A sacred thread for Ajmal Kasab

I am not a Hindu bigot nor am I a saffron supporter. And yet of late I have come under attack from certain groups who believe I have been unduly defensive of the Rashriya Swayamsevak Sangh in recent months.

Actually, I have been trashing the RSS even as I seem to be on its side. I think the RSS understands that well. But my seeming defence of an organisation I could never support comes from the events following 26/11. Read my column

And now I have one more reason to thank Tukaram Omble for catching Ajmal Kasab alive even as the latter emptied bullets into the sub-inspector’s abdomen and took his life. Else we would never have known the truth.

By now, of course, it is clear that it was Pakistan and not the RSS that mounted the absolutely audacious attack on Bombay on 26/11. Had it not been for Omble, the misplaced misinformation of a section of Muslim intellectuals who attempted to pin the blame on the RSS would have taken root and passed into legend.

But why I have reason to thank Omble again this week is the startling revelation by David Coleman Headley to Indian investigators that he had bought a large number of maulis (sacred red and yellow threads) from the Siddhi Vinayak temple in Bombay on one visit and suggested to the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba that these be worn by all the terrorists mounting the attack on 26/11. Since no one expected any of the attackers to survive, the maulis and the false identity cards were meant to throw investigators off the scent and create reasonable doubt in our minds about the actual identities of the attackers. Since no hard core Muslim would be found dead (no pun intended) or alive wearing a symbol of Hindu piety, it is reasonable to conclude that had Kasab not lived at the end of that day, Headley, too, would not have been caught and we would never have got to the bottom of the extent of the involvement of a section of Pakistan’s ISI in 26/11.

Which is why those who think the RSS could have thought up such an attack and are still doing their desperate best to convince the rest of us of its involvement in 26/11, need to reconsider. Firstly, the so-called Hindu terrorists have no original ideas. They have copied from attacks mounted by jehadi groups and, more importantly, they have got caught, almost immediately. And they have left the police with no doubts (unlike Islamic groups who almost always tell us nothing) about their involvement in Malegaon, Ajmer and elsewhere.

Moreover, look at the extent of the commitment of Kasab and his compatriots: they believed they were attacking the enemy, they believed they would be securing jannat in a few short hours and yet they had no qualms in wearing a Hindu sacred thread round their wrists to confuse the enemy.

By contrast to that meticulous planning and execution, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and Swami Amritanand were both naïve and stupid. They used a vehicle register in their own name to pack the Malegaon bomb, they left wide trails for the police to track them down within days and they were still in their saffron robes when the cops came knocking at their doors.

That is why I was convinced even then that the RSS and its offshoots were incapable of an attack like 26/11 – and thank God for that. Even if I have problems with their saffron ideology, I would rather that people like Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, Swami Dayanand Purohit and the others remain misguided individuals (and bumbling idiots at that) rather than become the cold-blooded killers of innocent people as Kasab and his compatriots have proved.

Now whatever might become of the so-called ‘Hindu’ terrorists, I have some distinct views ion Kasab: I am not just glad he was caught alive but I would rather that for as long as he is kept alive, the authorities consider denying him his jannat every which way possible. A friend had suggested he be fed bacon, vindaloo and sorpotel for breakfast lunch and dinner every Friday from now to whenever he is hanged. And starved everyday if he refuses that dose of medicine for his soul.

I would add: since he is already familiar with the mauli, why not educate him further by keeping him dressed in saffron robes and wrap a rudraksha mala round his neck for good measure. That will be a noose even before the noose goes round his neck.

And people like Headley will never think of messing round with or violating our temples ever again.

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