"Jai Palestine" in the Parliament was always coming... just that we didn't see it

Anmol Jain

Jul 08, 2024, 07:38 PM | Updated 08:09 PM IST

Terror on the ballot — in Europe and in India?

Dear Reader,

This post by an X user got me thinking if we're really behind Europe when it comes to terrorism being on the ballot.

The user, quite rightly, points out how Palestine (and consequently terrorism) has become the most important electoral issue in Europe — "not border security, not failing economy, not decaying infrastructure, not administrative rot."

While it might come as a surprise that terrorism is no longer a universal 'red line' in European politics, it shouldn't when it comes to India.

Yes, it is not a Europe-only problem. In fact, it has already infected India. Yes, "Jai Palestine" has entered our Parliament now but terrorism as a means to electoral gains is not new. "Next election, mark my words, it will be on our ballot too. It already is in parts, in case you didn’t notice."

In the recently concluded Lok Sabha, a UAPA-charged Sheikh Abdul Rashid (Engineer Rashid) won with a margin of more than 2 lakh votes from Baramulla. Imprisoned on terror charges, Rasheed defeated the former J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.

Moving to Punjab, Khalistani extremist Amritpal Singh won from Khadoor Sahib while being imprisoned under National Security Act (NSA). In the past, he has openly threatened Union Home Minister Amit Shah with the same fate as former PM Indira Gandhi.

But is it all really new and out of nowhere? Not really.

That there were active attempts to paint the 2008 Mumbai attacks as 'Hindu terror'. In fact, the innuendos continue even today with someone like Shashi Tharoor saying that "thorough inquiry needed into Mumbai ATS chief Karkare’s death to clear the air".

Further, normalising of terror as a legitimate means of resistance against state excesses (if any) has been going on in India, long before it happened in Europe.

The sympathetic portrayals of terrorists in the media, including referencing them in the line of 'wronged child of headmaster', are a fact. What Europe or the West have been seeing in their varsities with extremist Palestine supporters is what Indian varsities have been seeing with Islamist and Naxal terror for long.

"Afzal hum sharminda hai, tere qaatil zinda hai" (Afzal, we're ashamed, your killers are alive), have been raised in the universities. Afzal Guru was hanged after a bonafide judicial process, so essentially these slogans term the Indian state as 'killer'.

Sympathisers of the Naxal red terror ruling the roost in humanities departments of universities is an undeniable fact.

So while it seems that India is yet to see the mainstreaming of terror sympathising is not completely correct. In fact, India is ahead of Europe in this matter. In one election, Europeans are starting to realise the threat, but on the contrary in India, not even a conversation on this is possible without being labelled a bigot.

How terrorism can be a partisan issue, and not a universal red line is yet to be questioned at large in India. India as a state as well as society needs to ponder on this.

- Anmol N Jain

Over to Diksha!

🎙️Introducing The Pluralism Project

Dear Listener,

The Pluralism Project is one of the heaviest but also one of the most significant podcasts we've done at Swarajya.

This is not a casual listen. Because this is not a casual subject. The difficulty level for this podcast would be medium. Unfortunately, we did try but bringing Aravindan further seems difficult!

India is one of the last pockets of theo-diversity, and understanding its significance is crucial.

  • Here's a little example: Hypatia was a Neoplatonist philosopher, astronomer, and mathematician. She solved the problem of epicycles, discovering that planets move in elliptical orbits. A Christian mob killed her for her beliefs. This delayed western knowledge by almost 800 or 1000 years.

  • Tolerance vs. Persecution: Remember that she was challenging the Pythagorean view of circular motion. But there was no threat of her being killed by the Pagans. This is because a pagan society tolerates or accepts different worldviews. But in a monopolistic society, different worldviews are not accepted, resulting in the persecution of those who hold them.

  • A covertly religious system like Marxism is no different. Whenever we talk about the clash of religion and science, we always think only of Galileo Galilei. In reality, the worst and most efficient inquisitions against scientists were conducted by the Marxists, who killed a large number of scientists.

This is why theo-diversity has to be preserved. This is why we need to continue to talk, discuss, debate, on these issues. And this is why this short series, The Pluralism Project.

In this series, we will discuss in detail Theo-diversity versus Monopolitistic Expansionism with Aravindan Neelakandan. 

The Episode 1 is out! Perfect for your weekend listening, it is available on the app as well as on Spotify. Tune in now!

- Diksha Yadav

👕 Remembering the Brave - Commemorative T-Shirt To Mark 25 Years Since The Battle Of Tiger HillTiger

Tiger Hill T-Shirt
Tiger Hill T-Shirt

On this day in 1999 (8 July), Indian army soldiers recaptured Tiger Hills from the Pakistani Army.

  • This strategic victory was crucial as Tiger Hills overlooked important army installations and facilities.

  • At 16,608 feet, Tiger Hill required immense endurance and bravery from Indian troops. It took many days of fighting in freezing weather for the soldiers of 8 Sikh, 18 Grenadiers, and 2 Naga to recapture this important hilltop.

The battle resulted in 18 Grenadiers being honored with one Param Vir Chakra, two Maha Vir Chakras, and six Vir Chakras.

  • The unit also received the Chief of Army Staff Citation and Theatre Honour.

  • To remember and celebrate, we've created the Tiger Hill 1999 T-Shirt featuring the iconic photo of our troops on the hilltop.

It comes in two colours and for kids too.

Click here to order your t-shirt now. Wear it as a token of remembrance and join us in celebrating this great battle.

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