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September 11, 2011

Page: 40/42

Home > 2011 Issues > September 11, 2011

Terror: Alien to Indian ethos

By Brigadier BD Mishra

TERRORISM is a cowardly and senseless act, and also a heinous crime. The Oslo killer used it as a political tool. He wanted to draw world attention and announce his agenda. This incident reinforces the general perception that there is an undercurrent of ethnic prejudice in all acts of terror around the world. It also highlights the fact that any one can debase him or herself and become a wanton killer and a terrorist. To become a terrorist, all that is needed is an inhuman heart, a cruel proclivity and a subverted mind. United Nations Organisation has aptly observed that irrespective of the causes and grievances, terrorism, is unpardonable and condemnable. By the same token glorifying or sympathising with the terrorists is tantamount to abetment to terrorism.

Terrorism has seriously afflicted India. It comes from across our western borders. There are many terrorist camps in Pak- occupied Kashmir. Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan is maintaining many terrorist sleeper cells in India. These cells are armed, financed and tasked by the ISI. Their aim is to destroy our social harmony, internal security and the growing national economy. The need of the hour is a determined and confident leadership, which can counter this menace. We have, unfortunately, a serious leadership-crisis in the government of the day. The leadership is only interested in clinging on to power by hook or by crook. They desperately want to return to power, in the next elections. Consequently, the leading politicians in power in the country are dangerously indulging in ‘vote bank’ and ‘blame game’ politics. As a result, much against the national interest, politicians have, unfortunately, even politicised terrorism. They did eulogised Osama bin Laden and made pilgrimage to terrorists’ home in Azamgarh in UP.

On account of the vote bank politics, some acts of terrorism in India have been labelled as “saffron terrorism”. Saffron is synonymous to the majority Hindu community of India. This move has spawned a variety of retaliatory terms. The (self-styled) secular politicians are being called ”white terrorists.” Either way this political blame game does not auger well for the nation.

Way back in 1974, I have had a personal, albeit bitter, experience of similar blame game ‘who is the terrorist’?. It was the last tutorial of my post graduate degree course at the prestigious Defence Service Staff College, Wellington, Nilgiris. Nineteen different countries and all continents were represented in this course. One of the mandatory programmes for us was a fifteen minute public speaking followed by a 10 minute question-answer session, a critique and an assessment review of the speaker by the head of the department. My topic for this lecture was ‘the emerging threat of terrorism’. The reason for my selecting this topic was to sensitise the students about the extreme barbaric and cruel nature of the terrorist attacks. During my talk, I cited the example of Palestinian Hamas who had blasted a bomb in a crowded joint in Tel Aviv, killing many men, women and children. No sooner I mentioned the incident one Major Al Zevuri from the Iraq army, a member of Iraq’s ruling Bath Party, got up and vehemently intervened to correct me by saying that the Hamas bombers were not the terrorists, the terrorist were the Israeli Jews.

The whole sequence of my lecture went haywire. Notwithstanding that, the audience drew the correct lesson. No matter how savage may be the act of terrorists some may still argue in favour of the terrorists. In India the vote bank politics is exactly set to do this.

Everyday we read in our morning papers of some Ex Chief Ministers and other senior politicians asserting that the terrorist attacks in India are engineered by the Hindu minded political organisations. They have recently gone on to claim that since the saffron terrorists have been arrested no terrorist attacks have taken place in India. This proved to be a miscalculation by the pseudo secularists. On July 13, 2011 there was another chain bomb attack engineered by the Pakistan aided terrorists in Mumbai. The government agencies investigating the blasts have found the Indian Muzahideen responsible for the blasts. While it would be a folly and injustice to indict any religion or community as terrorist, it would also be a great folly not to understand the religious tenets and the basic fibre of the Hindu community, which today is being labelled as saffron terrorists.

Tracing the cultural heritage of Hindus through the ages the Hindus have all along fought for the destruction of evil and injustice. Wars against Ravana, Kansa and Duryodhana are the best examples of it. Hindu society produced Lord Mahavira (around 599–527 BC) who created a large social order, which till date abjures violence of all manners. Lord Buddha (around 563 – 483 BC) preached non-violence and peace to whole world In ancient India, Emperor Ashoka (268 – 221 BC) attacked the King of Kalinga in 261 BC. After winning the battle he was so deeply dismayed by the great loss of human lives and bloodshed that he gave up the arms and became a non-violent Buddhist. Emperor Harshavardhana (606 to 647 AD) every year camped at Prayag (Allahabad) for a full month and gave away all that he possessed to the needy and poor. By sacrament, Hindu is modern and moderate. While the demand for the enforcement of Shariyat is catching up in many pockets of several cosmopolitan cities, Hindus, on their part, believe in uniform civil code and have never even thought of reviving the ancient Hindu sage Manu’s law and jurisprudence.

Let us not play with the security of our nation by indulging in vote bank politics. Let us not besmirch the peace loving attitude of Hindus. Let us not assign any colour to terrorism.

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