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People's Truth: "Attacks in Mumbai – causes and solution"

People's Truth: "Attacks in Mumbai – causes and solution"

2 February 2009. A World to Win News Service. Following are excerpts from an article in the January-March 2009 (no. 4) issue of People's Truth, an Indian Maoist publication that appeared after the suppression of People's March (

We weep not for the death of the corrupt and fascistic police officers but for the innocent citizens of Mumbai wantonly killed in the attack of 26 November. We weep not for the Tatas, Oberois [owners of the hotels attacked] and other bigwigs of India and abroad but for the innocent employees and professionals caught in the crossfire between the Islamic militants and the Indian State. The taking of innocent lives will not put an end to the terror of the U.S. gangsters and their Indian stooges aimed at the people in general and Muslims in particular. The target of any just movement must be the very perpetrators of the evil and their political and financial backers.

On 26 November 2008, Islamic militants, it appears from Pakistan and POK [Pakistani-occupied Kashmir], launched a sophisticated attack in many places of Mumbai, killing an estimated 250 people and injuring over 500, a number of whom were foreigners. The main focus of the attack was the two most elite hotels of Mumbai, the Taj and Oberoi, and the Israeli centre, Nariman House. They shot also randomly at people at the Victoria Terminal train station and also at the neighbouring Cama hospital. Around the Metro station (one kilometre from VT) they shot and killed ATS (Anti-Terrorist Squad) chief Karkare, ACP Ashok Kamte and "encounter specialist" Salaskar. In the battle at the Taj, a major and Havildar of the NSG [National Security Guard] were killed.  In all it was reported that at least 16 police/NSG men were killed. Reportedly nine of the militants were killed and one was arrested in an injured state.

On 27 November, as the gun battles were on, a Hindi eveninger from Delhi (Sandhya Times) reported that one of the militants holed up at the Oberoi rang up a TV channel and put forward the following demands, speaking in Hindi: 1) Stop disturbing (tang) Muslims in India, 2) Act like the destruction of the Babri Masjid disturbed us [a mosque in Ayodhya torn down in 1992 by a Hindu chauvinist mob led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) – the mosque was never rebuilt and no one was punished], 3) Release all mujahiddin [Islamic fundamentalist fighters] that are in Indian Jails, and 4) Only after releasing them will we release the hostages held in the hotel. But instead of negotiating with the attackers the Indian government and their advisors in the U.S. and Britain began a massive attack, which resulted in a three-day battle and the loss of enormous lives. Also these demands [were] never propagated and consciously suppressed, and the entire public is made to believe that they had no demands. What has been fed by the media to the public is only the official version that has numerous loopholes – even the body count mentioned has kept varying...

The real facts behind this incident will probably never come to light but the government will utilize it to further whip up a phobia and increase the fascist terror in the country. But the question is, why do these Islamic militants adopt such desperate means to fight their battles?

Internationally it is the result of the U.S.'s brutal attacks on Iraq, Afghanistan, threats to Iran and attacks on Muslims in all corners of the globe. Many of the mujahiddin were in fact trained by the U.S. itself during the years of its contention with the USSR. Lacking a scientific ideology and having only the limited ideology of Islamic fundamentalism many of these groups only act out of a sense of injustice and revenge with no clear-cut military perspective. Killing people at random is in effect counterproductive and only assists the state apparatus to create a fear psychosis to introduce its own terror laws and acts.

In India the rulers, egged on by their imperialist masters, have created hysteria against Muslims in a conscious bid to divide the masses of the country. It is not only the BJP and their fascist outfits that resort to such Hindutva [Hindu chauvinist] psychosis, but all the political parties do so in one way or another. Muslims have been massacred but never is any Hindu fascist apprehended, except some petty scapegoats. The ATS of Mumbai has a horrible record of humiliating, torturing and harassing Muslims in the city. Ever since 1992, when it was formed, at regular intervals, it has been raiding Muslim bastis [settlements]and picking up hundreds of Muslim youth, beating, torturing and extracting confessions from them. Hundreds are falsely charged and incarcerated in jails. No Muslim is secure in the hands of these forces. And then there is the Kashmir factor, which is virtually a nation under occupation by the Indian forces. We have just witnessed the horrors unleashed on the people of Kashmir and the resultant anger.

In Pakistan the situation is highly complex after the dismissal of the Musharraf regime. In the U.S. geo-political strategy Pakistan is an important factor in Afghanistan and against the Taleban. A section of the ISI [the powerful Inter-Service Intelligence] and army continue to have pro-Taleban and Islamic sentiments, while the major sections bow to the U.S.'s plans. The action in Mumbai seems to be by elements from the POK region and could be non-state forces with high levels of training by secretive ISI or military personnel or could be by a section of the ISI itself. The former is the more likely.

Since this action the ruling classes of both the countries have whipped up war hysteria and have conveniently utilized the event to divert from the serious problems of both countries. In the wake of the financial meltdown worldwide Pakistan’s economy virtually went bankrupt creating much economic hardships to the masses. Besides, there is need for the ruling elite in the armed forces, who dictate policy in that country, to divert attention from their "failures" on the eastern front. India too needs to divert attention from the horrifying effects already being felt by the worldwide economic crisis, as well as from the recent exposures of the Hindutva fascists' involvement in terrorist acts.

Besides, the Muslim community India is heavily infiltrated by the Indian intelligence, and often innocent youth are provoked to throw bombs amongst the people (mostly poor) to enable the State to whip up their hysteria and resort to greater terrorist acts. Here too instead of joining with genuine democratic and revolutionary forces in the country, some of them turn to Islamic fundamentalism. Many are of course pushed in that direction due to lack of a consistent opposition of these forces against the Hindutva brigade and in fact a soft Hindutva upper-caste approach of many a so-called democrat and even revolutionary.

Though such random attack serves no real purpose and many an innocent are killed, the only solution to the problem is to grant Azadi [freedomindependence from both occupiers, India and Pakistan] to the Kashmiri people, stop the attacks on innocent Muslims in the country, wind up the Hindu fascist networks and stop playing stooge to the U.S. ruling gangsters. As and when such steps are taken such acts will immediately stop. Innocent civilians should not be targeted in these battles. But for both the Islamic fundamentalists and the U.S. or Indian State, they will not care. For the Islamist fundamentalists they treat all non-Muslims as enemies, so kill at random; for the state force killing of civilians is mere "collateral damage" and so justified. It is with this approach that in the latest attack the Islamists killed innocents and the Indian government did not even try and negotiate and let all the hostages be killed.

Ironically at a meeting of top police officers and Home ministry officials, held just a couple of days before this attack, the Prime Minister waxed eloquent on how the Naxalites [Maoists] are the prime threat to the internal security of the country, though he knows very well that all such bomb blasts in the public places and such attacks are never a part of the Maoist agenda. He continues his tirade against Naxalites, whose only agenda is fighting for the poverty-stricken masses of the country. The PM and his cohorts must realize that where the Naxalite influence is not there is all likelihood of anarchic violence spontaneously bursting out due to the polices of the ruling class that is marginalizing vast swaths of our people. This includes not only the Muslims but also the dalits [so-called “untouchables], the unorganised workers and the vast mass of peasantry.

After this attack the biggest danger has come with the imperialist agencies entering in hordes and U.S. top officials descending on the two countries like vultures. The entrance of U.S., British and Israeli intelligence in India has been given legitimacy as a reaction to the attack and is not seen as an infringement of the sovereignty of the country. The U.S. top officials cannot at present risk another war in this region when it is bogged down in Afghanistan The diversion of Pakistani forces to the western border would entail shifting troops from the east, easing thereby the pressure on the Taleban, thereby impacting U.S. military operations in that region.

Besides, with these attacks the government will get greater legitimacy to introduce draconian laws and the Hindutva fascists will regain some legitimacy which was lost with the exposure of Sangh Parivar people [a grouping of Hindu fundamentalist parties, including the BJP] being involved in acts of terror.

The candlelight processions throughout the country have involved a section of the population demanding that more stringent laws be imposed and thereby creating the atmosphere for draconian legislation. As a journalist Pankaj Pachuri said (The Hindu, 6 December), "There is a price to pay for what a country and its people have been doing, a thoroughly corrupt police force, a criminal justice system that has all but collapsed, no action against rioters as with Gujarat 2002 [an infamous anti-Muslim massacre in which Hindu mobs killed as many as several thousand people, led by governing party of the state of Gujarat, the BJP], no action after the demolition of the Babri Masjid 16 years ago, etc. There can be no stopping groups of people taking the law into their own hands and resorting to terrorism when the rule of law cannot redress grave wrongs done to thousands of victims" And the noted lawyer Prashant Bhushan cautioned against any attempt to turn India into a police state. "There is no state where security measures were stiffer than in Israel, yet it is constantly plagued by insecurity. Security lies in addressing people's grievances and problems, not in acquiring guns".

In India the attack on minorities, whether Muslims or Christians are part of the fascist polices to divert the people, particularly necessary at a time of such economic crisis. And as the crisis deepens, which it is bound to, such diversionary attacks will only increase, combined with ruthless attacks on the struggling masses. The only real recourse to this is for the struggling masses, including the oppressed minorities and castes, to unite in a common struggle against the enemy and not resort to such random and counter-productive acts of violence. It is essential that one clearly distinguishes enemies from friends, without which no battle can be won, no matter how just the cause.        
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