New Ideas for a New War
Moorthy Muthuswamy, February 2003
I my previous paper, I had outlined a vision (http://www.saag.org/papers6/paper535.html) on the most important survival threat India faces today, namely, -- Islamic fundamentalism. As it has been in the past, the Indian establishment continues to struggle in tackling a problem that has grown into a monster. Therefore, for a country like India that passes on difficult problems to the future generations, a vision alone is not sufficient. A more detailed plan of action and an infusion of new ideas are badly needed.
I am going to outline some new ideas on how external and internal threats can be effectively managed, -- within the framework of multiculturalism, secularism, religious freedom, and human rights.
Ethnic Cleansing and Justice
Statistics tell the full and complete story of non-Muslim ethnic cleansing designed and executed by Pakistan in South Asia during the last 50 years. The non-Muslim populations consisting of over 20% and 35% respectively in Pakistan and Bangladesh just before Partition in 1947, have now reduced to less than 2% and 10% respectively, thanks to a systematic campaign of terrorism and genocide conducted by Pakistanis and other Islamists. This pattern too has repeated in the Kashmir valley, another Muslim majority region of South Asia, but a part of India. Here too local Islamic extremists supported by Pakistanis have managed to get rid of most non-Muslims. However, most Muslims were allowed to stay in secular India in the aftermath of the partition. Since 1951, Indian Muslim population has increased from about 10% to 15%.
The non-Muslim ethnic cleansing conducted by Pakistan has created a land imbalance in its favor and to the detriment of India, with India having to accommodate 85% of the population in 75% of the land. In 1947, when it was becoming obvious that West Pakistan was going to expel most of its non-Muslim citizens to India, Sardar Patel, the then Deputy Prime Minister of India wanted to annex some portions of West Pakistan as a compensation for creating this land imbalance. But he was prevented from doing so by Pandit Nehru, the then Indian Prime Minister. This act of Pakistan was against the understanding reached at the time partition, few months earlier.
In the history of civilization peace has never been achieved by caving into the demands of a criminal nation. Peace in South Asia could only be achieved by Pakistan being made accountable and by providing justice. Pakistan has managed to drive out 30% of its population of non-Muslims to India, from West and East Pakistan (in 1971). Only by annexing at least 30% of Pakistanís landmass (without subjects), as a compensation for creating this land imbalance, people of Pakistan, the real source and sponsor of terror (previous paper) could be made to mend their ways.
If Pakistan is to be considered as a human being, given its track record, it would be categorized as a pathological killer. Hence, it is not a country that could be reformed or contained; it must be defeated by inflicting large casualties in the short-term and liberated in the long-term.
A desirable scenario would be to make Pakistan landlocked, by seizing about 30% of its territories and emptying them, by sending its inhabitants deeper into its main land. The newly liberated regions of Pakistan could be settled by descendants of displaced non-Muslims from Pakistan and Bangladesh. The Central Asian nations could get sea access through Afghanistan and, through these newly acquired territories of India. This proposal may be of interest to America and others, in search of safe trade routes to Central Asia, and a permanent marginalizing of Pakistan, -- the primary terror country of the world.
The steps suggested above are corrective ones, -- to roll back the imperialist, hegemonic, and fascist deeds of militant Islam (http://www.saag.org/papers6/paper585.html).
Similar approach could be taken against another Islamic neighbor of India, Bangladesh, also known for non-Muslim ethnic cleansing and illegal demographic Islamic fundamentalist expansion.
Unlike India, while inheriting very similar systems from the departing British in 1947, Pakistan could never sustain democracy or build institutions for governing. Increasing trade with India through Most Favored Nation (MFN) status will do little to promote Indo-Pak understanding or peace. Because, as defined by powerful and influential clerics, Pakistan is designed to wage jihad, not trade or nation-building.
Indian Muslim Outlook
When Muslims as a community become majority in South Asia, they have driven out most non-Muslims from every Muslim majority region. The question then arises how do Muslims behave when they are a minority in South Asia. The answer to this question determines the future of India. Also, what yardsticks could be used to make an evaluation?
The underlying problem with regard to Islamic fundamentalism is traced to hate and retrogressive preaching by medieval clerics found in just about all mosques in South Asia. These clerics want nothing less than a violent imposition of religious fascism, not only on Muslims, but also, on non-Muslims, through jihad Ė religious war. In regions where Muslims are a majority these clerics wield power by circumventing the separation of church and state. This is the reason for Pakistanís compulsive hostility towards India and just about everything that is ailing it. However in India, while the majority is the tolerant and secular Hindu community, these clerics still hold power over the Muslim masses.
A revelation of Indian Muslim mindset popped out in the early 1990ís, when there was a large effort by them to collect funds to rehabilitate Bosnian Muslims ethnically cleansed by Serbs. However, this happened when in the Indian Kashmir, Hindus were ethnically cleansed by Kashmiri Muslims. But when the Muslim masses were told by the clerics that Bosnian Muslims were an issue but not the fellow non-Muslim Indians in Kashmir, the flock went accordingly. Many Indian clerics even support the Pakistani line of terrorism directed at security forces in Kashmir and "infidels" in the name of liberation. In Uttar Pradesh recently, the clerics have overwhelmingly rejected any attempts to introduce job-oriented state-financed modern education in about 20,000 madarasas Ė Muslim religious schools. This paves the way to create future generations of Islamic extremists and terrorists, as the clerics insist on teaching only Islamic theology, and a glorified version of Islamic history achieved through jihad against infidels such as Hindus. Thus, the clergy continue to remain not only as the stumbling block of Muslim progress, but are actively guiding their flock in support of jihad, thereby jeopardizing the future of the entire nation.
The leadership of a community reflects the community itself. In the case of Indian Muslims, their leadership, almost without exception, consists of extremist clergy, who beyond any doubt act as their representatives. Muslim magazines focus attention on solidarity with fellow Muslim "Umma" around the world, while doing little to restrain Pakistanís terrorism directed at India or to bridge the growing conflict with the majority community.
Besides the Kashmir valley, non-Muslims rarely venture into areas of India where Muslims are in large numbers, fearing unpredictable, irrational behavior or violence directed at them. Then there are the not so uncommon riots instigated by clerics during the Friday prayers, with non-Muslims and their properties, and public properties at the receiving end. A poll conducted among Indian Muslims showed over 60% support for the Afghan Taliban. A recent India Today poll showed 49% of Indian Muslims considering Pakistan as an ally/brother/friend (only 16% Hindus did). Regrettably, there exist virtually no evidence of Indian Muslims as a community reaching out to the majority community.
All of above put together implies, thanks to the clerical indoctrination, a vast majority of Indian Muslims have become, at the very least, sympathizers of extremism. At least 5-10% of the Indian Muslim population can be expected to be active in various modes of terrorism. Because these terrorists live among a sympathetic population, they can conduct terrorist operations at will and find refuge among the community. With the Indian law enforcement agencies reluctant to antagonize the whole community, Indiaís war on terrorism is thus becoming unwinnable. This is already happening at an intensive level in Kashmir and also in other areas where Muslims form a substantial population.
Reform of Indian Muslims is not an option, when extremism is the norm and reform nonexistent (reference: http://www.saag.org/papers6/paper599.html)! Liberating Indian Muslims is the only and necessary option India has, both in terms of national security and as a humanitarian deed, giving them true religious freedom away from the clutches of medieval clerics.
The New War
The large scale ethnic cleansing of non-Muslims in South Asia, and the ongoing terrorism directed at non-Muslim civilians by Muslim civilians, points to a new kind of war: Civilians indoctrinated to destroy infidels and their culture.
Indian response has so far been inadequate because it has not taken into account the above reality.
None of the international agreements on human rights stopped non-Muslim ethnic cleansing from occurring in South Asia. Nor does it discourage terrorism from occurring within India, be it in Kashmir or Godhra. The reason is that these laws, meant to apply to nations or state apparatus, are utterly useless when a civilian population is indoctrinated to wage a war on civilians of other faiths, precisely the new war I just described. This conclusion implies a need for new rules of engagement.
New Rules of Engagement
At the moment India is unable to defend itself with the rules of engagement defined by an enemy on the offensive. Indian response has been very predictable and incoherent towards an enemy who knows no rules or obeys none. This is no recipe for winning the war, but one for Indian defeat!
From now onwards, Indian military response should have a civilian component to it. Namely, liquidating extremists who indoctrinate civilians into jihad. Also, since security personal too have families with children to take care, their lives should get precedence over the civilians of populations under fascist grip that attack infidels or security personal for religious reasons.
Any treaty in which India has leverage over Pakistan or Bangladesh should be exploited to achieve strategic goals, -- whether it is Indus water treaty with Pakistan or Farakka dam water treaty with Bangladesh.
Only workable strategy is to convey the message to populations under fascist grip, through deeds, -- should they think it as a religious duty to kill infidels or destroy their property, -- their men, women and children (the ones that matter most to them) too will be hurt or killed overwhelmingly in a retaliatory response. For instance, when the possibility arose that during World War II, Hitler may use poison gas on Allied troops, America warned Hitler, that it too would strike back at German civilian population. This restrained Hitler and the Nazis.
The key is to be even more ruthless and overwhelming as the Islamic fundamentalists take the war to the new heights. Historically, this approach has been the difference between victory and defeat. For instance, if Bangladesh starts pushing out its remaining Hindu citizens into India in response to illegal Bangladeshi Muslims being sent back to Bangladesh, -- at this instance, it becomes a no holes barred warfare, and should be treated as such. India should also push out Muslim Bengali extremists into Bangladesh, and prepare to annex portions of Bangladesh for resettling displaced non-Muslims from Bangladesh through the military option.
Pakistan, through its acts has shown itself to be more than evil. I am coining a new term to describe its behavior, considering its dedication to eradicate anything deemed different: Smallpox Civilization.
This appropriate characterization, given the nature of the new war India is facing, defines what Indian response should be. Smallpox was eradicated by giving it no room or no sympathy.
Such a description of Pakistan thoroughly delegitimizes it and hence is essential in preparing the Indian public mentally to prevail in this long and lonely war. The public will also be prepared to be ruthless towards a delegitimized enemy and its extensions found within India.
Religious Freedom Force
India should assign several divisions of its security forces into a new unit called Religious Freedom Force (RFF). The role of RFF is explained through a following example: Recently, in response to a disparaging remark by an American evangelist, a Muslim cleric in Maharashtra instigated his followers in a Friday sermon and directed them to attack the "infidels". This led to killings of a number of Hindu civilians and extensive damage to their and public property. An effective way of addressing this threat is to insert RFF into the situation. The RFF will have the mandate to liquidate extremists and their associates; give Indian names to the followers, erase the buildings that were used as a platform for propagating fascist ideology, subversion, and terrorism. In short, liberate the followers from the fascist ideology, and permanently eradicate the threat, to pave the way for Muslims to progress. The RFF can also be inserted in a preemptive manner for the purposes of liberation. Godhra could be a possible location of RFF deployment.
Dealing with Human Rights Activists
None of the human rights organizations have so far raised the issue of ethnic cleansing of non-Muslims by Pakistan in all Muslim majority areas of South Asia and called for accountability. This includes Indian versions, self-described activists in India, and internationally known ones such as Amnesty International or Human Rights Watch. What is the reason? Lack of understanding of the issues concerning religious fascism in South Asia. Human rights activists and journalists typically belong to a group with degrees in humanities as opposed to hard sciences or professional subjects. Hence, they have less exposure to how real life problems are solved or how projects are successfully completed. Some of them tend to develop a narrow and short-term vision and priorities. It appears, such people staff these organizations. The self-styled Indian human rights activists have created a great deal of divide and confusion in the society, -- by encouraging Islamic fundamentalism, falsely accusing the beleaguered majority, -- under attack by relentless Islamists, of fascism. They have made Indiaís ability to win the war on terror next to impossible. These organizations, and the Indian versions, including some self-described human rights activists, utterly discredited today, should be marginalized and their access to media restricted on the grounds of inciting terrorism and undercutting the war on terrorism.
India made a significant step forward in an effort to defend itself from barbarism, when the recent Gujarat elections was fought and won on the national security/terrorism platform.
In a democratic setup, the way to mobilize the public on any particular issue is to put it on the election ballet. Clearly, elections should be fought more on national security specific issues.
Based on the ideas presented above, some specific pledges to put into elections ballots are: Getting rid of illegal Muslim Bangladeshis, Crushing Kashmir terrorism (more later), and annexing a large portion of Pakistanís land (minus its jihadi-influenced population) as a compensation for non-Muslim ethnic cleansing.
When the Indian public is forced into debating these issues vigorously, the truth will become increasingly transparent as to who the aggressors and the victims in South Asia are (my previous paper). It will automatically lead to a mandate to revoke Article 370, liberating temples demolished by Muslim invaders, implementation of Uniform Civil Code etc. Also, those political parties or media who find it convenient to identify with extremist views of Muslim clergy will have to either adapt or perish.
Any party that plays up the issue of national security has the best chance of reaching power, given the fear of Islamic fundamentalism that cuts across Indian fault lines. A recent poll conducted by India Today (over 40% of the people polled considered terrorism as the issue of most concern) has confirmed that.
Illegal Muslim Bangladeshis
Given their proven disposition to extremism (Islamic Bangladesh has managed to get rid of most non-Muslims to India), Illegal Muslim Bangladeshis (unlike non-Muslim Nepali migrants) pose an extraordinary demographic and genocidal threat to India. Given its magnitude, Indian government should reach out to the Indian public to identify and push them back to Bangladesh. A good start would be to liquidate extremists among them, and generate a perception that illegal Bangladeshi Muslim women, children, and men are no longer safe in India. In other words, they should lose the desire to stay in India and, willingly leave for Bangladesh. Once the perception of India being an unsafe country is formed, Muslim Bangladeshis would refrain from coming to India. Nationalist non-governmental organizations should roped in to assist in the operations.
Non-Muslim illegal from Bangladesh should not be sent back as they are threatened in that Islamic State. A future possibility of annexing land from it to create a homeland for displaced and resident non-Muslim Bangladeshis exists.
The Future of India
India is on a losing trend vis-ŗ-vis Islamic terrorism, seen by its escalation. Extrapolating the census figures of 10% Indian Muslim population in 1951 and 12.6% in 1991, by 2050, the percentage will rise anywhere from 16% to 24%, depending upon the extent of illegal Muslim Bangladeshi migration. It is useful to be reminded that when India was divided on the basis of Islam in 1947, Muslims constituted about 24%.
Several millions of real or potential jihadis are graduating every year from Indian madarasas. In near future, as the Muslim population increases, extrapolating the current level of acts of terror by Muslim extremists, India will be highly destabilized. Even though Indian economy grows now, it will cease to do so at some point in near future by the destabilizing effects of the escalating Islamic fundamentalism, if India continues to talk and act incoherently. Obviously, time is not on Indiaís side.
At the moment, India is running up large budget deficits to finance its defense. This is not healthy. Since 1985, India has spent, by some estimates, well over 30 billion dollars on terrorism related operations alone, besides having to maintain a huge military. If that money had gone into development, Indian economy would have had a higher growth rate, the naxalite/leftist rebel-driven violence, owing to socio-economic depravation may not be an issue, as it is now. The government and its machinery are now spending way too much time on terrorism, while other issues get little attention.
The East Asian countries, -- South Korea, Taiwan, or even China had stability and no ongoing terrorism or insurgency during the period of truly impressive economic growth. With a well-educated population, a strong economic base and infrastructure, they have made a smooth transition to democracy or in the process of doing so. This shows the importance of achieving stability. In fact, these examples indicate that by achieving stability and a strong economic growth through a good economic vision, while sacrificing some rights (as would be the case during an emergency) in the short-term, can lead to long-term dividends of economic prosperity, stability, and strengthened democracy.
America has become the greatest economic, technological, and military power today, thanks to mastering problem-solving approach as a civilization. In a typical problem solving approach, a problem is identified and everything else is put together to solve it.
This predicament India finds itself vis-ŗ-vis terrorism was first generated by Pakistan (also since 1980ís, funded and encouraged by many Middle Eastern Islamic nations) by floating and violating all forms of human rights and international law. To reverse it, India, as I have said, should have to go by the new rules of engagement. Many nations are not going to appreciate that. After all, barring Israel, no other nation faces the kind of civilizational threat India faces. Since the rest of the world allowed non-Muslim ethnic cleansing to occur at all these times in South Asia, it hardly has any say when it is reversed to bring justice, towards achieving eventual peace and development, -- free of terrorism. Therefore, it is not particularly relevant for India to solicit "understanding" or "sympathy" of the world on these issues beyond a certain point. As we have seen in the past, in reality, the world doesnít understand the full-magnitude of what India faces. The strategy should be to get the job done quickly. Once India makes a determined headway, the world will rally around to the reality. The world would rather go with a civilized country of one billion people than with populations dominated by religious fascism threatening the entire civilization.
The extent of the threat India faces is much more than a law-and-order problem. India is neck deep in a war, a new kind, as I have explained. New laws are neither sufficient nor effective, as they are not enforceable. Law enforcement, as relates to Islamic fundamentalism, requires declaration of emergency. Emergency gives the Govt. necessary powers to unify the country, and do what it takes to solve the problem.
No more excuses will do. The Indian establishment is fighting for the future of all of its children. It has a job at hand and it must do it.
The Moral Advantage
Pakistanis think that they have the "moral" advantage in supporting "self-determination" of Muslims in India. As we have seen, India has the real moral card: calling for accountability of Pakistan for its genocidal acts of non-Muslim ethnic cleansing (who were driven to India). As a propaganda and as a strategic tool, it should be exploited to the hilt. Pakistan has no answer to this. India should demand a third of Pakistanís land mass (no subjects) in any meeting between the two countries.
It is worth emphasizing what I concluded in my previous paper: Since India has once been divided on the basis of Islam, and has been victim of non-Muslim ethnic cleansing, India has every right to neutralize the fascist ideology to ensure the survival of its non-Muslim population.
The Nuclear Threat
The smallpox civilization that exists in Pakistan is capable of using nuclear weapons without any humane or moral reservations. In fact, many in Pakistan think that it is their religious duty to nuke India. Certain facts regarding nuclear attacks that were launched to subdue Imperial Japan in 1948 are worth noting here.
About half a million people, in the immediate vicinity, were directly exposed to the nuclear radiation. However, the incidence of cancer among this exposed surviving population was less than 1%. Heath wise, the rest of Japan was hardly affected at all. Conclusion: The long-term cancer possibilities due to nuclear strikes on the surviving civilian population in and around the area of nuclear strikes are negligible.
The open-secret about Islamic fundamentalism is this: Claiming to be victimized, under the cover of alleged victimization, exploit and marginalize non-Muslims. The Muslim insurgency in Kashmir is a classic example of that. The Muslim majority Kashmir valley is being subsidized (per capita) about 4-5 times more than most states in India. While some Hindu children have died of Hunger in Rajasthan and Orissa, the Kashmiri Muslims enjoy a much higher standard of living, thanks to heavy subsidies.
The Kashmir valley Muslims are responsible for ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Hindu Pandits. If they do not shelter and aid terrorists sent by Pakistan, these terrorists would be very easily identified and liquidated by Indian security forces. They have taken a lion-share of government jobs and college admissions in Kashmir through an unfair quota system and are now colonizing the rest of Kashmir and the rest of India, while adamantly refusing to let other Indians buy property in Kashmir. When a population is under the grip of religious fascism, as Kashmir valley Muslims are, the democracy they follow becomes a fascist democracy, -- fascism under the name of democracy, a kind also practiced in Pakistan, in between military coups. There is no way democracy in Kashmir is going to solve the terrorism problem.
What Kashmiri Muslims need more than anything else is liberation from religious fascism. Such a liberation should make them leave fascist democracy and embrace secular democracy, the kind practiced in the rest of India. This is only way they can progress and let India progress too. Determined Islamic fundamentalists should be driven to Pakistan, a land created for them. The Religious Freedom Forceís first assignment should be in Kashmir, -- to solve this problem once for all.
If the government doesnít have the stomach to do the above, at the very least, it should declare martial law in Kashmir to break the back of terrorism by liquidating the sponsors. Clearly, while this will reduce the extent of terrorism, it is no long-term solution, unlike liberation.
The Legacy of Vajpayee-Advani Team
As the heads of the ruling coalition, the team of Vajpayee-Advani can make very significant, but small steps towards an Indian fight back. Such steps, I am sure, will initiate dynamics that should overpower religious fascism in South Asia. History will be kind to them, -- see them as heroes of not only Hindus, but of entire civilization.
President Bush was able to rally America around by speaking in black-and-white terms, and by uniquely identifying the enemy. Indian leadership, by articulating the impact of non-Muslim ethnic cleansing in South Asia, including the characterization Pakistan as the cradle of smallpox civilization, can effectively rally the people around to prepare a clear-headed, determined, and unified India to neutralize the threat.
I think the time is ripe for implementing many of what I have discussed. The ball is now in the court of Vajpayee-Advani team for one last time, -- to be real heroes!