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Chitralekha Gujarati issue dated 15th February 2016

Watch “Editor’s Note” on YouTube –

ISIS  Knocks  India’s  Doors..

Fighting Pakistan sponsored terrorism for years, India now faces a new threat from another direction. If available indications are anything to go by, it is established beyond doubt that the dreaded terrorist organization ISIS that has been wrecking havoc in Syria and Iraq is now knocking at India’s doors. In this cover story, Hiren Mehta examines the veracity of this news and also analyses the wider ramifications in case the ISIS enters India as feared.

It is the worst kept secret that for years in the north eastern states like Mizoram, conversion of Hindus to Christianity continues unabated. The cover story emphasizes that the prevailing discontent among people makes the situation ripe for conversion. Consequently 88 percent of 12 lakh population has been practicing Christianity. Nagaland is no different. Here too, 88 percent of 20 lakh population has become Christians. In Meghalaya, a large section of the population has been converted.

In Assam, as is well known, the influx of Muslims from Bangladesh has completely altered the demography of the region.

This is of course religious conversion. Worryingly, the new kind of conversion has recently surfaced. New potential recruits are persuaded that if they want to see the Islamic rule over the world, they should join the ISIS. They are indoctrinated and completely brainwashed into joining the expanding outfit.

For the past few years IS has been running amok in some regions of Mid Asia and Africa. Established fifteen years ago, it was named ISI-Islamic State of Iraq. Later with addition of Syria, the name was changed to ISIS. Abu Bakr Al Bagadadi who parted with Al Queda after Osama was killed now heads this outfit and nurtures an ambition to rule the world.

Considered the most barbaric group, there is no place where it has not wrecked devastation, be it religious place, hospital, school, market place. India was considered safe until now, but in the wake of recent arrests of recruits in as many as 12 states, it is becoming evident that the dreaded outfit has penetrated India to a considerable extent. Some have gone to the extent of visiting Iraq and Syria to fight for the ISIS whereas some have opted to recruit and radicalize potentially vulnerable young disgruntled people.

The initial arrests were taken as isolated incidents, but the recent raid in 12 states has confirmed the suspicion that the penetration of this outfit is deeper than initially believed. Also, those arrested are not freshers or illiterate. Some of them were big fish from intelligence point of view. Take the instance of Mudabbir who was detained from Mumbra. He was later found to be the deputy head of Daiish-acronym for another terrorist outfit.

Making content for a sport channel, Mudabbir left the plum job and got full time engaged for propagation of Islamic State. Expert in making explosives from easy-to-get raw materials, Mudabbir was also tasked to be in touch with his contacts in Gujarat.

His accomplice Hussain Khan was in gold plating business. And the common link between the two of them is Wasim who is a computer engineer.

The moot question is how come these literate people join the barbaric organization like ISIS? What is it that attracts them? The story quotes a Muslim leader who confirms that inculcation of words like Kafir are instrumental in changing the mindset. It is inculcated among young fertile minds that Kafir meaning atheists are people from other faiths. Some maulvis also present a distorted interpretation of their religious Holy book adding fuel to the fire.

Brought up and fed on this poisonous ideology, these young minds are considered potentially soft targets for indoctrination of IS ideology. Once they join this outfit, their transformation is complete. They are now full-grown extremists. They can easily take to violence and give it the veneer of religious jihad.

The same ideology is at play among extremists working for outfits like Boko Haram or ISIS. What has attracted these young minds to ISIS is the fact that the scale of the operations of this organization has expanded exponentially. Earlier limited to Afghanistan and some regions in Middle East Asia, it has now spread its wings and aims to found the Caliphate in the world.

According to the leader of a Muslim organization that has registered the most vocal protest against the ISIS, the latter is getting financial aid from Saudi Arabia and this explains why Arab fighters are given royal treatment whereas those coming from Asia are given cold shoulders. Often they are beheaded if any anti-organizational activities are noticed on their part.

The well-researched story underscores the fact that the ISIS threat that India faces is real, indeed.

Rajiv Malhotra: Who is he guarding Hinduism Against?

He believes that India faces a huge challenge not only from terrorism, but also from intellectual terrorism spread by scholars stationed outside India. His fiery speech and books have popularized him among India’s literate Hindu class.

Attempts are invariably made to sabotage his seminars. Some elements try to ensure that his events are not held peacefully. Often heckled by these elements, he is regularly asked meaningless and inane questions deliberately aimed at derailing his talk.

Samir Paleja profiles the man and also holds a candid interview with him where he lays bare his vision.

‘You have to assert your strength in democracy..’

Alpesh Thakore the OBC leader who has been playing an important role in the Patel agitation is proving that the slow and steady always wins the race. Recently he organized a public meeting ostensibly on freedom from addictions, but it clearly demonstrated his strength and popular appeal.

In this interview given to Ketan Trivedi, Alpesh gives a peep into his vision and future plans for the agitation. It makes for an interesting read.

Besides the above, the issue carries a report (by Nikita Shah) of Maha Ras-garba competition recently held in Hyderabad.

The issue also has Political & Humour columns, Palak, Cardiogram, novel’s new chapter, Priyadarshini, Health Helpline, Jalsaghar and Mukhwas

Ishita’s Elchi

Q: What is the definition of society?

A: A society is one that possesses true understanding. Or else, it is a herd