Aryn Baker, in one of the most egregious example of bad reporting/analysis/pull-it-outta-your-ass-telology, quotes some “mild-mannered scholar” who yearns for the return of the Mughal Empire. What the fuck is Institute of Policy Studies, Islamabad? How do you even find these numskulls? More importantly what is this Deobandi v Aligarh match that has been going on for the last 130 years – defying all other histories? Then there was someone named Reena Ninan waxing eloquently about “our 9/11″ on FOX News. Which, to the anchor, meant only that India must now act like US did (given the usual suspects, so far):
1. Bomb Pakistan
2. Bomb Dubai
3. Bomb Somalia
4. Bomb England
Here is Dalrymple chiding the Indian government for “continu[ing] to make matters worse by its ill-treatment of the people of Kashmir, which has handed to the jihadis an entire generation of educated, angry middle-class Muslims.” Is that really so? Let’s assume that these perpetrators are angry about Kashmir. Lots are. Hundreds. Thousands. Hundreds of thousands, even. Maybe, they are all Muslims as well. Maybe, devout, even. And yet, the injustice of Kashmir over the last 60 years seems to have not turned the lot into kamikaze fire-spewing terrorists. Why is that? Are Indian Muslims willing to kill all other citizens of their own land, Muslims included, because of 60 year old grievance? And they chose now why? More consequently, how is the manufacturing of this particular dissent made possible in Pakistan? Dalrymple plays up the ISI but nary a word on the role which the conflict of Kashmir has played in the self-construction of the state of Pakistan? Is that impolitic? Will we be embarrassed to learn of the deeds of Zia ul-Haq and Pervez Musharraf? Why is ISI some monolithic mind-controlling entity that has “imposed” Kashmir as an Issue? On Kashmir, he states blithely that “the state should logically have gone to Pakistan”. And what logic would that be? The logic of Partition?
Or you may prefer the Fareed Zakaria model, where Indian Muslims are waiting patiently to be infected by this virus which is the enemy of “modernity and democracy.” Are you kidding me?
Even the more benign defense against profiling Indian Muslims seems to irk me. Is the analogue between state-sponsored terrorism? Or a face-off of atrocities? What exactly is the goal, here? Justification?
Biju Mathew, at the very least, makes sense when he calls into question this well-rehearsed charade that we have been playing since 2001:
The official story that has already begun to emerge is one that may have some facts embedded in it. But we must remember that between every two facts is a lot of conjecture. The conjectures that unite the few facts (16 gunmen, AK47s, grenades, passports of multiple nationalities, boats on which at least some of them arrived, a dead Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) chief, Hemant Karkare, who was heading the investigation against the Hindu Right wings’ terror campaign, the gunmen trying to identify British and American citizens) makes the story. The story then is as much a product of the conjecture as it is of the facts. And there are certain stories that we are already oriented towards. The conjectures that create that story – the story we are already prepared for – is the one the State will dole out for our consumption. Already the conjectures that will serve the State, are out there in great profusion.
I remember December 2001 and the armies which stationed themselves along borders. In everything I have read, and heard, over the last few days, nothing gives me hope that we are not hurtling towards a repeat. And here we have distinguished commentary that refuses to abandon the script.
I keep seeing Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. [see.]