September 14, 2008

Delhi killings

Bombs in Delhi. 18+ dead, last I heard. Three short points.

* I hope we catch and punish the scum responsible for this atrocity.

* Will we at least now -- with Indians dying in nearly regular bomb attacks -- punish those responsible for the atrocities in Gujarat in 2002, in Bombay in 1992-93, in Delhi in 1984?

* Will we at least now acknowledge what we all know deep inside: that justice that ignores whole waves of killing is no justice? That without justice in full measure, peace and security for you and me will remain elusive? Why should we be afraid of acknowledging that much?

Justice and peace: we owe it to our fellow human beings dead in Delhi.


Anonymous said...

So now we have IEDs mounted on cycles and autos coming down from the Hills and Valleys ino the Plains, right? Told you so, and all that. When do you get back to Al-Hind, anyways?

Also, SG becoming IC at CIC, hmmmm . . . .

Sidhusaaheb said...

What good is justice that can't fetch too many votes?

How could the large scale killings of Sikhs in 1984 or of Muslims in 2002 be considered as anything except beneficial when those helped the Congress (I) win a huge majority in the Lok Sabha and the BJP a huge majority in the Gujarat state assembly, respectively?

India is a democracy and if the majority of its people decide to reward political parties that were in power during the mass-killings of minorities by voting overwhelmingly in their favour, post-violence, then such violence obviously must be beneficial for the country. Isn't it? Who dares punish the perpetrators of something so good for India?

If such state-sponsored pogroms also help provide local recruits for terrorist organisations in the name of extracting 'revenge', then that must be a minor side-effect that has to be overlooked. Isn't it?

It is entirely unfair on the part of terrorists to not give prior notice of any bomb-attacks, I suppose, since that could help proper planning and execution of 'reactions' in terms of communal riots and fetch a lot of votes in the bargain.

After all, there is a lot of preparation that goes into organising such a 'reaction', including transfers, etc., to ensure that government servants, including policemen, obviously, who believe in making an honest living should not be on duty in the areas meant to be 'affected' by the 'reaction'. Besides, a proper chain of command and communication has to be established for the killing parties, who also have to be provided with the locations of the houses of the people to be killed as a part of the 'reaction', among other significant tasks required to be accomplished for achieving success in executing the 'reaction'.

Jay said...

The government is very inept at handling terrorism.

Pareshaan said...

Dilip Sahib,
your post seems almost unintentionally to justify the bombs in Delhi. Justice may very well be flawed in India, but how are acts of terror going to set past wrongs right.
There's a lot of talk about the erudition of the theatrical Indian Mujahideen. Isn't it ridiculous that seemingly educated people are resorting to bomb blasts in an effort to bring attention to their plight.
what makes the Muslim so helpless? Why is this such an easy sell in the Muslim community?
Is there no other way that Muslims in India and for that matter in other parts of the world can seek redressal for wrongs committed on the community?
Why the hell are all of us trying to find a justification for these senseless acts of violence?
If the perpetrators of the Gujarat pogroms are wrong - so are the Indian Mujahideen.
If these fellows are so well informed and so well organized why can't they use their brains for something that'll actually improve the state of the Indian Muslim?
Aren't they aware that they can achieve nothing by their terror attacks? Don't they know that all they are doing is making it harder for the common man to function in a city that's already pretty hard on it's own?
What is their excuse? How dare they hope to sell their bull shit to the people of India?
Thoroughly depressing.

Anonymous said...

Justice of course is of primary importance. However, why is no one talking about implementing a security strategy? How do we make our state safer? Engaging communities is one way to have a long term solution. But in the short term, we need to have some immediate measures in place. I would wish our policy makers would start talking in this direction as well; in stead of just using all this for the upcoming elections.

Dilip D'Souza said...

Pareshaan, I don't intentionally or unintentionally justify the killings in Delhi in the least. Nothing justifies them. I think the argument I have heard from some, for example, that the 1993 Bombay bomb blasts, were a "justified reaction" to the riots two months before are nothing but repulsive.

But things happen in a context. A country that will not administer justice and punishment for major crimes can only expect that there will be further major crimes. Seems to me that either we get used to that idea -- which I abhor -- or we get started on administering justice right now.

Pareshaan said...

My comment was reactionary and stupid, I retract most of it - though I am still of the opinion that this may not be the best time to start examining the whys and wherefores.
Let us impress upon the mujahiddeen and their ilk the futlity of their actions first.
Let society understand that such sentiment will not be tolerated. Once this message is clear then we can indulge in a more wholistic repair of the system.
The sad fact is that nothing is going to happen, this'll be another of those things that festers for a bit and dies out while everybody waits and makes what they believe are appropriate noises.
And I shouldn't be cribbing because in any case I won't be doing anything to help.
Bhagwaan bharose, Insha-Allah - God Willing - things will sort out.

Anonymous said...

Got the following in my mail:

I have important information to share on behalf of Indian journalists and leading activists. (I am myself a journalist with a leading publication.) Before that, some background:

Delhi, 1984 - Congress Party killed Sikhs by the thousands.

Gujarat, 2002 - Muslims bombed a train and threw stones on dying passengers and the mastermind was a Congress Party functionary and a Muslim called Mohammed Kolota. In the riots that followed, Congressmen were responsible for mass murders and rape (remember the news item about Congress Party preventing kids from going to exams?)

Now the truth. We (journalists) knew all the above facts, but were told by the management to write that Hindus were responsible for conducting a pogrom.

Some foreign diplomats were involved in transferring money and supplying prostitutes in exchange for journalists writing that no Hindus were killed but only Muslims were killed to make it appear like a pogrom.

The contact points for the editors for transfer of money and arranging the prostitutes were NGOs involved in the process. There were a lot of lies scripted by the diplomats. One lie was that a woman's stomach was cut open and the baby stomped to death or some such thing. This claim alone was worth 1 million pounds. The higher the reputation of the person who spread this claim, the higher the money.

You see, the stakes were high. It is no coincidence that most journalists used claims made in a chain mail to write their reports. No journalist uses chain mails to write reports. Why do you think it happened? Please think through this.

That Newton quote attributed to Modi was also part of a carefully planned move. It was part of a meeting where it was decided that journalists would use this fake quote.

We journalists owe an apology to those whom we slandered.

Dilip D'Souza said...

gbo, you're right indeed. Sad to say, I can only see blasts becoming ever more commonplace.

Sidhu, with you I am deeply troubled by the way political parties win mass appeal after killings. In 1984, the killings of 3000 Sikhs should have, at the very least, relegated the Congress to the political dustbin of that election -- yet they came to power with their greatest majority ever, if I'm not mistaken.

dhimant, I believe that the most effective "security strategy" is to swiftly punish the guilty, whoever they are and whatever their crime. Pareshaan, this is also a reply to your mention of persuading mujahideen of the "futility of their actions first". I think that task is, again, most efficiently and quickly done by administering justice swiftly and impartially. That, and nothing else, will persuade society that these atrocities will not be tolerated.

As far as I'm concerned, right now is always the best time to begin examining whys and wherefores, and even more important, for punishing the guilty.

Anonymous said...

Interesting perspective. But only selectively applied as usual.

without justice in full measure, peace and security for you and me will remain elusive?

I agree with the first part - but modify that to justice in full measure for everybody without discrimination.

Now your reply to Pareshaan:
think that task is, again, most efficiently and quickly done by administering justice swiftly and impartially. That, and nothing else, will persuade society that these atrocities will not be tolerated.

Are you implying that swift punishment should be applied towards all the people rioters / terrorists etc and then the blasts would reduce.

I see these as unrelated. Are these blast perpetrators even remotely concerned about Delhi 84, Bombay 92 or even Gujarat 2002?
If you look at their background, were they affected by any of these events? If yes - maybe your argument holds. If no - then what is the ideology of these people. I see nothing other than a demented view that they think they are waging wars against infidels. To clarify have any of the victims of the 84 massacre taken to terrorism or all the riot victims of Gujarat done the same? If no, then what is it that distinguishes these people for whom justice has been denied versus the terrorists?

To the second part of your argument - do we not see these as failures of the judicial system?

If in the case of Afzal Guru who was caught and convicted, what do we do ?
dont the entire human rights industry stand up for him?
What about his victims? Do they not need justice?

We have had convictions for the 93 Bombay blasts, but these were only the footsoldiers. What about the masterminds - Dawood and Tiger Memon? Where are they ? - In Pakistan.
Now - Have you not advocated everlasting peace with Pak and praised Manmohan Singh for all his efforts. Would you at least once say that any peace efforts with Pak should first handle the extradition of all these wanted men?
Finally for one who has always lamented Bal Thackeray and Shiv Sena for not being punished and rightly so for the 1992 riots, did anybody ever stand up for conviction of the perpetrators of the Radhabhai chawl massacre? Did these victims not deserve justice.

In a nation where everybody has his / her own agenda, let us not lament we do not have justice

Anonymous said...


Dilip and I have done the full 15 rounds over explanation vs justification. While I continue to respect the clarity with which he distinguishes between the two, I wish he respected the confusion ppl like me have over when one blurs into the other.

On further reflection my discomfort with Dilip's stance is crystallized in this following thought experiment:

1. If there are two groups or individuals A & B and similar atrocity/ injustice is visited upon them,

2. A takes to the courts and legal system, peaceful protests and slogs it out the painful way.

3. B takes to violence, culminating in bombs and terrorism.

4. It now seems deeply wrong to hurry up and assuage B's hurt, while potentially slowing A's quest further (assuming state / legal resources are scarce and being shared). The idea of being driven by violence or damage potential, even to do the right thing, is strangely distasteful.

5. Though it sounds weird, I find myself beginning to want to NOT address B's case, and redouble efforts to help A, over B.

6. In some ways that I cant fully explain, this makes it look like I'm showing B that getting back to A's track is what will work. I want B, hunted and on the run, to see and know that A is getting justice -- *and that he, B, or his cause is NOT*--.

I'm not fully comfortable with all of the above, esp, the --* highlighted *-- but I'm afraid its there.

7. Having said that, we do need to check and re-ensure we have a transparent and fair system that A, B, etc can repose confidence in.

eg. I can think of no reason why the Bajrang Dal should NOT be banned, they eminently qualify. We have OTOH, a govt that's looking at banning NewLife!


Anonymous said...

Regards A & B, we definitely have cases of A. However our judicial system has failed them as I have described in my earlier reply.

Now for B. Question - Was B affected by any of the events - riots, blasts etc? All evidence of recent blasts points to the fact that all the B's suspected to be involved in the blasts were not. As mentioned B is just a demented charcter who thinks he is rightly waging a war against infidels who deserve to burn in hell.
Regards banning of outfits - Bajrang Dal, New life etc, as mentioned earlier we have political parties and even other ' concerned citizens, activists etc who have their own agendas and for all their talk simply mouth homilies of justice, secularism, equality etc. So in such an environment, will there ever be the case of justice applied equally to everybody irrespective of caste, religion etc

Anonymous said...


1. I'm not entirely sure I got my point across that even if B was affected directly by terrorism, it wouldnt even explain let alone justify B's violence, esp. towards ppl that were no way involved in that atrocity... even if B has direct access to the perpetrator, he should go for legal recourse.

(i'm reminded of a disturbing question "why is loss of livelihood a watery weak excuse for bomb attacks" that got me to space out of dcubed for a while)

..but overall we may be on the same page here.

2. The necessary prerequisite for legal recourse is a fair system. On this other point, it is almost transparently clear to me that the BJP & Co. are being too soft on the Bajrang, even the Central Govt seems to tread soft.

If any XIMI had been doing all that they have, stern action would have been demanded; all govts by now would have been accused of minority appeasement, votebanking etc.


Anonymous said...

BTW Dilip has probably weighed in on the issue we're discussing on this thread, way back at Abdul Ghani Turk post.

"The questions raised by Turk deserve to be answered, even if they were raised by him"

My take: The injustice needs to be redressed inspite of Turk and not because of him, the Turks do make it harder though, for reasons I have gone into earlier.

What I'm trying is to see A & B as 2 individuals affected by the very same event. B is Turk. A is most other ppl of his community, affected yes, embittered perhaps, but holding true to our vision and slogging for justice.


Anonymous said...

I understand the point about B and I have not in any way mentioned you justifying B's actions.
I am only pointing out that of all the recent blasts, none of them have shown any evidence that they are in category B - affected by communal violence / riots etc. They fall into a new category say C who are demented characters who think it is a duty to kill infidels.
Hence I find the conclusion that bringing justice to A will somehow prevent C from carrying out his attacks to be flawed and somehow not related.
Regards B, it may be possible to find foot soldiers among this group. This is what Dawood and Tiger Memon managed to do after the 92 riots.
But as mentioned earlier this is not the case with the perpetrators of the recent blasts.
Regards Turk - again a wrong comparison. I am referring to Afzal guru

Anonymous said...

I'm not in sync with Dilip on Afzal Guru. IF it is true that he had inadequate legal representation at some stage, and process at that stage has carried thru to the other convictions, I'd say he deserves a retrial.

And in that case, a reconviction should lead to sentence being carried out, no mercy petition.

I dont think Dilip made that case very strongly, he seemed to hint at "the truth is still out there" kind of scenario- not here, on theotherindia site. I liked zyzyx's rejoinder to it.

I dont think I have much further to add to this discussion.


Anonymous said...

On this other point, it is almost transparently clear to me that the BJP & Co. are being too soft on the Bajrang, even the Central Govt seems to tread soft.

Burning greeting cards is not the same as bombing people. One is vandalism, the other is terrorism.

We should oppose both, but should recognize each for what it is. We on the left have lost all credibility because of a few extreme leftists who do not see the difference between the two and end up justifying terrorism.

I've been pleading with my friends for ages to be clear and base their claims on facts. I think this is quite important. How many of us can honestly say that we have not deliberately used a wrong word? e.g.: we use pogrom instead of riot.

I admit I have myself done that but no longer do so. I think it is important for us to not do this because it hurts our credibility quite a bit. As a result, the debate moves away from the really important point about the economic system. Those who want a system of corporate welfare have a free run.

Bajrang Dal is no SIMI. I could take them on in my neighborhood and beat them at their game. I wouldn't dare try this on SIMI.

The threat from BJP to Muslims has been grossly exaggerated. Contrast this with parties like DMK that have ACTUALLY called for the murder of brahmins. We treat them as our allies.

You need to understand that the real threat from BJP is that they are for anti-poor pro-American economic policies. If we want to oppose that and be heard, we need to make sure that we do not lose credibility by claiming they are terrorists or whatever.

Anonymous said...

What happened in 2002 or 1984 or any other time is no excuse for these killings. It is high time
we realize that terrorism is
a real threat and there can
be no justification for it.

Anonymous said...


"Burning greeting cards is not the same as bombing people. One is vandalism, the other is terrorism"

I dont think hindutva forces just do burning of greeting cards its much more than that, a hindutva inspired bajarang dal member can dose an entire christian missionary family in Orissa killing innocent children, i DONT think this is like burning greeting cards. I am NOT surprised you cant see beyond burning of greeting cards.

Since you belong to the same religious group as Bajrang dal you sure will not be afraid to go to Bajrang dal office in the corner of the street but can a muslim or a christian do so without fear of being dosed with gasoline? sure muslims can go to SIMI without fear.

BJP threat exaggerated?? we DID NOT have attacks on christians in karnataka before BJP came to south
dont you think you are trying to mildly justify BJP and its attacks and trying to claim as a leftist?

Violence is never just, dont you think there is NO form of violence from Brahmins in the state of TN??


Anonymous said...

mr. anonymous who disputed my comments,

First of all, thanks for keeping it polite and thanks in advance for continuing to do so in future posts.

Your comments fairly reflect my concerns. Before, that you make too many assumptions about me! One of my parents is an RC and the other is a Hindu. I am an ATHEIST. I hope that is out of the way. I am in a unique situation here where I know both sides from the inside.

Now my concerns.

Your claim about Graham Staines simply reiterates my point about falling for conspiracy theories. The Wadhwa Commission rejected the notion that Dara Singh was part of any group. Surely, you aren't saying we should accept the Srikrishna Commission report but not the Wadhwa Commission report? You either accept both or reject both. Otherwise, we lose credibility. That is my point.

On Karnataka violence, you are probably a young person - violence involving Christians has been common for a long time in coastal areas where fishing hamlets consist of entirely Christian population. Usually it is with neighboring hamlets. A few years back there was a spate of bombings in churches by Muslims. Before that in the 1990s, Kannada chauvinists attacked churches for not using Kannada.

This line of argument will also destroy us because if you attribute violence against Christians to BJP since BJP just came to power, you should automatically attribute violence against Hindus to careful planning by Jawaharlal Nehru. My take is that we should be consistent in every claim.

On Graham Staines, I have a view - honestly, for me, it affected me just like news of any other murder affects me. The same with Laxmanananda who was recently killed in Orissa. They don't affect me at a personal level.

Both are wrong and both should be treated on par. This is where the problem arises. The Indian media was all aghast about Staines but not about Laxmanananda. At least in my case, I don't care about either.

Although many argue that it was an anti-Hindu bias that led to this behavior, I would argue that it is due to the fact that Staines was a White guy. We Indians suffer from inferiority complex and felt a collective guilt when one white guy was killed by an individual. Do you think the Australians felt this way when they harassed an Indian Muslim doctor who was innocent? They actually behaved in a very racist way with him.

Regarding Tamil Brahmins you are flat out wrong. They are the most docile crowd and I feel sorry for them. In the days when it was extremely tough to get a college admission, I was offered an admission in Loyola College because of my RC roots. My brahmin friends were driven to desperation.

The truth is that they are victims and you cannot conflate fiction on them. All violence in TN is between the so-called OBCs. Again, we need to stick to facts or else we will lose credibility.

You don't understand what leftism means. Leftism means supporting equality, not conspiracy theories. The problem is that conspiracy theorists are part of the left - the story of Jews destroying WTC, killing JFK, etc., comes from the left.

As a cultural RC, I can tell you it is all about persecution and sin. The church thrives on this and I was raised that way. At 17, I became an atheist. I suggest you read Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins. Leftism doesn't mean you embrace the Catholics once you are in India!

I have looked within and have asked one question to myself - why is it that Christians seem to have problems with everyone. We don't seem to be at peace with *anyone* on earth although we cry at being persecuted. I think you don't know about the church. Don't put it past them for provoking others!

Again, I oppose BJP, but on economic policies, not based on conspiracy theories. Remember that Abdul Kalam and George Fernandes are their people.

Anonymous said...

john white

john, if you have guts and power to say to white man and you are upset about his tactics please go to west and shout loudly.But Do do not allow killing of Indian christians who are neither powerful as white people or wealthy.
white christians are NOT equal to India christians cant you understand this?


Anonymous said...

mr ramki,

I am not concerned if you are RC or a caucasian or black
or aryan or a jew. I am not at all intrested in your race or caste or
religion or atheism.
Irrespective of all the strings that humans are attached to
i am more intrested only in human aspect of human beings
lets make our brain free of influence from all these strings and
think freely and talk as a living being on this planet.

Conspiracy theories ??
why do we need a second commission??? by same logic if there is a
second commission we also need a third commission and there will be a fourth commission
we can continue this until the dividing lines between truth and lies become blured.
We all know what is Wadhwa Commission, and its whitewash
of safron brigade. This exactly shows how justice is skewed.

I am surprised suddenly conversion ran in the minds of
RSS and its thug gang during the BJP convention.
Is this just a random coincidence or
somthing to please power hungry BJP bosses in convention?

when justice is skewed it sure leads to violence, i think killing of
Laxmanananda is the result of such skewed justice.Even delhi blasts
or any blasts in India by victims of skewed justice.
It proves nobody escapes when justice is skewed.

Just try this , try to kill a cockroach or a bug it will run
for life, it wants to live. Tiny one very tiny compared to humans like scorpion
can give back a deadly sting to a huge human being if he messes with its life.
Living creatures had evolved to protect themselves
what do you expect a human being to ? sure some die but others will develop
a better way to counter and protect themselves these are very basic
rules of nature.

I can say sting of scorpion as terrorism. It evolved and will be evolving into
something more deadly if the skewed justice continues. I do not
want this skewed justice to continue, but there are lot of people like you
who believe in it and term killing of scorpion justified for various reasons.
You may think i am assuming this about you, but you do indirectly justify this
skewed justice in the name of leftism.
Finally nobody can escape when they play with justice.

Who told these OBC's in TN about they being superior humans
to untouchables ? did they naturally developed it or
did TN brahmins used age old divide and rule tricks.I just want to
see trough these smoke and mirror tricks.

I am not a opposer of any party. They can have whatever agenda
they want. But when they kill weak , deceive innocent,opress poor
twist truth, skew justice, then i think i have a problem with any of
them who does that.


Anonymous said...

Dear Surya,

It is important that we do not lose focus and give ourselves a bad name by spreading conspiracy theories.

I think you do not understand what being a leftist means. If you are a real leftist who is for equality and justice, you will oppose all forms of violence and not support Christian and Islamic violence.

You should read Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens to understand the meaning of organized religions.

My complaint is that people like you follow conspiracy theories and give all of us a bad name. It is the leftists who claimed that Jews engineered 9/11 attacks and not a single Hindu died in post-Godhra riots but 2000 Muslims died. We should oppose the violence but not twist the truth.

Regarding Wadhwa Commission, I am willing to reject it but we should then reject all Commission enquiries as corrupt and this would include the Srikrishna Commission report. See the problem with your argument?

Your victim claim is also not good for us because that also gives us a bad name. PLEASE do not use that line of argument. It will be a big disaster for us. Violence by organized religion has existed for centuries. It is not the result of the policies of a few politicians.

In TN, I know the politics from the inside. Brahmins did not do anything of the sort you claim. Rules for Brahmins were strict and they were forced to live in poverty by these rules. If they framed the rules, why would they cause misery to themselves?

Mudaliars, Nadars and Chettiars were the ruling class. So do you say that Mudaliars and Nadars and Chettiars created the rules to oppress Brahmins and keep them poor? I won't go there, because I don't want to speculate and that is what I am requesting you to desist from.

It is difficult for us to get accepted by the mainstream without being labelled far-left if we keep persisting with conspiracy theories. We should have the courage to stand up and state the truth. One suggestion is to accept that the Muslims killed Hindus in the train and both sides lost hundreds of people in the ensuing riots.

You say you don't oppose any party - you should. You should analyze their policies and take a firm decision based on that.

I oppose BJP because I think their economic policies are dangerous, but I am honest enough to not exaggerate events or twist the truth. I see their point in Uniform Civil Code and scrapping Art 370 as that is true equality. Such laws are already in place in USA, there is no Shariah law and there is nothing equalling Art 370 in USA!

As for Ayodhya, I really don't care one way or other. It is just a building. I think the court should treat it as a property dispute, look at archeological evidence and give it to whichever side wins on that ground. Anyway, that place was locked up and in disuse till 1986.

Anonymous said...

Dear dcubed
If you have some time during your tour of the US, would you care to respond to the comments here or is that difficult?

Dilip D'Souza said...

Dear nikhil, not difficult at all. In between spells of no access to computer or web, I've been formulating a response. It will turn up either here or as a post sometime soon.

Anonymous said...

Missing the debates for some time. Look forward to the post.

Anonymous said...

"One suggestion is to accept that the Muslims killed Hindus in the train and both sides lost hundreds of people in the ensuing riots"


if you are blind on one eye the above statement is true.
if you understand both sides then you are acting like a bully on muslims.

What would you do when hordes of thugs start moving to destroy something which is holy to you and you rever it more than your life?
If muslims are packing up in trains to go to destroy temples in varanasi,tirupati or kanchi, what will hindus do ?? will they allow them peacefully?
I agree people are killed both sides which is unfortunate and which is not required,this could have been avoided if there was no Rath yatra and hindu pride.
If you want hindu pride you must also agree for muslim pride or sikh pride.

"I see their point in Uniform Civil Code and scrapping Art 370 as that is true equality"

I would love if India implements its existing laws and justice with enough fairness TODAY, we have volumes n volumes of laws which are NOT implemented fairly, i am sure if atleast 5% of these laws implemented FAIRLY we will have less problems.
Uniform civil code is like second commission sent to orissa. We already have fair laws which is not liked by majority and now they want to change them to suit their "pride" this is NOT acceptable.

"I really don't care one way or other. It is just a building"

I think you are blinded from one eye. Do you accept Tirupati is just a building structure and murty as black stone? I can already see the unrest when state treated adams bridge as a structure
if ayodhya is just a building then adams bridge must be just a natural land.