Opinion: Jihadist Mindset Needs To Be Crushed

We don't know how many Riyaz Akhtari and Ghaus Mohammad are living under the grip of this fanatical thinking and are ready to kill many more Kanhaiya Lals.

Opinion: Jihadist Mindset Needs To Be Crushed
Police personnel patrol a street in Ajmer to maintain law and order in the wake of the recent killing of Kanhaiya Lal in Udaipur. (ANI Image)

India is agitated by the horrific incident of the beheading of Kanhaiya Lal in Udaipur. If Kanhaiya Lal had to die because of an alleged post in favor of Nupur Sharma, then it was because of the radical thought that filled his killers Riyaz Akhtari and Ghaus Mohammad. We don't know how many more Riyaz and Gaus are living under the grip of this fanatical thinking and are ready to kill many more Kanhaiya Lals.

Kanhaiya Lal was killed in a similar fashion to that of teacher Samuel Paty in France in October 2020 by a Chechen jihadist terrorist. The killer was told that while giving a lecture on freedom of expression in his class, Paty showed students cartoons published in Charlie Hebdo magazine about the Prophet Muhammad. After this, the same campaign was launched against Paty as against Nupur Sharma, Naveen Kumar Jindal and their supporters. After Paty's assassination, French President Emmanuel Macron said that we will not bow down to such jihadist terror. Then people all over France came out and said that we are also Samuel Paty. Nothing like this is happening here.

Those who were declaring Nupur Sharma and Naveen Kumar Jindal as Gustaakh-e-Rasool till yesterday have started condemning the murder of Kanhaiya Lal. The question is that if all these people are against such brutal violence, then why did such a situation arise in which Kanhaiya Lal was killed.

The truth is that those leaders, intellectuals, journalists, and activists who consider themselves to be secular-liberal are also responsible for creating an atmosphere of hate and giving rise to jihadi fanaticism. These people not only presented the Nupur Sharma episode in a distorted way but for a long time, they have been propagating that Muslims are being treated as second-class citizens in India. Isn't it a fact that during Gyanvapi episode, a hue and cry was raised that all our mosques would be snatched away?

Whatever was said in response to the remarks made about Hindu Gods and Goddesses in the TV debate was made such a big issue of insult to the Prophet Muhammad and Islam that the jihadi thinkers all over the world got fodder from it to channel their own nefarious agendas. Those people are also responsible for Kanhaiya Lal's murder.

The Ashok Gehlot government is not ready to listen to any complaint of increasing religious fundamentalism in its state. There were attacks on Hindu Shobha Yatras, but his attitude did not change. Instead of holding himself accountable for the murder of Kanhaiya Lal, he shifted the onus on Prime Minister Narender Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah.

Such an attitude boosts the morale of the fundamentalists. In 2019, Kamlesh Tiwari was killed in Lucknow in a similar fashion as Kanhaiya Lal of Udaipur. Since then, the Yogi government's strict action against such acts has broken the morale of the jihadi elements. The action initiated by the Yogi government after the violence that took place on the streets after Friday prayers is loud and clear. He set an example for Rajasthan and other states to follow.

It is also deplorable that no Muslim leader, intellectual, Maulana from India has defended Nupur Sharma. On the contrary, the arrest of alleged journalist Mohammed Zubair was described as a sign of anti-Muslim thinking of the Modi government. There are many examples of how the role of all these elements led to the rise of religious fanaticism in the country and the destruction that followed. The Supreme Court has just made it clear in the case of the Gujarat riots that there was no conspiracy behind it by the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi and his administration, but for the last 20 years, it is being propagated that the Gujarat government deliberately massacred Muslims.

After the terrorist attack on Akshardham in Gandhinagar in September 2002, for many years the terrorists caught in similar attacks usually used the same statement that they did this to avenge the massacre of Muslims in Gujarat. No stone was left unturned to term the Batla House encounter as false. Due to this propaganda, a group of Muslim youth formed Indian Mujahideen and carried out many terrorist attacks.

In fact, France is an example in front of us. Despite facing many terrorist attacks, France did not bow down. It did not bow down because the people there openly came out on the streets against the jihadi mindset. The problem in India is that the protesters are limited to venting their anger on social media. Some people out of anger and frustration resort to vandalism but they fail to understand that they are playing in the hands of those people who are fanatics in the garb of liberals.

The people of France did not resort to violent protests. Whenever terrorist attacks had taken place in that country, the people took to the streets with courage and held non-violent demonstrations. This is India's need of the hour. The non-violent protests from the common public will act as a deterrent for jihadi elements and their supporters, and the fear of harsh action from governments will also instill fear even among fake seculars, pseudo-liberals, activists, etc. Only this will help in the smooth running of the public order.

(Disclaimer: The above article has been written by Awadhesh Kumar, a senior journalist, and political analyst. The views expressed are of the author and not of the organisation.)

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