Will India be the next terror hub?


Whenever there is a terrorist attack in India the fingers of suspicion are pointed towards Pakistan. Because Pakistan has a stated policy of “bleeding India through a thousand cuts”. Its terror infrastructure – numerous madrasas, radical clerics, utterly fanatic religious atmosphere, arms training camps, patronage from the state – all contribute to Pakistan’s predominant position as terror exporter. The recent Pulwama terror attack, which claimed the lives of more than 40 soldiers, was a handiwork of Jaish-e-Mohammed, a Pakistan based Islamic terrorist organization. So, Pakistan has all the ecosystem to support the growth of Islamic terror. Now Pakistan is paying a heavy price for its sins. Scores of Pakistanis are dying in sectarian violence, it is facing increasing isolation on the international arena, its economy is in doldrums, it is reeling under separatist movements in some of its provinces, and its enmity with almost all of its neighbors is turning increasingly intense. Many analysts say that Pakistan is currently facing an existential crisis and we need not feel surprised if it goes down the drain in the coming years. That is the toxic harvest you reap if you aid and abet terrorism.

Now, look at India. The Sri Lankan army chief, Lt. Gen. Senanayake, in an interview given to the BBC, spoke about the terror attacks in his country and their India connection. He confirmed the reports that the terrorists who planned and executed the Easter Sunday bombings in the island nation had visited India for training and networking. He stated, “They have gone to India, they’ve gone to Kashmir, Bangalore (Bengaluru); they’ve travelled to Kerala State. Those are the information available with us.” When asked about the activities the attackers undertook in Kashmir and Kerala, the Army chief said: “Not exactly, but definitely in some sorts of training or to make some more links towards the other organizations outside the country.”

So, the reports make one thing very clear. That the Islamic terrorists who indulged in murder and mayhem in the island nation had visited India to receive “some sort of training”. Now the question arises what sort of training did they receive? As far as ideological indoctrination is concerned, India has world-class facilities in the form of its teeming madrasas. It is the home to the world’s most notorious madrasa, Darul Uloom Deoband that developed the Deobandi school of Islamic thought, which is a guiding philosophy even to the madrasas in Pakistan. These madrasas are home to many radical clerics who indulge in a lot of “Jihadi” outcry. So Indian seminaries are fully equipped to manufacture hardened fanatics. But, did the terrorists who visited India also receive training in using weapons and manufacturing explosive devices?

NIA has recently raided the houses of some terror sympathizers in Kerala and even arrested a youth who was planning a suicide attack. But these actions appear to be only token measures and a lot must be done to combat the thriving Islamist terror in the country.

The reports emerging from Sri Lanka in the aftermath of the Easter Sunday attacks send ominous signals to India. They remind India about the dangers of Islamist terror and the need for taking effective countermeasures to combat it. Otherwise, the day is not far away when India will also become a hub for manufacturing and exporting terror. And when that happens we will also have to reap its poisonous harvest.

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