Kafeel Ahmed is an aeronautical engineer who went to school and college in Bangalore, before moving to Britain. His brother and cousin, both are doctors, also from Bangalore. Ever heard about them? I am sure you have. In past few days we all must have heard about these Britain based Indians, who have undoubtedly make a mark in the world of terrorism. Now take your mind back to those who were arrested after the incidence of Mumbai train blasts took place. The list of the main accused included a doctor, an engineer, software professional and a journalist. These are not people whom we can call a clear cut case of disturbed Islamic fundamentalists, without any constructive motive in their lives. These are not people who had their education just by visiting the local Madrsa. These are not the people whose brain from the very beginning has been poisoned by fundamentalists. These are not people with violent family history.
Does all this shows us something? Is it enough to make a point in itself? I guess it is. As I can perceive it, Islamic fundamentalism is no longer associated only with beard grown, Urdu speaking and turban clad heads. Unfortunately its roots have crept to the majority of Muslim households in India. People who were earlier aloof from what the self proclaimed ‘Jehadis’ has to say, are now in accord with them. Presently the fundamentalist ideas are at its peak among Muslims of India and it is undoubtedly an alarming situation. But can there be any bigger threat which our country may face, when we talk about fundamentalism and religious activists? Well the answer to the above question is yes. Certainly there is one force which can prove to be more dangerous. This force is the one which can get the country into real turbulent times, if it becomes influential enough to stir up the common man. This force is none other than the ‘Saffron brigade’.
How and why? Are the questions bound to strike to one’s mind, if one bothers enough to think about it. Well to search for the answers let us look at the world and one can easily say that there is hardly any nation where Islamic fundamentalists are not blooming. Bigger or smaller, in one way or other, they can be seen active anywhere and almost everywhere. In every country the fundamentalism has become a kind of internal problem and this very fact makes it global. But, then which are the countries where it has become a menace? Which are the countries where it has lead to situations which are no longer under the control of government or any other power? Undoubtedly these are Islamic nations only. These are the countries where Muslims are in majority. They have a Muslim government, Muslim administration and Muslim population. Yet these are the countries which are most severely affected by the Jehadis and the Islamic fundamentalist. Let it be Pakistan, Iraq or Afghanistan for the matter. All are live examples in front of us and mind it this list is not exhaustive. The point which I am trying to make over here is that the country with second largest Muslim population in the world and the country with the longest history of struggle with the Islamic fundamentalist is definitely not the one which is most brutally affected by it. Simply because Muslims are nearly 14% of the total population, but still the damage done is exorbitant. Now imagine, what the condition will be like if the strong 80% of our population takes up the path of religious fanaticism and extremism?
Just because of the above reason, the saffron brigade undoubtedly has the potential to turn into a nuisance which no country has ever faced. But then is it really possible? Nothing is impossible, but believes me this kind of scenario is almost next to impossible. Why? Tell me one thing which defines the root cause of Islamic fundamentalists around the world. Is it their fight for freedom? Or is it their fight for rights? Is it their fight for equality? What is it for which they are fighting? The reason for their struggle is different at different places, but these are secondary in nature. The person who happily rams an airplane in a building is not fighting for freedom. Someone who does not even think twice before becoming a suicidal bomber is not fighting for equality. They need a cause worthy enough to sacrifice their lives. These people are doing it in the name of god. For them it is their religion for which and because of which they are living, to die for. This is where a big difference between the Islamic fundamentalists and Hindu supremacists lies. The saffron brigade may proclaim that the path to ‘Ram Rajya’ is through the extremist’s way only, but no one is ready to buy their idea.
Moreover every now and then the media, the intellects, the socialites, secular forces and the activists keeps on enunciating about the possible threats which the saffron brigade poses to the country. But then majority of these people are Hindus themselves. This clearly indicates that the Hindu fanatics do not have a cause which in itself is strong enough to stir a nationwide upheaval against a particular religious group.
Hindus never were, they are not now and will never be the way Islamic fundamentalists are, simply because they cannot shed blood in the name of God. Still everyone around only finds the saffron brigade as a communal force whose actions are not at all in accordance with the national interest. The government and so called secular parties are only worried about the Hindu extremists and not about the fundamentalists who instead of being a secondary threat are the major cause of disturbance and loss of innocent lives. Why? I fail to understand. Perhaps because Saffron Brigade is a bigger threat. But is it really so?