The year 2017 is possibly the most significant year of the new millennium till now for India. Do you know why 2017 is so important? It is a statistical anomaly that will warm your hearts. Since the start of the 21st century, 2017 is the first year that India has lost no life to Islamic terror! For the first time in nearly two decades not a single Indian died in 2017 owing to the barbarism of Jihadi terror attacks outside the troubled zone of Jammu and Kashmir. It shall be celebrated by future historians as the first Zero Death Year since global Jihad attained mainstream status and found India as a prime target.
2017 is in fact a continuing story of the last four years. Since 2014, in roughly the last four years, the number of casualties of Jihadi terrorism across India (outside J&K) have fallen down to a mere 24. Of these 24 deaths, only a 3rd were acctual civilian casualties while 16 of those who died belonged to the security forces. No doubt, every innocent life that is lost is precious, what must also be appreciated here is the fact that many hundreds of lives have been saved over the last three odd years.
In effect, over the last four years, only two civilians have died in Jihadi terror attacks every year in India (outside of J&K) while 26 terrorists have been killed in that same period of time. Therefore, 2017 is also symbolic because not a single Indian died while one ISIS terrorist lost his life in an encounter in Uttar Pradesh on 8th March 2017. It is very clear that for the first time India has begun to fight back against Jihadi terrorism. This is no mean achievement when one considers the bleak security scenario of the decade preceding 2014
Between 2004 and 2014, a whopping 910 Indians (again, outside of J&K) lost their lives to Jihadi terrorism while another 3118 were wounded. These are staggering numbers. An overwhelming 402 innocent people either died or were injured in Jihadi terror attacks in India every year during the UPA decade. Let us further clarify this data-point. Due to Islamic terror attacks, more than one person was either losing his life or limb each single day that Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi were in power!
Further analysis of the casualty data shows that out of the 910 Indian lives lost during that dark decade of terrorism, only 31 were security forces while an overwhelming majority of 879 were innocent civilians. Also, during this period, only 42 terrorists were killed achieving a dubious ratio of only 1 terrorist killed for every 21 civilian lives lost. Essentially, the UPA government’s security apparatus was so heavily compromised that India was sacrificing 21 innocent civilians to eliminate one terrorist in the war against terrorism.
What were Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh doing in this decade of darkness? Instead of fighting Jihadi terrorism, they were busy creating non-existent ‘Hindu-Terrorism’ (sic) out of thin air just to maintain their minority vote-banks. Contrast this with what the Modi government has been doing over the last four years and you will realize how stark is the difference.
What is more surprising is that throughout that decade when literally hundreds of innocent lives were lost, not a single ‘intellectual’ thought of returning her award in protest, not a single media entity created a narrative of an intolerant country and not a single meaningful debate was built upon religious hegemony.
On 27th October 2013, a series of bombs went off at the Hunkar rally in Patna, killing seven people and injuring more than a 100. Narendra Modi, the then Gujarat CM was addressing close to 4 lakh people in that rally and it proved to be a turning point of his Prime Ministerial campaign. Senior journalist, M.J. Akbar had eloquently written about that incident in his now famous ET column:
“The bombs that began to burst at Narendra Modi's Patliputra rally were aimed at the crowds, of course, but also at him. His instant response was to ask a powerful question to both Hindus and Muslims that went to the crux of the principal challenge before our nation, and included its solution as well. He asked these two great communities to choose: they could either fight each other, or together they could confront that shaming curse called poverty."
After becoming the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi with able assistance from Ajit Doval has not only repaired the damage caused to the Indian security apparatus, but has also fought back against Jihadi terrorism with vigor, meeting bullet to bullet. If not for anything else, it is for this act of greatness that India deserves his decisive leadership for at least another decade.