It is jocular to find out that CIA feels authorised to call organisations like VHP as militants. The agency must not forget the fact that millions of people have died in its covert operations
There are many light hearted comments on the globe according to the Americans. For them, world is United States of America (USA) and anything beyond Pacific and Atlantic is alien. It is a huge exercise for self-absorbed Americans to understand the world. So, I am not surprised at the latest facts in the ‘World Fact Book’ of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
Militants and Terrorists
I understand that some people are upset on CIA ‘World Factbook’ labelling Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal as militant organisations, and calling Jamait Ulema-e-Hind as a religious body. Indians of every hue are basically religious but very few are militants or terrorists.
I do not understand why we, Indians, should be sensitive to the view of an organisation like CIA. Simple truth is that there are two worlds – one that we live in and one that CIA wishes to create according to the once unchallenged and hegemonic USA.
To be surer, I went to the Dictionary and Thesaurus to reconfirm my understanding of the terms- militant and terrorist. I believe that militancy is but one step away from terrorism. Forget CIA, our own liberal intellectuals too very easily interchange description of terrorists as militants whether it is North-east or Kashmir. But, I believe even this is deliberate. Most of the minds and mouths on the Left term the Islamist, Maoist and organised Church influenced terrorists from all over the country as militants. CIA being more sophisticated in its operations and functioning has kept a degree of separation between the two.
Thesaurus has many synonyms for ‘Militant’ – aggressive, violent, belligerent, assertive, pushy etc. Collins states that, one uses ‘militant’ to describe people who believe in something very strongly and are active in trying to bring about political or social change, often in extreme ways that other people find unacceptable.
For the Terrorist – Thesaurus gives synonyms as - bomber, rebel, and subversive and even revolutionary. But, it is not as colourful as militant. Collins is more forthcoming. It states that terrorist is a person who uses unlawful violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims. Does it make CIA a terrorist organisation, looking at its feat of overthrowing regimes using subversion and unlawful violence?
I try to recollect whether VHP has ever picked up arms or used violence to fulfil its aims. Except bringing down of disputed structure in Ayodhya, an historic aberration due to historic circumstance; I could not think of any such violent effort by VHP to bring about political or social change. I wonder if being aggressive and assertive can be bracketed with ‘being violent’. Why should violent not be bracketed with the word terrorist? But, then, this is limitation of colonial language that it is not rich enough in expression. Nor do ‘Gora sahibs’ ever feel the need to understand and update their language.
Crimes of CIA
It takes years for circumspect CIA to name their one time allies as a terrorist till they turn against their CIA masters, like in Afghanistan and Pakistan. CIA itself has the distinction of propping up dictators or banana republics in pursuit of USA’s imperialist goals of dominating the world. It has to its credit overthrowing of democratically elected governments or its own erstwhile collaborators when it cannot control them. Reason can be oil or expanding military foot prints. Subversion is the key.
CIA is the brainchild of Harry Truman who created it under National Security Act in 1947 to strengthen USA Government’s hands in the ‘Cold War’ era to take on the rival power centre Union Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR). Fact is that it was never a Cold War, in its wake lay scores of Governments, thousands of hapless victims of CIA mechanisations. If one calculates loss of human lives from violence instigated by CIA, numbers would go into millions.
Journalist and political activist Steve Kangas in his article ‘A Timeline of CIA Atrocities’ claims that, “CIA actually teaches it in a special school, the notorious ‘School of the Americas’. (It opened in Panama but later moved to Fort Benning, Georgia.) Critics have nicknamed it the ‘School of the Dictators’ and ‘School of the Assassins’. Here, the CIA trains Latin American military officers how to conduct coups, including the use of interrogation, torture and murder.”
This arch of subversion and violent games of CIA extends from Europe to Latin America to Africa to Asia, South East Asia and of course the Middle East. All in pursuit of dominance of the world, and securing natural resources for its own people, who devour more resources than any other country in the world, in proportion to its population! Based on the World development indicators of 2008, if undeveloped countries consumed at the same rate as the USA, four complete planets of the size of the Earth would be required. People who think that they have a right to such a life are quite mistaken. Americans constitute 5 per cent of the world's population but consume 24 per cent of the world's energy. On an average, one American consumes as much energy as 2 Japanese, 6 Mexicans, 13 Chinese, 31 Indians, 128 Bangladeshis, 307 Tanzanians and 370 Ethiopians.
Therefore, you can’t really blame poor CIA working hard in the interest of its nation, the USA. We would be fine neglecting these innuendoes against Bharat or for that matter other countries. But, only reason we need to worry is that this data is used by USA to arm twist Governments world over with its other overt tools like sanctions against them using such faulty, ill-informed views. But, one shouldn’t worry too much about these things now. Prof Vaidyanathan was telling one day, his mantra to Government bureaucrats fretting over policy decisions keeping US in mind was, “before beginning your day, do a chanting ‘USA is no more a super power, USA is no more a super power’ 10 times”, and you will work much better then.
(The writer is an author and columnist. His latest book is RSS 360 °Demystifying Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh)