“Emerging Trends: Rising Extremism in South India, ISIL’s New Hunting Grounds” by Lt Gen (Ret.) Syed Ata Hasnain
The penetration of global jihadism in South India is unprecedented. The discovery of groups and individuals in South India pledging allegiance to various militant factions in Syria’s civil war has led to a deterioration of security of that region. What is the implication of this new phenomenon for South Asia? Indian jihadi groups such as the Indian Mujahideen have not pledged allegiance to Al Qaeda or ISIL. Yet many of their members have joined the ranks of ISIL in Syria and Iraq. Indian jihadi groups have long confined their activities to South Asia and refrained from participating in external conflicts. However the advent of the jihadi group ISIL’s self-styled Islamic State caliphate has changed the picture significantly. This is proving to be a game changer for jihadism in India, significant to the security of the region. The speaker will provide his views on the new and emerging trends witnessed in south India.
About the Speaker:
Lt Gen (Ret.) Syed Ata Hasnain’s career with the Indian Army spanned 40 years. His last assignment was as the Military Secretary. Lt Gen Hasnain is highly experienced in handling turbulent situations across the spectrum of conflict zones. He had seven tours of duty in the state of Jammu & Kashmir, including appointments such as Commanding Officer in Siachen Glacier, Colonel General Staff at the Rashtriya Rifles Victor Force in South Kashmir, Brigade Commander at Uri on the Line of Control (LoC), and General Officer Commanding of the famous Dagger Division at Baramula (LoC – Kashmir). He commanded the Sudarshan Chakra Strike Corps at Bhopal before he was hand-picked to move as Corps Commander of the 15 (Chinar) Corps when Kashmir was rocked by the turbulent stone throwing agitation in 2010. He has also served with the United Nations in Mozambique and Rwanda and is one of the most decorated officers of the experienced Indian Army. Lt Gen Hasnain received the award of the Capital Foundation Society Award for Excellence in Military Leadership from the Vice President of India.
Lt Gen Hasnain holds a BA (Honours) in History from St Stephen’s College, an MSc from Chennai University, an MPhil from Indore University and an MA in International Studies from Kings College, University of London. He lectures on strategic subjects and leadership at Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies (IDSA), National Defence College, College of Defence Management, Army War College and Defence Services Staff College and Jamia Millia Islamia.
He is now an erudite public speaker, strategic analyst, researcher and media writer specialising in radical Islam, Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Middle East besides all internal and external security affairs of South Asia. He is a graduate of the Royal College of Defence Studies (RCDS), London, Kings College, London, Asia Pacific Centre for Security Studies (APCSS), Hawaii and St Stephen’s College, Delhi.
Lt Gen Ata is now associated with two reputed think tanks of India – Delhi Policy Group and Vivekananda International Foundation.