Monday, November 23, 2009

Terrorists, terror itself or something else... which is the real problem ?

Does terror have a face? Many would say it does. Some would say not one, but many.

It seems our definition of terror or its many faces have very slowly, unconciously yet decisively narrowed down to a very small range of dreadful acts and demonstrations. As if, we almost have build a 'brand' called terror and not all horryfing acts of human indiscretion qualify to be branded 'terror'. As if a certain amount of collective 'colateral damage' is neccessary for an act to be termed as a truly terrorising one. As if terror is proliferated exclusively by organised networks and so called socio-ethinic institutions and cannot be perpetrated at a personal level. Our societies, unfortunately, have been desensitised to the endless acts of terror those affect our daily lives relentlessly.

The Indian central anti-terror investigating agencies are suddenly on a functional overdrive, since 26/11, trying to nail evidences against the perpetrators of institutionalised and often state-sponsored acts of terror. The indian beaurocrats are burning midnight oil - and also gallons of HSD and other jet fuels, crisscrossing continents - to convince the so-called 'allies in the war against terror' to effect extraditions and sanctions and so on and so forth. But, no state agency, institution or action group in this country is found to initiate any strategised and structured action against the growing numbers of cases of domestic violance, of various forms, happenning all over this great democracy, accross all sections of the civic societies. It is apparent that quantity and scale of tangible loss has become the measure for qualification of events as acts of terror. In fact in the last couple of decades or so terror has been glamourised to fault and industries have been build around it - ones those are either for or against it, benefitting a section of the society who are aware of its tremendous commercial potential. Who have the mind, the means, the say, resources and tools, either way - for or against, to use the raw material called 'fright' and process it to churn out the proverbial millions. And that includes nuclear powers, rogue states, jihadi groups, religious intolerants, political parties, unscrupulous industrial houses to local goons, land sharks, political cadres and perpetrators of domestic and social violance.

Cadres of a certain political party vandalising the office of a leading media house in Mumbai, is nothing but a well-strategised act on the part of an organisation, which, along with its politcial ideology, has been steadily slipping into terrains of social and political irrelevance in the last few years, in a compellingly consmolitan and economically progressing state. Ditto with Talibans, who have started turning their weapons against the very establishments those created the dreaded Frankesteins out of them and have suddenly started disowning them. I fail to understand how such acts of terror are different from the continuing waves of tortures, trials and tribulations against millions of women in this part of the world or for that matter the rural population painfully and perenially languishing below the poverty line.

Terror has always been a method, a tool, to establish authority, a regime, an industry within the purview of a social framework - local, regional, national or beyond. What we classify today as 'terror' are mere manifestations and outcome of years of cumulative social degeneration, which we have not put enough efforts to understand and reign in. Acts of consistent domestic and social violations have equally consequential, far-reaching and irreversible ramifications on the very social fabric and demographics, those keep on producing global terrorists, in Afghanistan, Iraq, South Asia, Africa and other places, spreading to the farthest reaches of this globe.

What probably needed for us to realise is that terror and its shoots has penetrated the most private and personal quarters of human lives challenging the very basics of existence. Our appreciation and understanding of the very nature, dimensions and scale of the problem has to chage. Our notions and the presumptuous approaches and methods of finding a solution to the menace of terror needs to be revisited with care and concern.

An act of terror cannot nullify the effects of another, neither can it mend the degenerating roots of our society. Terror in the name of 'war against terror' can only add to the sum total of horror, panic, loss, sufferings, miserability and near mayhem affecting lives of millions and virtually pushing us to the brink of a complete human holocaust.

In fact there isn't "A solution". The process has to start - a process that is sensitive, humane, inclusive, non-hypocritical, unselfish, broad-based and aimed at arresting the poignant social degeneration and not as reactive, stop-gap and short-sighted as 'fighting' terror with an equal amount of guile and terror. It's like fighting the effects and manifestations of a disease, conveniently turning a blind eye to the the disease itself. I have not known a fire that has doused another fire ever. The solution has to be trasforming and not reactive or restricting.



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