evil force

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 04 Jul 2018 17:07:57

THE killing of Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan by the Islamic State activists on Sunday, exposes the evil designs of extremist Islamic State to carry out ethnic cleansing wherever these minority groups exist. Kashmir has witnessed such an ethnic cleansing by hard core Islamic fundamentalist when thousands of Kashmiri Pandits were harassed and were made to leave their homes and hearths. As rightly said by Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi, this is an assault on the multicultural fabric of countries like Afghanistan and India, and deserve to be condemned. 

According to figures available on the composition of Hindu and Sikh communities in Afghanistan, from some 80,000 people in 1970, the community has been reduced to just 1,000. This shows the sustained campaign carried out against these minorities in Afghanistan and the situation is no different in Kashmir as far as the Pandit community is concerned. The Kashmiri Pandits have been rendered refugees in their homeland and are struggling to get back to their homes in Kashmir. But the conditions do not appear to be conducive right now as the State is under virtual siege of Islamic extremists, supported by various terrorist and separatist groups, aided by Pakistan Army and its Intelligence agency ISI.

Hindus and Sikhs face discrimination in Afghanistan from conservative Islamic groups. They are always under attack by extremist Islamic elements, forcing them to leave the country. It has been a continuing assault on these minority communities, turning their lives into hell. After being mauled and driven out by allied forces in Syria and Iraq, the Islamic State had focused eyes on Afghanistan and whole of South Asia, considering Kashmir, Bangladesh as fertile ground for their future expansion. However, they could not gain much foothold in the region because of the strong multicultural societies existing in these countries. Besides, due to the presence of the allied forces and the strong Taliban, the Islamic State could not gain much ground in Afghanistan as it had expected.

But they still continue to make their sporadic presence felt in these regions by carrying out attacks on non-Islamic ethnic groups in Kashmir as they did in Afghanistan. In Kashmir, evidence has recently emerged of the presence of some Islamic State groups. Fortunately, security agencies in Kashmir and rest of the country are alert to their presence and keeping a strict vigil on their activity. Though the presence of the Islamic State may be negligible in India, the fact that some groups of Indian youths had joined the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq during the raging war to fight on their behalf, is a reality that cannot be ignored and demands necessary vigil to thwart any attempt to spread its tentacles, not only in the country but also in the neighbourhood.

Their nuisance can be gauged from the fact that allied forces had to muster much strength and wage a prolonged war to eliminate the menace of the well-entrenched Islamic State which had gobbled up large territories in Iraq and Syria. Much devastation was caused by the Islamic State in these two countries and was threatening to spread its influence in larger territories in the neighbourhood.
Of course, the possibilities of the Islamic State gaining a foothold in Kashmir and other parts of India are very remote because of deep faith of the countrymen in the multicultural social ethos that is nurtured and strengthened over centuries. It is this faith of the people in its multicultural ethos that will deny any space to evil forces such as the Islamic State. This is the best safeguard India has always had all along. That alone is going to save India from the terrible chaos that has hit many countries.