The 11th of July, 2020 marks the 14th anniversary of one of the darkest days of Independent India. Exactly 14 years ago, in 2006, a series of 7 bomb blasts shook the consciousness of the country. The Mumbai local train blasts were carried out by Islamic terrorists during a phase where they appeared to be successful in whatever heinous endeavour they undertook.
The blasts created an atmosphere of despondency in the country. And it also revealed the dark underbelly of Indian politics. The anti-Hindu nature of Indian secularism has been evident for years, if not decades. For years, politicians have engaged in rabid minority appeasement to secure their minority community vote-bank. They have done so even at the expense of national security and interests. One individual who has been at the forefront of such conduct is NCP supremo Sharad Pawar.
Sharad pawar had admitted in an interview that he had invented a 12th explosion during the Mumbai Blasts in order to preserve the communal harmony. ‘I deliberately misled the people,’ he said, without any hint in his voice that he had done anything wrong. He also tried to blame the blasts on LTTE in order to avoid communal clashes. He was lying completely and without any regret at all.
In the same interview, Sharad Pawar also claimed that the purpose of the blasts was to create communal tensions between Hindus and Muslims, so that Muslim youth will be radicalised by the resultant communal clashes. Shekhar Gupta asked him whether he was questioned by others as to why he claimed Muslims were also attacked when they were evidently not.
Sharad Pawar promptly replied that he was and he was also asked about it by the Srikrishna Commission. He said that when he explained his reasons to Justice Srikrishna, the latter hailed it as the correct decision under the circumstances. As it so happens, in the interview, Sharad Pawar also made it quite clear that he was aware that in the 2006 Mumbai Train blasts, a deliberate attempt was made to target Hindus. The interview was aired in August 2006, a month after the serial bomb blasts in the local trains of Mumbai.
Sharad Pawar said, “Western railway (western suburban line) is the only railway where sizeable middle-class, higher middle-class, trading community, representative of stock exchange..” At that point, Shekhar Gupta interjected, “And many Gujaratis, Gujarati Hindus.” The NCP supremo replied, “Yeah, they travel in these. So they (terrorists) selected that train.”
He continued, “Secondly, you see that each and every compartment of various trains (that were targeted) were only first class. In first class trains, who travels essentially? Those who can afford. You will find very few Muslims who can afford. You will find very few other sections who are poor (who travel in first class). So essentially, Gujaratis, Marwaris, comparatively financially better people, or higher salary class, they travel.”
“So, Western railways and second, first class, that was a clear cut design to concentrate on particular section.and simultaneously, might be, that particular section should not be effected. So that type of precaution was also taken,” explained Sharad Pawar. In simple words, what the NCP supremo meant was by targeting the first class compartments in the local trains, the terrorists went to great lengths to ensure that Hindus were killed in the attack and also make sure that Muslims were not.
It is quite an admission by an important political player in Maharashtra. 13 years after he openly invented a bomb blast that never occurred in order to falsely claim that Muslims were targeted in the 1993 Mumbai Blasts during his tenure as Chief Minister, the same person quite casually admitted that the terrorists had deliberate targeted Hindus and wanted to make sure that not many Muslim lives were lost in the process.
The other aspect of it is the casual manner in which Shekhar Gupta, the current chief of the Editors’ Guild, is speaking of the targeted terrorist attack against Hindus. His digital media venture The Print presides over apocalyptic sermons about an imaginary Hindu fascism in the country targeting minority communities. But here he was, talking casually about Hindus being targeted by Islamic terrorists.
The mainstream media then did not highlight the matter at all. Here was one of the most powerful politicians in Maharashtra openly admitting that Hindus were the primary targets of Islamic terrorists who had taken measures to ensure that Muslims were not killed and yet, the mainstream media ignored it completely. A targeted campaign of violence against the Hindu community was not highlighted at all.
The mainstream media also did not believe then, and still does not believe, that it is worth questioning Sharad pawar why he deliberately lied on a matter as significant as a terror attack. Shekhar Gupta, in fact, approves of the fact that Sharad Pawar invented a fake bomb in the 1993 Mumbai blasts and that he tried to deflect blame on the LTTE.
The alliance partner of the NCP, the Congress party during the same period invented the mythical narrative of ‘Saffron terrorism’ to falsely draw and equivalence with Islamic terrorism and shield radical Muslims in the process. It further exposes the sham of Indian secularism and the lengths that secular politicians go to in order to shield Islamic fundamentalists and protect their Muslim vote-bank.
The Mumbai local train blasts of 2006 were carried out by Islamic terrorists. Prosecutors argued that the attack was planned by Pakistan’s ISI and carried out by Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists with help from banned terrorist outfit Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). The blasts killed over 200 people and injured over 700.
In 2015, seven of the 12 convicted on charges of murder, conspiracy and waging war against the country were given life sentences while the other five were awarded the death penalty.