‘Is counter-terror the original act of terror?’

When Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said he was spending “sleepless nights” thinking of what the families of the Bangalore terror suspects were going through, the BJP pounced on the words of sympathy.

With a flash of amnesia that repeatedly afflicts his party, L.K. Advani thundered that the PM should have sympathised instead with the relatives of the victims of the terror unleashed in Bombay.

And this although Singh had, in fact, duly condemned the outrage at the time it occurred and visited the families who lost their kith and kin.

Rather than fulminating at the prime minister, writes Ashok Mitra in today’s Telegraph, the BJP top brass would do better to sit back and review the sequence of events over the past decade-and-a-half.

“They might as well do some introspection on the organic relationship between terror and counter-terror, a relationship so symbiotic that beyond a point it is impossible to decide whether what is often dubbed as counter-terror was not, really and truly, the original act of terror, and what passes as terror is merely a response to a grievous historical wrong.

“Was not the demolition of the Babri mosque the provocation for the January 1993 explosions in Bombay? And was not the holocaust let loose in Gujarat responsible for the growth of a certain consciousness in some minds, culminating in the July incident in Bombay last year? In between, of course, was the ghastly business at the Godhra rail station, the culpability for which is yet to be determined.

Indira Gandhi’s misdoings in Kashmir in 1984 similarly gave birth to a chain of consequences which have contributed to the seemingly irretrievable spoliation of the environment in the valley. Unless there is a great catharsis, and parties that claim to be the nation’s largest organize some house cleaning, reposing confidence in the concept of India as an integrated nation would be increasingly difficult.”

Read the full article: Aspects of civilisation