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Friday / March 24.

The Conspiracy Theories About the 26/11 Mumbai Attacks and Other Terrorist Attacks

26/11 Mumbai Attacks

This topic does not merit any discussion from a serious academic point of view, but given the misunderstandings that do exist on this front, I felt the need to write a piece on this topic. It is a tendency in many human beings to believe what sounds like music to their ears, rather than go by concrete evidence, and so, very many Indians find it hard to accept that there are rogue elements in the Indian Army responsible for gross human eights violations like rapes, fake encounters of innocent civilians and forced disappearances in Kashmir and the northeast (as I have discussed in this article of mine – http://theindianeconomist.com/we-want-cameron-to-apologize-will-the-indian-state-apologize-for-its-own-crimes/), and likewise, for some (though certainly not all) Muslims in Pakistan and elsewhere, and even some non-Muslims who believe in defending Muslims come what may, the Pakistani government accepting Kasab being a Pakistani national, his having been captured alive and the testimonies of David Coleman Headley and Abu Jundal (the latter clarified that the terrorists wore saffron bands precisely so that it could be argued later that they were Hindus) amount to nothing, and they would rather believe a loony Zaid Hamid claiming that Christians in RAW called him up to tell him that Ajmal Kasab was a non-Muslim whose real name is Amar Singh, because he (Hamid) has raised his voice for the ‘oppressed’ Christian minority in India! It also matters little to those writing off the truth that the alleged mastermind Hafeez Sayeed openly talks of ‘jihad’ against India.

Interestingly, very many liberal Muslim intellectuals in Pakistan have been outspoken against this culture of conspiracy theories, as one can see from this article written by a former Pakistani civil servant shortly after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks – http://www.dawn.com/news/431699/facing-the-truth and this video of an eminent Pakistani journalist – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bYcKNTwkMM.

It is completely unclear even to the conspiracy theory advocates as to what the government of India sought to gain by killing innocent Indian citizens when the national elections were around the corner in 2009, and it only received bashing on this score from Indian citizens for failing to protect the people from terrorism, and indeed, it wouldn’t be a wild stretch of imagination to suggest that the Congress-led UPA government could have even lost the elections in large measure owing to 26/11 (and to orchestrate such an attack and attribute it to Muslim terrorists could have potentially strethened a Hindu rightist sentiment, translating into votes for the BJP), and it is not as though they waged war against Pakistan after the episode either, so as to have carried out the terrible terrorist attacks for the sake of waging a war. Likewise, the Hindu rightists would never want to kill so many of their own co-religionists, and they too did not carry out any violent hate crimes in the immediate aftermath of the incident.

This conspiracy theory gained more momentum when some apparently irresponsible people in the online media wrongly stated that a former home secretary in India, RVS Mani, cited the involvement of the Indian government in the attacks, but Mani clarified that he never wrote any such thing in the latter and that he, in an affidavit filed by him, only mentioned, among other things, that Pakistan’s Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) has blamed the Indian government for the attacks, a view not personally endorsed by Mani himself. For reference, please see this article – http://archive.indianexpress.com/news/never-claimed-parliament-house-attack-2611-inside-job-exmha-official/1143268/.

Also, I may add that the idea that right-wingers among non-Muslims would kill those of their own faith to malign Muslims is a ridiculous one, and frankly, in today’s day and age, there is nothing very uniquely remarkable that Muslims in general have achieved, which would make those of other faiths jealous of them. If there is any resentment against Muslims in general among sections of non-Muslims (which I do not support), it is owing to how very many Muslims (this doesn’t apply to all Muslims) are not in sync with the modern conception of human rights, when it comes to full-fledged religious tolerance, gender equality and personal liberty, as the legal systems of most Muslim-majority countries demonstrate to varying degrees. As for ancient and medieval history too, no one is jealous of Muslims and people of all civilizations have their place of pride, and very many people think of theirs to be the best.

And since ad hominem allegations have become the norm these days, before someone calls me anti-Muslim, he/she would do well to note that I have, at the very outset of this article, pointed to and condemned wrongdoings by rogue Indian security personnel in Kashmir, and I have also written an e-book available for free download, titled ‘Anti-Muslim Prejudices in the Indian Context: Addressing and Dispelling Them’ (www.free-ebooks.net/ebook/Anti-Muslim-Prejudices-in-the-Indian-Context-Addressing-and-Dispelling-them), and I also fully acknowledge the positive side of Pakistan, as is evident from both these articles of mine – http://theindianeconomist.com/do-we-know-enough-about-the-pakistani-liberals/ and http://theindianeconomist.com/do-we-tend-to-exaggerate-the-plight-of-the-religious-minorities-and-women-in-pakistan/.