Everywhere I go, the only words I hear are Mumbai and terrorists. So much that it really makes me doubt the intentions of people talking about them -- do they really understand what it going on or are they just expressing sorrow on the cruelty which is very apparent. I think I am being too edgy -- I would have been upset if people would not have given it its due importance and I am even angry to see how this sensitive issue is being casually talked about over smoke breaks and beer.
I however had a very interesting discussion with someone on how the terrorists can go about doing what they are without feeling bad about their action. At first it looks like an obvious point to wonder about, but I think otherwise. I dont think it is too difficult for a person from the oppressed section of the society to do what these young men are doing. Ask me why I feel this way, and I shall tell you exactly what I feel.
Take yourself into consideration -- think you are a young boy/girl of hardly 12 yrs of age, I need not say that these are formative years. Now place yourself in a place like Iraq or Afghanistan and think you live there. What would happen to you if you saw your entire family is mercilessly killed and your culture and livelihood destroyed by bombs or bullets, and instead of feeling sad, the majority of the world rejoices calling it a 'war on terror'. Then you see your sisters being raped by men of different origins who have invaded into your own motherland raging atrocities in your own house - in front of your eyes. Would you not wonder what is happening with you
What more? Imagine living with a fear of this sort 24*7, months after months, years after years. Do you appreciate that we are unable to cope with it even thru the 48 hours of the 'terror-war' -- think about it.
Now, if some rigid, ruthless and inhuman religious leader lures you into his group and fills you up with horror stories and acts of crime committed against your people, and tells you that the only way to liberate yourself and do good to your people is by doing what these 'terrorists' that we see are doing -- then dont you think it is unfair to blame these young boys and girls? They are not the problem -- they are just grenade shells, the pins are in the hands of the fanatics and the explosive inside the grenade is given partly by their leaders and partly by all of us. My friend argued saying, dont these boys have a mind of their own, how can they sleep after having killed so many? I say, perhaps they were too young to develop a sound and healthy emotional belief system of right and wrong, of compassion, of love -- perhaps because they have not seen too much of love around them. Otherwise why on earth will any 20 yr old pick up a rifle and set out to kill people knowing that he will surely die in the process. This is the age to be free, have fun, go to college and enjoy life.
So, 'terrorism' is not as simple as it looks. Its easy to say that you hate these terrorists and if you could do something, you would perhaps shoot each one of them. Death is not what they fear my friends. They come prepared to give up their lives -- so death is not a fear factor at all. Is it so difficult to see the little soft children behind these faces? Is it so difficult to brim their hearts with forgiveness and love? Perhaps yes, but does that mean we give up on them totally and fan the forming of more of their kinds? Definitely No.
If we want to believe that this act of terror was done by a Muslim organisation then the worst that can happen now is that vulnerable non musilms start irrigating their anti-muslim / intolerance towards other religious groups, and treat all muslims as terrorists and wage greater disharmony. We have to give the young minds a world where they see that things are not as described by the fanatic religious leaders. Till the time there is no acceptance and compassion, there will be no solution. We have to understand that these incidents are not just a result of religious fanatics alone -- it has something else to it -- It is also the result of the years of suppression, the years of being treated with doubt, contempt and disgust which has grown so deep into the minds of a mid sized section of every minority religion of a region. Hence I cant totally blame them for falling prey to the concept of Jihad, not till the time I am confident that we as individuals have respected and shown tolerance towards people with a different belief system.
If these feelings are not curbed, then Mumbai is for sure leading towards a communal war which will engulf the entire nation. Maybe the Islamic nations will suffer but the rest of the world will also not be left unharmed. Its time for the citizens of the world to be compassionate and forgiving. We should not allow let hatred dwell within. Its time to hold hands and walk together and not point fingers. Defy the obvious reaction of revenge, and we will win. Continue to fan the burning chunks of coal, and we lose.
The argument and business of tit for tat can go on for centuries and these crimes will never stop. But what can we as citizens do? I think, Each of us should respect and kindly tolerate people of other religions and beliefs. Each of us should have an open mind and not let others influence us easily -- there is no better knowledge than the knowledge gained by thorough analysis and by a sound and open mind. Each of us should be aware of what is happening to our tax money. Each of us must stand up to the rights of our men in the defense and police. Each of us must protest and make the government treat the protectors of this nation with respect -- allow them good salaries, trainings etc. Lastly and most importantly Each of us should elect leaders based on skills and competence and not based on religion and community. The very first and obvious way of doing that is by having talented and honest leaders. If our leaders are good then we will be good.
Lastly I would like to talk of the ATS hero, Hemant karkare, perhaps the only officer who has put light on the Hindu terrorism going under sheets thru the Malegaon blast investigations was also killed in this terror attack. It is interesting to note that it was just yesterday that the Pune ATS received a threat to life and home for this officer. Now if these terror attacks are believed to be done solely by the mujahedeen’s,and it is by their bullets that the life of this talented officer (perhaps the only officer in recent times who was so close to busting the hindu terror racket) was taken, then it brings us to at least one conclusion, and that is the terrorists were firing indiscriminately. There is also a possibility that someone (from the hindu terror group) must have taken advantage of this situation to get him out of the way? Our state is so corrupt that this could as well be true, but we of-course will never know.
Anyway, I would end by reinforcing that I am not advocating terrorism, I am just trying to understand it.
And the world truth, "Terrorism is not the answer but neither is counter-terrorism".