Sunday 9 July 2023

No visas for terror sympathisers (The Sunday Guardian)

 Names have always been used to camouflage the actual intentions and effect of an action. The Enabling Act that was passed by the German Reichstag in 1933, soon after Adolf Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany by President Hindenburg, was the legal cover used subsequently to place a veneer of legality on his dictatorship. Passing the Act was a simple process, as those opposing the measure were simply forced out of the chamber by Storm Troopers before voting commenced, many of whom subsequently were arrested and a few executed. The law was named “the rescue of the German people and state from misery”, surely a classic in the annals of misinformation. Within six years, a war that ought to have begun in 1936 at the latest but for the obsession of the elites of Britain in particular with finishing off not Nazi Germany but the Soviet Union. Indeed, up until the formal declaration in 1939 of a war that could no longer be ignored, much of the British establishment saw Hitler as a useful bulwark against what they regarded as the actual threat, the USSR. Up to the invasion of Poland by Hitler, emissaries were sent by Prime Minister Chamberlain to Berlin to try and convince Hitler to call a halt to further conquests. While the Soviet secret service had reliable information about the intention of Hitler to attack the Soviet Union once he subdued Poland, these were thrown aside by Stalin as “provocations by the British and the Americans that were intended to persuade the USSR to launch a pre-emptive strike on Germany’’. Several of the NKVD analysts in Moscow who warned of Hitler’s coming assault were executed as “agents of the British”, with the result that the flow of information to Stalin concerning German moves dried up. Stalin thought himself to be infallible, a propensity for self-delusion that cost his country over twenty million lives lost on the battlefields and through acts of Nazi bestiality.

In the roster of misleading names, a prizewinner is “Sikhs for Justice” (SfJ) run by individuals working closely with the diplomatic staff of two countries not friendly to India. What was done to a community that is among the most valorous in the world during 1946-48 in that part of Punjab that was handed over to Pakistan cries out for justice. In not the tens but in the hundreds of thousands, Sikh men, women and children were put to death, stripped of their assets, physically assaulted and made to flee. The loss was Pakistan’s, for the Sikhs are a community that enriches any part of the world they settle down in. SfJ is not just not interested in seeking justice for the victims of that period, the organisation has become the handmaidens of the grandchildren and children of some of the very individuals who were guilty of acts of horror against the Sikhs in what is now Pakistani Punjab during those years of travail. Instead of concentrating on the perpetrators of genocide, the organisation and others auxiliary to it are targeting the very country in which many in the Sikh community found refuge during 1946-48, the Republic of India. It is a fact that the events following the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on 31 October 1984 were inexcusable in any manner or form, and that much more needs to be done to ensure accountability on those guilty of acts of hatred and worse. But joining in the plan to divert attention from 1946-48 by focusing on 1984 is to become accomplices of those who seek to remove from the record the Sikh genocide of that period. Worse, to serve their interests by indulging in acts of violence against India and its people, including the Sikh community. Whether it be the UK, the US, Australia or Canada, the causal linkages between acts of violence planned or executed and the organisations and individuals responsible are available in the records. Yet there is a paralysis of the will in capitals that incessantly preach about “fighting terror and the enemies of democracy”. The people of India expect better from countries that are partners in the fight against extremism. On India’s part, the least that ought to be done is to take away any visa given to those individuals whose identities have become known as accomplices of the efforts of two hostile powers to needle the world’s most populous democracy. Neither they nor their facilitators and accomplices should be allowed to visit India, for the obvious reason that the purpose of such trips would be to cause violence within the country.
Prof Nalapat

No visas for terror sympathisers

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