Straightforwardness of a senior officer

Question: “So you think ‘Islamic terrorism’ is a bogey created by the West?” – Answer: “More than that. We in India tend to regard the West as the font of wisdom. Whatever their distorted concept of Islam, we copy it verbatim. But the concept of jihad has nothing to do with terrorism. Terrorism is a modern phenomenon. Jihad has existed for hundreds of years. The West has created the image of a bearded man in a kurta with a Kalashnikov in hand, hell-bent on converting people to Islam or killing them.” This straightforward remark is of NC Asthana, Inspector General, CRPF COBRA, and his wife Anjali Nirmal. Mrs. Asthana holds a doctorate in police administration. They have written a book in English entitled “India's Internal Security: The Actual Concerns”. Kunal Majumder, Reporter of Tehelka magazine, talked to them on the subject and content of the book (Tehelka.com, 1st September) in which they dauntlessly criticised the role of police, state administration and media.

That’s the West’s way
Mr. Asthana’s book is not in hand; however, going through Tehelka’s interview with them makes one aware perfectly well of the contents of the book and the views of the writers. Before the above mentioned question, Tehelka asked them: “You have also written about how Islam has been driven towards terrorism.” They replied: “Yes, we have written about it in one of our earlier books on urban terrorism. We have a history of communal riots. But we never attributed terrorism to Muslims. That’s the West’s way. America always needs a hate symbol — first the Germans, then the Japanese, then the communists.” One very candid opinion Mrs and Mr Asthana expressed is that “Muslims in India have a reason to believe they are being persecuted”. In this regard he has mentioned unprecedented arrests of innocent Muslim youth in Hyderabad, Jaipur and Malegaon, etc. As for media, they say it is biased against Muslims.

Voice of free conscience
Among the officers responsible for maintaining law and order in the country in recent years, Mr. Asthana is the second officer who has made this candid averment with a sense of justice and honesty. Before him, a high police officer of U.P., Vibhuti Narain Rai, knocked at the conscience of countrymen by writing a book on the subject a few years ago. The duty of high security officers is to gather information on factual basis, inform higher officers about them and take action accordingly. But it is not so in our country. Here such officers have to work usually according to the set policy. Then their personal leaning also works. In this situation, if some government officer pinpoints the ground realities publicly while still in service, it is the voice of his conscience. Tehelka has clarified that these views of Mr. Asthana are his personal, and that he was not making this statement in his official position. However, in whatever position Mr. Asthana expressed these views undauntedly and straightforwardly, he deserves congratulation. All the believers in justice and honesty should welcome his views and in this light devise their course of action.
10/ 09/12 khabar-O-Nazar by Parwaaz Rahmani, sehrozaDAWAT, translated by: Abu Yusuf

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