Feb 18, 2009

The Terror Within

The mechanism of terror in the world today encompasses various kinds of terrorism, and religious terrorism is a major part today. The purpose of terrorism is not war but to cripple a society with fear. It is more a shock value, and because it has grown due to availability of material, it has had quite an impact. The revolutionaries and the resistant forces have all been educated people. But if they become terrorists, then a person who contributes to the society is actually destroing it.

There seems to be so much anger that people are willing to take lives for whatever cause they believe in. It is imperative that the government and the leaderships in the world look at the cause of why people are so angry today. For every creature on this planet, its own life is always precious, and it does its best to save itself. It is no different for a human. But to be willing to die for something means that 'something' has become very important, especially when so many people are going in the same direction. We need to address the fundamental issues behind such a decision, treat the root cause and not merely the symptoms. The level of terrorism in the world has grown because we are blatantly trying to eliminate terrorists, not terror. Today we live with the grim reality that a terrorist event will happen on the planet every now and then.

People who are in it do not believe they are terrorists. It is just a term that they feel someone is using for them. Many of them think they are freedom fighters, revolutionaries and some think they are God’s own children. Moreover, when a particular nation becomes very powerful, there is always a possibility of exploitation and domination, which outweighs the possibility of changing the world for the good. The reality of the world today is such that those who are powerful and in control do not wish to share. The economic reality staring us in the face is that 5% of the world’s population owns 90% of the world’s wealth. What's more, they sit on it so nobody can lay their hands upon that.

When this is the reality, there will be terrorism. When such a disparity exists, there is bound to be anger culminating in violence. Anger finds expression in many ways; terrorism is one of them. It breeds in our minds, not beyond the border. Riots are organized by political parties. We should not fool ourselves on this ground. The politics of hatred is often artificially flavoured with a coating of religion or patriotism. Gujarat may build good roads, but it makes no effort to build confidence amongst its Muslim bretheren. The public must not support someone who has been accused of instigating a communal carnage even though he brought industries to the state.

Why, at every bomb blast or every hostage crisis, are the Muslims of this nation expected to go out of their way to prove it was not them, and that they condemn it as much as the others in India do? Why, when Hindus know how they treat their lower castes, do they blame them for converting to Christianity? And why do we need a Hindu leadership; can we not do with an Indian leadership any more? Why is there a furore on the word 'Hindu terror', but none on 'Islamic jihad' or 'Christian proselytism'? Biases can not be the basics of judgment or of leadership. And definitely not of representation. And, for goodness' sake, can we please give it a rest to the 'spirit' of Mumbai or India? We need to rise above these self-consolatory terms and look at real hard action.

Terrorism is inhuman; it is not religious. I repeat, it is not religious. It is no solution, and neither is an unplanned counter-attack, because an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind and one must stop at some point. Terrorism in no answer for any problem, and a terrorist attack is not going to make anybody understand their demand. Terrorism is another expression of the perverted values within the human spirit - just like corruption, exploitation, embezzlement, molestation, domestic violence and many other forms of brutal repression and oppression that take place everyday on a large scale in the world. But because of its intensive, explicit, open and blatant aggressiveness, terrorist attacks make a deeper impact on the human psyche and generate strong reactions.

It doesn’t take a lot of money and resources to address the world's problems; it just takes the will. If we do nothing but kill our people and those of other countries, a vision is lacking. Instead, if we try to turn their hearts around, work on their anger and move them towards a more sensible way of looking at life, things may be different. The terrorists outside are shadows of the wronged and violated human spirit. They are misguided youths who carry out the wicked intentions of a few power-hunger leaders. Chopping off one hand makes a million others come up. Shooting them down is not the answer either.

The efforts made so far to fight terrorism are akin to chopping the branches of a tree, which in turn becomes even more prolific. The rot goes much deeper. Violence begets violence. Today, our thoughts, feelings, words and actions are full of violence. There is psychic violence, verbal violence, physical violence, emotional violence and psychological violence. There is violence not just against humans, but directed towards nature and animals as well.

Much of the blame in this regard should be laid at the door steps of the political class. For them what is important is to remain in power, never mind what that costs. The ruling party will blame the opposition, the latter the former. The ubiquitous 'foreign hand' will also be touted. The central government will criticize the state government if the ruling party there is not its own. But no one asks who will bring back the dead, and no one volunteers an answer. The fact is, the political leadership talks numbers even over the number of dead bodies, thereby conveniently side-stepping the real issue. When you mix politics with religion, it is a heady cocktail, but a very highly volatile and inflammable mixture. When all your actions are conceived in vote banks, you cannot rise above sectarian politics. Every political party has failed the nation - miserably and many times over. Let us admit that.

It is time to free ourselves from this self-propagated hostage situation and eliminate the terrorists within us so we can contribute to the creation of a peaceful world. We need to have a harmonious community with religion taking the backseat. Religion should be practiced within the four walls of the house. When one is out, one is a human first, and then an Indian. Nothing less, nothing more. Let us channelise our collective anger wisely to neutralise the civic terrorists who prey on our fears, prejudices and insecurities. To be truly safe and secure we must first vanquish the terror within.

They came for the Communists, and I didn't object -
For I wasn't a Communist;
They came for the Socialists, and I didn't object -
For I wasn't a Socialist;
They came for the Jews, and I didn't object -
For I wasn't a Jew;
Then they came for me -
And there was no one left to object.


  1. Sometimes i feel that what is it that makes a person so much motivated for something so horrible without no proper reason.

    However , i feel that govt. at least try asking the terrorists about their motives and main things that they want to happen, and make those motives public. I feel in that way, we might be able to make people better understand their stupidity, and prevent normal people from converting to terrorists. The people even from educated class converting to terrorists, is a very serious problems. It again suggests that our education system also lacks something seriously.

    The religious terror is worst thing of this century. I am afraid it starts from religious fanatics like we have in our country who try to impose their thoughts on others. It must be learnt and spread that one can not and should not make another person live the way he wants or likes. Perhaps thats why it is said that Love the people as they are, and not try to change them.

    Hey, Check out this song, i hope u'll like it.:
    We are Winning by Flobots
    This song can be downloaded from link available at the following website : http://beemp3.com/download.php?file=2612291&song=We+Are+Winning

  2. RK:
    Very well said, esp. "... i feel that govt. at least try asking the terrorists about their motives and main things that they want to happen, and make those motives public ..." True, since that would help other similar fools not get motivated to join in the mayhem.
    About educated people turning terrorists, its all about the money and whatever else is promised to them.
    You know, I can never ever imagine what on earth can possibly motivate someone to kill others and die in the process!
    Thanks for the link to the song. Lemme listen to it and I shall let you know how I liked it. :)


Your comments will not be moderated, so feel free to speak your mind. However, with freedom comes responsibility, so abusive and/or violent language is strictly prohibited.