It’s funny how nothing in our discourse seems to go before 2002 and in the particular case of the IM, the roots probably go back even before Independence.
The Jamaat-e-Islami was founded way back in 1941 and that split during the Partition of 1947 to take the new name of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH). The student wing was quite active and one of the first groups to emerge from that was the Student Islamic Organization in 1956.
After Emergency, a lot of political and non-political entities emerged with the Janata Party being the most famous and the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) was one of them with JIH as the parent body. The interesting part is that “jihad is our way” was part of the slogan in the beginning itself.
SIMI has always been a very vocal group and had left its parent body JIH jittery. Their most high-profile protest in the 1980s was against the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat visiting India as he was perceived to be a Western stooge.
While they clashed regularly with the RSS, especially after the Babri Masjid demolition, they continued in operation till 9/11 happened. That's when the NDA government banned them and since then a raging battle was fought in the courts.
One of the lawyers who defended SIMI in court was someone called Salman Khurshid who interestingly later became the Law Minister and is currently the Foreign Minister. Such things happen only in India.
How the Indian Mujahideen was formed out of SIMI is one of the most nebulous and confusing issues with many conflicting reports. It is made worse by statements by Congress Union Minority Affairs Minister Rahman Khan saying that Muslims don't believe that the IM exists in the first place.
But there are enough indications that the IM came out of SIMI. In which year was the IM formed is also not clear with some reports saying that the IM may have been formed in 2003 even though they became active much later in 2007-08.
They have been involved in blasts all over the country and their operatives have also been arrested with Yasin Bhatkal being the most high-profile.
If you look at the above years, then the genesis of this movement happened before Independence, the first student body was founded when Jawaharlal Nehru was PM and SIMI was formed after Indira Gandhi's Emergency.
SIMI was quite active during the Rajiv Gandhi era, but was banned due to 9/11 in America and the blasts started taking place when Manmohan Singh was PM.
That is the ultra-wide canvas and complete picture of the IM and yet the NIA has pinpointed Godhra and all the Congress leaders don't stop stressing this.
Even during the assassination attempt on Modi recently where the IM was involved, instead of being outraged by a terrorist organization trying to target an Indian Chief Minister, many reports and commentators tried to play up the Godhra-IM angle!
It's been 12 years since 9/11 took place and the American mainland has not witnessed another such attack because they totally cracked down on terror. In fact at that time CIA sources revealed that Osama bin Laden was going to attack in three waves: Big, bigger and biggest.
9/11 was the supposedly to have been the 'Big'!
India on the other hand has shown absolutely no will to fight terror. A Wikileaks document showed Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi speak of “Hindu terror” a concept that was parroted by Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde.
So basically if any terror attack happens and you keep raising the bogey of Godhra and contrast it with the RSS, then it is the IM which will have the last laugh and continue operating with impunity.
It is OK for any author to come out with a book called 26/11 RSS Ki Saazish? (26/11, an RSS Conspiracy?) but when it is launched by a former Congress Chief Minister called Digvijay Singh then one wonders where the fight against terror is going on in this country.
The IM has been active in the northern states like Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan along with southern states like Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Off late they seem to be quite active in Bihar too.
But if you downplay an assassination attempt on an Indian CM, which the Congress seems to be doing, then you are just emboldening them to go in for more attacks.
A case in the point is the Minister of State for Home RPN Singh accusing the BJP government of not providing enough security during Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination in 1991. That it was Chandra Shekhar who had become PM with Congress backing from 1990-91seems to have been conveniently forgotten. How much can a government lie?
Ironically Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar had blasted P Chidambaram thanks to who the SPG protection could not be given to a former Prime Minister at that time.
One shudders to think that the security of the country is in such hands!