The repercussions of the Easter Sunday blasts in Sri Lanka would be felt in India in the near future, with Islamic terrorists expanding their areas of operation from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan to the South Asian region. Eternal vigilance is the price we will have to pay for liberty, writes Kumar Chellappan
According to Christian belief, it was on the Easter day that the world saw the death of death. Death, hitherto unconquered and unassailable, surrendered to death and thus we got the Resurrection Sunday. The tomb of death was blown to smithereens as the saviour of humanity resurrected. While the world that had been fasting and praying for the return of the saviour watched in awe, the son of the Lord appeared before them, giving the message that their prayers had been answered. And they rejoiced by singing “hallelujah”. Since then, the world has been surviving because of the Resurrection Sunday, a day which Christians all over the world observe and celebrate as the Day of Hope.
Not anymore. The 2019 Resurrection Sunday saw hopes and dreams getting blown to pieces as a group of Islamic human bombs walked into the Easter congregations being held in many churches in and around Colombo in Sri Lanka, resulting in death and destruction, leaving more than 250 dead and 500 maimed for the rest of their lives. The suicide bombers owing allegiance to the Sri Lankan National Thowheed Jamaat did not leave even some of the five-star hotels in Colombo owned and operated by the Christian community.
The murder and mayhem, which shook the global conscience, was not for money and gold stored in the churches or hotels, the scenario portrayed in the Spaghetti Western. All terrorist attacks unleashed by various Islamic outfits around the world were perpetrated as part of the “clash of civilisations” described by Samuel Huntington, the Harvard University professor and social scientist in the book, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order.
“For the first time in history, global
politics is both multi-polar and multi-civilisational; modernisation is distinct from Westernisation and is producing neither a universal civilisation in any meaningful sense nor the Westernisation of non-Western societies,” said the professor, who pointed out that Islam can never co-exist with other religions in the world because it teaches its followers to kill all non-believers. “The Koran and other statements of Muslim beliefs contain few prohibitions on violence, and concept of non-violence is absent from Muslim doctrine and practice,” wrote Huntington.
Osama bin Laden and those who took over from him the leadership of global Islamic terrorism have declared that their aim is to create a Darul Islam (pure Islamic State) and unite Muslims all over the world. They have also declared Christians, Jews, and Hindus as their main enemies. All terrorist acts which have taken place in the world since the emergence of bin Laden and his followers have been targeted against these three “enemies” of the Muslim world.
Why Sri Lanka and why Colombo? The answer is simple. The Sri Lankan Government, which came to power in the 2015 Elections, dumped all stringent security measures and laws brought in by its predecessor, the Mahinda Rajapaksa Government. It became easy for Islamist terrorists to operate freely all over the island nation. The LTTE remnants, who were on the run from the Sri Lankan laws, made use of this interregnum to recover and recoup for future attacks. The statement issued by the transnational Government of the LTTE condemning the Sri Lankan Government order banning the Muslim niqab is proof of this unholy alliance between the Tigers and terrorists. Visvanathan Rudrakumaran, the “Prime Minister” of the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam operating from New York, said the decision of the Sri Lankan Government was tantamount to violation of the right to religious freedom. We must remember here that the LTTE had butchered 173 Muslims in a Batticaloa village in 1990.
The truth is that the LTTE and the IS have come together in their mission to establish separate Tamil Eelam in the north of Sri Lanka, while the Islamists would strive for a Caliphate incorporating a part of the island nation. The choice of Colombo and the churches should be seen in this backdrop. Northern Sri Lanka has a Tamil majority, while the Christians in Colombo are seen as friendly with the Government of the island nation. The Christians and Buddhists enjoy camaraderie dating back to centuries. Most of the present day Christians in Sri Lanka are the descendants of the Kauravas of the Mahabharata, who migrated to the shores of the island nation after they were defeated in the Kurukshetra War by cousins Pandavas. The name Kaurava itself has its origins in Kauravar and the Coromandel Coast of India, from where they set sail to Lanka.
Not only Sri Lanka, even the neighbouring India would not be the same after the Colombo blasts. There is no guarantee for life in these countries as terrorists, especially Islamic terrorists, have expanded their areas of operation from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan to the South Asian region that includes Sri Lanka and India. If the versions of the official secret services pursuing the pattern of attacks carried out by the Islamic terrorists are to be believed, more severe attacks are on the anvil. The disciples of Osama bin Laden are adapting themselves to new situations and horizons, which are yet to fall in the radar of the intelligence and spy agencies. Their modus operandi changes on a daily basis. The proposed Islamic Caliphate visualised by bin Laden and company extends from West Asia to Indonesia and includes major parts of the Indian subcontinent.
The attitude of the self-styled secular, liberal intelligentsia towards the barbarians, too, has changed — from love and respect to that of passion. One was shocked when a Left liberal secularist wrote a lengthy article in a Tamil Nadu based newspaper (popularly known as the People’s Daily of Chennai), questioning and lambasting those who linked the Easter Sunday attacks to the Islamic State. This despite the claims by the IS itself that it was behind the blasts and had extended salutes to the suicide bombers who made the mayhem possible.
The attacks happened in Colombo, an hour’s flight from Chennai. The moment TV channels flashed about the attack, this writer’s first reaction was to contact Siri Fernando, a 78-year-old devote Catholic in Colombo, who over the years has assumed the role of an elder brother. “We are fine and safe at home,” said Siri, who also disclosed that the IS was behind the cruel act. It took another three days for the IS to come out with video statements claiming responsibility for the attacks.
But by the evening of Resurrection Sunday, it turned out that the Sri Lankan Thowheed Jamaat, the module of the IS in the island nation, was behind the attacks. It was also disclosed that the Indian spy and intelligence agencies had warned the Sri Lankan Police about the suicide bombs at least 10 days in advance. But the President and Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, who were busy with shadow-boxing and the game of one-upmanship, paid scant regard to such crucial information. It was the hapless devotees, who thronged the churches with prayers on their lips and hopes in their hearts, who had to bear the brunt.
The repercussions of the Sri Lankan blasts would definitely be felt in India. Those who have been following the pattern of the Islamic extremists are surprised over the delay in such attacks in the Indian subcontinent. Since May 2014, the Islamic terrorists have split themselves into various organisations bearing unique and strange names and had lowered their hoods to gear up for the big operations. Their targets would be crowded temples, market places, shopping malls, and other public places. India is no stranger to acts of terrorism by Islamic extremists.
According to P Chidambaram, the former Finance and Home Minister, the country was completely safe under Dr Manmohan Singh’s Government (2004 to 2014). “Borders were secure, infiltration came down, civilian and security forces’ casualties came down drastically. The numbers will tell the story,” said Chidambaram. But studies released by the Global Terrorism Database and National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism throw more light on these figures, in sharp contrast to Chidambaram’s claims.
According to the data released by these agencies, 5,788 people died in terrorist attacks in India from 2004 to 2013. Most of the international agencies specialising in terrorism related studies say India experiences more terrorist incidents annually (3,500) and terrorist related deaths (3,100) per year than any country other than Iraq, wrote Dr Subramanian Swamy in the book, Terrorism in India, published in 2008. Quoting various agencies, including the Union Home Ministry’s Annual Report (2004-05), Dr Swamy wrote: “Of the 35 States of today’s India, 29 are afflicted by terrorism. India is thus today a seriously terrorist challenged nation which has profound national security implications.” This was written in 2008 and the country has undergone many political changes since then.
Even as the repercussions of the Colombo blasts are felt in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, an organisation called the Tamil Nadu Thowheed Jamath has started running for cover. It issues daily statements claiming it does not have any ties with the National Thowheed Jamaat of Sri Lanka. But R Abdur Razik, the General Secretary of Sri Lanka’s National Thowheed Jamaat, is on record declaring that the two organisations are bound by common ideology and are promoting true Islam unadulterated by non-Islamic influences. The intelligence agencies in India have gathered details of how the Thowheed Jamaats in Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka mobilised billions of rupees from Saudi Arabia to propagate Wahhabi Islam.
In January 2013, the then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Jayalalithaa, had disclosed during a press meet that the Tamil Nadu Thowheed Jamath had 7.5 lakh active members. Jayalalithaa was no ordinary politician and whatever she said would be based only on facts and figures which she had gathered from the intelligence agencies. She also cautioned the media from terming Thowheed Jamaat as a fringe element. But strangely enough, the media did not report about the startling disclosures made by her. Since then, the Thowheed Jamath has gone from strength to strength in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
General Mahesh Senanayake, Sri Lanka’s Chief of Army Staff, recently told a global news agency that some of the suicide bombers behind the Easter Sunday blasts had travelled to Kerala, Karnataka, and Kashmir. The General, true to his reputation as an officer with a stiff upper lip, also said that the trip could have been made as part of a training programme.
It is an open secret that Kerala and Tamil Nadu are safe havens for Islamic terrorists and members of other extremist organisations like the Maoists, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, and Kashmiri militants. Pon Radhakrishnan, the Union Minister of State for Finance, has been warning the State Government about the presence of Islamic terrorists and Maoists in Tamil Nadu. Some of the Islamic outfits have their own arms training camps in places like Theni, according to a group of security experts who undertook a recent survey on the vulnerability of Tamil Nadu to extremists and terrorists. They point out that the heavily guarded Arivakam is the epicentre from where all conspiracies are hatched for Love Jihad as well as murder of Hindu leaders.
Sources in the National Investigation Agency, probing the attempt to murder on Arjun Sampath, the Hindu leader in Tamil Nadu, said they got the leads to the Thowheed Jamath plan to attack Sri Lankan churches while interrogating the suspects who had been taken into custody and this was instantly relayed to the authorities. Both Tamil Nadu and Kerala are ticking time bombs and the day is not far when we will see blasts of much higher magnitude rocking the States.
While Islamic terrorists have established their base camps all over Kerala allegedly in connivance with some political parties vying with one another to appease the minority vote bank, organisations like the Thowheed Jamath are having a free run in south India as a prelude to demand and establish the Islamic Caliphate by incorporating parts of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Telangana. The year 2020 will see various Islamist organisations demanding the formation of the State of Malabar because the next year marks the centenary of the Moplah Rebellion, which ravaged the Malabar province of Kerala. Thousands of Hindus were butchered by the marauding Islamists and their temples plundered. The mainstream political parties accepted the demand by various Muslim organisations and declared the Moplah Rebellion a blatant communal riot as part of India’s freedom struggle. Those who took part in the rebellion continue to draw freedom fighters’ pension from the Union Government to this date.
Chandmal Chopra of Kolkata had in 1985 filed a petition in the Calcutta High Court, stating that “publication of Koran attracts Sections 153A and 295 A of the IPC because it incites violence, disturbs public tranquillity, promotes on ground of religion feelings of enmity, hatred, and ill-will between religious communities and insults other religions or religious beliefs of other communities in India”. The petition was disallowed by the High Court and the petitioner was incarcerated on charges of inciting different religions. Sita Ram Goel brought out a compendium, The Calcutta Quran Petition, detailing the entire episode in 1986, but the modern, liberal, and secular media blacked out the entire incident and published a different version altogether. The wound still remains unattended to and has become more infected.
The latest information is that colleges in Kerala have allegedly become breeding grounds to recruit, train, and deploy jihadis for the establishment of the Caliphate. The CH Mohammed Koya College of Arts and Science at Thiruvananthapuram recently saw students dressed as Islamic warriors with guns and waving the black IS flags, undertaking a vehicular parade around the city. The same spectacles were repeated in many places in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Eternal vigilance is the price we have to pay for liberty. For that to become a reality, we must have stringent laws and punishments. Extraordinary situations demand extraordinary measures.