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Indien & Nepal - Terroraktioner i Benares og de erfaringer man kan drage!

Lessons from the Benaras Blasts

Dr. Pravin Rajbahak, 29. marts 2006

De tragiske bombeaktioner i Benares (Varanasi) i begyndelsen af marts og det efterfølgende hændelsesforløb afslørede noget af den dobbeltmoral, der hersker i Indien i forbindelse med den form for aktive eller passive deltagelse og medinddragelse i hele den ligeså tragiske hændelsesforløb, der har udspillet sig i Nepal gennem de seneste år. Samtidig med at nepaleserne på linie med inderne sørger over og beklager de tragiske hændelser i Benares, så latterliggør inderne ganske åbenlyst de nepalesiske forsøg på at opretholde eller genoprette ro og orden, samtidig med at landet (Indien) yderligere huser hele skaren af top-maoister. For at sætte hele sagen på spidsen, så anklager Indien samtidig Pakistan for at gøre nøjagtig det samme som Indien selv gør, nemlig huse terrorister som drager over grænsen og udøver terroraktioner (først og fremmest i Kashmir).

Dr. Pravin Rajbahak
On 7 March terror ravaged the city of faith, and devastated what has always been a sacred city for Hindus all over the world. It did not even spare the temple of Lord Hanuman known to be the savior of all misfortunes and disasters. Nepal's relations with this city is much more than Benarasi sweets or Benarasi sari and go even before India was born as a nation state therefore it does obviously concern Nepalese living within and outside the country on anything awful happening in that town. After all, the bride in whose wedding ceremony one of the three bombs exploded is a Nepali national who according to news reports is currently undergoing medical treatment. There are several lessons that India can learn from these attacks, which by any account is a horrendous act of terrorism committed against humanity that needs to be condemned in the strongest possible words. No Nepali - young or old, urbane or rural, rightist, centrist or leftist would be ever pleased even in his wildest thoughts or even during periods of intense feeling of anti-Indianism wishes to see such a thing happening to anybody anywhere in India, let alone to Hindus inside a temple in Benaras. Therefore, the Nepali community everywhere found the attacks appalling, horrifying and viewed it with downright feeling of contempt towards the perpetrators.

But a night before, there was another equally horrible attack in the district headquarters in Ilam district in eastern Nepal. A beautiful tea estate, Ilam is famous for its tea and a relatively prosperous-middle class town that our own variety of Jehadis did not spare to molest at mid-night. Was the reaction of the people of India, especially those that position themselves in the highest echelons of decision-making on Nepalese affairs in Delhi's power loop the same as that of the Nepalese when they saw the bleeding wounds, rushing policemen, sirens of ambulances in Benaras? The answer is plain and simple. No! If India's power elite would have the same sentiment towards us as we have towards them, the military aid to the Royal Nepal Army would not have been blocked and the entire bunch of Maoist leadership would not have been permitted to live in New Delhi as if they were honored guests of the government of India and allowed to meet visiting "dignitaries" from Kathmandu as if a wedding ceremony is being planned to formalize nuptial knots between odd bedfellows damned by the Nepalese at large. Right now, some Nepalese politicians are in Delhi to unite with the Maoist leaders for a common cause to create havoc in Nepal and yet the Government of India is indifferent to this. It blames Pakistan for sponsoring cross border terrorism yet practically does the same to another small neighbor which religiously, culturally, emotionally, and politically has historically been so close.

According to Indian on-line news reports, the entire top brass of the Benaras police was in Farooqabad, audaciously attending the wedding of a relative of the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh when the bomb blasts took place and despite credible intelligence reports, the same country's police force could not stop the incident. But when Maoist attacks take place in Nepal, Indian newspapers satire over the inefficiency of the Royal Nepal Army and how a "leadership crisis" looms over the RNA. We are cautioned that only under a "democratically elected civilian leadership can the army effectively mobilize the common citizens and only then can we isolate the insurgents from the villagers". But some of India's own insurgencies are as old as the nation itself and despite its army being under a civilian administration from the last half a century, every state of the Northeast currently harbors one insurgency or the other. Without realizing the hurt and offence that it builds inside the Nepalese consciousness, we are advised to "negotiate" by agreeing to the Maoists' demand of a constituent assembly without even comprehending that identically the same could be told by 25 million Nepalese to negotiate with the Lashkar-e-Toiba and for God's sake forgo that despot like yearning over Jammu and Kashmir. When Maoist blockades cripple normal life in Kathmandu Valley, some Indians spoof over the good organizational skills of the Maoists, others write editorials on how the Nepal government hasn't been able to thwart the Maoist call of a bandh. Paradoxically, only a day after the Benaras blasts, the entire state of Uttar Pradesh saw a total bandh with normal life paralyzed, the whole city of Benaras seized by the police and all borders closed down for two full days.

Ever since the Congress led UPA government has come to power in India, it has only reinforced the popular perception that it is not interested in carrying the war against terrorism to its logical conclusion. Flanked by its 'secular' allies and leftist parties, the Congress embarked on its journey of minoritism by pulling apart the prevention of Terrorism Act; by doing so, it successfully sent across the message to jihadis and terrorists of all variety that India encourages dialogue rather than a stern measure to counter terrorism. Beginning with the horrible attack on the Ram Temple in Ayodhya last July, and the bombings in Delhi on the eve of Diwali last year were as much aimed at creating terror in the nation's capital as at mocking at Hindu sentiments, the same sentiments that we in Nepal are so proud of.

For instance, how can the same Intelligence Bureau (I&B) track down elements of the Lashkar-e-Toiba or the little known Lashlar-e-Qahhar that hurl bombs at public places in Indian cities when the same agency organizes secret meetings of Nepalese Maoist leaders with leaders of the seven political parties in New Delhi? When the President of India visits Myanmar as the guest of honor of the Military junta of Myanmar , how can it spread democracy in countries as far as North Korea, Cuba, Syria and Zimbabwe as called by President Bush during his recent visit? Well knowing a crystal clear double standard on the part of India and possible misadventures similar to what it did in Sikkim, the United States has now shifted its policy vis-à-vis Nepal and warned about the dangers inherent in the 12-point agreement. Yet, some Nepalese political leaders are in Delhi to further consolidate the infamous agreement and despite the U.S. warning, Delhi has chosen to take the sides of the terrorists which according to Ambassador Moriarty have been emboldened by the agreement.

If there is any system to contain those senior officials that encourage terrorism and thereby endanger India's own national security by encouraging terrorism in Nepal which shares an open porous border with four densely populated northern states; first and foremost, India's Prime Minister Dr. Man Mohan Singh, National Security Advisor M.K. Narayannan and moreover Mrs. Sonia Gandhi should warn those Indian officials or CPI(M) leaders not to give confidence to the Maoists of Nepal because it was precisely these kinds of gambits that led to the Indian support to the Akali Dal and the LTTE but ultimately culminated in the brutal assassinations of Mrs. Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. Only Congress (I) President Mrs. Sonia Gandhi knows how devastating was the decision of former Congress governments to arm, train and finance Akali Dal or the LTTE but those short-sighted officials at various Government of India departments and ministries were never prosecuted. The same is being repeated today in Nepal by giving refuge to the Maoist leaders and indirectly facilitating talks between the terrorists and the political parties. If they feel that the Maoists of Nepal have to be brought to the mainstream politics through the 12-point agreement, they should consider this:

# On February 6th last month, Ten Nagaland Armed Police Personnel were killed by the Maoists in a powerful landmine explosion in Dantewada district, Chattisgarh.

# On February 9th, eight CISF personnel were killed when Maoist cadres attacked the National Mineral Development Corporation store in Hirauli area of Chattisgarh.

# On March 3, Maoist cadres mainly women attacked another CISF post and a police station in Bokaro district, Jharkhand.

# On March 5, hundreds of Maoists attacked the Umaria police station in Bihar.

# On March 5, Maoists blew up a major portion of the Bhanshi railway station.

This is where India needs to correct itself if it is to be a formidable power of the 21st century and if at all it is to have harmonious relations with all its neighbors especially Nepal. It should be tough on terrorists operating from within its borders as it expects its neighbors to do as regards to its own insurgents. Otherwise, Benaras will keep on repeating itself and so will Ilam.

© Pravin Rajbahak 2006
This article is published by engelund.dk according an agreement with the writer.
Dr. Rajbahak is a pediatrician by profession.
He can be contacted at: pravinrajbahak@hotmail.com.



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Opdateret d. 30.3.2006