Monday, May 9, 2011

Osama's Jihad and India - Part 1 - Background

Osama's Jihad and India - Part 1 - Background: "
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Author: Rudra Devacharya

Osama Bin Laden (OBL) was an enemy of India only in the broadest ideological sense. Just because he became the poster-boy of "dangerous Islamism" for the west, we do ourselves a disservice by adopting that image wholesale and applying it to an Indian context where it is not at all relevant.

Indeed, the presence of OBL in our subcontinental neighbourhood was in fact a net gain for India.

5) India at that time was seen to be a helpless state, from Washington's point of view. It was a former Soviet ally and not deserving of trust or sympathy. The strong leadership of Indira Gandhi was a thing of the past. India had slipped into a state of post-dynastic political turmoil following the VP Singh ascension of 1989; this was projected by Washington to mean political instability and lacklustre economic performance for the rest of the decade. To top it all off, in 1991 India had to go to the IMF with hat in hand.

Thus pressure was put on India from every direction to part with Kashmir. Our pleas to declare Pakistan a terrorist-sponsoring state were soundly ignored. We were lectured as never before on Kashmiri 'human rights'. When the ISI committed terrorist atrocities, such as the Mumbai '93 blasts, US investigators dutifully 'misplaced' the evidence of Pakistan ORF ammunition given to them for examination. IMF strings were pulled taut whenever India made any move to assert or consolidate its regional position.

Had it not been for PV Narasimha Rao, our greatest Prime Minister to date, at the helm in those dire years, the plan to separate Kashmir might even have succeeded.

Continued to Part 2