A report published by the Sydney-based Institute for Economics and Peace has revealed that India is the seventh most affected nation by terrorism in the world. India is ranked at seventh position, and the toppers of the list are Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Syria, Pakistan and Somalia. The report has further found that the fatalities inflicted by terror attacks on Indian soil is depreciating. In 1998, about 4.3 people were killed in each attack. That dropped to 1.6 deaths per attack in 2008, and 0.5 in 2018. “In 2018 alone, 69 per cent of attacks had zero fatalities and 22 per cent had one fatality”, says the report.
The report has termed terror outfits of the union territories of Jammu and Kashmir as ‘terrorist organizations/groups’. Similarly, separatists of North East have been clubbed in a similar fashion. Interestingly, although the maximum attacks have occurred in Jammu and Kashmir, the report states that the second most affected region, i.e., Chhattisgarh recorded almost similar number of fatalities. Chhattisgarh is termed as the centre of the ‘red corridor’. Although the number of attacks by Maoists is much less as compared to the number of attacks in Kashmir, the death toll is found to be almost similar.
It must be remembered that India as a nation has had to deal, and is still dealing with several shades and types of terrorism. Let’s have a look at these serially.
- Radical Islamic Terrorism
A look at the most rudimentary website for basic knowledge, Wikipedia, reveals the devastation that extremist jihadis have been causing to India over the years. Bomb blasts being reported in some city across the country every alternate day, had, till recent memory, become a habit for Indians to witness. However, there have been attacks that have repeatedly shook the nation. Such attacks have been listed by Wikipedia in an alphabetical order. Such is the immensity of these attacks! With time, however, successive state and central establishments have learned how to deal with such activities. Under the Modi government especially, terror attacks have been drastically curbed across the country, and Kashmir and the red corridor are the only existing terror hotbeds as of today. Pakistan, as we are aware, has always played a pivotal role in such attacks across India. It has let loose its home-grown terror outfits like mad dogs in India. The Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Al-Qaeda being their favourite choices. These outfits are headed by radical Islamists who fool people into believing their bigoted mind-set as though they are the epitome of Islamic knowledge.
- Left-Wing Extremism
Leftists cannot digest the unavailability of power in their hands. This is a worldwide phenomenon. In such a scenario, they aim to bring a revolution, along with a utopia, which is only possible according to them, if they are in power. The Maoist lobby in India cannot answer a fundamentally basic question in detail. The only answer available would be that they aim to bring a revolution. Further probing on the subject would not yield any answers, due to lack of knowledge, and would also be a threat to one’s life. The objective of the Naxalites is to wage an armed revolution, modelled on the lines of the Chinese Revolution, which they call New Democratic Revolution (NDR), and usher in their own form of government. Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh are a part of what is called the ‘red corridor’, an area in which Naxalites wage terror against the Indian state. Rajnath Singh, as Home Minister in the previous Modi government waged an unrelenting war against Maoists and Naxalites, and now Amit Shah is doing the same with greater vigour.
- Psychological extremism:
There are several organizations which surreptitiously carry forward the agenda of declared terror outfits. As such, they act as proxies and potential recruiters for such outfits. The Popular Front of India(PFI) for instance, which describes itself as a neo-social movement committed to empower people to ensure justice, freedom and security, is, in-fact, an extremist militant organization. Since its inception, the organisation has been accused of various antisocial and anti-national activities The allegations include connections with various Islamic terrorist groups possessing arms, kidnapping, murder, intimidation, hate campaigns, rioting, and various acts of religious terrorism. Such have been the activities of the outfit that even the communist government of Kerala submitted before the High Court that PFI is nothing but a resurrection of the banned outfit SIMI. Such outfits indoctrinate susceptible minds with the jihadi ideology, which in future carry out terror activities.
Speaking of indoctrination, Zakir Naik is another example of how psychological terrorism is inflicted upon scores of people. Naik is an infamous Islamic preacher, preaching Jihad and hate for others most of the time. He the founder of Peace TV and the Islamic Research Foundation. Having fled India, Naik is in Malaysia as of now, however, India is trying hard to get the man back and try him under law for his hateful ideology and terror inclinations.
- ISIS Modules:
Although ISIS has substantially lost ground and is fleeing from its proclaimed battlegrounds, it nevertheless poses a threat to India, and has several dedicated modules aimed against India for fulfilling ‘Ghazwa-e-Hind’. For centuries, Islamic marauders have tried the same, however, have been unsuccessful. On May 10th this year, ISIS claimed to have established its first province in India, in Kashmir. They called the same ‘Walliyah of Hind’.
As of now, there are roughly 112 cases which have been reported of ISIS activities in India, both busted by the NIA, or reported by the media. ISIS, at least in India, does not work on the basis of individual assets(though it is a possibility which cannot be ruled out). Usually, the NIA busts modules and small groups of people linked to the ISIS, planning something big. Therefore, the fact that the NIA has to extensively keep an eye on the activities of ISIS in India, in itself makes the establishment deal with a separate kind of terrorism.
Separatism in India is not a new phenomenon. Since independence, many regions and states have attempted to revolt against the Indian state and seek secession of their portion of the land from the Indian Union. All such efforts have repeatedly failed. The secession of Kashmir is being demanded by some till this day, however, there is no chance that such demands will see the light of the day. Major Gaurav Arya in a speech has once said, “A nation can gain independence only once, and that has been done in 1947.”
The demand for a separate Sikh state-Khalistan, was crushed successfully by India. Although there are foreign elements which are still hell-bent for the formation of Khalistan, those within India know that it is an unachievable dream. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam, known as the LTTE, although militarily defeated in 2009, had contributed extensively to anti-India sentiments within India as well. LTTE was also responsible for the assassination of former PM Rajiv Gandhi.
Northeast India has its own set of groups which have continued demanding secession from the Indian Union since independence. Here, each state has had, and continues to have in some cases, their own insurgent and separatist groups.
This article would turn into a research paper if one would begin naming and describing each of these militant outfits. Therefore, I would merely name some.
NDFB, NSCN, ULFA, HNLC, GNLA, ANVC, KLO, UNLF, PLA, NLFT, ATTF, KLNLF, MCPM, ZRA, DHD, PREPAK, etc.
India, like in all other aspects, is very diverse when it comes to the types of terrorism it has to deal with. No other country in the world has had to deal with a multiplicity of such terror groups and ideologies. Successive governments have had their own methods of dealing with these outfits and ideologies. While we are not in a position to judge any of them, it is only befitting to give all of them credit for steadily reducing secessionist sentiments among various populations in India. Had it been any other country, the communists or other self-vested groups and individuals would have taken advantage of such chaos and established their ‘utopia’. The Indian state however, stands tall and strong to this day.
Leave a Reply