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'Keep them out. It's practical'

Surfers are sharply divided on question of trusting Muslims in armed forces.
None | By, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 28, 2006 03:39 PM IST

The Muslim question rages on.

With the arrest of three Indian Army jawans with Lashkar-e-Taiba links in Kashmir, we asked our surfers if all Muslims were to be viewed with suspicion.

This question was a tricky one. Both had strong arguments. Those opposed to it said the analogy was like saying that all Hindus subscribed to RSS ideology. While those who agreed to it said given the risks involved, there were very few options left.

Here's how the responses went.

The Nay club:

An obvious irate Irshad Ahmad from Surat in India said, "There is no option except to suspect all of them. Because all of them were already suspected before this news of three Muslim jawans spying became public.

Has any one read of Hindu youths helping Muslim terrorists in Kashmir? It is reported in Dainik Bhaskar. Hindus can never betray their motherland. What about a mole in PMO, as revealed by Jaswant Singh?

The point is, Kashmiris are striving for their scuttled aspirations and both Pakistan and India are responsible for making them take the route of terrorism.

It is exactly like the striving by Shahid Bhagat Singh and Chandrashekhar Azad, who were considered terrorists by the government of those days. Same way, today's Kashmiri terrorists are seen as patriots by Kashmiri people. And like many peace loving Indians of that time, there are many peace loving Kashmiri/Indians denouncing these terrorists."

Fuzail from Dubai, UAE found the argument rather ridiculous. "Given the past incidents of so many Hindus involved in anti-India espionage (Kumar Narayan for example) should all Hindus be viewed with suspicion? Certainly not. So what stands good for Hindus stands good for others as well including Muslims."

"Nonsensical question. It is like asking: Are all Hindus supporters of RSS ideology? Of course not," said Rakib from Vancouver, Canada.

Lipun from Singapore took the middle path. Arguably the most difficult?

"No, not at all! We are proud of our Army. There may be some cases. But that definitely does not mean that everyone is same. We should not doubt our own people. But since the incident has occurred we need to be more vigilant. Such a signal is not at all encouraging. And also we need to have a proper investigation."

Mrinal Munshi, a Kashmiri Hindu from Detroit, USA had this to say.

"No, we should never view all Muslims with suspicion. I am a Kashmiri Hindu and have come across a lot of Muslims. Most of them pro-Pakistan but some of them as Indian as I am... maybe more. They still are in India! By viewing all of them with suspicion, all we will manage to do is, alienate all of them."

The Ya club

Writing under the name Yahoo, a surfer had this to say.

"Why not? Can we trust them to become a top general in Army? No. They are not committed to the country they belong to. See all over the world. Once they increase in number they ask for a separate nation."

Rajesh felt only about 20 per cent were peace loving and patriotic.

"Yes, Muslims are traitors. Only about 20 per cent are peace-loving people. We can't give them the benefit of doubt because of this tiny lot. No Muslim should be included in the Army."

Kirtivasan from Singapore too chose the middle ground. Though he did realise that it was a matter of grave concern, he advocates cautious control.

"In view of national security and present happenings, there are chances that terrorists are well-equipped in all areas and intelligence. They do not have any ethics or kind feelings towards the country, property or innocent people.

They just wanted to terrorise every one without justifying their stand. Under such situation, it is advisable to review everyone in department which taking care of national security or national interest irrespective of their religion, post etc.

In my opinion all policies and procedures should also be reviewed in relation to selection, postings and promotion etc in view to the present situation."

There were some maintaining anonymity but categorical in their stance. Like this one.

"Yes, all of them need to be viewed with suspicion."

Rajiv from New Delhi gave solid reasons why they should not be considered for Indian Army.

"A professional army should not take any risk. There are only two available options for the army. Option-1: Look at every Muslim with suspicion unless proved otherwise and Option-2: Don't look at every Muslim with suspicion but find the bad ones.

A professional army will always go for option-1 as it mitigates risk the maximum. The army's options should not be dictated by civilian leadership. This is how the best armies in the world operate and we should expect the same from the Indian Army."

A person named Black from Deart, USA felt it was the right thing to do.

"Why does this incident surprise anybody? Don't we know that Muslims put their faith above anything including the loyalty to their country?"

Anurag from New Delhi too felt it was the most practical thing to do.

"'Sab ek hi thalli ke chate-batte hain'. You just can't rely on them. I am writing this without any prejudice towards anyone in particular but recent history and daily reports prove that we cannot rely/believe in Muslims in India anymore. Their community is polluted with anti-social elements and because of that others have to suffer."

Pity, for few "mad" people the entire community has to face the flak!

All views and opinions presented in this article are solely those of the surfers and do not necessarily represent those of

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