Socio-political convergence will deter radicalism

Socio-political convergence will deter radicalism

By D.C. PATHAK | 6 February, 2016
Leadership of minority community, including Deobandis who nurture some sympathy for radical groups, should be brought on board to join the de-radicalisation drive.
Recent media reports have talked of a considered strategy being evolved by Government of India to try to wean away from forces of extremism those youth who can fall prey to the advances of ISIS and Al Qaeda. The approach is unexceptional in the sense that it seeks to inculcate a sense of resistance amongst impressionable minds towards a “destructive” influence.
The prospect of succeeding with the “de-radicalisation” of the vulnerable section of our youth will, however, rest on three parameters — a deep understanding on the handlers’ part of the faith-based militancy in which the appeal of the radicals is rooted; the degree of socio-political consensus that exists in the concerned community on this issue; and the resourcefulness of the security agencies in keeping the “hard core” of converts from the mainstream of the youth, who, in turn, would require a well-designed mix of control and incentive to keep them on the straight path.
It has to be admitted that Islam, the youngest of the Prophetic religions, holds a powerful appeal for its claim as the “perfect” message of Allah — the only God — that came from “the last of the Prophets”. The simplicity of its mandate of going to eternal Heaven — a proclamation of faith in the exclusive God and participation in the prayer, marking a total submission to Him — exercised a great pull on the followers of Islam. Laying down one’s life in defence of the faith against its enemy also guaranteed the same bliss. It is no surprise that faith-based indoctrination in this setting succeeds more easily.
It is with this motivation that the Islamic radicals took on the US-led West in the “war on terror”, which was launched post-9/11. The attack on the twin towers was, in turn, traceable to the ouster of the Taliban-Al Qaeda rule in Afghanistan. The revival of radical Islam had already been triggered when the anti-Soviet armed campaign in Afghanistan, conducted on the slogan of jihad, brought the Al Qaeda-Taliban combine to the fore. These forces carried the historical memory of the first jihad launched by the ulema in Algeria, Arabia and India in the middle of 19th century against the Western encroachment on “Muslim land”.
These ulema had maintained that deviation from the extreme puritanism of religion, as it existed in the times of the pious Caliphs, had caused the political decline of Muslims. Islamic radicals led by ISIS and the Al Qaeda-Taliban combine, today fanatically whip up this belief, and, in the process, also indulge in the most brutal violence against innocent civilians to gain political power, which can never be validated on any ground.
In India, any attempt to check the youth from taking to extremism will require a socio-political convergence in the country to oppose the spread of radicalism. It is relevant to recall that in India, the disciples of Abdul Wahhab had led the anti-British jihad in the mid-19th century, and after being defeated, they had gone on to establish Darul Uloom Deoband. This seminary accepted free India as a Darul Aman and confined its activity to teaching puritanical Islam, while retaining an anti-West outlook. Deobandis, who represent a major segment of Muslims in India, do not uphold the ways of ISIS, but sympathise with the cause of Islamic radicals against the US. It should not be difficult to bring them on board for preventing the radicalisation of the youth.
As things stand, Shias are a prime target of Sunni extremists, since the historical legacy of the revolt against Ali, the fourth Caliph, still operates. This makes Shias — along with a big chunk of Sunnis called Barelvis, who are in the Sufi line of venerating the shrines of pirs and fakirs, jointly with their Hindu followers — an intrinsic source of resistance against the spread of Islamic radicals.
Strangely, however, the elite, which has traditionally monopolised the political leadership of the Muslim minority in India right since the pre-Independence days, has not yet unreservedly denounced the rising tide of faith-based militancy within and outside the country. In its constant search for a communally-based share of political power, it puts up with militant sections of the Sunni ulema, such as the Maudoodians and the pro-Saudi salafis. The link up of Indian Mujahideen (IM) with the ISIS is yet to be condemned by the political leadership of the community, some sections of which have even defended IM for reasons of internal politics.
India has to find a way of not letting the issue of terrorism get enmeshed with the communal problem of the country. A big danger to India is from the likelihood of Pakistani proxies instigating radicalism and blaming it all on ISIS.
On the domestic front in India, “de- radicalisation” should be attempted through a combination of moves. First of all, a consensus should be built among all sections of the minority community on the need to supplement madrasa education with the teaching of national languages, computer science and the Indian Constitution. This might already be happening to an extent. The idea is to facilitate the entry of these students into the national mainstream of education. The government should render suitable support to those who worked for this expansion.
Secondly, the state should persuade all idaras as well as the political and non-political organisations working for the minority community to express their opposition to the use of violence for any “cause” in the name of religion. The mainstream political parties of India should also make this declaration at their conventions.
And finally, the families of the youth who attracted notice for suspicious activity on social media should be contacted by the district administration to work out corrective action to wean them away from the unlawful path. 
This, however, must not detract from the drive to get harsh punishment under the law for those who had knowingly acted as enemy agents.
D.C. Pathak is a former Director Intelligence Bureau.

There are 3 Comments

Then how can you opine about natural reueorcss which do not form your property? I think you misunderstand Kashyap's point. The reason for the misunderstanding is that the word value even as used in Economics has two meanings. In one, it means the subjective assessment by an individual of a means that he may apply to satisfy one or more of his ends. This concept value is a subjective concept and exists only in the mind of the individual engaging in the valuation. In another, it means the monetary value of an asset as estimated or discovered on the free market through voluntary exchange. The latter is objective.Kashyap is saying that it is meaningless to ascribe a monetary value to natural reueorcss because monetary value itself arises through and only through voluntary exchange on a free market. Any such market value thus assigned is meaningless also because it in itself is a subjective assessment of the individual ascribing the monetary value. His comment is on the very process of ascribing monetary value and not on the value itself. To say everything is portrayable through capitalistic economics is like saying that a starving rich man is always better off than a healthy poor man. You seem to be making many mistakes in this statement. Firstly, you seem to have an incorrect understanding and working definition of capitalism. That is the only thing that explains your statement about portraying through capitalistic economics . There is no such thing as capitalistic economics . There is capitalism and there is economics . The first is a concept defining the governing principles of a particular social order and the latter is a field of study that engages in an analysis of voluntary exchange on a free market created.Secondly, terms like better off or worse off cannot be used to compare the positions of different individuals as they (the terms) are based on the concept of subjective value. You cannot compare how the starving rich man is feeling with how the healthy poor man is feeling. The starving rich man may decide if he is better or worse of by starving or by not starving. The same goes for the poor man. Or, that my bed full of trash and an iPod is much better of use than a clean bed with nothing on it. The important point is use to whom? . If it is your bed, you are the only judge. The assessment would depend on your ends. One end may require a cluttered bed while another may require a clean bed. Depending on which end you choose to pursue, your assessment would be different. “pure” capitalism i.e., without the concept of commodity would only generate waste. What is pure capitalism? What is capitalism in the first place? Money in itself bears no value, but only by trade. This statement is false as it defies the fundamental concept of money itself. It is based on an implicit acceptance of modern forms of money as genuine money , which they are not. Money cannot become money unless it has pre-existing value in exchange as a commodity of value to individuals in a society. It is only the most marketable commodity that becomes money .From another angle, the statement ignores the fundamental concept of human action and that all action is an exchange an exchange of one state for another. This is as true of autistic exchange as it is of indirect exchange in an economy that has an established money.The subjective value of a commodity does not arise from interpersonal exchange but from the acting human's appraisal of the commodity in the service of attaining his ends. The objective exchange value of money, however, arises from exchange. But then it does so for any other commodity as well and money is just another commodity being exchanged on the market. To a nation, money (actually) bears no value, but the usable reueorcss do. The entire concept of value to a nation is meaningless because only individuals who are capable of action can engage in valuation. A nation is not an acting individual who generates ends of his own. The reueorcss have a value only to the acting individual and not to the nation.Hope all this explains the underlying flaws in Environmental Accounting .

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