The World had a history before G W Bush
The latest terror attacks in India have just made the world a more complicated place…..for America.
Suddenly the Americans are confronted with a new front in the war on terror and luckily the world has Barack Obama and not George Bush as the man who must decide how the most powerful nation on earth must respond.
Early indications are that the attackers who killed at least 183 people and injured a further 300 come from Pakistan. However, nothing is always as it seems in the Middle East and some the attackers might have come from India, or at least had local support.
One of the terrorist’s told an Indian News channel that the attacks were revenge for the persecution of Muslims in India.
Muslims make up about 14 % of India’s population while Hindu’s make up around 80 %.
In 2002, Hindu nationalists went on the rampage and killed 2000 Muslims. Few of the attackers were ever caught and this has left a festering sore amongst the Muslim population in India
To understand the complexities involved in the Indian/Pakistani relationship one must go back to the days of the last great imperialist, Great Britain.
In 1857, the first war of independence was fought in India, against the British invaders. The British called the uprising the Sepoy mutiny and took revenge upon the Muslim community, who had ruled the sub-continent for 500 years, as part of the Mughal Empire. English was imposed as the official language and puppet rulers were installed. The parallels between India in 1857 and Iraq and Afghanistan 150 years later cannot be ignored.
The Muslim community in India collapsed as a result and has never recovered. Two grouping emerged in the aftermath of the British victory. One group believed that the collapse of the Mughal Empire was a result of a society that that moved too far away from the teachings of the Koran, whilst the other embraced the modern ways of their conqueror and sought Muslim advancement through Western sciences, law and culture.
The roots of the Islamic militants can be traced back 150 years as they seek, via the military option to regain power and re-instate Islamic states in the sub continent.
Following World War I, more lines were drawn on the map and Pakistan was born, to cater for the Muslim majority in that region. At the conclusion of a civil war in 1971, East Pakistan broke away to form Bangladesh.
The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 gave new impetus to Islamic militancy as thousands of refugees poured into Pakistan. Holy warriors or Muhajedin were trained to fight the Soviets, often funded by America. These fighters came from all over the globe and were united by their religion and believed they were fighting a jihad, a holy war.
Ridding Afghanistan of the infidels was the rallying call. Did anyone really believe that anything had changed 25 years later?
The situation in the region is complex. However, what has become evident is that the military invasion by the West has only caused more problems and not solutions. America’s reasons for invading Afghanistan and Iraq have turned out to be misleading at best and outright lies at worst. The result has been a surge in Islamic militancy and India is now bearing the brunt of that surge.
And without any political solutions many will believe that only religion will be able to unite and heal the wounds in the sub continent that were inflicted centuries ago.