Former prime minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif, made a stunning revelation on Saturday. “Militant organisations are active. Call them non-state actors — should we allow them to cross the border and kill 150 people in Mumbai? Explain it to me. Why can’t we complete the trial?” he said.
This is a clear confession on the role of the Pakistani State in perpetrating the heinous 26/11 attacks on Mumbai. This fact coming to light has very major internal political implications for India as well.
It can be recalled that a book titled, 26/11: RSS ki Saazish? (26/11: An RSS Conspiracy?) was authored by Aziz Burney, the then editor-in-chief of Sahara Urdu newspaper. The contents of the book insinuated that the attacks happened as a result of a joint conspiracy between RSS, CIA, and Mossad.
The said book was inaugurated by Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh not once but twice, once in Delhi and then in Mumbai again. The inauguration event in Mumbai in December 2010 was also attended by the then Congress MLA Kripashanker Singh, Bollywood director Mahesh Bhatt, the then Samajwadi Party MLA Abu Azmi, and former Maharashtra IGP SM Mushrif, who had himself authored Who Killed Karkare? — another controversial book.
To be fair to Burney, he did apologise for the title of his book shortly after the launch of the book. However, other public figures who attended the inauguration of the book have chosen to be mum till now. No apology of any kind was returned by Digvijaya, Kripashankar, Azmi, etc.
Having said that, a mere apology is also not enough to repatriate the damage which these people did to not only the public image of the RSS but also the posturing of our country at the international level. By this ludicrous proposition, they planted a doubt in the minds of the international community about the definitive role of Pakistan in the 26/11 attacks.
Though the hypothesis of the controversial book was made highly redundant when David Headley testified corroborating the role of the Pakistani State in perpetrating the Mumbai attacks.
Now, in the light of the confession by Sharif, India not only deserves an apology from these politicians with folded hands but should also criminally prosecute these individuals for willfully instigating discontent in the society.
The Indian Penal Code under Section 153A makes someone criminally liable who promotes enmity between different groups on the ground of religion. Also, under Section 153B, one whose actions are prejudicial to the national integration of our country, is made criminally liable as well.
Clearly, Digvijaya, Kripashankar, and his ilk have a criminal liability under these provisions not just towards the RSS but also towards the nation as a whole.
These incidents are also indicative of the politics of the Congress, which rests not on a constructive agenda but a destructive one, even if it comes at the cost of the reputation and integrity of the country.
It is surprising that the political class of India, especially that of the Congress and Samajwadi Party, has no sense of accountability before practicing such divisive politics. It is incumbent upon the Congress and the Samajwadi Party to show these leaders their place and tender a collective apology, much like what was done to Mani Shankar Aiyar.
It is also up to Indians as responsible citizens of the country that they don’t let the political discourse touch this nadir, where winning an election becomes much more important for the political parties than catering to the national interest of the country.
The author is a senior fellow with the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Bombay, Mumbai.
Updated Date: May 13, 2018 15:21 PM