Out of the 20,000 foreigners who have joined the ranks of the ISIS, 12 are from India. Indian security agencies would pat themselves on the back as they have successfully managed to thwart attempts made by the ISIS to recruit out of India. The ISIS which has been relying heavily on foreign fighters has managed to rope in 20,000 from various parts of the world. Currently there are fighters from 90 different countries fighting along side the ISIS.
Till date there are 3400 fighters who have joined the ISIS from Western nations. In the case of the United States of America, the number of fighters is 150, statistics until March 2015 would suggest.
The Indian scenario
Until last September the situation regarding the ISIS appeared to be extremely threatening for India. It was like a wave which was threatening to sweep away a large number of Indian Muslims into the fold of the ISIS. However several high level meetings that were chaired by the National Security Advisor Ajit Doval set in motion a plan which aimed at curbing recruits from slipping out of India and joining the ISIS in Syria and Iraq.
When Narendra Modi took over as the Prime Minister of India, it was being propagated that a large number of Indian Muslims would leave India and join the ranks of the ISIS. However the approach by the Indian government was completely different and it decided to take the Muslims on board to fight the evil called the ISIS. Counselling sessions replaced third degree treatments.
Arrests were replaced by tabs. Elders were roped in to drill sense into the younger lot and finally when Areeb Majeed one of the four Kalyan youth who joined the ISIS was brought down he was made to tell the real story of how badly treated the youth are. From what looked an active recruitment drive which would eat up 300 Indians, the number dramatically dropped to 12. Moreover these 12 persons had joined the ISIS much before the strategy to counter the recruitments were taken.
How India beat the West?
For starters India refused to be part of the West led war against the ISIS. Ajit Doval refused a US offer point blank to join the war against the ISIS. For starters the ISIS is not known to target India. Although they have India on their scheme of things at a much later stage, India is confident of countering that threat.
Several fighters from the West who have joined the ISIS had complained of discrimination being the reason. However in the Indian scenario it was decided to address any discrimination issue when this ISIS wave started to become stronger. The West however decided to launch attacks instead.
Unlike India the West did not address issues such as alienation of the Muslims when tackling the issue. Inclusion in society was another issue that India took care of while dealing with this threat. On this count the West failed miserably which only prompted several of its citizens to whole heartedly join the ISIS.
Westerners go with the hope that US would be targeted
Across terror groups the most common grouse is the unwarranted interference by the United States of America in the affairs of other countries. This is one of the primary reasons why both Modi and Doval refused to join the battle against the ISIS. Had the Indian government decided to join the battle in Syria and Iraq then all attempts to stall the recruitments would have gone out of the window.
The ISIS campaign for recruitments repeatedly speaks about the ultimate goal to hit the West while they go on to set up a full fledged Islamic Caliphate. This has been a main draw for the Western fighters. They feel that they could go to Iraq and Syria and gain the necessary experience so that they could go back and hit out at the West. If one looks at the kind of recruitments that have taken place from the West it is obvious that the ISIS has not roped in the stereo type terrorist. Unlike the the Al-Qaeda, the ISIS has roped in people only to carry out ground battles which means they are trained to wage gun battles. They are training people for war and not terror strikes.
Leading the ideal life
This is one more aspect in which India has managed to score over the West. The Indian government moved quickly to address almost all concerns of discrimination against the Muslims. However on this count the West failed and it decided to combat the ISIS directly rather than addressing the problem back home. The ISIS was aware of the kind of discrimination that the Muslims were facing in the Western countries and it quickly moved to coin the phrase, ” come lead the ideal life.”
This phrase became a major selling point for the Western recruits who felt that they would be treated equally and get all the benefits in an ISIS camp when compared to what they were getting in their own country. The recruitments surged and today the West faces one of its biggest problems. The West could well take a leaf out of India’s book in countering this problem. If one looks closely at all statistics available on the Western fighters joining the ISIS, it is clear that the problem is getting worse each day.