A deeper analysis of what happened in Mumbai the last few days as also all the other terror events that have plagued India for the last 3 decades points to a stark reality- that it is notion of “political correctness” that has helped the menace grow. We as a nation have always put up this facade of always being polite and politically correct. We do not want to look at the terrorist in the eye and take decisive action- for that would amount to be not politically correct. Look into how political correctness has crept into our nomenclature- we are uneasy calling Muslims as Muslims- we prefer to use the term minority community. Look into how history is taught in schools- Babur and the others were Mughal Invaders and not Muslim invaders. In fact in history books, the subsequent generations of the Muslim invaders have also been glorified. But that is history- we need to learn lessons from it as any civilized and SMART society should do. We need to be smart.
When there is a petty theft in the neighborhood, the police rounds up the guys from the surrounding shanties and slums for questioning. Why? Because from past experience the police know that majority of such criminals come from that area or locality. It is common sense of policing. Do we raise a hue and cry on that, that poor people have been victimized? The inquiry is being done based on empirical data and previous experience.
When 99.99% of terrorists come from the Muslim community, as past experience shows, what is the big deal in targeting that community for better investigation and fact finding? The majority Muslim community in India as well as abroad does realize that there is a strong undercurrent of “injustice” among a great section of their community for perceived as well as real wrongs. The ones in the extreme end of this spectrum turn to terrorism trying to justify it with religion. The average Muslim is aware of this. And the average Muslim also wants peace and is not that radical or fanatic. Come what may he or she must subject themselves and their community to scrutiny for terrorist tendencies, sympathizers, field agents and terrorists. Does he or she not subject themselves for security checks while boarding an aircraft? Does anybody cry foul when we are subjected to security checks at airports and so many other public places? When the radical and fanatic elements in the Muslim community make up the majority of terrorists, it is but natural that that community will be subjected to closer scrutiny and will also be subjected to tougher laws of investigation and surveillance.
Then why are we as a society – individuals, intellectuals, the media etc not wanting to look at the problem in the eye and forget this notion of political correctness. Lets learn to accept that fact and be correct in our views rather than being politically correct. That is the tragedy that befalls our nation today- we prefer to be politically correct rather than trying to be correct. But today the time has come for us to be correct- irrespective of whether we may sound “politically incorrect”.
I think Prasoon Joshi meant exactly that when he wrote the poem – Is baar nahin.
“This time the wounds have to be watched, carefully, for a long time, some decisions are needed , and then some brave moves to be made, we have to begin somewhere, this time this is what I have resolved.”