Secular Vs. Communal Terrorist Attacks
Vir Sanghvi writing (hat tip: Rohit) in the Hindustan Times:
And yet, the political and public response to the Varanasi incident has been completely different from the way in which the Delhi blasts were regarded. Then, nobody played up the Islamic angle. There was a stoic unity within the political establishment. And there was a quiet recognition that though Islamic terrorist groups would attack Indian civilians, Indian society would unite to fight the threat.
My fear is that the increased communalisation of the response to the Varanasi attacks — as compared to the more secular reaction to the Delhi bombs tells us something about the manner in which many Hindus are beginning to perceive Muslim extremism.
Well we don't want to comment on the political reaction, which in our opinion does not merit further elucidation while discussing serious issues. But how did Mr. Sanghvi arrive at the same conclusion about different public opinions. Does he care to back this up with some opinion poll. As far as we know, we should be equally outraged at every single terror attack against Indian citizens (civilian or military). We believe that all right-thinking Indians will hold similar opinion.
And is there something called as a 'secular' and 'communal' terrorist attack? If not, why should there be two diferent reactions. Nevertheless, we invite the reader to go through the whole article which raises many interesting points. In this post, let us ask a counter-question: How did the Big Media treat the two stories? Here is the response:
Indian Express editorial
after the Delhi terror attacks:
In Delhi — indeed, across India — there is a hardened mood in civil society, a belief that terrorism has simply gone too far.
Islamabad is seriously misreading the impact of the most destructive terrorist attack on Indian soil, outside Jammu and Kashmir, in 12 years, and the first in the time of 24/7 television. Public pressure on the government has gone up exponentially.
All this can't be explained away with impotent reasoning like: ''It shows the terrorists' desperation.'' The question is: what is Musharraf doing about it?
In the end, Musharraf is not going to be judged by what he says on PTV or how he responds to Indian initiatives on the LoC. His test lies in the LeT-run jihadist terror school just outside Lahore. Can the man who invaded Kargil please show the courage to lead his troops into Mudrike? If not, should the world do his job for him?
Note the hawkish position taken back then directly putting the ball in Musharraf's court. Now the same Indian Express editorializes after the Varanasi terror attacks:
fuel communal passions would be tantamount to self-indictment. That's why the entire political establishment needs to be extra cautious. ... to the VHP's description of the Varanasi attack as being a "war against the nation," such rhetoric only plays into the hands of those who have blood on them.