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Mainstream, Vol XLVII No 13, March 14, 2009

No Excuse for Fascism

Sunday 15 March 2009, by Sangeeta Mall



My congratulations to Spencer A. Leonard for writing such a detailed critique of the Left’s approach to the War on Terror in the Mainstream issue dated February 14, 2009. While the Indian Left political parties have repeatedly shown their tendency to follow an agenda that often seems anti-Indian, notably in their opposition to the nuclear deal with the US, that will allow India to develop its energy agenda in an alternative manner, their reaction to Islamist jihad is particularly disturbing.

It is one thing to question India’s response to terrorist acts, it is quite another to confuse the victim and perpetrator altogether. Arundhati Roy and writers like her have done just this. The Indian Government has been fumbling in the manner in which it has tackled terrorist acts. The shameless manner in which S.A.R. Geelani was incarcerated for the attack on Parliament is a case in point. However, Islamist fundamentalism is not about resolution of the Kashmir problem or the redress of the grievances of the victims of communal riots, notably in 1992 and 2002. Or about justice or its lack to Muslims in India. Geelani would be the first to assert that. It is about restoring Islam to its former (imagined?) glory through violence. It is about imposing a social code that makes non-entities of women, savages of men and gods of villains. The imposition of Islam is now in the hands of men who, in any civil, democratic society, would be branded as murderers and psychopaths and treated accordingly. How can anyone hold common cause with such villains? It is almost like aligning with a jackal to fight the tiger. The jackal is bound to eat you up faster than the tiger.

Surely the Al-Qaeda and its ilk will be relishing the prospect of quasi-legitimacy that the Left offers when the latter’s foremost response to the tragedy in Mumbai is not to offer sympathy to the victims and express outrage at the carnage, but to gleefully rub its hands and croak ‘I told you so’ at the Indian Government.

Just as there is no defence for the genocide in Gujarat in 2002, none whatsoever, there is none for the terror attacks in various parts of India that are claiming innocent lives by the hundreds. How can there be? Rabid fundamen-talism is just that, rabid, and nothing justifies it. There is no, and can never be, any excuse for fascism. Everyone knows that. Except perhaps the Left in India.

February 22, 2009, Mumbai

Sangeeta Mall

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