Friday, November 28, 2008

Terror in Mumbai - Quick Thoughts

Mumbai has been attacked..and has faced perhaps the most audacious attack against secular India. There is much to be written or said about it. I will definitely do that, but for later. When I get the fullest details and when the siege of hotels end and when un-falsifiable information filters in. But for now, I want to focus on what can be easily gleaned from the mode, method and targets of the terrorists. 

First things first. This is out and out a fidayeen attack involving terrorists acting in the name of radical Islam. Why can't it be radical Hindutva extremists, one would ask, considering that ATS chief Hemant Karkare was killed, barely a few days after he was threatened for probing a high profile investigation of the Malegaon blasts involving Hindutva extremists? One look at the targets and the evidence is enough to disprove the theory that it can be Hindutva extremists. 

The targets have been Taj Hotel, Trident Hotel, Nariman House apart from Metro Cinema, Cama hospital and good old CST (it pains me terribly to think about the scores of people being killed while being completely defenseless). 

Hindutva extremists will not dare to touch the symbols of big capital in India. There is too cosy a link between Hindutva forces and big capital in the country and there is no contradiction between these. Whereas, radical Islam and jihadi forces always had a problem not only with secular symbols but also had a great problem with the market as represented by neoliberalism and even modernity. The siege of the Taj and Trident clear points out to the antipathy that is already established in jihadi terror against big capital. 

Nariman House with its Jewish linkages is another planned and selected target by the jihadis. While the other areas attacked are simple symbols of secular India's day-to-day existence, a complete antithesis of the jihadi outlook of the non-separation of the ummah and the nation-state. 

The picking and choosing of British and American tourists/ businessmen in the Taj/Trident are pretty much evidence of the anger of the radical jihadis against the "imperialists". 

Just as 9/11 was all about targetting the radical jihadis' most hated symbols (American capitalism  represented by WTO and American military power represented by the Pentagon), these targets in India are all symbols that are the most abhorred by these elements. 

Now who are these jihadis. Are they home-grown? Are they recruits from the radical Islamic outfits based in Pakistan and which have been nurtured by rogue elements of the erstwhile Pakistani establishment such as the ISI? These will be revealed by investigation. But the symbols and the answers to what were the motives and reasons for the targetting are very much clear. 

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