Terrorists and Terrorism

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I don’t know how my comments will be taken by you but this had to happen and is not a complete surprise. Me and you only take notice of terror when it enters the malls or the hotels. But if the same thing happens in the slums we are ok with it. This is a much larger issue than it looks. Have you ever taken into consideration the Islamic population of India? It’s in the region of 18 to 20%. The figures keep on varying. Do you know what percent of Islamic population is living below the poverty line? It’s 40%. I am not a fundamentalist but I am looking at a much bigger picture. There are certain segments of the society which have not got its due, whether you agree or not. But if you look at the demographics, you’ll understand. Whatever the population of Muslims in India, is that population proportionate and reflect in the jobs of this country? When people are poor and have no where to go, they have no choice but to turn into radicals. I hope my views and comments make people understand the broader picture.

Poor and disenfranchised Hindus/Sikhs/Christians are not the ones being radicalized. There is no planned sustained movement in place to do so. India has the second largest population of Muslims in the world. Yet their representation in all walks of public life remains dismal (what ever the reasons). A disproportionate chunk of the Muslim population lives below the poverty line. These people are the ones the radicals target as their recruiting ground.

Yes, there are rich who also get involved. The percentage is small. The machinery in place that goes about recruiting these people is very advanced and unscrupulous. They are highly motivated by people whose full time job is to mislead these people. Their modus operandi is to show videos of Muslims being tortured /killed/women being raped, and other forms of propaganda. In Punjab ( I am a Sikh from a village in Punjab called Mahadian, Distt Fategarh Sahib), many youngsters from well to do families after seeing their relatives/ kin burnt alive by mobs, tortured and raped by the forces were badly shaken up. Psychologically numb. And were ready when extremists came knocking on their doors to garner support. As for the security lapses, I am sure there are many loop holes. We apart from being a booming economy are also a country of the poor and homeless, (who’s primary focus is two square meals). We are NOT the United States, where we can single mindedly pursue security. But having said that, it’s important to understand, that not even the best trained force in the world can be prepared for someone who is ready to kill himself. The terrorist wins by not losing/dying (for whatever short period he wreaks havoc) and the forces “lose” by not winning immediately (ultimately they do in a Mumbai like scenario, but not in J&K, Iraq). And how can I be biased? Because I am in Indian and believe that the same set of rules must apply to all? So Muslims who kill people are terrorists but Bajran Dal/RSS activists who burn Christian homes, rape nuns are “angry misguided youth”?? My father is a serving army officer; he has 40 years of service to the nation and is currently posted as Army Commander Central Command, at the very tip of the army pyramid. He also served as Northern Army Commander. I have been brought up in the most secular way possible, where I have observed at close quarters what the army does for the Nation. And it pains me to read about people pointing fingers at the forces being “inefficient” when they constantly give away their today for us to be able to blog like this, sleep peacefully and enjoy life as we know it.”

45 Comments on “Terrorists and Terrorism”

  1. Chevarra

    Hello Gul,

    I completely agree… Your comments about this on IndiaFM were taken harshly by most people… most of them didn’t agree and see the picture… but it’s clear…

    You have nice views on this subject… ncie to see film stars making there comments…

    Lots of love, hugs,

    Chevy

  2. rony

    This was awful action of those terrorist.They are not human at all.They are maniac of this society.Don’t worry, god will always be with us.take care bye.

  3. prasun kulshrestha

    hi gul,

    nice to hear from u atleast that -“But if the same thing happens in the slums we are ok with it.”
    Gul, terror was always bad, i ws always afraid whenever i ws used to travel in city bus, and as similar to me, many people do. But, never this goverment took seriously, they never actually planned to define strategies. now, jab kursiya jaa rhi hai netao ki, tab they are upto this,STRATEGIESSSSSSSS…….

    i ws broken when i ws liesting the contineously increasing figure of death in mumbai TAJ/Oberoi. I never went to TAJ, But always had idea about its respect & love among those who go there.
    Agar aaj koi kahe ki usse kabristan bana diya hai, toh bhi mein mana nahin kar paunga.

    i beleive,its the high time, goverment must wake up, people must wake up, koi kranti ki jaroorat nahin hai, just….strategies & implementation.

    love u gul,cya.

  4. Praveen

    You are right on about the double standard that exists. Terrorists vs. misguided youth. Let us not mince words, fact is those both are terrorists since they attack and destroy innocent folks. This blog entry of yours finds its roots in the previous blog entry where you wrote about a secular India. Minorities are treated as second class citizens and the disenchanted youth are therefore ripe for the picking when the terrorist recruiters come calling. The root of the problem stems, I believe from the corruption that permeates all levels of society, from the cop on the corner to the highest levels of political office. Does India need a benevolent dictator (assuming such a creature exists) to root out this class distinction, corruption, nepotism and other evils?

    One thing that I would however like you to expound on is your statements regarding poverty and the link to terrorism. Is it that the poor Christians, Sikhs and other minorities are better represented in the cross section of society than Muslims? Why is it that we hear the words “Islamic fundamentalists” globally?

    Looking forward to your thoughts, and thanks for this discourse.

  5. Hardeep Singh Dang

    Hey Gul,

    Its been ages that u wrote something here. Glad to see you back, but its sad too because the reason that brought you back is not so good. I agree that injustice has been done & is still done to Muslims.

    And yes I am also a Punjabi who is secular because I have friends of all castes and that includes Muslims too (In fact I just met a Muslim girl friend from college yesterday after a pretty long time) and it never comes to my mind that she is a Muslim or I am Sikh or whatever religions we follow. I totally agree that the modus operandi of extremists is what you have mentioned and that can make any sane person a devil. Instigating poor people is easier also when money is offered. And I too voice my opinions on the entire incident on my blog in my own way (The only advantage I have is that I can be very open and I do not have to worry of what I write because I am not a celebrity).

    But having said that, we cannot forget that Bollywood is ruled by Muslim actors. Muslims get love and affection of the country in many other spheres of life because we have Doctors, engineers and many successful Muslim leaders in our country still. The percentage is something I cannot comment because I do not think its right to do so when you do not have actual figures/data in this regard.

    And yes I totally agree that the Hindu extremists are dealt in a different fashion which is not correct. believe me even though I live in Gujarat,I am overjoyed about the face that Mr. Modi is never granted US visa because of the Muslims killings that happened after Godhra incident when people were burnt alive and police saw shamelessly. Killing of innocent people was not correct and cannot be justified on humanitarian grounds ever no matter whatever caste they belong to.

    H@rdeep.

  6. midhun

    I am appalled to see that there is not a single comment to this post. Terrorism is the single most gripping issue the world over and it has been a particularly disastrous year for India. Moreover, there were 24 terrorist attacks in the last decade alone in India.

    Even I don’t understand why the media keeps on repeating “Islamic terrorism” when it seems to be the “most secular”. As a matter of fact, I have a lot of Muslim friends myself and I know how disgusted they feel when they hear someone whisper to someone “Shh…he is a Muslim”.

    All through the history of mankind, religion has done more than enough to create disputes, feuds and riots. Politicians too have leaned on religion and communalism to their gain. It’s high time that terrorism is seen, by itself, and strong measures taken on a war footing to eradicate it at any cost.

    Forgiving a terrorist is left to GOD, but fixing their appointment with GOD is our responsibility. – Indian Army

  7. Sak

    Gul Ma’am:

    Being below the poverty line cannot be an argument to account for radical elements in the society, no matter what caste, creed or belief such elements belong to.

    Indian politics is entirely based on “vote banks”; the dismal living conditions actually benefit the politicians to make flowery promises and get elected, year after year, term after term. Same drama, different people.

    Secondly, how many of these Islamic people below the poverty line are actually Indians? We need to be aware that an endless stream of Bangladeshis have flooded the streets today. A menace to the society, such people have little or no remorse in doing whatever catches their fancy and appeals to their sense of martyrdom!

    The government and the honest tax paying citizen may do a whole lot to improve the conditions of the existing lot, only to have a new bunch coming in to deal with, and so on. To what end?
    The statistics of and by themselves do not convey a correct picture.

    Bajrang Dal activists working against the Christians:- It is an undeniable fact that in those areas Christians engage in forcible conversions. For the atheist this may not be a big deal. In reality, it is the highest sacrilege deserving most harsh punishment to convert the poor, direction-less population by a useless act of dipping bread in water and offering hollow dreams of salvation. No, I do not support the Hindu extremists in their actions either. However, a truly unbiased opinion will surely take this view into consideration, no?

    Our forces being inefficient: Three wars with Pakistan, one with China and of course, the ever-going proxy war bleeding our nation have proved beyond doubt that our forces are not only capable but also highly motivated and utterly selfless in their service.

    Even a fool knows that the nation whose foreign minister accompanies a terrorist and actually negotiates a deal to let him go scott free contains leaders which are eunuchs (Pardon the language). Don’t we all know where the blame lies – squarely and fairly?

    Your genuine admirer,
    Sak

  8. Cyn1c

    Actually, the definitions of terrorism are pretty skewed and they surface only when shots are fired and blood spills. How do you address the kind of terror where no shots are fired, where cameras don’t roll and catch the person(s) shamelessly brandishing an asset accumulated using natural stupidity/artificial intelligence? Do you really think if it were a slum instead of a hotel, it would make any difference to the real terrorism that you and I deal with on a daily basis?

    I see terror and mental molestation in a school where a kid’s history book is distorted simply because a particular religion’s followers feel that since they’re more accomplished in a walk of life (let’s call it burning people alive inside a car!), they’re always right!

    I see terror on the face of a woman who aborts her baby because her in-laws have a different and rather disgusting opinion about a female child, despite being born to a woman!

    I see terror in the eyes of my female friend from Assam who feels unsafe in Delhi after 9:00 in the night. Oh well, how about 9 am?

    I see terror when I discover that a drunk policeman was looking for a fight at a barber shop so that he could frame some young boys from my college in a murder case.

    I see terror when I witness the look on a woman’s face with her 2 kids watching her gold chain getting snatched off a rickshaw.

    If you’re country A and I’m country B and we don’t get along well, we’d make sure of the following:

    1. We either watch our own yard
    2. We breed malice that can only be seen through the glasses kept on our tables inside a government building

    This kind of static has eleventybillion explanations. You sponsored attacks on my country, I’ll return the favor – tenfold!

    But how do people find the audacity to ignore one instance of terror which leads to slow death instead of an instance which leads to an instant one? Why is terror related to loud bangs and thuds and gun powder or IED’s? Why does no one hear the whimpers of those who’ve been hit by a different kind of a bomb?

    Yours
    Mushroom Cloud

  9. Terry

    Sadly this is too true of what you speak. Here in the “States” we went through what has happen in Mumbai, 9-11. For a time people lived in fear of what might happen next . Lets face it the world is a sick place now.

    The people that get indoctrinated in to terrorism come in two categories hopelessly poor or the emotionally manipulated. I have seen it personally where members of the KKK target people who they see as easy to get to join them, the emotionally weak, They make them feel that they are part of something bigger then the are. When people are poor and have no hope of ever getting out of there situation and again someone comes along and tells them you can have a better life if you do this. But ultimately it still leads to the same thing hate, anger, and intolerance. Holding a group of people down because they are different is wrong. It is the perfect breading ground for terrorist.

    From what I have seen is to me instigation. The people that committed this act were still fighting for some time, they just didn’t kill them self’s in one violent act. We should ask our self’s who benefits from this?

    The thing about terrorism is it is often used to attempt bringing a radical change in societies it is use in. Just try to travel anywhere in the world now days.

    Well I have to come off my soapbox I think I have said enough.

    To Ms. Panag take care and be safe, because of who you are there are people who would try to get at your father through you.

  10. Abhi

    Ms. Panag,

    I like your write up and deep analysis, of which for the most part I agree with, except for one point that poverty leads to terrorism. I don’t believe this is true. If the argument is that poverty leads to crime, that I would agree with. Here is why: poor are interested in survival and the key to survival is food/money. As consequence crime rates of murder, robbery, and violence are higher in poor populations since majority of these criminal acts are related to one key element: money.

    But terrorism, as I see it, is different. The purpose to terrorism is to cause chaos inorder to make a political statement. Terrorists of today are not looking for money. The terrorists in Bombay for instance, were not asking for money. They were making a statement. 9/11 didn’t have to do with money. There have been a few studies out there that attempt to link poverty to terrorism, but none have been able to do so. They have however linked crime to poverty.

  11. vikas

    There was an SMS circulated after tragedy hit Mumbai- ‘We are worried about people who came on boats, we are more worried about people who come on our votes’. Couldn’t express my thoughts better than this.
    Never in my adult life have I been confused when I went to the polling booth, I always knew which candidate and party to vote for, even when I was not yet of voting age. It was totally different yesterday. The events in Mumbai have shaken me completely. Images of Vilasrao Deshmukh, RR Patil and Shivraj Patil irritate me and thus it was difficult to vote for Congress; Narendra Modi’s face outside Trident and LK Advani outside the Taj making political statements while our brave soldiers were fighting the terrorists inside left me wondering do they deserve my vote? Our home minister announced the time of arrival of NSG commandoes in Bombay on national TV, can you believe it. Surprise element gone, the terrorists knew when to welcome the soldiers. After an intense 3 days of worldwide anguish and drama, RR Patil says “bade shahron mein aise ek adh hadse hote rahte hain. Woh 5,000 logon ko marne aye the lekin humne kitna kum nuksan hone diya.” (Some small incidents do happen in big cities. They (terrorists) came to kill 5,000 people but we ensured minimal damage). I don’t even want to comment on this, it is sick.

    The candidate was always an important factor for me when I decided my preference, today I surprised myself by voting for a candidate I hardly know anything about and who hardly has a chance against a very strong BJP candidate. For a moment I wanted to vote for a weird independent candidate but then there was no point in wasting my vote. The result of this dilemma was that all 4 votes in my family canceled each other. But voting is my duty and I have to perform it.

    The other strange and new development was that I smiled at a policewallah. Under normal circumstances I have always believed that if for some reason I need help desperately on the road and there is a choice between a policeman and ordinary citizen I will turn to the aam admi and not the policeman for help. At the polling booth when the policeman asked if I was carrying a mobile, I smiled at him when I said no. He looked so human and in fact a guardian of the people instead of a corrupt and heartless govt employee who pesters poor vegetable vendors and extracts hafta from them. The brave policemen of Bombay have made a difference to the image of the police force.

    ATS chief Hemant Karkare’s wife refused to take 1 crore from Narendra Modi. She rightly declined the offer of money from a person who just a few days ago was maligning her husband because he was investigating Sadhvi Pragya’s involvement in Malegaon blast. Inspector MC Sharma’s wife earlier in Delhi had refused to take money from Amar Singh who tried to cast aspersions on the martyrdom of her husband. These women have done well. We all need to do our bit. The NSG commandoes played their part, our soldiers and police sacrificed their lives. We need to do we are supposed to do. Vote with prudence. Communal politics of the BJP and Shiv Sena should not be the only reason for Congress to get votes. Political parties who give tickets to criminals should not be voted for. A young boy was carrying a placard at the Taj yesterday which said-
    Mr Terrorist: I am still alive, what more can you do?

    Mr Politician: I am alive despite you.

  12. muzafarhasan

    We as a human are forgetting humanity,peace,faith and religion also
    no religion or belief portrays terror its just we are blind or see it with others eyes. we are in some manner worshiping the manly false gods of this land our prosperity and peace is a pain in the neck of these people
    i pray for all u people for peace and to take a right path against the odds

  13. mehul sah

    Hi gul….
    i dont have much to say about it ..coz i know a bit, less than all the think tanks out there in our country….
    i just know 1 thing that Mr.John Kennedy had said
    “Ask not what your country can do for you: Ask what you can do for your country”
    The bottom line is that…
    Its time to wake up….and insted playing the same old blame game…..we have to do something by our own…..
    the thing that we can do indivisually could be small, but if we do it together it could make an impact…
    thanks.

  14. Rashpal

    Dear Gul,

    Iam really impressed by your frank views on the state of our Country. We need to introspect as a Nation and Citizens.The recent siege of Mumbai by the mad terrorist and loss of precious human life and our Heritage, we all should condemn.
    We are proud of our forces who liberated the another Taj. Our nation has pride to have brave officers like Hemant Karkare and all who laid down their lives in line of duty.
    We need to upgrade our security forces (Police) ,they still have .303 Riles of World War II which have no match to face the terror Machines.
    Terror of any form is not acceptable in a civilised society we live.
    Economic conditions of any individual does not give licence to resort to become a terrorist after all it is short lived.
    I salute Indian Army,NSG,Mumbai Police and others who work to their best despite all odds and outdated machinery at their disposal.
    It is best known about our politicians their ability to give statements and retract them we should have a Army Officer as our Defence/Home Minister.
    Our Govt. should now equip our forces to become best in the world to give fitting reply to destabilising forces who are envious of our Economy and progress.

  15. Amit Goel

    useless post. Seems like you have written it just because every celebrity is writing about it. read it again and think about it what sense does it make?

    Yes, the major problem is created by politicians. and the forces did a good work in doing the damage control but there doesn’t seem to be any doubt about lapse from defence side.

    Let me give you one well known and acknowledged fact : A huge population from bangladesh migrates across indian borders by just paying few hundreds of rupees. How? I hope you can understand that borders are vulnerable.

    In short, Defence services does maintain standards and always performs up to the mark. but lapses also do happen on their part. And a lapse from them can cost irrecoverable damage.

    What should be a motivation of a marine officer to catch a terrorist when he knows that indian laws are weak and either the case will go on till eternity or the guy will just get away easily? it’s just a human nature too.

    I believe Your father must be a great man and I have full regards for him but that doesn’t mean forces cannot make mistakes. and their mistakes do cost a lot to the country.

    If you try to analyze the figures you have mentioned about muslim population etc, try to realize that the people who get named or caught in these ghastly acts are generally not Indians…

    Even being a Hindu from Punjab and witnessing terrorism there during 1984 times, I still plead, please think Indian and do not raise another controversy by mentioning words like poor muslims etc… It will be very dangerous for our country especially, when these things are uttered by celebrities. You’ll sit quietly in your home but India might burn again..

    Please use your sense during tough times…

    Sorry for an arrogant comment. You can discard it as your fans might not like it and it might not look on your blog as it goes against you.

  16. sharma

    Gul !
    i loved it . i am very much impressed with you thought and intelligence.

  17. Avishi

    Hi Gul,
    you are right and it is too much now. My son who is 3.5 years old asks his papa not to go to office. He says the bad people will burn you and shoot you. This is the state of our young generation now. We can’t live like this any more. Let us do something. This time the whole world is with us. Our ancestors had fought bravely for an independent country and had achieved it. Now it is our turn to make INDIA FREE FROM TERRORISM.

  18. uday a

    Ms. Gul Panag,
    I do agree that the differnce between the rich and poor is too wide in our country.And it is no doubt that the emotions of some muslim minorities are being used by faundamentalist forces to spew hatred to the extent of mass murders. But some chunk of indian muslims turned to terrorism from drug-trade,smuggling, and petty crimes after the demolition of babri masjid. The youth were targetted towards the inefficincy of the governments and the need for retalliation for the injustice by sangh parivar outfits and bjp government. The mumbai blasts, godhra carnege and riots etc are the after effects from both sides. Pakistan has used this to ignite passion of muslims worldwide and there is no surprise that youth get trapped in this fanaticism.
    I do agree that education and representation will decrese some of this but the sppedy and impartial trial by courts without political interference in the above cases should be the priority of the government.
    Terrorism by fanatic hindus or muslims should be dealt with severest punishment otherwise to release the undertrials some more kidnappings would take place.

  19. Arvind

    Hello Gul,
    Finally it is nice to see a celebrity Blog which talks about real issues. I came across KHABAR, and Indian magazine published here in Atlanta and came to check out your blog. Once again nice to see you.
    Actually “poor” lured in to radicalism is kind of old story. Although it is happening there are educated people turning in to radicals to. One of my friend had been arrested in connections with Mumbai blasts. I worked with this guy for 3 years and one time got a 3 hours lecture from him about “how I should not worship idols”.
    So to turn in to radicals you do not need to be poor. Being affluent and taught radicalism from birth is enough too.
    In the wake of recent massacre that occurred in Mumbai, there was an article in Guardian. The article talks about teachers and educational institute heads saying “my pupils has to fight jihad”.
    Now tell me such people polluting the minds of 700 children and the head of institute related to another 14000, what options do these kids have?
    I was amazed to see such open comments and governments still not doing anything about these individuals.

  20. ARNAB SARKAR

    HI GUL PANAG,
    What to say of those terrorists.The only thihg that sends down a cold shiver down my spine is that the terrorists are also humans and how do they do such things .If I could have left a strong impression on them i surely would have said much more,surely more.
    by
    arnab sarkar

  21. Faisal Khan

    Hi Gul Panag,

    Among the horrors of the day, I also saw the hands who were helping the fallen. There were people who were hugging and comforting. And something that took me completely by surprise, was the paramount spirit of the survivors, they seem to be ever more stronger.

    Gandhi jee use to say, “be the change that you want to see in the world.” In times like this it is difficult to reconcile, and follow high ideals. But life will take it’s course, ganges and yamuna will flow. People will visit varnasi; Geeta, Guru Garanth Sahib, Quran, and Bible will survive; and the land of Gandhi jee, Tagore, Guru Nanak, and Gareeb Nawaz will pervail. The terrorist like the rawans and hitlers of the past, will be subdued and will face justice. This is a time tested cycle.

    And Gul, keep writing and acting; and continue being a sweetheart of millions. Your smile makes my day.

    Faisal Khan

  22. Purva

    hi Gul Panag.

    This is4 the 1st time i m going thru any of ur blogs.Nice to c as Celebrities are also thinking of this Terrorism-a threat to India.and yes when it happens in slums,these politicians-So called caretaker of the country doesnt care ,n this time wen it happens to Grand Hotels like Taj Oberoi,They hve to notce it my dear,not just 4 the people who died there but to save their position.

    As the case u r saying about the ratio of muslim in illiteracy,living life below poverty line etc.are the root cause of the terrorism.
    Fine it may be.But whoelse other than those sufferers are responsible for that.They themselves make their child not to go to school.As i know,There is no educational institute in India who deny to teach muslims.and these all are cyclic,if they dont get literate,they cant earn and will live life like this.

    I also know that these words of mine are not affecting the Terrorism a bit.But atleast sharing this with u people who atleast thinks overs the mishaps,is really gud to me.
    Nation really want a drastic change and we shud get ready bcoz it needs our help.

    ok bbye.

  23. mansoor

    hi gul,
    i am ur fan….
    regarding ur blog…..i completely agree wid u…
    as u have said Bajrag dal/RSS…..who have burnt christian houses….
    they have not only burnt christian houses but also thousands of muslim houses in mumbai and gujarat aswell….destroyed many families..ending many generations…anywayz….ur statement “terrorism in slums is less important than that of hotels and malls” was gud…
    tc
    bye…

  24. Rohan

    Hi,
    I would definitely like to disagree with you on some of the points which u’ve raised.

    The basic job of armed forces of any country is to provide protection. The recent tragic events in mumbai have completely exposed the inefficiency of our Armed Forces. What was the Coast Guard and Navy doing when these terrorists entered our coastal boundaries, Sleeping?

    The huge amount of money spent on these people is simply going waste. They are a Liability on our nation.If they continue functioning in the same way, there;s no use of having these much hyped forces, anyways the terrorists are going to come kill innocent people anytime they like.

    Sorry to be so dramatic, but its quite true. I really had great respect for our Armed forces but i fear its dwindling rapidly. Bravery is not to die for your Country, but to make other bastard die for his country!

    Jai Hind!

  25. Sumeet Grover

    Dear Rohan,

    I disagree to you rather. I think we are a nation of absolute speculations with no authoritative statistical data.

    Unless we have statistical data saying: ‘yes, we provide this much amount of pay to our armed forces, x amount of money is given to them to guard the seas, y% of times they receive the political command to actually have their forces on the sea etc. etc.’ I would not believe that our armed forces are inefficient.

    We should be so very proud of our armed forces. As Shobha De said in her interview during the operations going on, Would any of these coward politicians come and protect us in place of the army men? Leave that aside, they would even risk giving off their security guards to protect civilians.

    We need to mature as a nation. We need accountability from the government. We need authoritative statistics to back political decisions.

    That will be the time when this country will truly awaken, I believe!

    Until then, all my respect to the armed forces for risking their lives to protect us and not playing the ‘blame game’ of defending themselves like politicians.

    Sumeet.

  26. Avinash

    All the mayhem, that one so unfortunately witnessed has been result of a very maligned propaganda, part of a bigger and a grander scheme of things, albeit of the nature, which is completely detrimental to the very sustenance of the human race.

    Emotional mind space has far superseded the rational and logical faculty of the human mind. Its all cause and effect too end of day.

    But my heart goes out to those brave Police Constables, the MARCOS and the NSGs who braved the onslaught of heartless mercenaries in helping regain the moral confidence of the millions of our kind, who sleep peacefully in our oh so cozy cucooned environs. Eternally grateful to all of them, for enabling and ensuring we live our normal lives.

  27. Harsh

    hey gul…..

    Thats great to see your concern on the issue. Its actually a matter of deep concern for all of us . But is terror something we can really do much about it. i have gone through loads of books and am aware by now that its impossible to stop acts of terror if one has decided to cause a terror attack something like 9/11 or may be 26/11. So what do we do as Indians ? And recent terror attacks in mumbai has put some questions in my mind, I would share that with you

    1. Do we have a crisis management system in our nation?
    2. Are we safe in hands of our Armed forces , whose morale must be touching feets after sixth pay commission and who need to beg for respect and perks iorder to safeguard nation?
    3. And something like this goes on in J & K everyday but the martyrs their do not get that name coz thats a poor people region and not something like people in Taj Or Oberoi?
    4. And how are we going to the root of this issue?
    5. how do we overcome poverty?
    6. how do we stop brian wash of young and poor?
    7. Are we ready for a war?
    8. If US can go ahead on war with Iraq Why can,t we flush out terrorist camps fromp Muzaffarabad?
    9. And yes are our forces equipped well to face such untoward incidents ?
    10. are we really giving them as much as thsy deserve?

    These questions comes across mind of a citizen like me rather than wat blame game media and politicians play.. its not always good to blame politicians rather i feel there should be constitutional change for applying for a political leader rather than wat it is right now , enabling dumbs like laloo pd yadav and rabri devi to man such reputed chairs.

    Harsh

  28. DaEnigma

    Hello again Gul ..

    Muslims wid all due respect , should be given a helping hand .. and also told to be equally responsible and ACCOUNTABLE for making this country better .. r the muslims in India any different ???They are indians for Gods sake first and then Muslims! The very fact that we treat them as minority brings about two things : One : Pity (Which is not needed) Two : Insecurity (that cud be very dangerous and the example of it we are seeing now ). A larger part of the Muslim community is very Indian , and we have to accept that there are a few who deep in their minds due to several reasons and factors , have a second thought on how much an Indian they can be … this is the truth.

    Now Like someone said in the comment , We can not justify that just cos 40% of the muslims are in poverty they shud take up arms .. no matter what .. u can NOT destroy ur country and its people ! We do have a larger population of Hindus who are in poverty line .. do they participate in such terror acts .. just cos they have an empty stomach , so do christians and sikhs … we have never heard of them tryna blow themselves up to destroy their own country. I am not being biased towards Muslims .. I have muslim friends and I wud stand by them anyday.

    An act that harms people and the nation is a CRIME , no matter who does it , Hindu Muslim or sikh all wud and shud deserve the same punishment.Period.It s this fact that Muslims are a minority that actually tempts a few to feel insecure and the politicos to take advantge.

    Gul , the population of muslims when India was formed was about 8% (figure cud vary a bit), have we studied why has this figure came to 20 %, If u actually observe a muslim family , we have about 6 children or more , am not sure wat the reason is .. how then wud u expect a man to maintain himself his wife and his kids, some men marry 3 women , now we are not against that , but hey the question is .. Can u feed and educate all the children and women of ur family ??? Now do we blame the govt. for that … We need to go to the root cause .. ask why do they have so many children when they cannot look after them, and how they can be educated to control the population make them see light in the ”Lesser the family better the life”.Now do we pride in the fact that we have the second largest muslim population in the world, or do we sit and ponder , how do we make this population get more educated and make them to feel that they are an integral part of India?

    A fact … the Top Brass of almost all Terror organizations are RICH people very rich and Qualified and yes in any form of organzation u have a few top brass and the rest as ‘soldiers’, it aint the ‘soldiers’ that are more dangerous, its the Top Brains … that plan and execute the Destruction!

    Wat ever said and done .. The Army .. the foot soldiers deserve the Highest honours .. and they are the ones having their and their family members precious lives on Line. Ur right U and I eat sleep watch a movie and breathe fresh air and think of a lot of things and smile ONLY cos someone out there has the gall to stand on the line of fire with his Life standing on thin edge of Life and death!

    Terrorism has not justification , if we have to see why are all the terrorists muslims .. We have to go back deep into the study of Islam, Islma neva said ”kill” , as years turned to centuries , Farbrication of Quaran was being done and the fundamentalists took advantage! I wud suggest if u can ,read the ”Shade of Swords” By M.J.Akbar , wud shed some light , but all books give their own opinions, but then they also help understand better.

    God Bless, Keep smiling!

  29. Rajan

    Hi , gul
    u have made a point which i think is well taken . Poverty could be one of the causes for all the fundamentalist attacks in our country . but to say that only the minorities are imporvished would be wrong . the so called middle path of economy- nehruvian path has not given the due to the people . it is always the story of half baked cake the people have to eat . Either we become cmpletely capitalist and face the crunch for a short term as the world is facing now or go to complete communism where everyone gets food , shelter and clothing ad nothing else- like north korea.
    Let us look for example beyond our borders – our immediate neigbours and beyond -say B’desh , Afghanistan , pakistan – where muslims are the majority . have u come in contact with the majority of then . less then 15% can afford the same luxuries which the indian middle classes are able to afford now . is it not that the muslims wanted a Jannat for themselves and partitioned India , now they are jst going around with a begging bowl , is it india’s mistake .they are steeped in Mind set about some age old practices which have no place in modern world , like their economy , justice system and also the familial way of thinking. Like – for ex-If u are migrating to the west , u have to imbibe some values of their society too , similarly they have to come out of the mind set and try to integrate with the mainstream so they can be accorded equal status and anti poverty programmes can reach them too . Let us not forget our majority brethern too , there are many impovervished classes in the majority too ,who have been utilised by our political class as tools to fight . unless education of the masses occur – u will be seeing such attacks , but the moot point is the terrorists were from some other country – so it is an aggression on our country . As an indian i will support fellow indians , irrespective of caste , colour or religion but the terrorists are from some other place should we have such a discussion blaming ourselves for not looking after the minorities ??what moral right does a country like pakistan have to say that Muslims are not looked after in India . are the muslims in pakistan looked after well – more than 75% are below the Povertyline there . so instead of trying to justify the reason for the attacks saying disparity in incomes etc – we need to look into safeguarding our country . well the attacks did occur in the railway station too , where lot of people are not the so called affluent – so india did notice the attack there too and not only at the five star hotels where so called affluent people go .
    ur point on poverty being the root cause would have been ok if the people are from within India and if they were indians .

  30. paperplanepilot

    hello,

    What happened was perpetrated by brainwashed young muslim fundamentalists. Let us not justify their acts by citing how poor muslims are in India. I believe human beings always have a choice about what to do with their lives, no matter how dismal their circumstances.

    Having said that, I do believe a long term solution lies in economics – emancipating the many muslims in India who live in abysmal poverty would definitely foster the creation of a richer social fabric for our country.

    Regards.

  31. Prathik Rajendran M

    As far as defense background is concerned both my grand fathers were in defense. One, K Krishna Shetty in the army and Bhaskar Nair in the air force. You know both of them never asked me, I am sure never wanted me, to join the army or air force. When my Dad went to join the air force, his dad told him ‘all you’ll be is a glorified killer’. And K K Shetty was one of them who received the presidents honour and he died because his tolerance was gone, in other words he became mad, he had served the nation since he was 14. So what I am trying to convey is calling the defense personnel inefficient is such a joke cos they do so much of hard work that they don’t want their near-dear ones to under go the same pain.

    Coming back to what Gul was telling, about the Muslim population, yes we pay taxes and its the duty of the government to uplift the status of the people, but how much should the government do? There are free schools and scholarships. Let the Muslim kids study, go to colleges and then become contributing part of the society, who is stopping them? Gul, its not right to play the blame game. Its their personal fault that they are not using their brains to get a better life. An intelligent person is intelligent whether he is born in a slum or in a posh area.

  32. Ghouse Mohiddin

    Madam,

    I am completely agree with your ideas/thoughts. to getting power BJP/Sangh Parivar played Babri Card, and the
    Country is in the communal flames like never before.Muslims projected as Terrorists and Vandalisam of Bajrang dal/RSS projected as National Heroism.RSS backed organisation dominent in Coastal areas they are
    dictecting the law to the people.Hindu girl can not to speak to a Muslim boy there.Girls were attcked but the
    incharge District Minsiter says these are common things in this place.One instance i want to share when BJP came to power We some freinds are having Tea there one muslim beggar came owner gave him 1 rupee coin
    aftr some time a Hindu beggar came for begging ownr shouted him and says now dont beg come here and work here now it is the time to Muslims to beg in this state and country.This attitude will show how our mind set
    is changing.

  33. ansuman.kar

    Hi Everyone,

    The time has gone to play any blame games…. It’s high time we should realise within ourselves and evolve as better citizens and act in more responsible ways. The recent attacks in Mumbai was a major burn in India but the counrty has been facing these major and minor burns since ages, this time people came together because of the way attacks has been taken place which showed the barbaric side of humanity which our Indian society had not witnessed. But the burnt has always been there since independence, its not a matter of a Mumbai or a Bangalore anymore and stopping this wont be a easy process, well its not that difficult too.

    Aren’t we some way or the other not responsible for these ?

    We always find the easy way of doing things and dont like investing time into something which can be solved by paying moolahs, which leads to corruption , which again leads to unemployment and 1000 more such issues, i can keep on and on about. But it’s true some way or the other every thing is linked up. These issues creates frustration among people and they choose there own different ways to take there frustrations out.

    If only we could start being more responsible by understanding whats right and wrong not only for us but for the society and educating others with the same, we can build a better world slowly, steadily but surely……

    With Lots of love,

    Anshu 🙂

  34. Balraj

    Hey GUL,
    I am not fully agree with you on this sensetive issue. although I am an athiest so I can give an independent view on this issue. not any religion in this world is perfert but some religions are not in the position to defend themselves against this changing world. always remember that nothing is permanent in this world,every thing has to come to an end. And i think terrorism is an effort to save islam. If I am wrong why affgans enforced shiria laws to be in swat and want same in whole pakistan.And not only islam but you can see various hindu organisations showing aggetations against westenisation eg aggetations against velentine day.TERRORISM is just a war to save the religion.Hindu fundamentalist are also responsible for giving reason to the muslims by destorying babri masjid to become terrorist.I think after the demolation of babri masjid it is easy for the terrorist groups to crrupt the minds of muslims.And not only poor but pepole like computer experts in Yahoo.com earning 1 lakh per month become chief of Indian Mujahideen.
    I was just watching reports on TV about the terror strike on ShriLankan Team.The repoter was saying that in pakistan the mindset of people of pakistan is that of a terrorists.Although they don’t show from outside but they have sympthy with these terrorists. I am nat saying that all the pakistanies are terrorist but there is a large population who supports these terrorists.Not only pakistan but Iran and some other countries are supporting them, because without support they can’t be so powerfull.

    Many more to say but having not enough time
    OK bey! See You again

  35. feroz_77

    Hi Gul

    your words are so encouraging and I Abide on what you have expressed:

    and I want to express my thoughts on this Serious Issue

    I would like to salute every single officer involved in the Mumbai terror attacks. As an Indian I offer condolences to the families who lost or sacrificed their lives. We all are alive today because of the sacrifices made by the security forces and apart from saluting them I will always be thankful to them for securing millions of Indian families. The Personnel’s are true heroes of this country and lets ensure that they are treated well, paid well ( much more than the political jokers) and martyrs families are taken care off. The Indian government should take off the High Level (viz., Y or Z) security from all the politicians and spend that money on the betterment of the security forces and providing aid to families of those officers who got killed. Loyalty is a word which no politician in this country has ever learnt they simply doesn’t know the meaning of loyal & also they fail to express required Gratitude to people and also they fail to learn lessons of moral values (which they never learnt as they never went to school, plz show me one Literate Politician). Our security forces are much precious to us than any politician alive today. I think we can easily bargain the lives of all members of Parliament for the life of even one small single havaldar & even common man in any small town of India, everybody are tired of this blame game(by politicians) which is not at all improving the situation of the country. “Enough is Enough” and Mr. Politician you better understand what we are Expressing, and if you don’t then very soon there will be a civil war in this country but not among the religious groups but against the politicians. The people will ensure that each small or big Neta will be given such terrifying public punishment so that no single politician from the generation Next will ever think of disrespecting the country in anyway. Let’s start the Campaign right away… This Voice is Common Man’s Voice (India’s & Every Indian’s Voice)… Be Indian, Live for India, Work for India and Die for India.

    JAI HIND……………

    Feroz

  36. shah

    hi gul,
    completely agree with ur comments . you are a very educated and articulate individual and india needs citizens like you . By the way ur perfomance is straight was awsome.
    regards
    a fan of urs

  37. Hitesh @maletwittur

    Hi,

    A cheerful feeling pervades me when I read a celebrity genuinely pouring her heart out abt what she feels. Thanks! u change many stereotypes about “celebrities” with these words …towards the better 🙂 26/11 hit me in its entirety when Sandeep Unnikrishnan was cremated in my neighbourhood.He was a Bangalorean like me.I vowed to never ever look down upon Cops,Armed forces or anyone in public service for that matter,whether they are corrupt or not is immaterial for this vow.It also made me think “If he wasn’t cremated here,I wouldn’t have given a damn” sorry if I’m offending anyone with these comments,but my truth needs to be told too.As of now, there are many Rathore’s going about abusing their power as u reading this and me typing. I need to convey to you the feeling I got when I saw these Soldiers who had come to take the ashes pot from the cremation ground.No nothing dramatic,just normal people like me,yet such grace in they way the carried themselves.There was a civilian also who had come to the cremation ritual who was yakking away about “these muslims” “it’s all their fault” . I don’t think my lethargic view of “If he wasn’t cremated here,I wouldn’t have given a damn” is a lesser evil than the Hindu fanatic”these muslims” .I stood there and I knew Sandeep Unnikrishnan (NSG) gave his life to protect us both.

    Let’s respect the effort and sacrifices of people who care about India.If we cant live like brothers ,Then friends perhaps.Because our lives r “bheek” of these brave people who silently gave it .Let’s be the India they are literally dying to protect.

    Please accept my apologies if i have offended you in anyway,but sometimes ugly truth needs to be told in all its glory.

  38. Kapil

    WELL THE WORD ‘SECULAR’ HAS IT’S OWN MEANING IN INDIA. The people who shows empathy towards muslims to seek their votes, hw would they allow them to develop??? Thus so called ‘secular’ people of this country always want muslim of this country to be backward thus they can leverage over it. ” SONE KE ANDE DENE WALI MURGI KOI KATATA HAI KYA?????” Thus this is bound to happen beautiful lady until we have a ‘secular’ politics !!!!!

  39. Kartik Mistry

    Isn’t terrorist also ‘misguided youths’?

  40. Abhishek Thakur

    Hi Gul,
    I m 100% agree with you, but tell me don’t you think the rich Muslims are also involved in terrorist activities. They are engineers, professors who are conducting this activities.

    As far as army, I always respect them, please convey my message to your father that “we are proud of you people and respect you alot. Because of you, we are safe.”

    This is a serious issue and I don’t think it will solve without the interference of Politicians.

    Lets hope for the best!!

    Regards
    Abhishek Thakur

  41. Samir Sirohi

    Hi Gul,

    I just wanted to point a fact that you have mentioned in your article –

    “Have you ever taken into consideration the Islamic population of India? It’s in the region of 18 to 20%. The figures keep on varying. Do you know what percent of Islamic population is living below the poverty line? It’s 40%”.

    Here, you should have given the percentage of Muslims which constitute the population of India living under poverty line and not the percentage of Islamic population which is under poverty line.
    According to Wikipedia, 42% population of India is below poverty line and you have mentioned that 40% of Islamic population is below poverty line. So, i think that is normal.

    Wikipedia quote- ” According to the a 2005 World Bank estimate, 42% of India’s falls below the international poverty line of $1.25 a day (PPP, in nominal terms Rs. 21.6 a day in urban areas and Rs 14.3 in rural areas); having reduced from 60% in 1980.[2] ”

    I hope you get my point.

    Samir Sirohi
    NIT,Surat.

  42. Bharath R

    Gul, I certainly agree with your points regarding poverty and due representation to all people. I do believe that distrimination occurs and double standards exist. However, by talking of this issue along with terrorism a few lines apart confuses the picture. Lawlessness and violence is wrong, whatever the cause the perpetrators may claim to motivate them. It is imperative for leaders of all communities to emphasize this. Bharath R

  43. Tabrez Khan

    With due respect 2 all…i ve gone thru few of the comments & d write up Gul has mentioned…as a Muslim i wud like to put forward few points….

    First…am an educated individual emplyed in 1 of the largest pvt bank…evry1 in my family is educated & earned respect in their field n society….we are 7 in family 3 bros, 2 sisters, Mom & dad….was once begins our early life in a very dull chawl…u can say slum..with goons & all the anti social elements were common thr. My mom struggled alot 4 our studies.

    When i completed my schooling i ve started working to help my family & also to fund my college fees. Then we shifted to some nice society with decent ppl.Slowly steadily i got promoted & now am in a position to buy a house but not in a Muslim locality nor in a Hindu but with decent people.

    Am now totally in confused state of mind…u knw why my mom & few muslim relatives who has witness the brutal killings of 1992 riots have their memories fresh in their minds..they warned me dont bliv on others they r not worth to trust. But i always pacify her that the time has changed nothing as such will happen.

    I nvr had muslim friends…because the way they thinks never matched my freqeuncy…i ve lots of friends who understands me n my thoughts…cause i believe in Humanity first…then an Indian & then a Muslim.Thr r instances whr i ve being called as Pakistani which is the worst thing a muslim in India can bear.But the question is…Is evryone thinks the same way as i do? Can i take guarantee that nothing will happen to my family unlike 1992 riots ?

    Okie…i was in a state of mind that my Mumbai city is the best in the world…& being an Indian i enjoy every sort of festivals wholeheartedly….i respects every religions….well it ends the day when i step out to buy a flat in my great city & till now since two years am failed to do so.

    Reasons:-

    (1) Being a salaried working individual i have to abide the rules laid down by all financial institutions.

    Agreed !!!

    (2) Dont have any other source of income…so for a flat as per prescribed rules i have to drop most of the muslim dominated areas being in the negative area list

    I even dont want to stay there too & also i ve a reason for my mom to explain here.

    (3) We are in India…thats feel so proud & its 2010…city is Mumbai..the commercial capital…

    Am so proud..everything feels nice n gud untill u encountered difficulties.

    (4) 30% deals are not in full agreement cases…10% Societies doesnt allow Non-Veg eating community

    I agreed it too. Why dont i…am an Indian…If U dont gv respect how can u expect it.

    (5) But the rest 60% of the projects doesnt allow Muslims at all…

    Am shocked felt disappointed. Not once, twice…it keeps on happening & feels insulted wherever i have gone…there are several affordable housing projects which are underconstructions/future plans in the Western Suburbs of Mumbai especially between Dahisar to Virar which are planning to be built only for Hindu population Muslims not allowed.

    Low cost housing…affordable housing…luxurious housing with affordable price…all these options are available only for Hindus…it hurts a lot…when u suffer in ur own country. When people dishonour u like this.

    Most of the times when i came out i said to myself its 2010…whts happening & its Mumbai…whos right n whos wrong….

    Still am searching for my home in a nice locality with gud people…

    Great this are the mechanisms unsaid untold but with a view to exploit a certain set of community the reason why Muslims are lagging behind…cause thr r ppl with a feeling its a land of HINDUS not Indians….No interventions on part of Government bodies, do you believe this is not known to them…a kind of partiality is in practice n noone even bothered, there many other Muslims like me who wants to improve their standard of living but cause of no option they have to survive in that same old Muslim dominated…cluttered area & then declare that area NEGATIVE. So that they nvr progress or grow.

    If they try to speak out refer them “Terrorist” & then hit them.

    Going thru the content above people must have felt the tone that i had earlier & now its changed.

    People who say Muslims doesnt want to grow tell me…”What I should do now!!! Listen to my mom & buy a house in a Muslim dominated area & be like one. Or Behave like the one who are just commenting on such websites without knwing the facts behind it.

    Regards,
    Tabrez Khan

  44. Dinesh Karia

    Dear Gul,

    Before everything, let me make a bold statement that there are chances that part reading of my views might be misleading. If you read, read it fully. I love my Muslim friends. Many of them have loved my mother when they see that we changed the mind of our parents about eating the veg food cooked in the home of Muslim and to eat with them sharing the same line in their home. So, before reaching any conclusion about my thinking, please read the following fully.

    I agree with what you say here. However, even you have braced the important and inevitable phrase “what ever the reasons”. Dear it will be a blindfold game to ignore this whatever. The real cruelty lies deep inside the reasons. We compare (and of course we must) the social status, the level of jobs, the income of Indian Muslims with the rest of Indians; and we have to accept that there is huge gap between these two levels. Now for some time let us take the whole of Muslim population of the rest of the World and compare their level with Indian Muslim. When we notice the huge difference here too, we surely appreciate the life of Indian Muslim.

    Now let us come to the vertices on the world map where the Muslims are enjoying life like you and I. Think of the factors responsible for their prosperity. You will surely find Turkey on the crest!!! Why? The one and the only answer is that they have come out of the “chungal” grip of their religious leaders.

    Let us agree that wherever there is the “Kingdom” of Religious Gurus in our remote Hindu areas, the people have not prospered. The only reason is: The Mullajis and The Pandajis are afraid if the common mass is educated, if they come out of the so-called rituals in the name of religions, the Mullas and the Pandajis will not earn bread and butter.

    How many Muslim are advised to follow the rituals to the extent that they cannot go to the schools other than madrasa? Note that enlighten Hindu is not the one who wears the sacred thread, but the one who is ready to embrace each and every sufferer irrespective of his race and religion. We embraced Parsis, we took Buddha as one of the incarnation. We truly believe that Jains are a part of the Hindus. We have accommodated very recent reformer Sajanand as the Lord and have a full sect called Swaminarayana sect. Had we considered Sikhs as foreign to Hindu religion, we would not have families in Punjab where one brother is having Kesh, Kanga, Kachcha and Kirpan and the other without it. Let us note and agree on how much open we are as the society.

    As a whole Muslim society is lacking this openness, unfortunate for them. On the contrary, still we are debating what the words Jihad and Kafir mean. Whatever may be their lexical meaning, does it matter? What matters is the meaning in the mind of people who practice it.

    So, the best is to launch the true reforms for Muslims to rescue them from those who love their illiteracy, the Mullaji, the Imamji.

    A couple of days back, I tweeted about the combination of brain and beauty (of course not rare but rarely noticed). Yes, before seeing you on WTP I did not know even iota about you. After that surprisingly, I found some tweets from you on Barkha’s timeline. Just liked to follow you and the gift of it? I just read your tweet referencing this and I came here to find a very lucidly written views of yours. Now I can say the Film Industry has female brains too. If you act in any meaningful film carrying any message, please do not forget to tweet me at “dineshjk”

    Love and Regards,

    Dinesh

  45. Vinay

    Ms, Gul Panaga,

    Nice article and good to see your concerns and thoughts, I agree on overall orientation and summarization. Although I agree that radicals point out people below poverty lines, %age of people below poverty line is 40% in whole India, it is not only muslims. (courtsey: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty_in_India).
    I share your views on forces, but government and judicial system is to blame. There is should stringent laws and more importantly execution to eradication fundamentalism at roots. Politicians should stop playing caste politics.

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