Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Microscope on Terrorism

The word “terrorism” invokes fear and panic. It doesn’t stop there. Fear and panic is just the start-push button. What follows these two is what terrorism is all about. Terrorism has been a part of human society since time immemorial. It must have originated in the caves of Stone Age where bellicose, unruly chest-thumping men ruled the roost. Terrorism didn’t die as we progressed from one age to another. It just started adapting itself to the scenarios available be it any part of the world, as far as humans are concerned.

Animal kingdom is bereft of terrorism. I say so on the basis of the unwritten laws of nature that animals adhere to. Terrorism neither applies to a Cheetah nor a Springbok. They are just playing the game of survival and if lucky, get some food in the meantime. The dying Springbok has no contempt for its killer but it will try to run away as far as its breaths allow. Hatred has no place in animal kingdom.

We, the so-called intelligent creatures, have ingrained terrorism through the annals of human fallacies. Destructive and manipulative human activities like war, genocides, espionage, covert practices that affect a large number of people at a single time, has threads of terrorism embedded in it. The only difference is how we perceive this terrorism. Terrorism is not about flying a plane into steel towers or planting a human bomb in crowded marketplace. It could be generalized into finer perspective. For a school going child who is weak in mathematics, the idea of terrorism starts with his report card and ends with his parent’s reaction to it. Similarly, a stowaway youth can experience terrorism if he’s confronted with the ticket examiner. We don’t call them terrorism. We name it disciple or thereof, the lack of it. But to a human mind, any exaggerated fear or anxiety could be terrorism in its nascent form.

Then there is general terrorism. We all read news and learn about how this world functions. Though it may sound normal but we can’t escape the reach of terrorism at our own personal level, thanks to bhais/goons/mafias who *command* respect or simply the corrupt policeman who is no better than the former! These characters are evolution of unchecked abuse of power. Until and unless the hoi polloi join force against these dastardly terrorizing agents, the idea of eliminating terrorism would be just a jolly mirage. This was terrorism at the local level. Now, everyone can say aye to the fact that these are the real terrorizing elements in our society not the once-in-a-while news-maker terrorists who get open visa across the border or sea.

The most popular type of terrorism is nothing but a magnified version of above-mentioned kind. This variety of terrorism is played with full volume. The reason for its unabashed display of belligerence is due to the kind of money involved. These terrorists feel that their lives are worse at the cost of someone else’s prosperity. Poverty and unemployment are the deadly combination for these recruits. So, for them, the motivation has to come from something that is unison in its approach as poverty varies from person to person. The answer lies in undivided faith. Religion is the bogeyman for them with distorted poetic verses from religious book that help model their consequential behavior. It’s like a hopeless case of betrayal and impatient maneuver of a gullible person’s will.

So the solution to this terrorizing menace lies in understanding and making others acknowledge their ignorance. Education is the key. People can’t help themselves any better by taking up arms like the Naxalites and the Maoists are getting used to. Violent tendencies will make it worse. The idea of terrorism can be defeated solely on the basis of proper insemination and literacy. There will be lots of ‘Doubting Thomases’ who may argue that some of the biggest terrorist names have an engineering degree to their credit like Osama Bin Laden who coincidentally, is a civil engineer. These skeptics believe that education has nothing to do with terrorism and indoctrination takes the final brownie. But engineers-terrorist are deviants who had money to waste but the huge following they enjoy is of the illiterate, miserable and innocent masses. The focus must be shifted to those voiceless crowds who may go on to fill the employment form at a terrorist organization!

Now here’s where the media comes into play but sadly, in most cases, they execute a damaging role. They can do a lot better than they are doing right now since it’s the duty of the media vanguards to report the cause and consequences of terrorist displays. They focus just on the consequences. Causes are hardly addressed lest it create a sympathetic view towards the perpetrators. But how can we ever go to the nexus of the menace if we don’t address them.

Media can start their redemption by taking a step or two in this direction. The truth is that common public doesn’t trust anything and media is no different but when the foolproof mixture of fear and panic is consociated and continuously shown on TV and newspapers and broadcast on radio, at that moment, media wins over public’s trust. Now this trust is a matter of time. It has nothing to do with morality or righteousness. Media is the eternal fourth estate that has to preside over grievances and relay it to the concerned parties in power. But that’s not exactly what’s happening, as of late. Media has taken the relaying a too far. It has started designating its stamp of approvals on news that makes views and then sells it.

Being a common stupid person is easy but living his/her life is difficult so its time the common person stop acting stupid and lethargic and start working on his duties, rest will follow. Terrorism is a hot selling idea and it has to be seen in the same way we see any other menace like racism or fascism. There are hundreds of reasons why it shouldn’t be frame worked into something that it is not. Fear should not be encouraged and transparency is needed. After all, the Stone Age men invented terrorism and it’s our legacy that has to be discontinued for our future generations.

Pictures credit: Reuters

1 comment:

Jayshree Dhabaria said...

well written and thought! keep writing.