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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Assam, Hubli blasts: Nagraj's arrest & The 'other' terror

1. I am writing this post a few days after the recent revelation that the Hubli court blast and the planting of bombs on National Highway-4 [Belgaum-Dharwad] were carried out by Nagraj Jambagi's 'module' rather than any Lashkar or SIMI group.

This hasn't been adequately reported in media though immediately after the blast, it was blamed on 'Islamic' terror groups. Nagraj is known to have links with Sri Ram Sena, a radical* organisation that was involved in attacks on Churches in Karnataka.

During the recent elections, the BJP had used it in its campaign. But now when it turned out Nagraj confessed his involvement, the few newspapers that carried the report of the press confernece reported that it was 'not a terror attack'.

Why? Is it because there was no Muslim involved? Just a few papers who at least reported it, gave it a twist like the Midday headline 'Hubli court blast no terror attack'. It's not a joke but it has been made a joke.

One should never use terms like Islamic or any other form of terrorism but it is used and when it is found that there is no Muslim angle, the act goes out of the definition of terrorism. Isn't it strange?

What if it was an act by a Muslim criminal whose name, one can imagine, as an Abu X or Abu Y. Would the media have later described him as a dacoit involved in gangwar [to take off the terrorist tag] as Indian Express reported it later, rather than terrorism?

A few English papers in Southern India reported it [Link to Rediff news report]and also the fact that the bombs were similar to those used in Mecca Masjid blasts, but nothing appeared on TV. Especially mainstream North Indian papers ignored it. These things need to be highlighted, discussed and answered. Rediff.com reports that the aim of Nagaraj's men was to take revenge and attack SIMI members who were brought to courts.

2. In the last three months, Assam was thrice targeted by terrorists--the first strike in October last year claimed 90 lives. The recent two bomb strikes including the one on January 1 got little attention in mainstream media though several persons died.

Surpisingly the third blast that occurred on January 9 almost got unreported in the mainstream media. As I write it today, I can see a blast in Afghanistan getting far more coverage, as if Assam is not part of the country.

When the first of the recent series of three blasts occurred, self-styled media's terror experts suggested the names of obscure and known organisation with Arabic sounding names. Within a day, it disappared from frontpage of newspapers and channels as it always happens in the case of Assam or Naxalite infested areas.

But investigation was pointing towards Ranjan Daimari alias Nabla. He is leader of the separatist pro-Christian Bodoland movement 'National Democratic Front of Bodoland'. However, as in other cases we didn't get to see the photographs of Nabla, because he was suspected, on TV channels.

Ultimately it was Pranjal Deka, who emerged as the main mastermind of the blasts. Just a week or two back he has been killed in a cross-fire in Assam. Pranjal Deka alias Biju Sarania, was one of the three ULFA militants, who had planted three bombs that rocked Guwahati on Januar 1, was killed in an encounter with security forces, writes Samudra Gupta Kashyap in the story in Indian Express. Just one question, why Dekha is described as a Militant and not a Terrorist?

Again, it is not Jambagi, DR Nabla, Pranjal Deka or many others whose faces we never get to see on TV or papers though they also appear in press conferences and get produced in courts.

3. We live in a so-called enlightened era. We know it is extremely insensitive and risky to brand entire communities. We all know and more than us it is media that should know. As we write and read this, LTTE, a predominantly Hindu organisation fights to retain its base in Buddhist-dominated Sri Lanka. It's not Muslims who are fighting there either.

Still, what seems to sell on papers and media is 'Muslim faces' and 'Islamic terror'. The dreaded-ness probably increases when the photo of a Muslim 'Abu X, Y, Z' appears rather than a Pranjal Deka, as the beard or a skullcap gets fitted on the head. This makes him look bad as popular imagination has been fed over the years in this manner.

[To some whose comments on past posts have been moderated: *Anybody can appropriate any religious name and this is not limited to just the Islamic organisations. The Jaish and Lashkar use this to malign Islam just like Bajrang Dal is not performing anything to make a devotee of Lord Hanuman proud of the organisation's actions or for that matter Shiv Sena.]

Related posts that appeared earlier on this blog:
1. Linking Muslims with Terrorism even as Maoists kill 12, Manipur militants kill 17
2. IBN 7: Journalism or preaching prejudices
3. Branding community and critising terrorism
4. Terrorism and bomb blasts in India: Hindus, Muslims, Communalism and other issues
5. State's softness on radical Hindutva organisations


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the informative writeup. My understanding is that government doesn't call anybody 'Muslim terrorist' or Hindu terrorist. Media is involved in this act withut respsonsibility

MK Butt

Sandeep Monga said...

Dear Adnan,I am commenting on this blog after a long time but I would like to say the same thing again because u r saying the same thing again.LTTE is not repeat not using religion,it is using its Tamil identity but u r seeing in ur own "intellectual" light,similarly ULFA is not using religion it is again using its regional identity but yes this dacoit has links with some Hindu fanatic group so yes u may say that it is terror in the name of religion & when it comes to jaish u will see that they r using religion not region so do not keep writing the same thing.One more thing is that yes even I am appalled at wht the Israelis r doing to little kids 7 other civilians in Ghaza,it is unpardonable but Hamas is no angel,Hamas & Israel should both focus on people & development at least for 20 yrs & then should think of political issues or if they want a lsting solution,they should tal & then walk that talk instead of fighting like dogs, meanwhile u & me should think about us & our country & try to make it as peaceful & prosperous as we can.

Faroha said...

double standards! What the Syrian President described as the world's hypocrisy

Danesh said...

It is now common knowledge that Muslim bashing will boost TRP of news channels. Though later a suspect may or may not be a convict, media will show him in poor light and make hay while the sun shines.

It is high time Muslims get their own news medium. Till such time this blog will be one of the few neutral sources of info available on the net today...

urdudaaN said...

You have used the term Lord Hanuman, which shows how sensitive you as a Muslim are to others' religious feelings.
On contrary, when I go to rediff.com I see the supposed 'well-educated', 'well-to-do', 'well-mannered' non-Muslims indulging in mud-slinging on my religion/religious figures. IT HURTS ME, but surprisingly it doesn't hurt their own religion. So, I have to conclude that it is basically others who are giving Islam a bad name.

Pinku said...

Bhai, this post though like always informative seems to stem from some bitterness.

I am aware of this inclination to paint the Muslims black. but dont let it get to even minded people like you. Please.

You and people like you are the last bastions dont let them fall.

kashif said...

the interesting part about Hubli reports was that when it came to be known that Hubli was indeed done by Hindus then newspapers went extra mile to say that these were criminal elements angry with SIMI.

why criminal elements will be angry with SIMI? Either these terrorists links with Hindutva organizations was not reported or played down.

Shukriya Indscribe for writing excellent blog post.

Chandra said...

Good write up. In my understanding, it is the media which causes much more damage to public peace & harmoney after any ugly incident everytime everywhere. Digging of truths if unhelpful to society, better not to make public.

Anonymous said...

I don't know why you are so worried about our media. On the one hand you question it's credibility while on the other you feel upset at the turn of events.
Look although you may not like my suggestion but what i say is that you know you have a large number of viewers. I mean to say readers. You must be having quite a few journalist friends as well. why not all of you come together and start an online news site. It's the best and the easiest way to start. Who knows God willing you may gain good enough popularity to even start your own channel in the future. You don't like what is in front of you and if you too just complain like the others then I am sorry to say we are all alike. We suck. You too. If you have it in you come forward change the scenario. We can't you can. As i see it this blog has quite a mention on various sites. You already have the internet popularity you need. It's high time you took the next step forward.

indscribe said...

@ Anon: This is true to a large extent

@Sandeep Ji: Kindly see the basic point which I wanted to make. Nagaraj is not described as even a militant and Pranjal Deka is termed as 'militant', not a terrorist. This is worrying.

@ Danesh Sb, Faroha, Kashif bhai: Thanks for your comments.

@Urdudaan: Ya, that's the way we are always used to address the personalities and deities of other religions.

In my family, I always heard my father say, 'Ram Chandra Ji' though even in Hindu households people may not necessarily use the suffixes.

It's sad to see when the gestures are not reciprocated but then, that's okay. We have no control over that, we can just continue with what we do.

Pinku @ I know it might have felt that way. Actually, I hope you understand. It's more bitterness with the way media handles things rather than with the society. Though I don't love to write such things, but I do feel that it's my duty to highlight these things also when they are simply ignored.

Chandra Ji @ Ya, I always felt that our electronic media is in a nascent stage and with time, it will be more credible and become more responsible.

Ironically this is not happening. From preaching superstitions to showing stories that threaten and scare kids and even prompt them to commit suicides (like the Big Bang terror) and other news items about ghosts and crime, it's all taking its toll on society.

In a poor country like ours, the job of media is to highlight problems and tell citizens their rights. Of course, sex surveys and capsules on bollywood, fashion and other things leave no place for this. The electronic media has long lost that direction.

@ Thanks Anon for your suggestion. You are right in a way. We might do it, though running a site is more tough as it's almost a full-time job. There are a couple of sites though. Let' see!

Anser Azim said...

Adnan saheb:
Last anon posting has some substance into it. Think about this and it is high time to spread your views at a different level so that the street people can benefit from this too. There are many minds in 1 billion people who think the same way as you think.


anser azim

Mohib said...

Hello Adnan bhai,

A thought provoking post and thanks for your continued coverage of the issue over years. Your archived posts are a great source of information especially when the main-stream media wasn't even covering the issue.

It is time that we move beyond "not all Muslims are terrorists but all terrorists are Muslims" stupidity and treat terrorism as an Indian problem rather a Muslim or a Hindu problem.

Kundan said...

Does it make a difference whether one is called a militant or a terrorist?In the end its the innocent people who have to suffer.

Crime knows no religion , similarly a bullet fired from a gun or bomb blasts does'nt ask anyone their religion before hitting them and in all probability ending the lives.

Humanist said...

"Crime knows no religion", can't agree more, and all my friends, even the right-leaning ones, agree.

But prosecution too, MUST KNOW NO RELIGION.
At this, somehow right-wingies ko saanp soogh jaata hai ...

The butcher of Maliyana ends up becoming BJP MP. Somebody who opposed the inhumanity, Sreekumar is pushed out of context.
Modi is hailed by what it seems everybody but the "psudo-seculars" ...
Karkare, the moment he picks up a non muslim suspect, gets a death threat, Sri Krishna commission report is thrown in some dusty corner.
Almost every single instance of communal problem in India has one thing in common:
"prosecution / deliverance of justice, depends upon RELIGION" :(

And this is not limited to prosecution by the government - even media finds nothing abnormal in it ... which is painful :(, and to express this pain - Adnan bhai has written this piece. Yes, if one feels the same pain again and again, one 'll express the "same thing" repeatedly ...

* thanks to ppl like Teesta Ma'am, we have some welcome exceptions too.

Humanist said...

A couple of posts here suggest having a media of one's own. A very good, and well intentioned suggestion indeed. But actually that won't change anything.

Cause the problem is not the media itself, but a majority of thinking-people of this country, who won't read (or believe, if they read) a frontline / mahanagar, but an india today / saamna.

They find Guardian and Independent disgusting (and some of them even NYT). (They consider even rediff to be mouthpiece of muslims - look at their comments there).

The point is, all types of media, secular / left / right / humanist to genocide-inspiring, already exist. But the majority of the thinking-class of this country watches / believes the right wingy one.
The majority of rest of the country (the unthinking public, the plebeians) do what they see majority of the thinking-class do.

The effect:
right-leaning media, in popular perception, is considered "mainstream".

And a "The Hindu" is considered on the fringe.

So right leaning of "mainstream media" is not a cause, it is an effect :(.
Which, I know, is more disturbing.

Lokesh said...

I think you have some valid polints here, but I'm afraid I get a sense that by focusing too much on only the 'negative' reports, you are painting a picture of 'minorities at the receiving end of police', which is not entirely correct. Here is a report in a main steam media that shows the media and the state are doing their job in unearthing the 'hindu' terrorists as well -

The good news is that by and large, the public has not shown any sympathy for such terrorists and they have been branded as terrorists (rightly so).

Anonymous said...

Come on now don't bring 'The Hindu' into the mix of things. Just because it is 'The Hindu' doesn't really mean it is a Hindu mouthpiece.

And as far as the Militant and Terrorist stuff goes I believe it's up to you. Those operating in J&K are Terrorists for me may be Militants for you. it depends on how you see it. Everyone can and will justify his or her stand. No one forces anybody to tread the majority line.

Anonymous said...

Indscribe's write-up of 17th January,2009, has to be complimented for raising a moot question about the double standard adopted by many in the media to brand Muslims as despicable terrorists!That is a grand design to keep repeating like a parrot "lies" so that the judicious members of the majority community also start believing them as "truths"!Luckily it has not happened as yet!It may be recalled that the majority of the majority Hindu community are the "sons of this sacred soil"For the last thousand years their forefathers and members of other communities have been leading a peaceful co-existence! To them the physical proximity rather the difference in faith was important.And hence they lived like brothers sharing their joys and sorrows.When the bloody birth of Pakistan took place and thousands of Muslims fled to it, multiples of it decided to stay put due to the pleadings of their Hindu brothers.After the partition, the influx of refugees from Pakistan with their traumatic experiences,
only led to the rapid growth of Hindu fanaticism in India.They only mis-interpreted history and fanned the fire of communal hatred.They advocated the policy of ethnic cleansing and blew up the 'Islamophobia'.Taking cue from the Zionist immigrants in Palestine, they caused frequent communal flare-ups.They created the fear in the minds of gullible people that the minorities will get a march over the Hindu majorities,Muslims by uncontrolled births and Christians by conversions.No one pondered over it.How could a population of 80% of 100 crores will be overtaken by a13% or 2% group?For long ,once again in line with the Zionists' blastof King David Hotel in Jerusalem,the fanatics set off serial bombs and coolly placed the blame on Muslim outfits.And they drummed the slogans,"Many terrorist caught are Muslims!" They succeeded in pushing in their men in police, army and intelligence agencies.Muslims want to capture India by force and hence they have resorted to terrorism!
Their one faux pause led Karkare to unearth a big plot.Now the Malegaon blast case is likely to reveal many things.AtlastTruth will prevail and the thick fog of lies will vanish!

Amitabh said...

What I can understand by your post is “You (Mr Blogger) are communal. “And my vote will go for Mr. Sandeep Monga. Well said…

indscribe said...

Kundan: Doesn't it make a difference! Isn't there a difference betwen a criminal and a terrorist? Please try to understand here the issue is associating 'terrorism' with just Muslims. And when communities get branded, it is serious.

Anon: For me the killers in Kashmir as much terrorists, as the terrorists who operate in Assam or in Mumbai or in terror strikes elsewhere in India. The religion of the perepetrator shouldn't make his crime lesser.

Lokesh bhai, Anser Azim Sb, Mohib Sahab: Thanks

Amitabh Ji: I would request you should try to think with a more open mind and may be then you can understand why it makes a difference. You call me communal, which I'm not but that's okay.

truth said...

I hope you will be knowing by now that there is a calculated conspiracy in the world mainstream media to defame Islam and muslims.People are waking up to the truth in the west about the New World Order.
911,london bombings,Madrid,Bali bombings were all inside jobs by mossad(ISRAEL)Its shocking ,but we all need to know the truth instead of blindly belaeiving the media.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

not every muslim is like you.some are fine but they are very few in number.Everybody knows what the hell you people do with them.Just tell me one thing why islamists group in India are more in number than other groups. Why each islamist group is intended to destruction of other communities. why they keep bombing places.You people highlight the riots of gujarat but don't talk about the forced conversions of hindus to muslims by muslims.Wherever you go, you want to enforce your idea. you don't respect others.

You are highlighting maoists and naxalites but not the attackers of hotel taj,parliament,aurat , bangalore,delhi,etc.why not post an article for 'kasab'.you won't do so i know and by mistake you did so then you will rather praise and love to blame other communities.

Your blog is a full patch of spreading hatred and it won't be wrong to say that it is helping in paving the path for another partition.

Already your maulvis and such figures urge to increase your population so that you can dominate. it has happened too. At the time of independence you were 7 to 8 percent now you are 18 percent and may become 60-70 or 80or even 100. great! then no riots.

muslims are everywhere but hindus are only in this part.obviously they will vanish as the way muslims are acting. in fact you are stealing and capturing our land for hundreds of years.Pakistaan,kashmir,andhra all used to be hindu areas but they aren't so now.Thanks to you people.

At the time of independence you asked for pakistaan we gave.Pakistaan was declarled a Muslim country.If We wanted we too have declared india a hindu rashtra.but who cares.
Your selfish mind demands more.

I live in a muslim dominated locality,I know what I have to face.When India loses a match to Pakistaan crackers are burst at mydoorsteps.Even I never do so when india wins.this happened from the very second day of my settlement to the locality.This situation is not of one place its all over the country.Its a common thing.One of my muslim classmate has all his favourates in pakistaani team,but no one in indian team except zaheer and irfan.

you will deny obviously but the
FACT IS THAT YOU ARE NOT LOYAL TOWARDS YOUR MOTHERLAND.That is why yo have to face the hatred (which you are every now and then describing in your columns).

indscribe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
indscribe said...

Dear Mr Anon

Firstly, you have taken pains to write a lot of post.

Kindly go through past posts on Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Delhi blasts and all other events before deciding what I don't write on.

Still, Can't I write about some issue close to my heart at my blog?

Blaming Muslims is easy. But kindly find one sentence of any Indian Muslim leader or ULEMA that condemns Hindus or Hinduism.

On the contrary, hear any speech of Togadia or Singhal and their gangs which are full of filthy language, which you so conveniently ignore.

They directly abuse, threaten and propogate hate. Do we react?

It is very easy to comment and make charges anonymously. It takes a bit of courage if you have conviction and so next time comment with your name so that I can respectfully address you.

Which Islamists group are in more number? What do you mean? I rarely write about the hydra-headed RSS.

I write about my country, my courts, the law and administration in which I have faith. If I find something wrong, I will write about it. Any problems, Mr Anon!

In my life I have helped directly and indirectly hundreds of people in getting justice, redressal of their problems, almost 90% of them Hindus.

I don't know what you have done. So it's easy to point fingers and accuse others.

First take action, be helpful to society at large, be humane to others especially poor irrespective of religion.

If you say the same thing and even more vitrolic thing, I might ignore provided you have helped some people get job, some poorer persons who are unable to beat cost of treatent, hospitalised and similar positive actions.

Then you also have the right to stand up, question and even criticise. Most of the things you said are nothing but RSS propaganda. You hide behind the veil of anonymity to make wild allegations.

When I moderate such comments, guys like you feel I selectively publish comments. Else, everytime some guy like you comes out with an list of grievances.

Speak for everybody. Either it's injustice with your or anybody else. Just tell me where have I written anything objectionable.

If I have written about media ignoring a particular crime, is it also wrong?

If you would like to go to official sites of banned organisations you will find that 80% of militant and terrorist organisations (mostly active in North East) have Hindu cadre.

No Muslim is busy coverting Hindus. Of course, your VHP's Jain leader, Pravin Togadia is busy converting lakhs of Hindus to Jainism, in Gujarat and tribal areas of other states.

Just find it. But you would never know it. Even conversion to Christianity is pale in comparison.

So if cops are killed by Naxalites, it's no issue with you? Sure beause the killers ought to be Muslims so that you can demonize them.

Muslims couldn't have taken away Pakistan. OUr entire leadership was equally responsible. JL Nehru and VB Patel were too eager to have Jinnah take it away.

Still, I suggest if you have so much ire why don't you go to Nepal and make efforts to convert it into a Hindu state again.

On a positive side, I tell you Hindu population is growing everywhere and in a few decades, strong Hindu population will be found in Britain, USA, Europe and Australia. Don't worry.

At the time of Independence Muslims were not 7-8%. Check your figures. If you are literatre read the census report of 1941 and 1951.

You have lots of other problems with Muslims. Most of them have been repeatedly answered by me in the past.

I would request you to open up your mind and be sensitive. Hate-filled and negative thoughts won't help anybody.