constitutes nearly 80 percent of India’s 1.44 billion. It is influenced by the Gandhian notions of Ahimsa that has been widely publicised ever since the days of pre-independence. But even this docile population is now moving towards shunning Muslim employees, businesses, and places of Sufi worship, once generously patronised by Hindus.

The Muslims who have chosen to stay on in India after the creation of Pakistan in 1947, have been left alone by the State, only to be incited by radical maulanas and muftis. They are trained to see all others as Kafirs, in the mosques, dargahs, seminaries and madrassas, as well as the tight-knit mohallahs the community generally inhabits.

In this age of multiple TV news channels and social media, all this is neither hidden nor appreciated by the Hindu majority. The price of Muslim incitement, using agent provocateurs, foreign hands, money, opposition politicians, is almost instant exposure and Hindu voter consolidation in favour of the BJP.

The Government of India meanwhile is making great strides in improving its ties and commerce with important Islamic countries in the Arabian /Persian Gulf, North Africa, the Asia-Pacific, Africa. These nations understand India as a tolerant multi-ethnic and religious country, and are not taken in by Pakistani/Left-Liberal propaganda, aided sporadically by Turkey.

This has resulted in the Islamist onslaught we are experiencing in India, threatening and bloody as it is, being regarded internationally as a localised affair that has no legs or future.

But, as a consequence of this diplomatic gain, the Indian State is reluctant to crack down on radical elements domestically. The Pakistani ISI is, in fact, taking advantage of this, and also the emphasis on irrefutably proving guilt in the Indian judiciary. Even tough laws like UAPA end up unable to hold terrorists after a single court-hearing. Jihadists laugh at the system and game it shamelessly.

Therefore, the need is rife for an Indian Patriot Act that the judiciary cannot interfere with. An insurgency with war-like features cannot be treated as if it is business as usual.

Political parties that regard Muslims as their reliable vote banks have pampered and appeased the community over the years, and continue to do so to this day. They seek to manufacture an equivalence between militant Muslim organisations that openly promote jihad and the creation of a ‘Ghazwa-e-Hind’ by 2047, and a bogus Hindu Terror.

They encourage a radicalised mass of violent Muslims and call them no more than the equivalent of the RSS. This is outrageous because not only is the RSS the ideological parent of the vastly membered BJP, but a most benevolent social working NGO, the largest in the world.

But where is the violence emanating from the RSS? There is not even a provocative statement, legion from the Islamists. Even laying the assassination of MK Gandhi at its doorstep is in effect, a lie.

Nathuram Godse had his own convictions apart from those espoused by the RSS of his day, and today, when we see the result of not insisting all Muslims vacate India at partition, his views are being appreciated by many.

Still, some opposition political parties, the Congress prominent amongst them, try to counter the charges of motivated and financed Islamic aggression by citing a fictional Hindu Terror. So much so, that it tried to fabricate a Hindu Terror hand, probably in cahoots with Pakistan, to the ghastly events of 26/11. If it were not for Kasab, caught alive, they might have made it stick, particularly as the UPA led by Congress was ruling at the time.

Trading charges of communalism and culpability is now an insufficient method to take care of a serious internal security threat. It is on par if not greater than that posed by Maoists in the forests of the Indian Deccan and the East.

There is an urgent need to treat seditionists, traitors, terrorists and their ilk as separate from the masses of ordinary law-abiding Muslims. This, before the propagandists of the radical fringe, out to destroy the law and order situation and the fabric of the nation, identify all Muslims as the victims of a Hindu statist oppression. To an extent this has happened already as the government failed to make the distinction between the two with emphasis. Instead, it chose to ignore the growing problem.

Like the Naxalite movement before this, that originated in the 1970s, and the Maoist/Urban Maoist movement ongoing, the only way to quell it is through determined force applied accurately.

The same determined force broke the back of the separatist movements in Punjab and in the North East. It is not something the government can shy away from, and leaving it for later is only making the problem worse.

It is not enough to take cosmetic action like banning the SFI, like the SIMI before it. This results in its reappearance in different forms and clusters, and does not tackle the menace. The people involved in this form of warfare, because that is what it is, must be rounded up and punished on an urgent basis.