While everybody seems to have finally woken up and is basking in self-congratulatory moods, here is a portion of a letter I wrote to ALL major think tanks and South Asia experts in Washington on February 16. It is almost two months later that people took adequate notice anywhere.
Today’s mail is about my still hoping that we can meet sometime soon and continue our talks about growing extremism in India and the need to have a much larger and honest discussion with experts about that and not just Pakistan. As I always say, the devil is in the detail, and often some small but horrifying events can tell so much more than a mere compilation of statistics. Tragedy is individual, and as a German I always felt that trying to grasp the enormity of of millions of victims is not easy because it defies imagination. Hearing about the fate of a particular victim can sometimes be much more illustrative of true evil. I often use the fake encounter at Machil in all its gruesomeness to drive home that point. Now let the poor Nomad girl that was raped and murdered in Jammu be another poster girl for pure horror. The below is an article about the rape and murder and a demonstration that took place in Jammu yesterday in support of the killer!!! Jammu is slowly but surely being taken over by the RSS and Muslims are increasingly terrified about their display of strength, especially in Muslim areas. You have to see pictures of their marches with swords and in full Nazi/ Hitler Youth attire to believe it. Much of this activity is welcomed by rabidly communal retired and some active military officers, some of them living in Jammu and active in the BJP. You and others above may remember that I raised Jammu during our roundtable discussion about Kashmir. I wanted to talk about the increasing vulnerability of Muslims in Jammu, but you guys wanted me to confine my comments to the Valley. What is happening in Jammu is very important, and it is extremely biased for people to mostly talk about “radicalisation” in Kashmir without pointing out the fanaticism that is growing by leaps and bounds in Jammu. This is especially so since I strongly feel that the “radicalisation” in Kashmir is mostly political while in Jammu it is purely religiously communal and anti- Muslim. Out of fairness, could you or somebody above please organise some event about this growing menace which is bound to become more lethal as we get closer to the elections in India? It would be fair to talk about the various shades of extremism in the region as you tried to do in your event about “Religious Freedoms in South Asia” which was so very enlightening. Mridu Rai talked about the massacre of Muslims in Jammu. I would not be surprised if one day another one were to happen…..””