Thursday, November 27, 2008

WHAT LIES BEHIND THE MUMBAI TRAGEDY?

The carnage in Bombay (officially known as Mumbai), in which gunmen have killed over a hundred people, injured many more and taken hostages, has shocked the world. It has thrown a spotlight on religious extremism of various kinds. Savitri Hensman has written a very useful piece looking behind the headlines and asking deeper questions about who and what might be 'responsible' for this carnage.

4 comments:

ChrisC said...

Might have known it would have been the 'extreme Right's' fault all along! Is it really the case that Hindu nationalists be called the 'extreme right' simply because they are nationalists?

Simon Barrow said...

No it isn't. The BJP is widely interpreted (including by some of its own advocates) as imbued with a far-right ideology that has its roots in the fascism of the 1930s. Using the slogan "one nation, one people, one culture", the party promotes concepts of racial and societal 'purity' and has been widely implicated, along with other groups and persons identifying with Hindutva and Rashtra ideology, with the justification of communalism and violence. To acknowledge this does not imply that the far-left has not been involved in crimes either, or indeed the inherent innocence of any other ideology.

ChrisC said...

Alright,alright point conceded, but isn't it still a bit early to be locating the source of this trouble in India given a number of other plausible links, including a possible rumour of British-born terrorists?

Simon Barrow said...

Savi was careful not to "locate the source", but rather to draw attention to a wider range of factors and protagonists than was being identified by the initial reports. The Pakistan link now looks strong, but we will have to wait to see what emerges in the coming days and weeks.