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Tuesday, 3 December 2013


-Ram Kumar Ohri, IPS (Retd.)

Yesteryears Great Editor has a colourful personae and mysterious past. Historically the secularist chatterati always had a short memory and somewhat purblind vision.  It is surprising how the Indian media and charmed glitterati of the 2013 THINK festival could not decode the mystery of Tejpal’s invite to Mullah Abdul Saeed of Taliban to Goa for being counted among the galaxy of global intellectuals. According to the Raisina Hill buzz, the Great Editor worked overtime to get the clearance of intelligence agencies for the necessary visa for ensuring presence of the great Mullah of Taliban at THINK-2013. No one knows whether the city grapevine of Tarun Tejpal’s intimate proximity to Mullah Zaeef is a town gossip or ground reality.

Mullah Zaeef is a notorious misogynist believing in stoning of women, as prescribed in shariah. Tarun Tejpal is a twice-sworn secularist. What is the connection between the two fundamentalists, one a hard boiled Islamist and the other a self-annointed secularist? This question has often bothered me and some of my friends.  A friend of mine is convinced that thereby hangs a shadowy tale.

In August  2008 the so-called  Great Editor had carried out  a sustained campaign, bordering on secular morbidity, in defence of the  banned jihadi terrorist outfit, SIMI  (Students  Islamic Movement  of  India) which had  by then  already  morphed into the  notorious  kaffir-killer outfit, the Indian Mujahedeen. Being a well informed journalist Tejpal could not be ignorant of the fact that barely a few months ago in November, 2007, a menacing e-mail had been circulated to media by the radical outfit, Indian Mujahideen in proclaiming, and “The war of civilization between the Muslims and the infidels has begun in Indian territory.”

Surely the Great Editor could not be unaware of the following important facts about SIMI published from time to time in newspapers and journals and readily available in public domain:

i)                   The outfit was commissioned in Aligarh Muslim University on April 28, 1977, in Aligarh University and named the Students Islamic. Its avowed goal is to establish Muslim rule in India.
ii)                Before it was banned, the logo of SIMI flaunted a very intimidatory logo depicting a copy of the Quran spread   across the globe and two AK-47s placed astride the holy book for waging jihad against infidels.

iii)              That the single-minded goal of SIMI is to transform India into Dar-ul-Islam either by concerting everyone to Islam, and if necessary by waging Islam’s holy war for achieving its cherished goal.

iv)              SIMI does not believe in the concept of nation State, nor does it subscribe to secularism. It wants to establish an Islamic caliphate across India cast in the mould of Nizam-e-Mustafa.

Every Indian journalist knows that the most frequently flaunted slogan of SIMI has been, “Allah is our Lord, the Qur’an is our constitution, Muhammad is our leader, Jihad is our way and Shahada is our desire”.   In addition, SIMI has always praised  the Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden is an outstanding example of a true Mujahid, who has undertaken Jihad  on behalf of  the 'Ummah'.

According to Yoginder Sikand, a well known scholar of Islam, SIMI considers ‘Nationalism’ as a false idol devised by the non-Muslim enemies of the faith. All non-Muslims are branded by SIMI as 'kafirs', and no distinction is made among them. Because of the Quranic belief that the enemies of Allah are likely to offer stiff resistance to Islam, SIMI has been openly preaching that violent Jihad needs to be waged against kaffirs of India (read the Hindus).

Despite all these facts known to even a ‘cub -journalist’  Tarun Tejpal   had the cheek to launch a vigorous campaign to defend SIMI in August, 2008, by publishing as  many as seventeen articles vociferously defending the radical outfit  in his liberal-left magazine, Tehelka. To quote Tejpal, a three month long investigation by Tehelka’s Editor-at-Large, Ajit Sahi, had revealed “a chilling and systematic witch-hunt against innocent Muslims”.

The following pearls of wisdom incorporated by the renowned secularist in his article titled ‘The Thin Red Line’, revealed his unwavering commitment to the cause of jihadis operating under the umbrella of SIMI and Indian Mujahideen: “The Indian state must tread carefully. The individual tragedies point to a wider psychosis. For the last many years – abetted by global trends – the state’s actions seem to be deepening a prejudice against Muslims.”

In his highly labored brief for SIMI the Great Editor pontificated that “not just the policing and the intelligence agencies that are to blame - even the judicial process is often complicit in the miscarriage of justice”.

In those days of booming bomb blasts  Tejpal published under the heading, ‘the SIMI fictions’  the following pro-Islamist essays  packed with caustic diatribes against the police and the  government:

1.     The Thin Red Line, written by Tarun Tejpal himself.
2.     The Kafka Project, by Ajit Sahi.
3.     Inside The Whale: State vs Shahid Badr Falahi, by Ajit Sahi.
4.     The Good Doctor’s Complications, by Ajit Sahi.
5.     They just want Muslim boys to be always in Jail, by Ajit Sahi. 
6.     A Doubtful Crime: And years of Unfair Punishment, by Ajit Sahi.
7.     The Cry of The Beloved Country, by Ajit Sahi.
8.     The Hunt of Our Past Lives, by Ajit Sahi.
9.     SIMI Here, SIMI There, SIMI Everywhere, by Ajit Sahi.
10.            The History Appraiser Caught with His Books, by Ajit Sahi.
11.            A Man of God, Not a Man of Terror, by Ajit Sahi.
12.            Dissent or Don’t.  You Are Damned Either Way, by Ajit Sahi.
13.            The Left Hand Doesn’t Know. Or Doesn’t It?, by Ajit Sahi.
14.            The Case of Absconding Lawyer, by Ajit Sahi.
15.            A Judge Stirs a Hornet’s Nest, by Ajit Sahi.
16.            The Supreme Court’s stay is a murder of justice, by Ajit Sahi.
17.            Terror Has Two Faces, by Ajit Sahi.  

Even a cursory reading of the above mentioned seventeen articles reveals how dear have been the Islamist Jihadis to the bleeding heart liberal, Tarun Tejpal. The following narrative of the advocacy for SIMI lays bare the secret story of invitation to Mullah Zaeef and his fast-tracked visa for joining the jamboree of high profile intellectuals during Think-2013 event.

The wonder of wonders, however, was that Great Editor went ballistics to defend SIMI barely a few weeks after the Indian Mujahedeen had killed and incapacitated scores of innocents in serial bomb blasts in Bangalore, Jaipur and Ahmedabad in July, 2008. Another highly provocative and intimidator e-mail captioned, The Rise of Jihad in the land of Hind was circulated on July 26, 2008, by the Indian Mujahedeen shortly before the serial bomb blasts in Ahmedabad. In addition to hurling filthy abuses on Hindu Gods and Goddesses, the said e-mail threatened specifically to avenge the alleged atrocities committed against SIMI, the mysterious darling of the Great Editor.

In the circumstances, it is difficult to guess what motivated Tejpal to mount a three months long expensive campaign to defend SIMI has remained an unraveled mystery. Was it done free, or was it caused by the virus called “Paid News” afflicting several secular scribes across India?  No wonder, in the year 2008 there were hush-hush rumors in Lutyen’s garden city guessing the source of money spent by Tehelka in defending SIMI at a time when jihadi bomb blasts all around were causing death and destruction. 

Prima facie the Great Editor of yesteryears was more bothered about the civil rights of the bombers of SIMI and Indian Mujahedeen than the lives of innocent Indian citizens who were being incessantly slaughtered by the two radical Islamic outfits. No intelligence agency, however, dare question Tarun Tejpal because of his high- profile political connections, including the rumor about his easy access to 10 Janpath!    

After reading the difficult-to-put-down tome, The Seige, authored by Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott Clarke, I see a message in the boast of ISI’s Major Iqbal that they have a double agent code-named Honey Bee and a number of Chuhe (i.e., the mice) operating in India.  As a result of Major Iqbal’s revelation several questions have cropped up in my inquisitive mind. I am listing below some of my serious concerns:

i)                   Who is the Honey Bee on whom our intelligence agencies like Intelligence Bureau and RAW cannot lay hands?

ii)                Who all could be Major Iqbal’s Chuhe, or mice, nibbling at the tattered fabric of India’s unity and integrity?

iii)              How that is our Intelligence Bureau cannot identify and locate the Honey Bee and the ISI’s Chuhe? 

iv)              Is there any resemblance between David Headley’s pre-26/11 recee of Mumbai and the recent visit and reccee of Mullah Zaeef to Goa?

v)                Whom all did Mullah Zaeef meet during his hurried trip to Goa? The Talibani Mullah is a very combative and and complex strategeist.

vi)              Is our tourist-paradise city of Goa, vulnerably located on Konkan coast, slated to be targeted next time the way Mumbai was targeted in November, 2008?  Goa could even face the butchery and vandalism in the manner and on a scale showcased by the Al Shabab’s commandos at Westcoast Mall in Nairobi on September 27, 2013?

Being a retired police officer I often feel concerned about the next jihadi strike across my motherland.  Perhaps time has come to view with extra caution the visit of Talibani Mullah Zaeef to Goa on the pretext of joining the Think-2013 glitterati and his close association with Tejpal.

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