Terrorism legitimised in West Bengal: State administered by non-state actors
by Col Diptangshu Chaudhury
In Bengal, the sense of the new country of Bangladesh and the state of West Bengal in India, live one of the largest Muslim populations anywhere in the world. Their concentration is the densest in the Indian Subcontinent and their present aggregate makes them the second largest Muslim population in the world after Indonesia.
The claim of a group of protagonists led by Khondoker Fuzli Rubbee(1895) who believed that the vast majority of the Muslim population in Bengal were descendants of the Muslim immigrants does not hold ground on the basis of a Census Report of 1870(Ahmed 1981). It contains the division-wise figures of the Muslims who claimed that their ancestors had come from lands in the west: only about 2% of the total Muslim population of Bengal claimed foreign origin. Dispassionate studies have not failed to recognise the fact that conversion played a more dominant role in swelling the ranks of the Muslims in Bengal.
Recognising conversion as an important factor in the spread of Islam in Bengal, Abdul Karim (1959) emphasised the role of the sultans, Muslim ulema (legalists and scholars) and mashaikhs (spiritual guides) in the growth of the Muslim society in Bengal.In a society which had absorbed all in-coming socio-religious ideas with its own liberal social attitudes, where Brahmanical religious ideas could not find firm roots in the society, where the aboriginal rights and rituals persisted to such a degree that the incoming religious rites had to undergo changes and transformations, where the humanistic ideas of Buddhism found a congenial atmosphere and had imbibed the ‘personality’ of the region with its sense of tolerance and humanism, the fresh imposition of orthodoxy and the resultant stringent socio-religious stratification of the society were bound to create a reaction.
Against the backdrop of this socio-religious turmoil, it is not unnatural to think of large-scale conversion. The ‘personality’ which had long nursed liberal ideals found ‘asylum’ in the liberal brotherhood of Islam. So Islam grew manifolds with slow illegal infiltration to West Bengal post partition in 1947 and increased manifold post-1971. They soon found safe haven under the protected umbrella of the Congress, Communist and now the Trinamool government all out to gave them the legitimacy of citizens rights with home delivery of citizens documents for only vote bank politics. The already constrained resources of the State was further shared with illegal immigrants and the legal heirs of the land were denied their legitimate rights of the land.
Uninspired by the need to safeguard India’s national security, Mamata Banerjee government supports jihadis on West Bengal soil, who aims to establish an Islamic Caliphate in the West Bengal and Assam by driving out non-Muslims.
In 2014, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee refused to meet the US charge d’affaires ambassador, Kathleen Stephens during her visit to Kolkata because she got a call from Mohammed Noor-Ur-Rehman Barkat, Imam of Tipu Sultan Mosque of Kolkata.The imam and other leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami warned her against developing business ties with the US. Thus Mamata Banerjee presented herself as being keen to be seen as anti-US and pro-radical Islamist.
Things went to a dangerous extent when she forced Sharada group to buy at an inexplicable huge price a pro-Islamic newspaper, Kalom owned by Ahmed Hassan Imran, former state chief of SIMI who has links with radical Islamic outfits across the border. These days Imam Barkati of Tipu Sultan mosque is practically calling the shots of administration and the puppet government nods in consonance.
Imran and his alleged connections were behind the communal violence that took place in South 24 Parganas district in February 2014. A document revealed that Imran was the mastermind behind the communal conflict at Naliakhali village in South Bengal. Imran was rewarded with a Membership of Parliament by Mamata in February 2014, despite the West Bengal police’s negative report.In the 2014 general elections in India, Jamaat-e-Islami had openly canvassed for the TMC—Abdul Barik Biswas was seen on a dais with Trinamool MLA actress Debasree Roy.
The state government blocked a liberation anniversary rally in Kolkata in 2013 and instead, gave support to Jamaat-e-Islami to organise its own anti-India show of strength. A massive rally was held in Kolkata on 30 March 2013, explicitly against India’s liberation of Bangladesh and in support of Pakistan and the war criminals already convicted. Various Muslim groups, including the All Bengal Minority Council, the All Bengal Minority Youth Federation, the
Madrassa Students Union, the Muslim Think Tank and the All Bengal Imam Muazzin Association, organised the rally.Students of madrassas and the new Aliah Madrassa University were conspicuous at the gathering. Incidentally, it was from the same ground Maidan in August 1946 that the call for ‘direct action’ was given by the Muslim League. The way the March 2012 Maidan meeting and 2016 Park Circus maidan were facilitated and the manner in which Sidiqullah received permission for the gathering and was allowed to spew poison against India indicate that there exists a tacit support by West Bengal’s ruling party for the increasing volubility of these groups and for their unhampered consolidation of Militant Islamists in West Bengal.
The Jamaat-e-Islami and other jihadists at the Kolkata rally thundered that West Bengal would be “cleansed” of the enemy of Islam.
This assertion is worrisome, as Islamic forces in Bangladesh have initiated a wave of violent attacks on Hindus and Buddhists and destroyed Hindu and Buddhist homes, businesses and places of worship.Mamata made her electoral deal with the pro-jihadist Jamaat-e-Islami responsible for unleashing an orgy of violence against the Hindu population of Bangladesh and responsible for actors of terror in India.
The NIA had pointed to Mamata Banerjee that 500 recognised and 4,000 unrecognised Madrassas are engaged in indoctrination, recruitment, training and sheltering of jihadis. As per the NIA, there are 58 terror modules operating in the state. The objective of the jihadi outfits in West Bengal is to provide a safe conduit for manpower resources to al-Qaeda and ISIS.Another area of concern for security agencies is the mushrooming of Muslim organisations, many of them in the form of NGOs with more of political-religious agenda and cross-border sources of funding.
According to West Bengal Minority Affairs Department, 400 Islamist NGOs cropped up during 2012 and 2013 and 350 in 2015 and 2016.Indicating the Dawood Ibrahim-ISI-Jamaat network’s deep penetration in West Bengal, Kolkata is now the hub of terror funding business. Mehdi Masroor Biswas, arrested by Bangalore police earlier in 2015 for operating a pro-ISIS Twitter is the new breed of the well-to-do, educated, tech-savvy Bengali jihadist from Kolkata.
West Bengal-born Mehdi was an electrical engineer with an MNC, his father is a retired government employee. One cannot forget the fact that in the last decade and a half, every major terrorist activity has a West Bengal connection. One of five identified in the Delhi blasts was Mehboobque Ali Mandal of North 24 Parganas West Bengal.
It’s significant to note that Mamata has never criticised the Jamaat-e-Islami or any other terrorist organisation. She did raise the issue of persecution of religious minorities during her Bangladesh visit in February 2015. If politics and power blinds her, neither she nor the state will be spared from being consumed by jihadi fire.
The rise of Narendra Modi and Indian Nationalism is a great opportunity to save Eastern India. Indeed, Modi has been giving great attention to eastern India’s development and security needs. Indians of eastern India should not miss this opportunity to revive their past glory by rooting out jihadis.We the people of this State believe in coexistence of all religions, caste, creed and history says it all but continuous persecution of Hindus for ethnic cleansing and taking over land of the State as was the model in Bangladesh must be stopped at any cost coz we are answerable to our generation next and not to sway like Mamata Banerjee for her myopic vote bank politics.
Col Diptangshu Chaudhury
Founder chairman, Swadhiakar Bangla Foundation.