By K.N. Pandita
The new phase of Indo-Pak stand off is that of Pakistan-based elements unleashing social media sites to fan communal hatred and frenzy in various vulnerable and sensitive parts of our country. They are using the internet media to whip up passions, create panic and continue stoutly with their disinformation campaign. It means those indulging in these subversive activities are fully in know of some loose ends of Indian civil society. Ironically these malefactors have been doing good homework to achieve the objective they ardently pursue.
Why can’t our sleuths and intelligence brigades think of at least forestalling such subversive attempts by the enemy if not countering these with more effective retaliation? The 43-page report of the Home Ministry on the misuse of social media sites says that indications of this calumny were to be noticed as early as 13 July this year. The question is why did the Home Ministry sleep over the matter and come out with its report only when damage had been done? Thousands of citizens from NE left the States of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra in a state of panic, anger and despondency. Its consequences are dire though yet to surface. It is extension of regional politics and strategy.
Anti-India propaganda is extensively disseminated in Pakistan ever since the Islamic State for the Muslims of the sub-continent was born. India never seriously took up with Pakistani authorities the question of stopping hate-India campaign in that country. Generation after generation of Pakistani youth has been brought up with deep and pervasive hate-India psychosis. This should have been the top priority with our national leadership whenever bilateral talks were held on various issues. It never happened till hate-India mindset got institutionalized in Pakistan. In its hundreds of thousands of religious seminaries, hate-India and hate-Hindu teachings become the part of curricula. This is supported by stupendous task of distorting the pre-independence history of India. The Muslims are shown as perennially oppressed and the Hindus as perennial oppressors. Even in formal educational institutions of that country, nobody ever raises eyebrow on blatant distortions made in the pre-independence history. What can be expected of the Pakistani civil society from which the present generation of rulers and soldiers is thrown up? To them hate India has become an article of faith which nobody would be prepared to distance from. Therefore to expect that Pakistani government, its institutions or broad sections of society will behave like a patent civilized society responding to the established norms of international relationship is only wishful thinking. On the occurrence of such and other incidents that severely endanger our social construct, the government is paralyzed to the extent that besides issuing a statement of disapproval, it has nothing else to do and leave the matter there. Yes, of course, our leaders will pontificate profusely and dole out instalments of advice to the people who are equally non-responsive. “Whatever happened in Assam is a matter of great sorrow and concern. Swift action should be taken against those responsible for the incident, whoever they are,” sermonizes the Congress chief while addressing a ceremony to confer the 20th Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhawana Award. If this is what this mainstream party sincerely believes in, one may ask where it was when ethnic cleansing of minority community took place in Kashmir in 1990. The party never expressed an iota of “sorrow and concern” over that happening and never till date demanded “swift action against those responsible”. Some commentators try to convince us that Assam imbroglio its own creation.
In the context of persistent inimical stance of Pakistan, and its so-called non-state actors who consider India their arch-enemy, and are determined to continue their subversion, the reaction of Pakistani government is invariably the denial strategy. It asks for proofs, more proofs and then convicting proofs without explaining what “convincing proof” means to them. That is the ploy they employ for rebutting allegations brought by India. It happened in the case of Mumbai attack, Kandahar hijacking event, various bombing incidents and now the cyber piracy. Why are we always on the receiving end? How long will the Indian State brandish the slogan of morality and ethics? Are these workable sources of detente? Are these CBMs? This is a moot question and a convincing answer is needed. Furthermore on home front, there remains a lot to be done to forge sustainable social cohesion and integrity within the Indian nation. Why should a particular ethnic group demonstrate panic and turmoil on the basis of rumours or visuals without ascertaining its veracity from official quarters? It speaks of utter failure of law and order enforcing agencies. When insurgency broke out in Kashmir in 1990, the cell phones, internet and websites played same and even more damaging role to whip up anti-India passion among the Kashmiris. No report of the kind with the Home Ministry about the exodus of NE people was brought out then in regard to Kashmir ethnic cleansing. Even the cell phones were not banned till a decade later. Somebody, especially those who dole out sermons on ethnics and social harmony should come forward to answer these questions. The Indian nation of our dreams cannot be built by politics of vote bank but by politics of human values and accredited principles of good governance.