‘Alienation drawing educated Muslims to terrorism’

September 18th, 2008 - 7:08 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 18 (IANS) The alienation of the Muslim community in the country is taking educated Muslims towards the “path of violence”, said Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, adding that the most formidable challenge for the nation is from the Maoists.Delivering the Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa lecture here late Wednesday, Chidambaram said India needs to wake up to this home grown challenge soon.

“There is the challenge of alienation of the Muslim community and more recently the Christian community. The divide between Muslims and Hindus is taking new and dangerous forms - ghettoisation, social boycott, discrimination in employment and the blurring lines between the state and religion as was seen in Gujarat,” said Chidambaram.

“Out of the hopelessness and despair of the Muslim community - and if not addressed firmly, the Christian tribal communities too - will rise new waves of terror. There is no other explanation for the phenomenon of graduates and engineers and doctors - born, educated and living in India - taking to the path of violence,” he added.

Tauqir, a Mumbai based software professional, is wanted by the police of six states. He is believed to have sent emails to the media in the name of Indian Mujahideen claiming responsibility for the terror strikes in New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Jaipur and Hyderabad.

Chidambaram said that Maoists are posing a major threat on the home front.

“The most formidable challenge is that from the Naxalites. Their area of influence has expanded, their capacity to strike has increased and their determination to prevail emboldened by lack of development in, and the loss of control of the state governments over, the affected areas,” he said.

He said that the issue of economic transformation to sustain high growth is important if India wants to have the right place in geo-politics.

Within the sub-continent, Chidambaram said India is in a “troubled” neighbourhood and that India’s security comprises of food security, energy security, financial security, financial stability, border security and cross border security.

“The ethnic strife in Sri Lanka has pushed thousands of refugees across the Palk Straits into India. The near failure of the state in Bangladesh triggered massive migration to India altering the demographic profile of many districts in West Bengal and Assam.

“Myanmar, while overtly friendly, continues to give shelter to insurgent groups that threaten the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India,” he said.

On Pakistan, he said: “Pakistan in implacably opposed to India: while Kashmir appears to be the central issue of contention, Pakistan has taken its hostility beyond Kashmir and supports terrorist activities and communal conflagrations in other parts of India.”

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