The Delhi violence is a perfect example of what mayhem can be triggered within India without waging a war on India.
Over the last few years, a major impetus has been given to India’s military modernization program. From Anti-satellite weapons (ASAT) test to the acquisition of the S-400 air defense system to restarting India’s artillery modernization program to Rafale jet or MH-60, Apache, Chinook helicopter acquisition to name a few, steps in the right directions are being taken. India is expected to spend $250 billion over the next decade on its military modernization.
Was Delhi Police completely caught off-guard and failed to comprehend the evolving dynamics of a new version of a hybrid war which would not be fought with tanks and missiles but one in which external agencies would attempt to capitalize and leverage internal fault lines of a country?
However, while these modernization programs are of absolute necessity, the question is whether it is sufficient enough to provide India 360-degree security in an ever-changing world of hybrid warfare? Is it not true that the dimensions of warfare are fundamentally altering wherein a complimentary strengthening of the architecture to counter the sub-optimal psychological warfare needs a considerable focus? Are the situations in Syria and Libya not examples enough for India to learn lessons from?
Delhi Riots: Was it a Pilot Testing for Triggering Severe Internal Strife all Over India?
Much to the shock and dismay of the entire country, when the heads of states of the largest and the oldest democracies of the world were meeting in New Delhi, i.e. President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, part of the city-state’s Northeastern region was reeling under violent communal riots which resulted in death of more than 50 people and injury to another 300. The organized violence, perhaps aimed at vitiating India’s image globally, not just resulted in massive destruction of public properties and loss of lives, but also showed the level of preparedness that must have gone before giving final shape to it by agents of mayhem.
The manner in which IB official Ankit Sharma was killed most brutally with 400 stab wounds with evidence of acid poured all over it, perhaps showed that it may not have been just a generic riot but one with ulterior motives of sending a message. The violence also witnessed the death of a Delhi Police Head Constable, severe injury to several other policemen, attack on Central Police Forces with acid and open attempts to intimidate police by rioters such as Shahrukh Pathan.
Incidentally, Seelampur, one of the epicenters of violence, was one of the key locations along with Lucknow, Amroha, and Hapur where in December 2018, a major ISIS racket was busted and a considerable amount of explosive items were recovered. Was the IB official Ankit Sharma killed to avenge it? Was Delhi Police completely caught off-guard and failed to comprehend the evolving dynamics of a new version of a hybrid war which would not be fought with tanks and missiles but one in which external agencies would attempt to capitalize and leverage internal fault lines of a country? Are our police forces capable of anticipating such events especially when a major head of state is to come to India and there were inherent possibilities of vested interests using the global media glare on India to malign India’s image?
When Sharjeel Imam stated that Chicken’s Neck area is primarily inhabited by Muslims, as he mentioned about the altered demography in areas of lower Assam which is infamous for illegal infiltration from Bangladesh?
The Prelude to Delhi Riots: Sinister Statements by Sharjeel Imam
A few weeks before the Delhi riots, the nation had witnessed some shocking statements made in Anti-CAA rallies where the man behind Shaheen Bagh blockade, Sharjeel Imam, openly exhorted Muslims of India to cut off Northeast India from rest of India, to make sure that neither India’s armed forces nor other supplies could reach there. Sharjeel Imam specifically used the word ‘Chicken’s Neck’, a term used to denote the vulnerability of what is known as the Siliguri Corridor, the narrow stretch that connects India to its North-eastern part. He stated that five lakh Muslim agitators can permanently cut Northeast India from mainland India by creating blockade in the Siliguri Corridor.
The statement by Faizul Hassan, a former student of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) chest-thumping that ‘Muslims can destroy any country’ is equally alarming and is aimed at triggering the kind of polarized internal strife that many of India’s adversaries would want India to get mired into just like Syria or Iraq.
While majority of Indians cutting across religious lines would never want that to happen and remain fiercely embedded to India’s territorial integrity and secular ethos, the fact that such shocking statements are being made in protest rallies is itself a cause for concern. The moot question is who is orchestrating or engineering these statements and subsequent violence from behind the curtain? Is it time to unmask the string-pullers? Similar provocative speeches have also been given by many others including the likes of Umar Khalid including one in which he is allegedly asking protestors to come out in large numbers on the day President Trump visits India.
The Calculated Ploy and Urban Naxal-Radical Islamist Syndicate Agenda
What is surprising in these statements is how speeches in civil agitations aimed at opposing an act of law, are being skilfully crafted to converge objectives of agitation with that of India’s adversaries like Pakistan and China. When Sharjeel Imam stated that Chicken’s Neck area is primarily inhabited by Muslims, as he mentioned about the altered demography in areas of lower Assam which is infamous for illegal infiltration from Bangladesh? Was the ulterior objective of systematic demographic alteration in Lower Assam to eventually cut off Northeast India from the rest of India?
Imagine if this happens in reality….!!
What happens if the likes of rabidly radicalized Sharjeel Imams pied-piper half a million people to Siliguri Corridor and physically attempt to cut-off India from Northeast India? Are the armed forces in a position to shoot half a million? What would be the impact of that? Would then such agitations such as Shaheen bagh type, where seeds of such portentous plans are sown and germinated, be termed as mere civil unrest or should ideally be termed as ‘Planned War by Other Means’ perhaps engineered or orchestrated from abroad? Delhi Riots and the enormity of the number of industrial acids and Molotov cocktails that were used in it are proof enough of how planning and ideological indoctrination can wreak more havoc than even cross-border artillery shelling or terror attack could achieve.
What Sharjeel Imam stated was not a slip of tongue or a mere casual statement. It was a calculated ploy to test waters by throwing an idea and see how the crowd reacts. It is obvious that such ideas of dismembering India from within has not remained confined in the strategic corridors of Pakistan or China but have been carried back to India by their moles, plants, and sympathizers and disseminated across various seminaries who harbour similar aspirations of witnessing a disintegrated India.
Is India Prepared for this New Dimension of Hybrid Warfare?
This is where the moot question comes. Even as India becomes far more fortified to counter future conventional wars and threats of nuclear confrontation, is it now a reality that India faces far more threats from saboteurs and disruptors within, who would use mob violence to farther their agenda? Is India now far more secure from external adversaries ever attempting a frontal attack than externally funded Internal saboteurs who craftily take advantage of India’s liberal democratic culture to internally engineer civil unrest, violent agitation, blockades and eventually a civil war kind of situation?
Is India now facing a new kind of hybrid warfare which cannot be countered by missiles and fighter jets alone but needs a new architecture to deal with certain disruptive activities triggered internally, as nothing less than ‘Acts of War’? Is it not true that India’s policing dynamics are simply incapable of its present architecture to deal with the kind of planned violence that happened in Delhi recently?
What is the real agenda of those who plotted the riot to give a bad name to India during the visit of US President and those who deliberately obfuscate the truth in their dispatch to foreign publications?
While divergence of opinion and opposition on any issue is perfectly healthy in any vibrant democracy, unfortunately, in the name of dissent and championing anti-establishment culture, a section of India’s political parties especially those who have ruled India for more than 60 years both in the realm of political ruling and academia, always promoted soft separatism. Today this is coming out of the closet and taking a portentous turn. And sadly most state governments of India are extremely disinclined to wake up to this reality.
Worse, in spite of ample evidence of a targeted attack on security personnel by Anti-CAA protestors, it was quite shocking how a major section of foreign media have been working to falsely portray this violence as one orchestrated by the Government. The paid narratives in foreign media contradict the visual evidence of how a four-storey building of an AAP councilor Tahir Hussain was used for orchestrating the riot. The moot question that needs an answer then as to whether there is a sinister plot behind the biased reporting being done by a section of foreign media to deliberately and falsely portray the perpetrators as victims. If so, then what is the real agenda of those who plotted the riot to give a bad name to India during the visit of US President and those who deliberately obfuscate the truth in their dispatch to foreign publications? Is it to defame India to such an extent that investors would stop betting on India?
To be continued…
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.
 Delhi violence: Autopsy report shows over 200 injuries on IB official Ankit Sharma’s body – Feb 28, 2020, Indiatimes.com
 Under fire for Assam remarks, another controversial speech of Sharjeel Imam surfaces – Jan 26, 2020, Indiatoday.in
 Indian media has made Tahir Hussain the face of Delhi riots. What’s the evidence? – Feb 28, 2020, Newslaundry.com