A PICTURE OF INDIA’S GRIEF OVER JIHADIST ATTACKS IN MUMBAI
TERROR ATTACKS ON INDIA :
Recent news reports are stating that the terror attacks on India have not seen its end and they are predicting the possibilities of more attacks similar to the Mumbai carnage on November 26, 2008. “India will continue to face a serious jihadist threat from Pakistan-based terrorist groups, and neither Indian nor U.S. policy is likely to reduce that threat in the near future”, said Angel Rabasa, lead author of the study and a senior Political Scientist with RAND, a non-profit think tank based in Santa Monica, California. According to RAND, the other extremist groups in Pakistan will find inspiration in the Mumbai attacks and there can be more attacks from groups with high body counts and symbolic targets.THE CONCEPT OF JIHAD : The term Jihad in Arabic means struggle and is often viewed as a religious duty. A person engaged in Jihad is called a ‘mujahid’, the plural is ‘mujahideen’. The Mumbai attackers identified themselves with the name of ‘Deccan Mujahideen’. The aim of Jihad includes the expansion and defense of the Islamic State and warfare against non-believers. Jihad ideology has historically inspired the conquest of non-Muslim population and the transformation of civil society which is viewed as corrupt, arrogant, and disobedient. The Holy Book of Quran, Surah 25, verse 52 states : “Therefore, do not obey the disbelievers, and strive against them with this, a great striving”. The objectives of armed warfare include uprooting unbelief and establishing supremacy of God, through Islam, in the world.”And fight them on until there is no tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah altogether and everywhere.”
THE HISTORY OF JIHAD IN INDIA :
Sir Jadunath Sarkar, a historian, and former Vice-Chancellor of Calcutta University had contended that several Muslim invaders waged a systematic Jihad against Indians. Sultan Mahamud of Ghazna(present day Ghazni city,Afghanistan) conducted more than twenty Jihadist attacks on North India between 1001 and 1027. In particular the records kept by al-Utbi, Sultan Ghazni’s secretary in the ‘Tarikh-i-Yamini’ document several episodes of bloody campaigns. Persian historian Ferishta records that Sultan Ghazni wants to “root out the worship of idols from the face of all Hindustan(India)”. He looked upon the destruction of temples as an act of Jihad. Mahamud Ghazni specifically directed his campaigns to temple towns of Nagarkot, Thanesar(1011), Mathura(1018), Kannauj(1019), Kalinjar(1023), and Somnath(1024). He had also destroyed temples at Varanasi, Ujjain, Maheshwar, Jwalamukhi, and Dwaraka. Mahmud Ghazni was of Turkic origin but had patronized the use of New Persian language and gave employment to writers such as al-Biruni, and Ferdowsi who gave detailed descriptions of the enormous booty and idols brought back to Ghazni city. Asaru-L-Bilad, a 13 th century geographer also described in great detail the destruction of Somnath. Apart from his regular troops, Mahmud Ghazni had assistance from 30,000 volunteer horsemen who had participated in the Jihad. To resist the attack on Somnath, Ghogha Rana at the age of 90 sacrificed himself and his clan. There are no census documents but after an analysis of all historical documents, historian K.S.Lal had estimated that about 2 million people died during Sultan Ghazni’s attacks on Indian temple towns.Similarly, Sikandar Lodhi of Delhi earned the epithet of ‘But Shikan’- the destroyer of idols. Babur the founder of Mughal empire in India in 1527 ordered a JIHAD against Rajputs at the battle of KHANUA. He had encouraged his men to fight the infidels and asked them to become either a Ghazi(soldier of Islam) or a Shaheed(Martyr of Islam). The Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb waged Jihad against Hindus as well as Shia Muslims whom he identified as heterodox. In South India, the Hindu kingdom of Vijaynagar came under repeated attacks of annual Jihad which had started in 1501 and each attack included destruction of temples. In the historical Third Battle of Panipat(January 1761), Ahmad Shah Abdali declared a Jihad against the Marathas. Estimates from historical documents indicate that about 60 to 80 million people in India died between 1000 and 1525 CE.INDIA’S RIGHT TO SELF-DEFENSE : Indian traditions have clearly established the rules of warfare. A ‘JUST WAR’ or ‘DHARMA YUDDHA’ is a duty and is an obligation of the Ruler. We believe in the principles of protecting all non-combatants. They should not be touched or harmed in any manner. We recognize the right of self-protection, self-defense, and self-preservation. When an enemy attacks you, it would be an act of cowardice if the enemy is not engaged in a battle. In the context of defending people against Jihadist attacks, we are not only defending our territory, our property, our personal lives but also we are defending our right to think for ourselves and cherish the ideas and values that are important to our existence. We have a fundamental right to worship as we please and safeguard the traditional way of life. Since Jihadist attack is actually a war against our fundamental right to practice religion, the propagation of ideas of Jihadist warfare should be prohibited and violators should be punished. The term Self-Defense means defense of one’s rights, beliefs, and existence. The Right to defend oneself with whatever force is reasonably necessary against actual or threatened violence is universally recognized by Law. Self-Defense is a natural, inborn instinct. A National Entity has a Right and also a Duty to defend itself from attacks sponsored by an enemy or an Enemy State. The act of Self-Defense could be expressed in several different forms; a retaliation involving the use of military force, economic and trade sanctions, diplomatic sanctions, imposing travel restrictions, and other punitive or defensive actions as needed.
Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham,
Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, India,
M.B.B.S., Class of April, 1970.