India must wake up to threats from Ghazvatu’l Hind and its newer versions

First, the selective killings of the Hindus and Sikhs in Kashmir, and then “sar tan se  juda”  monstrosity of Theo-fascists at some places in India, all point to a shift in the tactics of  Ghazvatu’l Hind mission as stipulated in some books of Islamic tradition (hadith).

The operation Ghazavatu’l Hind (meaning the Indian campaign) was temporarily slowed down by its operatives for some reasons. As the Taliban rule was getting stabilized in Kabul and Pakistan is slipping into a state of economic chaos and lawlessness — a situation which the TTP cherish — the masterminds of the Ghazavatu’l Hind plan accelerated the operation of brutalities.

The murder of identified Hindus in Udaipur, Amravati, and other places is not an isolated incident although the criminals would wish the Indian security authorities and policy planners remain bandaged in that delusion. Investigating agencies are gradually removing the layer after layer of a conspiracy that shrouds these murders. For example, one of the strategies adopted by the Ghazava Ansars could be establishing a countrywide network of Dawat-e-Islami, the new Pakistan-based Islamic organization, with a specific agenda of unleashing terror in entire India through the indoctrinated Indian Muslim youth. It may be reminded that sometimes back, there was much talk about Ghazavatu’l Hind in Islamic circles and this writer had scripted a column on the subject.

Pakistan Army soldiers shouting Islamist slogans along with the Tehreek-e-Labbaik cadre in Islamabad. (File photo)
Pakistan Army soldiers shouting Islamist slogans along with the Tehreek-e-Labbaik cadre in Islamabad. (File photo)

Islamists fervently pursuing the resurgence of radicalized Islam (which they label as puritanical Islam) strongly argue that their scriptures categorically enjoins upon the puritans to efface from the surface of the earth the last vestiges of kufr, meaning apostasy/ idolatry, especially in India. They are asked to believe that the orthodox Islamic faith, culture and sharia must prevail through the teachings of the scriptures. 

However, some Muslim scholars are of the view that violence against other faiths like Hinduism or Judaism, is not recommended anywhere in the Islamic scriptures. They bring the onus of the aberrations like these to the doorsteps of the half-literate mullahs and the Islamic clergy guided by self-aggrandizement. The clash between the orthodoxy and liberalism in Islam has been as old as Islam itself. But because the orthodoxy made use of brute force and politicized Islam to stifle the voice of liberalism, the latter always remained subdued and passive. A major portion of Islamic history is the unending struggle between the two ideologies. 

Under this classification, those who do not indulge in violence always say that all Muslims cannot be branded as violent, terrorists and criminals. But to their dismay, this argument cannot have many takers. The fact is that if the majority of the Muslims are rationalists and only a handful of their community are misguided hypocrites, then they should have mustered the courage to weed out the pretentious elements from society. We have never heard crowds of righteous Muslims coming out on the streets and announcing resistance to the fascist elements in society. But there is no example of mass protest by the rationalist and humanist Muslims in any part of the world though some outstanding personalities like Kamal Ataturk of Turkey and Reza Shah Pahlavi of Iran had tried to set an example when in power. Once they were out, orthodoxy returned with a bang. It means that by their inaction the so-called rationalists among the Muslims advertently or inadvertently lend support to the upholders of Theo-fascism. 

The extremists and radicals among the Muslims consider it their religious duty to join the jihad against the idol-worshippers in India because they feel Islam is under threat as long as idolatry exists no matter howsoever docile, passive and non-violent these idolaters are.  Don’t forget that a champion of theirs had the temerity to say publicly that “the Hindu terrorism is the most dangerous of all terrors.” They consider the time suited for undertaking the mission of Ghazavatu’l Hind; they have already started it. This is what the madrasas teach the young kids who ultimately grow with a particular mindset in which the elements of hatred and violence enjoy primacy.

Muslim women at the anti-CAA protest site at Shaheen Bagh in New Delhi.
Muslim women at the anti-CAA protest site at Shaheen Bagh in New Delhi. (File photo)

Indian policy planners are under a misconception that the pro-ghazava forces may plan an onslaught on the Hindus of India resembling the one they unleashed in Kashmir in 1990. In such a situation, they think that the state security and defence apparatus will come into action. This is wrong thinking. The Islamists have very carefully calculated what strategy has to be employed when and where. For example, General Zia’s theory was to bleed India by a thousand cuts. Although he was a General trained in a modern military academy, he eschewed direct attack on India and devised a strategy that worked fairly well. 

A proxy war is one of the viable strategies which the state of Pakistan has adopted for use against India. Once, General Musharraf said that the Indian Muslims are our crucial asset for the implementation of a proxy war against India. This was a grandiose strategy and Pakistan’s intelligence agency worked on it in good time. The Ghazavatu’l Hind and its latest version called Dawat-e-Islami are the variants of the changed strategy. Taqiya or camouflaging is another essential component of the new strategy and Theo-fascists use it successfully. In the same strain “denial” is another strong instrument very much in use to promulgate the Ghaazva mission. So pervasive is the denial theory that President Trump in a tweet in 2018 wrote, “The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies and deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give a haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan.”

Pakistan will never fight India face to face. It will resort to subversion at various levels and in various forms. Penetrating various institutions of the State including the critical ones like the Atomic Energy, Space Centres, departments of some selected ministries, judiciary, police, intelligence, cyber technologies, foreign missions etc. is very much under its focus.  The mosques, its Imams, Muslim religious or political leadership and numerous so-called Islamic welfare institutions and NGOs, all are under their radar. Spreading terror to cow down state functionaries from discharging their duty without fear and favour is reflected in the threat letters that have begun to be sent to a large number of people. Imagine the impact of terror that even the judges of the Supreme Court and lower courts feel pressurized to give verdicts against their conscience. This is the vast game of subversion and it succeeds because it is not challenged; because the Indian State is lost in the pretentious slogans of non-violence and peaceful coexistence. Imagine when two judges of the Indian Supreme Court issued a verdict that the beheading of Kanhaiya in Udaipur was the result of Nupur Sharma’s derogatory statement, the Taliban in Kabul issued a statement appreciating the Indian Supreme court’s verdict and comments. Imagine how the Supreme Court of the world’s largest democracy allowed itself to be ridiculed. 

Radical Mullahs control the minds of a very large section of Indian Muslims. (Cartoon: News Intervention)

The most dangerous and unfortunate part of this anti-India Herculean mission is that a section of Indian citizenry, (apart from the non-Sanatan community), is treacherously supporting the Theo-fascists for their wicked designs against the Indian state not out of any conviction but to see that the Modi government is toppled and then the chaos follows. Their machinations are in no way inferior or less effective than those of the prime actors of Ghazava. Some sections of media including television channels vie with one another in denigrating the Indian state. It should not be forgotten that most of these rabidly anti-national elements serve the purpose of the deep state and all-powerful international agencies who, through money and muscle power, want to control the globe and give direction to the events according to their choice. The rise of India as a military and economic power through strong policies like “atmanirbhar” is a red rag to the bull. The Shaheen Bagh event, Delhi riots, Kisan agitation, Agniveer agitation, hijab agitation and now “sar tan se juda” monstrosity, all drew inspiration from the global anti-India network. The scuttling of FTA between India and the UK, the defeat of Donald Trump in the previous election, the resignation of the British PM Boris Johnson and the assassination of Shinzo Abe (the brain behind Quad-4), all these events carry a common thread. In this vast ocean of perfidies and conspiracies, PM Modi stands like an immovable rock drawing strength from the support and love of his people who form one-fifth of the world’s population. 

The Dawat-e-Islami, in combination with other lashkars raised on the soil of Pakistan, have been busy spreading their network in many parts of India from east to west and north to south. Thanks to India’s freedom of speech developed through digital connectivity, these modules have clandestinely got connected not only to their mentors in Pakistan but also to others in different parts of the world especially those in the category of fundraisers and military strategists. The term Ghazavatu’l Hind has become a household word for almost the Indian Muslims wherever they are.

The investigating agencies are just concluding that the Islamists are adopting uniform patterns, other than man-to-man confrontation, to advance the Islamic agenda in India.  The undercurrent of Ghazvatu’l Hind/Dawat-e-Islami runs in all Islamic communities irrespective of the fact whether they feign friendship with India or not. This has been amply proved in the Nupur Sharma case. 

How is the Indian State responding to this situation? This is the crucial question. Indian authorities do not understand the tsunami of Theo-fascism ready to overrun India. Right from the times of the Shaheen Bagh episode to the beheading of Kanhaiyalal in Udaipur, there have been recurring Islamic uprisings in this country. The idiom of the activists of these upsurges is not indigenous but imported one. Reports of inquiry committees invariably identify the miscreants but the authorities seldom divulge what punishment has been given or not given to the culprits. It is kept a secret out of the fear of displeasing the vote bank chapter. Be sure the Theo-fascist tsunami will overrun India if Indian policy planners do not dump the vote bank theory in the dustbin. The Indian government feels that its penal code and other laws are sufficient to deal with this threatening scenario. It has to change its mindset. It has to learn that an extraordinary political and social challenge needs extraordinary corrective measures and laws. It has to learn the language that Theo-fascists understand. France presents an example. She has closed the Islamic seminaries; she has imposed restrictions on sermons delivered in the mosques; she has set the heaviest fines and imprisonment on those intending to spread religious violence. India has also to learn from the Chinese experience in Xinjiang. Muslim countries like Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran and others have given a clean chit to China for her treatment of the Uyghur Muslims. India needs to curtail the freedoms given to law-breakers. India has to hold OIC (Organisation of Islamic Cooperation) responsible for whetting up the anti-state attitude of Indian Muslims.

Prof. K.N. Pandita
Prof. K.N. Pandita
Prof. K.N. Pandita is the former Director of the Centre for Central Asian Studies, University of Kashmir. Prof. Pandita was awarded Padma Shri by the Government of India for his contribution in the field of literature and education.

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