Puzzle of Bombings in Jaipur

The bombings that shook Jaipur and killed 80 innocents are not immediately legible as ordinary politics. Most previous such bombings (Bombay, Hyderabad) have been in areas that have important Muslim minorities, or have been connected to separatist movements such as in Assam. Some appear to have been the work of Muslim radicals and intended as revenge on the Bharatiya Janata Party for its ties to RSS goon squads that have engaged in pogroms against Muslims. But Jaipur in Rajasthan is heavily Hindu and is not politically symbolic. Its main claim to fame is as a tourist attraction.

I don’t agree with the Indian analysts who suggest that the site of the attack is arbitrary, or that it has something to do with the new government in Pakistan, which is more favorable to India than the previous one. A general attempt to foment Hindu-Muslim tension may be part of it, but then why did the perpetrators not announce themselves?

Possible considerations are that unlike most of India’s provinces now, Rajasthan is run by the BJP. So this attack could be a strike against that party. A bombing in Jaipur clearly is intended to hurt India’s tourist economy. Since tourism revenues in Jaipur at the moment benefit the BJP, these horrific bombings could be intended to harm the provincial government.

Terrorists have their own awful logic, however, so other considerations may have played a role.

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