Politics

India Should Have ‘Actioned a Kinetic Response’ after 26/11, Says Manish Tewari in New Book, BJP Attacks Congress

Congress lawmaker and former union minister Manish Tewari put his party in a tight spot on Tuesday by revealing an excerpt from his new book in which he strikes a discordant note on the issue of the-then Manmohan Singh government’s response to the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks in 2008, arguing that India should have “actioned a kinetic response” against Pakistan. The development gave the Bharatiya Janata Party ammunition to attack the Congress ahead of a clutch of state elections to be held early next year. The row comes close on the heels of Tewari’s party colleague Salman Khurshid prompting major outrage for purportedly equating Hindutva with terrorist groups such as ISIS and Boko Haram in his book.

Tewari was promoting ’10 Flash Points; 20 Years – National Security Situations that Impacted India’ published by Rupa Publications on Twitter. The book will be officially released on December 2.

“For a state that has no compunctions in brutally slaughtering hundreds of innocent people, restraint is not a sign of strength; it is perceived as a symbol of weakness. There comes a time when actions must speak louder than words. 26/11 was one such time when it just should have been done,” he says in the book. “It, therefore, is my considered opinion that India should have actioned a kinetic response in the days following India’s 9/11.”

Manish Tewari is part of the so-called ‘group of 23 (G-23)’ Congress leaders who have repeatedly raised concerns about the party’s leadership and its future.

One of the most horrific terrorist attacks in the country’s history occurred on November 26, 2008, when 166 people were killed and over 300 injured as 10 heavily-armed terrorists from Pakistan created mayhem in Mumbai.

The BJP was quick to latch onto the situation.

The BJP is attempting to corner Congress ahead of assembly elections in early 2022 in key states such as Uttar Pradesh, as well as Punjab that shares a border with Pakistan. It got an opportunity recently with the row sparked by Khurshid’s book, ‘Sunrise Over Ayodhya: Nationhood in Our Times’, in which he seemingly drew a parallel between Hindutva and radical Islamist groups. “Sanatan Dharma and classical Hinduism known to sages and saints were being pushed aside by a robust version of Hindutva, by all standards a political version similar to the jihadist Islam of groups like ISIS and Boko Haram of recent years,” he wrote.

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