Socialist Worker is appalled at yesterday’s gun and grenade attacks in the centre of Mumbai and offers its condolences to the families of all those who have been killed or injured.
Mumbai is a diverse city that encompasses most of India’s ethnic and religious groupings. Its people cannot be held in any way responsible for the actions of the Indian state—neither its vicious repression in Kashmir, nor its support for the US-led “war on terror”.
Nor are they responsible for the widespread discrimination against Muslims in India. Muslims are disproportionately represented among the poor and unemployed, and routinely referred to as potential “enemies within”.
Yet by spraying bullets at hospitals, railway stations, hotels, shops and bystanders, the attackers have made everyone a target.
It would be a further tragedy if this assault were to be the pretext for communal attacks in which Indian Muslims became the victims of “revenge” killings.
Mumbai has seen terrible carnage over decades as politicians manipulate religious and ethnic divisions for their own ends. The hope must be that the city’s working class will be strong enough to resist any attempt to repeat the cycle of violence.
Indian security services have been quick to point the finger at “Pakistani agents”. This has become their standard refrain following any terrorist outrage. But the accusation is a cover for the real reason why India has become a target for terrorists.
Indian armed forces have been pounding the disputed territory of Kashmir with mortars, shells and missiles for decades in an attempt to hold on to the Muslim majority province.
And the recent nuclear deal between the US and Indian governments has highlighted India’s increasingly prominent role as an ally of US imperialism across South Asia and beyond.
The overwhelming majority of the Indian population stands against communal violence, war and imperialism. Revulsion at attacks on religious and ethnic groups is as much the norm as opposition to the prospect of war with Pakistan.
Mumbai also has a proud history of Hindu-Muslim unity that stretches back to the movement for independence from Britain. We hope this spirit of unity can be revived in the days and weeks to come.
For more on the Mumbai attack go to » Mumbai massacre: War threats will only fuel terror