Punjab Research Group

How Ajmal Kasab took to radical Islam by Jugnu Mohsin

Posted in Articles, News/Information by Pippa on January 13, 2009

Faridkot of Ajmal ‘Qasai’ (Kasab) fame is a mere ten miles from my ancestral village in tehsil Depalpur, Punjab. Before the 21-year-old went on his killing spree in Mumbai, Faridkot was known only because it is one of many thus named towns and villages celebrating and honouring the great Chishti sufi, Sheikh-al-Islam, Fariduddin Masud Ganj-e-Shakar (1173-1266) known in Pakistan, northern India and as far as Afghanistan and Central Asia, as Baba Farid.


The saint’s followers or murids spread throughout the Punjab and beyond across north India. Everywhere, they named their settlements Faridkot. Now one such Faridkot is on Google Earth as the home of the sole surviving terrorist of India‘s 9/11, as many Indians see it. How this came to pass is a story of countless impoverished Pakistanis who have taken to jihad and radical Islam as a way of claiming an identity and a livelihood in a state that has failed to provide both in sixty years of independence.

This Punjab, where I grew up in the 1960s and 1970s, appeared to me peaceful, bucolic, unconcerned with caste or creed and at one with its ancient spirit. But then I was a child of privilege. My father, tracing his lineage to the 16th century Qadiri sufi Daud Bandagi Kirmani, whose Akbar Shahi tomb still dominates the pinnacle of our village, Shergarh, farmed land in the area owned by his family for generations. Immersed in his culture and history, my father took my siblings and me on tours of this ancient part of the Punjab.


For full article: http://in.rediff.com/news/2009/jan/05mumterror-how-ajmal-kasab-took-to-radical-islam.htm


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