Monday, May 2, 2011


Hello World,

I woke up from my usual daytime hibernation mode at 8 p.m. and realized there’s big buzz about Osama Bin laden being killed by the US forces. The recent reports say that Osama’s body has been buried at sea (how do they do that??!?!!?). So a decade-long manhunt episode comes to an end, much to the happiness of the entire world. The most wanted terrorist is no more. The intelligence and military efforts over the past decade has finally paid off. Wait a minute….does this bring terrorism to an end? Or does this bring back the lives lost to terrorist attacks? Does the death of Osama really have any impact on any terrorist? May be a little because they operate in networks and they just lost a big guy from their network….but this is not the end of terrorism…..Osama’s death cannot avenge the lives of those innocent people who lost their lives in terrorist attacks.

Wearing a mask, armed with a rugged Kalashnikov and representing an outlawed extremist group is the image portrayed by the media when it comes to personifying terrorists. They are portrayed as mad men and women who just kill people. One side of this portrayal is true as it directly points to the heartless acts the terrorists commit. But it takes more than news updates to understand the concept of terrorism. These terrorists have different objectives, mostly fictitious and flavored with blind anger but they all converge on one means of deliverance….violence. It is hard to describe the situation that transforms a regular person into a terrorist and it is even harder to define the term “Terrorist” as it has a world of relative nomenclature attached to it. For the British administration that ruled over India for over two centuries, Bhagat Singh and Chandrasekar Azad were terrorists but for any Indian they are freedom fighters. What transformed Bhagat Singh and Azad to take to guns is the same that transforms any regular person into a terrorist. It is the purpose of the transformation that makes the world of difference there, for violence is the means terrorists resort to and violence of any kind is neither safe nor humane.

September 11, 2001 saw over 3000 people die and then began the war on terror drama that is still going on…season after season….and with the death of Osama, the characters have changed but this is one series that will never see a finale. What puzzles me is this:  World War I consumed between 9 and 16.5 million lives with the military casualty being 6.8 million. World War II consumed between 50 and 70 million with the military casualty between 22 and 25 million. This is just the tip of the ice berg when it comes to human lives being lost to acts of violence but the death of 3000 innocent people had the capacity to ignite a world-wide war on terror which after one decade of military episodes has accomplished this….killed more people and most importantly Osama Bin Laden. How in the world did it make sense to people that the death of one man, who is branded as the most-wanted person in the world, would mean something relieving or even worth caring about?  If we roll back the spool of time, we would come across a rather disturbing event where the US administration supported and provided the Mujahideen fighters who defended Afghanistan from a soviet attack. Guess what??? Osama Bin Laden was the Mujahideen Hero then. 

The former Mujahideen Hero was not the most wanted man when he orchestrated the killing of soviet soldiers and other civilians but for some weird reason, killing a few thousand Americans made him the world’s most wanted fugitive. What does this really say? The soviet soldiers are not humans and helping someone kill them is right and fair and when the same Mujahideen product attacks innocent Americans….it is Terrorism!!!!! Wow!!! The sense of logic is completely absent here.  When Osama was in agreement to the “World-Peace” process that involved killing people (mostly soviet), nothing was bad but when the same Osama did what he did in the east in the west, it became the epitome of terrorism. What happened on September 11, 2001 is just a link in the chain of events that began decades ago. Just for the record….that is not the only incident that had innocent people dead.

Man has been killing himself through legalized forms of terrorism for centuries and simply because those life-consuming acts are associated with Spirit of Nationalism and other modern day socio-political utopias, we don’t notice them as in-human. War is nothing but a legalized form of terrorism and we humans are forced to celebrate those uniformed terrorists as heroes simply because we are held by the spirit of freedom and nationalism as captives in schools of prejudiced thought.  Violence is a strong and sensitive tool. If it is wrongly used, there will be side effects and there is no way to simulate violence and foresee the side effects for possible cure. We are more used to celebrating war heroes. Try celebrating those wars that were won, standing in the shoes of those families which lost their men and women in wars. Only then can one get a closer image of the impact of violence on mankind. Even patriotism…something anyone would readily agree and adopt, whether or not they really understand it….can be a very relative term. It is the same relativity that exists in the concept of mainstream terrorism which is nothing but a bundle of extreme criminal acts and violation of laws and logic in every way possible. But for some, those may be acts of war and those terrorists may be their war heroes. They just don’t wear uniforms and get medals when they die. Just like countries attacking each other (sometimes even restoring peace in each other), where every bullet is fired as a response to the one fired before, the terrorist outfits continue to attack, in response to whatever they assume as an attack on their interest. The extremist schools of thought have their own ways to multiply and grow over time. Branding specific individuals or nations or even faiths as pro-extremist would only widen the gap between man and the possibility for him to survive on earth. To get a grip over terrorism and look for a permanent cure, it requires more than a neutral mind and un-prejudiced thought process. I guess this quest for peace is a never ending expedition into the world of violence for man, where the journey matters more than the destination. Man can only hope he does not hit a dead end. As for mainstream terrorism, sadly, it just doesn’t end with Osama. 

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1 comment:

  1. this is very very well scripted n to max thoughts to be exact.. the world "terrorist" should be used aptly..not vaguely to anyone n everyone...


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