Revolution in South Asia

An Internationalist Info Project

Indian Maoists Analyse Attacks on Mumbai

Posted by Sole on January 23, 2009

This article appeared in People’s Truth Bulletin No. 4. It was originally titled “Attacks in Mumbai — Causes and Solution“.

Analysis of the Terrorist Attacks in Mumbai

Attacks in Mumbai — Causes and Solution

We weep not for the death of the corrupt and fascistic police officers but for the innocent citizens of Mumbai wantonly killed in the attack of Nov. 26th. We weep not for the Tatas, Oberois and other big wigs of India and abroad but for the innocent employees and professionals caught in the cross-fire between the Islamic militants and the Indian State. The taking of innocent lives will not put an end to the terror of the US gangsters and their Indian stooges aimed at the people in general and Muslims in particular. The target of any just movement must be the very perpetrators of the evil and their political and financial backers.

On Nov.26th Islamic militants, it appears from Pakistan and POK, launched on a sophisticated attack in many places of Mumbai killing an estimated 250 people and injuring over 500, a number of which were foreigners. The main focus of the attack was the two most elite hotels of Mumbai, Taj and Oberoi, and the Israeli center, Nariman House. They shot also randomly at people at the VT station and also at the neighboring Cama hospital. Around the Metro station (1 Km from VT) they shot and killed ATS (anti-terrorist squad) chief, Karkare, ACP, Ashok Kamte and ‘encounter specialist’ Salaskar. In the battle at the Taj a major and Havildar of the NSG were killed. In all it was reported that at least 16 police/NSG men were killed. Reportedly 9 of the militants were killed and one was arrested in an injured state.

On Nov 27th as the gun battles were on a Hindi eveninger from Delhi (Sandhya Times) reported that one of the militants holed up at the Oberoi rang up a TV channel and put forward the following demands, speaking in Hindi: 1) Stop disturbing (tang) Muslims in India, 2) Act like the destruction of the Babri Masjid disturb us, 3) Release all Mujjahiddins that are in Indian Jails, and 4) Only after releasing them will we release the hostages held in the hotel. But instead of negotiating with the attackers the Indian government and their advisors in the US and Britain began a massive attack which resulted in a three day battle and the loss of enormous lives.. Also these demands were never propagated and consciously suppressed, and the entire public is made to believe that they had no demands. What has been fed by the media to the public is only the official version that has numerous loopholes — even the body count mentioned has kept varying.

It is reported that some of the militants came in a boat (from where it is not clear — once it was reported Karachi and another time it was reported Saudi Arabia) — hijacked a fisherman’s boat near the Mumbai coast and entered a Mumbai fishing village at Colaba unnoticed. Others had taken a room at the Taj four days earlier. Where yet others came from is not known. When the ATS and Mumbai police proved ineffective the elite commando force, the NSG, was called in from Delhi. The papers are also reporting that the Mujjahiddins had assistance from insiders. Later the Army also participated. The militants were heavily armed and highly trained in warfare. In all probability there were much more than the number reported and the rest would have got away.

The real facts behind this incident will probably never come to light but the government will utilize it to further whip up a phobia and increase the fascist terror in the country. But the question is that why do these Islamic militants adopt such desperate means to fight their battles? Internationally it is the result of the US’s brutal attacks on Iraq, Afghanistan, threats to Iran and attacks on Muslims in all corners of the globe. Many of the Mujahiddin were in fact trained by the US itself during the years of its contention with the USSR. Lacking a scientific ideology and having only the limited ideology of Islamic fundamentalism many of these groups only act out of a sense of injustice and revenge with no clear-cut military perspective. Killing people at random is in effect counter productive and only assists the state apparatus to create a fear psychosis to introduce its own terror laws and acts.

In India the rulers, egged on by their imperialist masters, have created hysteria against Muslims in a conscious bid to divide the masses of the country. It is not only the BJP and their fascist outfits that resort to such Hindutva psychosis but all the political parties do so in one way or another. Muslims have been massacred but never is any Hindu fascist apprehended, except some petty scapegoats. The ATS of Mumbai has a horrible record of humiliating, torturing and harassing Muslims in the city. Ever since 1992, when it was formed, at regular intervals, it has been raiding Muslim bastis and picking up hundreds of Muslim youth beating, torturing and extracting confessions from them. Hundreds are falsely charged and incarcerated in jails. No Muslim is secure in the hands of these forces. And then there is the Kashmir factor which is virtually a nation under occupation by the Indian forces. We have just witnessed the horrors unleashed on the people of Kashmir and the resultant anger.

In Pakistan the situation is highly complex after the dismissal of the Musharraf regime. In the US geo-political strategy Pakistan is an important factor in Afghanistan and against the Taliban. A section of the ISI and army continue have pro-Taliban and Islamic sentiments, while the major sections bow to the US’s plans. The action in Mumbai seem to be of elements from the POK region and could be non-state forces with high levels of training by secretive ISI or military personnel or could be by a section of the ISI itself. The former is the more likely..

Since this action the ruling classes of both the countries have whipped war hysteria and have conveniently utilized the event to divert from the serious problems of both countries. In the wake of the financial meltdown worldwide Pakistan’s economy virtually went bankrupt creating much economic hardships to the masses. Besides, there is need for the ruling elite in the Armed forces, who dictate policy in that country, to divert attention from their ‘failures’ on the eastern front. India too needs to divert attention from the horrifying effects already being felt by the worldwide economic crisis; as well as from the recent exposures of the Hindutva fascists’ involvement in terrorist acts.

Besides, the Muslim community India is heavily infiltrated by the Indian intelligence and often innocent youth are provoked to throw bombs amongst the people (mostly poor) to enable the state to whip up their hysteria and resort to greater terrorist acts. Here too instead of joining with genuine democratic and revolutionary forces in the country some of these turn to Islamic fundamentalism. Many are of course pushed in that direction due to lack of a consistent opposition of these forces against the Hindutva brigade and in fact a soft Hindutva upper-caste approach of many a so-called democrat and even revolutionary.

Though such random attack serves no real purpose and many an innocent are killed, the only solution to the problem is to grant Azadi to the Kashmiri people, stop the attacks on innocent Muslims in the country, wind up the Hindu fascist networks and stop playing stooge to the US ruling gangsters.. As and when such steps are taken such acts will immediately stop. Innocent civilians should not be targeted in these battles. But for both the Islamic fundamentalists and the US or Indian State, they will not care. For the Islamist fundamentalists they treat all non-Muslims as enemies, so kill at random; for the state force killing of civilians is mere ‘collateral damage’ and so justified. It is with this approach that in the latest attack the Islamists killed innocents and the Indian government did not even try and negotiate and let all the hostages be killed.

Ironically at a meeting of top police officers and Home ministry officials, held just a couple of days before this attack, the PM waxed eloquent on how the Naxalites are the prime threat to the internal security of the country, though he knows very well that all such bomb blasts in the public places and such attacks are never a part of the Maoist agenda. He continues his tirade against Naxalites, whose only agenda is fighting for the poverty stricken masses of the country. The PM and his cohorts must realize that where the Naxalite influence is not there is all likelihood of anarchic violence spontaneously bursting out due to the polices of the ruling class that is marginalizing vast swaths of our people. This includes not only the Muslims but also the dalits, the unorganized workers and the vast mass of peasantry.

After this attack the biggest danger has come with the imperialist agencies entering in hordes and US top officials descending on the two countries like vultures. The entrance of US, British and Israeli intelligence in India has been given legitimacy as a reaction to the attack and is not seen as an infringement of the sovereignty of the country. The US top officials cannot at present risk another war in this region when it is bogged down in Afghanistan The diversion of Pak forces to the western border would entail shifting troops from the East, easing thereby the pressure on the Taliban thereby impacting US military operations in that region. Besides, with these attacks the government will get greater legitimacy to introduce draconian laws and the Hindutva fascists will regain some legitimacy which was lost with the exposure of Sangh Parivar people being involved in acts of terror.

The candle light processions throughout the country has involved a section of the population demanding that more stringent laws be imposed and thereby creating the atmosphere for draconian legislation. As a journalist Pankaj Pachuri said (The Hindu, Dec 6th) “ If we sow the seeds of babool we cannot hope to pick sweet mangoes” lambasting the cry, comparing India’s security set-up with that of the US, where not a single terrorist act has taken place since 9/11. “The US spends $ 69 billion (equal to one-third of India’s budget) on homeland security. Are our rich and famous prepared to cough up the money instead of asking the government for tax holidays such as that enjoyed by the booming information technology industry? Some of the high-end fashionable wallahas” were now writing candles in Mumbai, after having evaded taxes most of their lives.

There is a price to pay for what a country and its people have been doing a thoroughly corrupt police force, a criminal justice system that has all but collapsed, no action against rioters as with Gujarat 2002, no action after the demolition of the Babri Masjid 16 years ago, etc. There ca n be no stopping groups of people taking the law into their own hands and resorting to terrorism when the rule of law cannot redress grave wrongs done to thousands of victims” And the noted lawyer Prashant Bhushan cautioned against any attempt to turn India into a police state. “There is no state where security measures were stiffer than in Israel, yet it is constantly plagued by insecurity. Security lies in addressing people’s grievances and problems, not in acquiring guns”.

In India the attack on minorities, whether Muslims or Christians are part of the fascist polices to divert the people, particularly necessary at a time of such acute economic crisis. And as the crisis deepens, which it is bound to, such diversionary attacks will only increase, combined with ruthless attacks on the struggling masses. The only real recourse to this is for the struggling masses, including the oppressed minorities and castes, to unite in a common struggle against the enemy and not resort to such random and counter-productive acts of violence. It is essential that one clearly distinguishes enemies from friends, without which no battle can be won, no matter how just the cause.

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