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Osama Bin Laden, Tablighi Jamaat and India’s fight against Covid-19

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Ajay Sudame
Ajay Sudame
Ajay Sudame aka 'Pakodewallah' is for Free Markets and is a Nationalist. He is the founder and editor of the Marathi OpEd website - Also runs a YouTube channel by the same name. Tweets @IndicVichaar

India today is looking at potential Corona Pandemic, which at one moment, it thought it had escaped. Like most of the countries, India had its first infection on 30th January. In next 60 days, the number reached around 2000. And in just next 7 days of April, the number more than doubled. And as you read this, it has crossed 5500. If there is one reason, to which this rise can be attributed to, it’s the Tablighi Jamaat event held on 21st March in a Markaaz in Nizamuddin, Delhi. Close to 2000 devout Muslims coming all over from India, along with preachers from Indonesia attended the event. These foreign clerics were infected with Covid-19, which was passed onto Indian Muslims. Who after the event have now travelled all over and have infected Indians in 17 different states.  As things stand, every one out of three Corona patients is connected to Tabligh. And every one out two new infections are related to the Tabligh Event.

Now the question is, why this event was allowed to go through? On its part Government can say, it had issued a prohibitory order on 13th March against holding this event. Notwithstanding which, Mohammad Saad, chief of Tablighi Jamaat, decided to conduct the event. There is little doubt that this is defiance of Law. And just like Shaheen Bagh Protest it did challenge the writ of the Indian state. But then as an ordinary citizen whom should we blame? Saad & his law defying Tablighis or Indian Government? For me in both cases, Shaheen Bagh and Tablighi Jamaat congregation, Indian state has blinked.

But then this is not the first time, neither this will be last. Starting right from Nehru, to Atal Bihari Vajpayee there are enough instances that Indian state has not been able to stand up to challenge thrown by Islamists. However what’s mind boggling is the fact that Osama Bin Laden did explain this strategy to bring modern Liberal Democratic states to their knees in detail. Back then in 2002, none paid any attention to it is a different matter. He used to say, I know Americans (specifically) and west in general cannot stand loss of human lives. But what he said further is profound. He said, we will use the weight of your administration system to destroy you.

What does Osama meant by “Weight of your Administration System”? To understand this let us look at a live example. Americans defeated the Taliban in Afghanistan. But even, 15 years on, they have been not able to establish modern democracy there. Why? Because basically the system of rule of law, prevailing in modern democracies is something which most of Afghans themselves don’t want it!

Consider these facts. After a long drawn bloody war which lasted for many decades and killed hundreds of thousands, Hamid Karzai was elected first President in 2004. Even then there is no peace as such in Afghanistan. As per one report by Brown University, close to 150 thousand people have been killed between 2001 to 2014, and 160 thousand have been injured. Most of these are Afghan civilians, soldiers, Pakistani terrorists, Afghan Tribesmen and American Soldiers too. But you see, after so many years and bloodletting massive proportions the killing season just does not seem to end. And even after killing Osama and replacing Afghani tribesman with a proper elected Head of State, America doesn’t seem to be winning! Because in this case Afghanis and Islamists generally don’t play as per your rules. They have their own set of beliefs and a different game altogether. To defeat them you will have to play as per their rules. Believers of Sharia cannot be defeated by modern world with modern law. Fidayeens cannot be stopped by Lawyers and Courts.

Tablighi Jamaatis are the Fidayeens of trying times such as these. They are doing to India, what Jihadis in the airplane, which took down twin towers, did to America. Let me explain. In India you would have seen many instances of law being broken by people attending Friday prayers etc when there are orders to stay home. Just ask yourself why no instances of Namaaz on roads or in any of the Mosques during lockdown in Saudi Arabia? You will never witness this Nizamuddin type defiance of law in any of the Middle East state. Because the law over there is made by taking into understanding the Islamist Psyche. The public knows, if law is broken consequences will follow. This kind of buffoonery is only seen countries where there is Liberal democracy, such as India.

So when Tablighi Jamaat event was held, by defying the order, Mohammad Saad and his followers knew ‘Kuch Nahi Hota’! (Nothing will happen). And they were right. There has been FIR after FIR. Saad is absconding. Mighty Indian state is requesting him to surrender. Tablighis are not reporting to police or hospitals. If taken to hospitals they are seen roaming naked and misbehaving with nurses. And because of this contemptuous behaviour towards everything which is Indian…The Laws, traditions, people, today we have a situation where the Corona crisis is threatening the whole nation now. And this, when we had the pandemic under control.

So when Osama said “The weight of your Administration System”, he knows the weakness of modern democracies and law. Just remember how much time was lost in punishing someone like Ajmal Kasab. He was seen live on TV killing scores of people in 2008. It was as open and shut case, it could have been. Yet took us 4 long years to hang him. In spite of top of the line weaponry, best intelligence and unmatched military power, America could not stop Fidayeens from taking town Empire states building. India may have the best doctors, all the required medicines and hospitals, but if it blinks again while going after Tablighis the Pandemic will take its toll. If the state lacks the courage to arrest Maulana Mohmmad Saad and his followers, Covid-19 will not spare us.

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Ajay Sudame
Ajay Sudame
Ajay Sudame aka 'Pakodewallah' is for Free Markets and is a Nationalist. He is the founder and editor of the Marathi OpEd website - Also runs a YouTube channel by the same name. Tweets @IndicVichaar
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