We are living in a world where agenda setting in media reshapes the opinion and nations with strong stake in media are dominating the knowledge gap extending edge to the developed nations and their allies over the other states less privileged in media holdings. The Mumbai attacks in 2008 which left 174 people – including nine gunmen – dead, and soured ties between India and Pakistan has remained a myth for many years whereas the facts have been under the shelves for many years and unfolded recently by independent investigators who hold India responsible and mastermind of such attacks as a tool against Pakistan being the prime beneficiaries of series of incidents. The 60-hour siege which began on 26 November 2008 targeted luxury hotels, Mumbai’s main railway station and a Jewish cultural centre shook the world. Pakistani and global media need to expose the wicked side of India to tarnish the image of Pakistan in the lights of truth revealed. We need to revisit into the propaganda against Pakistan in context of Mumbai attacks in shadow of priming and framing techniques in media.
One such investigator is Elias Davidsson, some readers will be familiar with his meticulous book, Hijacking America’s Mind on 9/11. Davidsson has now produced a book on the 2008 attacks that occurred in Mumbai, India. The book is entitled, The Betrayal of India: Revisiting the 26/11 Evidence.
To remind ourselves of these attacks–that is, of the official story of these attacks as narrated by the Indian government–we can do no better than to consult Wikipedia, which seldom strays from government intelligence narratives but the facts raised by the worthy writer paint a different narrative shunning aside the official version of India over 26/11.
Davidsson encourages us to assess separately the actual attacks and the Indian state’s investigation of the attacks. It is highly plausible, he says, that major institutional actors in India, the United States and possibly Israel, were complicit in conceiving, planning, directing and executing the attacks of 26/11; but the evidence of a deceptive investigation is even stronger.
Davidson has raised many questions relating to immediate fingering of the preparator to fool the world by misguiding and distraction tactics. In the Mumbai case the Prime Minister of India implied, while the attack was still in progress that the perpetrators were from a terrorist group supported by, or at least tolerated by, Pakistan. Three days prior to the attack on the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai, one of the main attack sites, Kissinger had been staying in the hotel. He sat with top executives from Goldman Sachs and India’s Tata group in the Taj to ‘chat about American politics’. Kissinger’s presence on the scene with Indian elites (the Tata family is one of India’s wealthiest, and the Tata Group owns the Taj) would be peculiar enough to cause raising of the eyebrows, but when combined with his immediate fingering of Pakistan it becomes extremely suspect. He opines that the investigation process were mere a hoax, and even today the case against Pakistan remains full of contradictions, unsupported allegations, and absurdities.
Incompetence is a fact of life, but there are times when the incompetence theory is strained to the breaking point and it is more rational to posit deliberate deception. In the case of the Mumbai investigation; Davidsson depicts its failures as going well beyond incompetence as neither the police, nor the judge charged with trying the sole surviving suspect, made public a timeline of events. Even the most basic facts of when a given set of attacks began and when they ended were left vague. Key witnesses were not called to testify. Witnesses who said they saw the terrorists commit violence, or spoke to them, or were in the same room with them, were ignored by the court. It was thus a grotesque failure by official investigators to follow proper procedures to meet the justice.
Extreme secrecy and the withholding of basic information from the population, with the excuse of national security is another aspect of the Mumbai attacks theme because the surviving alleged terrorist had no public trial and no transcript of his secret trial has been released. Independent sources claim that Qassab was detained from Nepal one month prior to the attacks. It is also noteworthy that one lawyer who agreed to defend the accused was removed by the court and another was assassinated which raise several doubts.
Further, the public was told there was extensive CCTV footage of the attacks, despite the mysterious malfunctioning of the majority of CCTV cameras on the days in question; but only a very small percentage of the claimed footage was ever released and it suffers from serious defects–containing two conflicting time-stamps and signs of editing. Members of an elite Indian commando unit that showed up with between 475 and 800 members to battle eight terrorists were not allowed to testify in court. The confession of the suspect, on which the judge leaned heavily, was given in secret. No transcript of this confession has been released to the public and the suspect later renounced the confession, saying he had been under threat from police when he gave it. The suspect, after being convicted and sentenced to death, was presumably executed, but the hanging was done secretly in jail and his body, like the bodies of the other dead terrorists, was buried in a secret place.
It is difficult to see how the investigation described above differs from what we would expect to see in a police state. Evidently, the world’s largest democracy is in trouble. So, what can we learn from Davidsson’s book? For patient readers, a great deal: this 900-page study is as free of filler and rhetoric as it is rich in detail. The readers will find that the book discusses not only details of the Mumbai attacks, but patterns of deception common in the War on Terror.
Another book-the autobiography of Vice Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University, Lt. General (R) Zameeruddin Shah, and ‘the Sarkari Musalman’ is in the offing giving the status of Muslims in India. In the autobiography, sarcastically, he says there are two types of Muslims, one who sell their conscience and others who are government servants like us. He said, “I had this title in my mind since long. And the reason is, that my family was called a Sarkari Muslaman, My religion is my uniform, I am a Sarkari Musalman”. He has held Narendra Modi is responsible for not controlling the Gujarat genocide. He, however, quips, “I have said clearly that the Gujarat incident was a total administrative failure.”
Labeling, framing and priming of Muslims in a unified way with mollified intentions is a common practice in global media to undermine the growing pace of Islam in the world and to check the political influence of the Muslims across the world. The wave of Islamophobia should be understood and comprehended in this perspective. However, it would be wise enough for the ruling elite of Islamic countries to prevent Muslim youth to be provoked and exploited by the powerful Anti-Muslim lobbies to serve their cause of defaming Islam by branding them as terrorists.