Our perception of terrorists…

Kasab, a Pakistani muslim has been sent to the gallows. A verdict that the country expected and would have not settled for anything else. The man behind the failed Times Square terror attempt is yet another Pakistani Muslim and the son of a fairly high-ranking ex Pakistan army officer. From Osama Bin Laden to Dawood, acts of terror and abetting terrorism in 9/11 and 26/11 have been clearly road mapped to jehadis and muslim fundamentalists. From Kashmir to Palestine, Muslims are involved in an uprising to reclaim what they deem to be their lost rights.

Strangely, we tend to not remember non-Muslim acts of terror and non-Muslim acts of atrocities in the recent past.  The genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka barely sought our attention here in India with the exception of Tamil Nadu, where the state Government refused to strum the fiddle due to its alliance with the Congress led Government at the centre. To appease the Tamils, there was a time when the Gandhi’s even visited Nalini in jail under the shroud of magnanimity.Post the decimation of the LTTE and with Karunanidhi toeing Sonia’s line, appeasing Nalini lost its sheen. A mobile was discovered in her high security cell thereby erasing her good conduct report for her time in prison and ensuring she will always remain in jail. Strangely, despite being one of the murderers of the late Rajiv Gandhi, Nalini managed to gain a lot of show of sympathy from even his wife and daughter. The Sri Lankan’s labelled the LTTE as terrorists, the LTTE labelled the Government of Sri Lanka as the oppressor, India serenaded the Tamils for some time and then dumped them entirely.

In China, Muslim uprising has been dealt with an iron fist. Most crackdowns on the rioters of the Muslim Uighur community barely get reported. Calamities and casualties miss making it to media reports. Besides, the riots in China’s Xinjiang region and subsequent crackdown on the Muslim Uighur minority have drawn a muted response from many Muslim countries that may be wary of damaging lucrative trade ties with Beijing or attracting attention to their own attitudes toward political dissent.

25% of the world’s population are Muslims.Political establishments, Governments and the Media are responsible for influencing our perception of stereotyping terrorist acts and allowing irresponsible sentiments towards Muslims to be mushroomed. The jehadi’s are responsible for fighting what they believe is a holy war and indulge in acts of atrocities due to their limited, morphed thinking. But, do we isolate these fundamentalists from the community at large or do we tend to ger mixed up?What is the common perception of a Muslim? Do we see all Tamils to be hands and legs of the LTTE?

I for one strongly believe that a terrorist is devoid of any religion and humane qualities and therefore would base my opinions on him and the ideologies that he represents in an isolated manner.

Arastu Zakia Jowher sent me his writing on Twitter after reading a comment I had posted on Varun Gandhi. I had stated that Varun has more spunk than Rahul Gandhi and wished that the BJP use him more effectively than use him for ruffling feathers stupidly. Arastu represents the new generation modern India, I found his thoughts quite profound and wish to share them here. He represents the youth, which will shape what this country will become tomorow. I may not agree with all his views and wish that readers formulate their own opinion.This is what Arastu had to say –

Who is a Muslim? Who is an Indian? Is a Muslim just as Indian as other citizens or is a Muslim’s Indianness always under doubt? Does a Muslim deserve equal rights? Does a Muslim actually have to bear more than other Indians? Are Muslims actually as bad as they are assumed to be nowadays? If the world had its way, I would be told that my opinion on these issues is unimportant or that I just shouldn’t have an opinion. Maybe because I am too inexperienced or too immature or maybe I am just too young. Even if for a while I concede that all these accusations may be true, still I am human and I too have a heart that feels and a brain that thinks just as much as someone ‘experienced, mature and old’. When I was even younger than I am now, my heart asked me why my friends left me the moment they discovered that their friend who displayed no visible or audible signs of belonging to a particular religion is actually a Muslim? My heart wondered why I used to be so scared of filling up the ‘Religion’ field in all school papers and forms? My heart dreaded the next question that was usually posed after people heard my uncommonly unreligious name. My heart mourned when it saw my Muslim friends being scanned by glances full of disdain and contempt whenever they dared to venture into non-muslim areas wearing a traditional kurta-pyjama after the Friday namaz. My heart was torn into pieces when we had to run for survival to an entirely Muslim occupied ghetto during the 2002 massacre in Gujarat because the locality we lived in was too cosmopolitan to not get burnt. Having existed through the Gujarat pogrom of 2002 in the fourteenth year of my life, one night I saw my mother unexpectedly waking up from her sleep, standing on the bed and shouting hysterically assuming that a mob of rioters had come to burn her. As shocked as I was then and as amusing as it may sound now, that incident moved me. It told me what my otherwise silently enduring mother was passing through. It brought me face to face with the emotions playing havoc within the person I valued the most – my mother. The chain of thoughts that started within me after the initial shock subsided caused me to think – Is this what every single mother goes through? Is this what every single Muslim goes through? Does a Muslim or any human for that matter deserve this extent of fear, hatred and brutality for no apparent fault of his? After repeated attempts at being secular and cosmopolitan were disallowed, I tried to seek solace within people socially assumed to be my own – Muslims. To my utter disbelief, they too ostracized me because their beards were at least a few inches long as compared to my clean shaven face. Because when we kids played on the streets and their parents came out shouting at them to rush to the masjid to offer namaz, they hid in their parking lots to make it appear as if they were busy praying and I continued to play. Because I wore shorts and they wore pants. Because when the maulana from the nearby mosque passed through our neighbourhood while all of us were playing, all my friends hid inside their houses and I refused to hide and defiantly continued to stand right there. Because when my friends told me that the maulana had told them to stop watching television, I fought against them. Because when my Muslim neighbours got into discussions of apne waale (our people) against unke waale (other people), I refused to add my red pepper to their already boiling and overflowing chutney. Because they offered namaz five times a day and my formally Muslim, habitually non-practicing and mentally unreligious family never forced or asked me to pray.      I felt like how a child would feel getting abandoned by his parents, then getting adopted by foster parents and then being abandoned again. I could go neither here nor there. My guardians refused to accept me and my own disowned me. If being Muslim was a crime in the Indian uncivil code, then being a questioning and non-practicing Muslim was a crime in the Muslim uncivil code. When I heard that a magazine was being taken out on the progressive voice of Muslims, I tried to evaluate what this title meant to me. To me, a progressive voice of the Muslim community would include two aspects: 1.    The want for treatment of Muslims as equal citizens and an immediate end to all injustice against them and all others on religious lines 2.    The development of a greater degree of tolerance amongst Muslims and an urge to give at least equal, if not more importance to education, knowledge, exposure and logic as compared to the practice and interpretation of religion. Let me try to evaluate and compare the Indian Muslim Youth’s perspective with the above two points taking references from the ‘Study on the Mindsets of the Youth’ by a Youth group of which I am a founder member – ‘The Difference’. Out of the 832 18-25 year old respondents interviewed in Ahmedabad and Delhi under this Study, more than 11% were Muslims. Questions on issues like Religion, Gender, Politics & Governance, Stereotypes and Youth’s contribution to Society were put forth to the young respondents and a range of interesting responses were received. When arguably the most debated topic of today’s times – Terrorism – was touched upon, a surprising outcome was seen. In ranking terrorism in order of priority with other issues like corruption, unemployment, poverty, illiteracy, gender bias and communalism as threats to the nation, Hindu respondents ranked terrorism 5th whereas Muslim respondents ranked it first followed by communalism. This could indicate that Muslims are equally or probably more concerned about terrorism thanks to the kind of stereotyping that has risen in recent times. Also 17% of all respondents except Muslims said that terrorists are always Muslims. When asked if they feel safe, a much higher number of Muslim respondents answered negatively as compared to respondents from other religions. During discussions on the topic of marriages, quite a few respondents said that they wouldn’t mind marrying people belonging to other religions except Islam. Although not very major, but still a reasonably substantial prevalence of injustice against the Muslim community was evident from the outcomes of this Study.         On the flipside, when another highly discussed issue – Marriages – was put under the limelight, the Muslim community was the only one where a majority of both males and females desired to have an arranged marriage. Muslim females occupied the most major chunk of respondents out of those who refused to get married to someone of another caste, religion or someone younger to them. Also, while most other respondents were comparatively more open to the idea, 92.31% Muslim female respondents refused to marry against their parents’ wishes. These results implied a degree of intolerance and fundamentalism within the Muslim community. But the fact that quite a few Muslim Youth now want to change and grow for the better was clearly visible too with quite a few of them conceding that the practices they have seen so far have been far too orthodox and they feel a need for change. Most of the Muslim respondents expressed a desire to get educated and supported reservation for women, SCs/STs, minorities and for the economically backward. The number of Muslim respondents was also the highest when asked if they would want to take up social work as an occupation. At the cost of sounding authoritative and asking forgiveness for any misrepresentations, I would say that by and large the Indian Muslim Youth of today too hope to see their country India evolve into a nation free of injustice and their community full of tolerance, growth and free of fundamentalism. Whether the experienced, mature and the old make this happen or allow us – the inexperienced, immature and young to help remains to be seen…

 

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62 Responses to “Our perception of terrorists…”

  1. Reader Says:

    Sharmila,

    It may be politically incorrect to confess any sympathy for terrorism or terrorists but since George duh-duh Bush is not in power now, I guess it is not considered inappropriate anymore.

    In my opinion, terrorism describes a doctrine that challenges progressive developed nations in the Americas or Europe.

    In developing countries like Pakistan and India, I feel, they are just a bunch of goons who are supplied with weapons, and trained to use them!

    If the Indian Parliament officially withdraws the Arms Control Act there will be a gunman terrorizing every household across our nation.

    Terrorism is a mind-set… not an opportunity.

    I believe, what we are witnessing in India is not terrorism… its simply mindless violence… and its brand ambassadors make and act in movies in Bollywood.

    This is my personal opinion.

  2. Reader – No terrorist is deserving of sympathy. Any one who inflicts terror is a terrorist. How can you say that goons kiiled 167 people? Do you not think that 26/11 was not organized? Albeit, I agree if the arms act was abandoned, there will rise events you correctly describe. Which brand ambassdaors do you have in mind?

    • Reader Says:

      What I mean is, no one who resorts to violence deserves sympathy. Terrorism is one face of fanaticism.

      If you have followed Kasab’s trial, I haven’t seen any instance where he is quoted that he killed people at random in the name of religion. I can’t believe that he is trying to be politically correct in his testimony. He is portrayed by the court’s judgement as a trigger happy killing machine.

      What I fear in my response above is how many such distorted people exist in our own society. This particular case came in from across the border.

      Has the investigation and judgement acknowledged the real issues? Or are we merely content with punishing Kasab?

      Brand ambassadors in bollywood? Movies where underworld don’s are portrayed as hero’s or the mind-set of the terrorist is protrayed by the protagonist.

      I cannot call these films ‘escapist entertainment’. They educate viewers to some extent and glamorise the awareness part!

      • Reader Says:

        The Hindi cinema graduated from mythologies to romance, to thrillers, to organized crime, and now terror. Hence, I call them ‘brand ambassadors of violence’.

        I believe, there are millions of damaged and disoriented slumdogs in India who are prepared to die like Kasab. And it is not gender, caste or creed based.

        A radical revolution in ethics is required to stop this menace from spreading more than it has.

        Like everything else in ethics, terror begins at home and spreads to the nation.

        From one person in a family who uses violence in his/her house, there on to criminals in the society and a government that uses threats and force, there is practically no difference in the unethical nature of terror.

        Organized crime, in Mumbai, came to stay in the ’70s. Groups of people operating in packs like the mafia. But they were not armed to the teeth as they are today.

        Like, every industry, the weapons manufacturers also have targets of growing at 10-15% every year. That is a logical fall-out of an economy driven by printed currency.

        So, where does ethics begin in this case? At home? in governance? or market economics?

      • Reader – Yes, Kasab is the last link of the chain, The masterminds are sitting in caves in Pakistan / Afghanisthan or in plush offices in Dubai. As you rightly point out, the trial has left the real culprits unscathed. Movies by and large promote machoism, but showcasing terrorists as macho men is sickening.Families probably are most respnsible in ensuring that the right ethics are transferred to their next of kin and offsprings. Unfortunately, families tend to worry more about economics first and put values later, as a result many young children are brainwashed. If children got the right guidance from their parents, they would not fall prey to the brain washing. In my opinion, the uneducated mind is a devil’s workshop.

  3. Truely, the real victims of religeous riots are women and children. Men decides without even a think, women have to suffer. I believe people who creates riots are bigger criminals than Kasab. But,Sometimes I think that we are deserving the riot to happen, because we still not learnt from it. We feel proud with having a link to such powerful terrorists who create riots. But,I am still confused about muslim religion though. Ma’am u may know that, in small cities,muslim live like they r from other planet. Its due to that extremists muslim who never wants to mix up with other religion, specially hindu. The scene u described is about a mother who even dreams of rioting people, and this scene is similar to every mother,any religion. why i hate ppl riots is that, when they are asked to kill ppl of other religion,they forget about their religion ppl whose life will be danger,who lives as minorities to other religion in certain locations. Thank you for blogging in an unbaised way. Amaresh Rath

    • Amaresh – Thanks for your comment and good to see you here. The reason muslims, hindus and christians indulge in this kind of behaviour is because they have stereotyped everyone. All of us need to change our thinking and perception.I agree riots lead to deaths of both the instigator and the instigated and as you rughtly point out, children and women are the innocent victims most times.

  4. Aishwarya Says:

    Sharmila,

    I agree with you – terrorism has no religion.

    Is a capital punishment for Kasab, a mere puppet in the hands of masterminds, our best answer against terrorism and the ultimate justice for the victims?

    Is a Muslim terrorist any different from a Maoist?

    A 9/11 or a 26/11 is but the tip of the iceberg. Kasab is but a mere icicle.

    Is India safe now?

    Brilliant post.

    Aish.

    • Aish – The death sentence for Kasab is important, it deters idiots ( the last link ) from getting into this nonsense in the first place.Of course, they may be brainwashed in believing they are martyrs and nothing can be done about it. However, punishing the masterminds, cutting off their financial aid is more vital. Kasab is a puppet surely. All terrorists are such, it does not matter if he is a muslim or a maoist. The events are the tip of the iceberg and India is surely not safe. I am sounding like PC Chidambaram now! I wish you asked him these questions..:)

      • Aishwarya Says:

        Sharmila, Rhetorical questions. But I admire your rational approach and clear stance. Very well said.

        Keep the blog going this way and I wont have to go to PC, he might just leave his reply right here.:)

        Thumbs up for a great post.

    • Thanks a lot Aish. Guess you and I would make good Home ministers then!

  5. Arastu Says:

    First of all, thanks a lot ma’am. That was very kind. I’m really humbled.

    Your article was very good (as usual). I agree with absolutely every point you mentioned. I’d like to add a few points to your arguments:

    1. There have been umpteen instances when newspapers and TV channels have referred to terror attacks or alleged terror conspiracies as ‘Islamic terror’. However, very recently, Barkha Dutt tweeted the term ‘Hindu terror’ referring to the news surrounding the Ajmer dargah blasts and according to her next tweet she had been flooded with responses from people who were deeply offended by the term.
    2. A very popular, though undeserving [in my opinion (and I know for sure that I just made more enemies than friends by saying this)], chief minister had once famously stated “All Muslims are not terrorists but all terrorists are muslims” (which is factually and historically wrong). Incidentally, he had made this statement in a series of speeches that also included one where he called Sonia Gandhi “Italy ki kuttiya” (a video that was broadcasted for many days on Gujarati cable channels).

    However, after adding these few points, I also want to share a thought. Ma’am, is stereotyping of a particular community exclusive to Islam or Hinduism only? I’ve myself borne lots of pain thanks to the stereotypes against Muslims (as mentioned in my article) but still I would like to think of this larger issue by maintaining a certain degree of neutrality.

    1. In my Muslim neighbourhood, whenever some guest came to our house, the first question my neighbours asked me was: “Hindu hai?”.
    2. I was branded a ‘kaafir’ and was ostracised by my peers for not offering namaaz and observing rozas
    3. Even within Islam, men are biased against women. Shias against Sunnis and vice versa. And I dont even want to go into the sub-sub-sub castes.
    4. Keeping Islam aside for a while, do Hindus stereotype only Muslims? What do the Brahmins think about the Kshatriyas, Shudhras, Vaishyas? What does everyone think about Dalits?
    5. Keeping religion aside for a while, dont most men stereotype women as their property? An object to be controlled by a male (father) before marriage and then duly handed over to another male (husband) for being controlled for the rest of her life
    6. Keeping gender aside for a while, dont most youngsters stereotype the ‘oldies’ and vice versa
    7. Keeping everything aside for a while, dont most people stereotype every single person on this earth except themselves? (Sometimes, ppl dont spare themselves too and thus suffer from a perennial inferiority complex)

    When we are walking out on a road, every single person we see is put into a mental bucket. Good-looking/Ugly, Tall/short, Slim/Fat, Fair/dark, Hindu/Muslim/Christian/Sikh etc, Male/Female and so on.

    Stereotyping is a human disease, something we all suffer from in varying degrees. Now we can understand why in this particular case, it has become so easy for people to form stereotypes against Muslims.

    Does this being common to all justify it? Not at all. This is our challenge. Resisting the instant urge to put people into buckets and judge them even before they have a chance to prove themselves – this is our challenge.

    • Arastu – Thanks for your comments. Well analysed set of thoughts on stereotypism in our society. I like the way you have examined it from various angles. Enjoy reading what you write.

      • Arastu Says:

        Thanks didi 🙂

      • Arastu Says:

        Thanks didi. Really appreciate it :). And I request you to please share the second link I tweeted, if you consider it relevant and deserving enough.

      • Arastu- You are welcome. I am yet to read the second article but I am not a pro Maoist on any count, yet, I shall give the writing the consideration that it may deserve.

      • Nor am I a pro-Maoist. But thats the point. That article has nothing to do with Maoists. If you read it, you’ll understand.

      • Thanks Arastu, I surely will.

  6. Veekay Says:

    One feels sorry at what Arastu had to endure in life, but I admire his courage and his convictions.

    I also admire a close Muslim friend who can narrate more events and their significance from the Mahabharata than what I, as a Hindu knew; and, whom I admire even more for having the Gita on his bookshelf at home – actually, the pages in his Gita have so many sections highlight, clearly indicating his deep study. Now, how many of us have the Quran Sharif in our homes, leave aside study it deeply ??

    Tolerance and respect for each other’s religions could come from its mutual learning – with education in schools to include different religious faiths and not just of one’s own religion. One good aspect of being in Hong Kong, where I live, is its cosmopolitan nature, with schools giving options to children to study Religious Education – I was naturally happy that both my children chose to study Islam.

    I have tremendous hope in the younger generation to forgive, forget and move on in life than to cling to the past. And, my dream is a united India and Pakistan, perhaps not in my lifetime, but definitely in my children’s lifetime…..

    • Arastu Says:

      Very well said Veekay. Very balanced and progressive thoughts. If I may take the liberty of adding a few things: Gujarat and a few places in Kerala are the only two places I’ve heard of where ghettoization is as clear as the borders on a map. For instance, in Ahmedabad – you can pick up a map and point exactly where Muslims stay and where the rest stay. This wasnt this big a problem earlier but 1992 changed it all. I didnt mention this is my article, but in 1992 my family lived in a society comprised of 365 flats. We were the only Muslims there but no one cared about our religion. There was such great togetherness and bonding between everyone there, it was a dream (Something like the utopian world Sharmila didi talks about). But during the 1992 disturbances, unknown people once surrounded us on a road and smashed the windshield of our car shouting “leave before we burn you”. 2 days later, someone stuck a paper on our door saying the same. A week later, my maternal grandparents’ home was burnt and looted. We succumbed to the fears and pressures and left that dream home to run to a ‘Muslim area’ (but we still tried to pick an area that had a mix of Hindus and Muslims staying side-by-side. i.e. Hindus in one lane, Muslims in the other, but not in the same lane). Then in 2002, 5 houses and 8 shops near our home were burnt and now we had to run to an ‘entirely Muslim area’ where Muslims didnt stay with Hindus side-by-side (even in different lanes). In fact that area is known as ‘Mini-Pakistan’ and close to half the population of Ahmedabad believes that ‘there is a heli-pad in that area where helicopters from Pakistan bring missiles to distribute amongst the Muslim inhabitants’ (these are the results of a verbal survey my father and his colleagues once conducted on the streets of Ahmedabad).

      My point is that despite things like these – there are still so many lesser known instances of religious togetherness in Gujarat even today. For instance, a lot of Hindu parents dont know that their children eat non-veg food (which is a big deal in Ahmedabad). In fact their children go and show their Muslim classmates where the best non-veg food is available. In primary school, very few kids form or break their relationships based on religion. There are a few Hindu-Muslim couples who love each other but fear the wrath of their people and the right-wing forces. Amidst the 2002 pogrom, there were quite a few instances of Hindu families sheltering Muslims on the run.

      However, living there, I’ve always felt that many forces together conspire to keep people apart.

      1. Politics – Need I say anything about this,

      2. Education – In my second standard, our teacher once asked all students – ‘How many Hindus?, How many Muslims? and so on’. I didnt know what ‘religion’ meant at that age. I didnt know which name I belonged to out of the alien ones the class-teacher was asking. I didnt raise my hand in any of the categories. My bench partner noticed this and complained “ma’am isne haath nahi uthaya”. Ma’am asked me “What are you?”. I said “I dont know”. She then checked school records and found out I was a Muslim. That day I returned home and asked my Mom – “Mumma, what is Muslim? Am I Muslim”. It is then that my mother explained these things to me.

      Several NGOs and human rights activists have done detailed studies of the saffronization of school and college textbooks. For example – in Gujarat textbooks – Hitler is referred to as “a great administrator with tremendous influence on his people”. It is hard to decide if this is the Social Studies textbook of a primary Gujarat board school or Golwalkar’s “We, Our Nationhood Defined”. In Rajasthan, school textbooks say “The primary objective of a Hindu marriage is following dharma (religion), while the primary objective of the Muslim marriage is to establish sexual relations.” (http://www.hindustantimes.com/News/india/History-chaptered-in-saffron/Article1-454715.aspx)

      3. Parents – Where do we learn what we know? Where do we learn to hate? Where do we learn to love? Where do we form our mental buckets? Amidst various reasons, our parents and upbringing are the foremost. It is my belief that in more than 80% cases, theist families will have theist children and atheists will have atheist children. Similarly, hatred towards other people too gets transmitted to the next generation.

      4. Media – This is no veiled truth in today’s times

      5. Basic human tendency to stereotype everyone just at a glance or an audible sign

      and so on….

      The simplicity and purity of a child born in our country is taken away by the adulteration injected into him/her by these conspiring factors. Somewhere at the end of it all, lies our thinking, our beliefs, our choices. All we can realistically do is – refine our own and then try to extend that to as many people as we can

    • Veekay – It requires two hands to clap. I do not see India and Pak merging. Yes, the next generation hopefully is more responsible than what the current one is, bit to forgive and forget there remains a lot at stake. We need more Abdul Kalams and Mahatmas.

  7. MonaLisa Says:

    Terrorist is the one who has no particular purpose or an agenda but to spread terror and fear by mass massacre. Either its by brainwashed fanatics or well planned literates. Education has nothing much to do with it. Those involved in 9/11 explicitly or implicitly were well educated Muslim youngsters. So it has something to do with religious beliefs implanted from their very childhood by their parents,family,religious leaders and social environment they grown into. Muslims-those who are not involved directly or indirectly by and large should think and take remedial measures at their home front first and try to change and upgrade their beliefs and thoughts to match up with today’s world instead playing Muslim card and try to gather sympathy or get some undue benefits. otherwise a day will come when every other religion will gather,join hands against them.
    26/11 is a different scenario than 9/11 as neighboring country’s political involvement is suspected. Its a shame so many bombings happened in India. Terrorists attacked parliament building and government then
    did nothing. Its a shame that governance waste taxpayers money on maintenance of such terrorists. Whats the point whether they are sentenced to hang till death if that doesn’t happen on immediate basis. its funny kasab is 19th or 20th in waiting and no one know when they all will be catered/served and out of taxpayers hair.
    LTTE was fighting for equal rights for Tamils in Shri lanka as far as i know. So……
    However killing in any case should be strictly condemned.

    • MonaLisa – Yes, I agree there needs to be a fundamental change in the thinking pattern, this is why families are important to set straight such values. Of course, one cannot expect anything much from brain washed families in the first place. To a large extent education helps in opening up to the outside world but there will always be the odd idiot out as displayed in the 9/11 case. In the case of 26/11 the actual terrorists were teenagers, illiterate, brain washed fanatics controlled by someone very far away who probably we will never catch. LTTE was fighting for rights yet labeled as terrorists by the Govt. What is the definition of a terrorist?

  8. Reader Says:

    I wonder if it is relevant that back in the eighteenth century, in Europe, there was a similar order called the Illuminatus – a bunch of despots who steered brutalities through secret societies.

    In the West, the body politik finally prohibited religion from political governance.

    • Reader – I have heard / read about the Illuminatas. Was it the Knight’s templars who carried out secret missions? The Fremasons were also one of the earlier secret societies I think.

      • Yes. Those were the ones.

        Now Pakistan has included Kasab as one of those charged in the 26/11 enquiry. Even if they do not have a repatriation agreement with India, they may gain permission to access to Kasab and delay their process for the next 10 years. Kasab is not going to the gallows too soon even of he does not appeal to the Supreme court or file a mercy petition with the President.

      • Reader – Fantastic, Kasab will outlive all of us,just what Pakistan would have planned for, from the start!

      • We may be in luck, going by the news of the NY Times Square scare. Hillary Clinton has been pretty candid about the consequences that Pakistan should prepare for. The Pak government has sought 2 weeks to seek access to Kasab in teh Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai.

        Diplomatically, Pak diplomats are in a hot soup if they continue to play the circus clowns on this issue.

        The expediting of the execution may also depend on how much pressure the media and the opposition are able to keep on the Home Ministry. If it fizzles out like the Afzal case in the parliament attack, the general disdain about social justice will continue, which, on the ground, translates to a tacit support for the extreme justice.

      • Reader – The Afzal case by far has displayed the gaping holes in the justice system. Even thinking about this raises my BP.

  9. MonaLisa Says:

    How many ‘Arastu’ are there facing such situation in India!? Must be scattered and in small number or else they don’t have to face such difficulties. Not only Muslims but among Hindu many must have faced the same situation in name of caste and creed. Wish I/we could be able to do something constructive rather than just sympathize with the victims.

    • MonaLisa – Arasu is but a drop in the ocean. Of course many like him irrespective of what religion they belong to face apartheid in a so called free and democratic India. If there was but one religion or caste, most of the worlds wars would never have been fought.

    • MonaLisa – People like us need to be rational and tolerant and try to educate the not so tolerant and irrational ones. This is a small thing that we can surely do.

      • MonaLisa Says:

        In my opinion we are living in a very accommodative,rational and tolerant society so far. The incidents like 9/11 and the recent one at the time square NY made us think & rethink to change our liberal approach towards such dissipating acts of cowardice and ppl involved and of one particular race or religion living amongst us or residing in some of our neighborhood.
        Its always not our responsibility to be tolerant and trust others. More responsibility lies on those shoulders who breached the trust of entire world instead. Those who are making hue and cry about injustice should first find out moles among them to normalise, to make the ripples subside against the entire race and religion.

      • MonaLisa – Of course, I am talking about being rational with those who we interact with. The ones who are proven perpetarors of terror should not be spared the rod. Sadly, like in the case of Afzal, we tend to witness a circus act.

  10. Reader Says:

    When the analysis finally reaches the individual, it zooms in on the choices that he/she has – and his vulnerability.

    A habit often becomes a rule. A perceived good habit is enforced by the elite or the politburo in the form of a law or regulation.

    A person is permitted to indulge in choices when there is no law for an action. I don’t think there is anything called natural inclinations in this regard.

    A person chooses according to reliable practices that he/she is wont to.

    In other situations he/she may feel vulnerable to opinions.

  11. MonaLisa Says:

    Reader,
    Pak politicians are playing not only India but USA too. They are making a hole in taxpayers pockets for $ 150 million/mnth in such recession time. in such hard time that kind of amount could make millions lives better at home. In my opinion more pragmatic approach like stopping that aid is required than just delivering candid ultimatums to those sleazy incumbents.

    • Reader Says:

      MonaLisa,

      Agree with you on the taxpayers burdens in US. US Aid to Pakistan is a factor that has been debated worldwide. It is a complex model. Pakistan’s exports, mainly, farming and food produce are bank rolled by sheikhs in the ME. This is required to ensure food supply in the ME. In India, the importers engage in contract farming.

      Other than food, Pak has nothing but manual labor to offer the world.

      Nonetheless, they are self-sufficient in food and most of the towns other than cities can live without printed currency. I feel the country is not likely to implode as many dooms-day sayers want to believe.

      The only other Armed Forces base that US officially holds in this part of the world is in Israel. Although, it appears as if US is wasting money by financing sleeze in the Pak army, I think it is also in their interests not to give access to other countries like China or Russia.

      • MonaLisa Says:

        Reader,
        Base is the only reason we could agree upon. It sure is a political agenda but at what cost!? China certainly appear to be a threat to entire world by and large. Its marching at/for no.1 super power position. Days are not too far if we see another Hitler in Chinese guise!

    • Reader Says:

      Saudia needs food. US needs Oil. Pakistan needs money. Its a trade cycle!

      🙂

  12. Reader Says:

    Aap bewajah pareshaan si kyon hain maadaam
    Log kahte hain to phir theek hi kahte honge
    Mere ahbaab ne tehzeeb na seekhi hogi
    Mere maahaul mein insaan na rahte honge

    … … … Why do you despair, Ma’am, for no reason
    … … … If people say, then they must be right
    … … … My society may not have learnt culture
    … … … Perhaps humans don’t reside in my street

    Noor-e-sarmaayaa se hai roo-e-tamaddun ki jilaa
    Ham jahaan hain vahaan tahzeeb nahin pal sakti
    Muflisii hisse-lataafat ko mitaa deti hai
    Bhook aadaab ke saanche mein nahin dhal sakti

    … … … The glitter of wealth is lighted by the soul of civilisation
    … … … Culture cannot be nursed in the place where I live
    … … … Poverty removes all traces of tender emotions
    … … … Hunger cannot be shaped by the moulds of civilised behaviour

    Log kahte hain to logon pe ta’azzub kaisaa
    Sach to kahte hain ki naadaaron ki izzat kaisi
    Log kahte hain — magar aap abhi tak chup haiN
    Aap bhi kahiye garibon mein sharaafat kaisi

    … … … If people say, what is there to be surprised
    … … … Its true, there’s no reason to respect the poor
    … … … People say, yet you are quiet even till now
    … … … Say it yourself, what are good manners for the poor

    Nek maadaam! bahut jald vo daur aayega
    Jab hamein zeest ke advaar parakhne honge
    Apni zillat ki qasam, aapki azmat ki qasam
    Hamko ta’azeem ke mayyaar parakhne hoNge

    … … … Good Ma’am! Soon there will be a time
    … … … When we’ll have to re-visit our values of life
    … … … In the name of my disgrace, and your honor
    … … … We’ll have to review the scales of measuring respect

    Hamne har daur mein tazleel sahii hai lekin
    Hamne har daur ke chehre ko ziyaa bakhshii hai
    Hamne har daur meiN mehnat ke sitam jhele haiN
    Hamne har daur ke haathoN ko hina bakhshii hai

    … … … We have suffered oppression in every era
    … … … We have given brilliance to every era
    … … … We have struggled yet offered our labour in every era
    … … … We have given the splendour of the Heena to every era

    Lekin in talkh mubaahis se bhalaa kyaa haasil
    Log kahte haiN to phir Theek hi kahte hoNge
    Mere ehbaab ne tahzeeb na seekhii hogi
    Main jahaan rahtaa houn insaan na rahte hoNge

    … … … But what is the point in such bitter arguments
    … … … If people say, then they must be right
    … … … My society may not have learnt culture
    … … … Perhaps humans don’t reside in my street

    —Sahir Ludhianvi

    (Translit Mine)

  13. MonaLisa Says:

    Lol Reader 🙂

  14. This is Pritish Nandy;s version on the Kasab affair

    A verdict for changePritish Nandy, 10 May 2010, 08:55 AM IST

    The Qasab verdict was perfect. It didn’t surprise anyone. He had killed innocent people in broad daylight and there were witnesses to his crime. Though, like many others, I sometimes feel a little sad for these foolish, misguided young boys, often poor and uneducated, who are bought and manipulated by terror syndicates. They think they are fighting for a great cause. By the time they realise they are mere pawns in a macabre political game where religion is just another excuse to keep the world on boil, it’s too late. They have been used and discarded by the world’s fastest growing industry today, fear. It’s not just the Al Qaida, Taliban or LeT. Even for the US, fear is now a powerful currency of trade, stronger than the dollar. No wonder they play footsie with Pakistan.

    Qasab has been tried, found guilty. He will be punished. It’s a perfect closure. Yet I didn’t hear enough applause from the world for the way we conducted the trial. It vindicates all those who want to uphold our great traditions of justice. Rs 30 crore may be a lot of money to keep Qasab alive. But it’s nothing compared to what we have achieved: A free and fair trial for a captured terrorist. How many nations can actually claim that? Also, while young Qasab may be punished for what he did, the actual guys who run the terror syndicates will never get caught. Qasab may hang or stay in prison forever but those who brainwashed him, sent him here and then abandoned him will get away because the US, who lead the war on terror, have now chosen to be friends with Pakistan. So justice can take a walk.

    The verdict on Qasab was not alone. Two young Indians on trial with him for abetting the crime were found not guilty and acquitted. Usually in such trials, there’s a lot of collateral damage. Others get dragged in and public anger’s so high that courts are often reluctant to let them off. So they get punished as well for crimes they may not have committed and no one sheds a tear. People are not always satisfied with justice; they seek revenge. As a result, those on trial are often punished not for proven crimes but for being suspects as well. Qasab’s trial was exemplary in that sense. The judge set the other two suspects free because the evidence against them was not good enough for a conviction. The State had put out its best prosecutor while these boys had nothing. They won purely on the merit of their case.

    Their acquittal may support the contention that terror is not such a home grown product after all. It’s being exported to us. The way the US has been arming Pakistan knowing it’s the global crucible of terror shows that even Obama can’t stop the arms lobby. So the US has gone back to its old game of selling weapons to both Pakistan and us, to keep the theatre of war alive. As long as the rhetoric of hate limits itself to Pakistan versus India we can deal with it. We have dealt with it for six decades. It’s the rogue rhetoric of religion that can be dangerously subversive. Locals in the UK and US are succumbing to it. They are being recruited by rabid mullahs and propagandists of terror to unleash violence against their own countrymen. If we can stop that from happening in India by ensuring that the political process remains just and equitable, we are safe. The odd bomb may go off somewhere. (It’s going off everywhere these days.) But the fact that we are able to get on with our lives and target a 7% economic growth rate is a tribute to how we as a nation conduct our politics.

    Can we turn the clock back? No, you can’t write off decades of hate. But what we can do is work together to redefine our future. What we need today is not friendship with Pakistan as much as commercial and political interdependence. Every time Pakistan is rocked by terror and people die, it’s a reminder that peace is no longer an option. It’s the only choice for both of us. We are losing billions of dollars in investment because nation after nation is issuing travel advisories to its citizens, warning them not to come here. Yet India is one of the only economies left that can offer the West that extra return on their investments they are craving for. Europe’s teetering on the edge. The US looks increasingly like a third world economy. If we set aside our differences for a while, de escalate violence and build this subcontinent’s economy, we can rewrite our future instead of squabbling over the past. We don’t need military aid. We don’t need homilies from the West. All we need to realise is that we can’t afford the luxury of conflict when our people need food, jobs, education and healthcare urgently. These can only come when we are able to build a new economy, not fight imaginary wars.

    • Thank you Sharmila,

      Precision reporting by Mr. Nandi. I was hoping he would go on to give his personal opinions too. I didn’t quite follow the closing remarks about imaginery wars. It seems like a justification for the government’s role in politics economics.

      But it is difficult to tell, as the article ends abruptly at that point.

      My personal opinion is, there is no enterpreneur or a really private industrialist (as opposed to government sponsored ones) who sets up a business for paying salaries to people. Creating employment cannot be the primary purpose of an industry.

      Perhaps I didn’t get it right. I didn’t understand what he meant by ‘affording the luxury of conflicts’

      Duh duh me! 😦

  15. Shouldnt we not as indians but as humans stop labelling pakistan as the root of terror. I agree we as indians have suffered a lot through the hands of power hungry religious zealots sitting across the border but shouldnt we as the new generation strive to bridge the gaps between india and pakistan. We cannot live behind the veil of hatred..havnt we fought enough. My father is in the army and i have been witness to many of his acquaintances fall prey to this conflict of hatred. I agree muslims in indi are often labelled as terror sympathisers which is a preposterous proposition, how can we hold a whole sect liable for the follies of a dastardly few.

    • Thanks for comment Anas. I agree that religious stereotyping is unwarranted and terrorists have no religion in the first place despite their stance that they do. re Pakistan, they are a primamry cause of concern and unless and until they do something about their homegrown terror, I am afraid they can never be discounted and only then can some form of peace be reached.

      • expecting pakistan to do something concrete about the sponsored terrorism against india is expecting pigs to fly..and honestly im looking up at the sky to see some snorting pigs in the sky

      • Quite a valid point, a great expectation from a country that has no credibility!

  16. Hmmmm……….thats an interesting one for me.But now I am drowsing……eye lids shut……..see you after Fajr…….

    http://salmanshahidalvi.wordpress.com/
    Thanks,coz of you I did this :).Thanks a lot………And yes I am the only one so far who has answered your poll :).At least isme to first hun 🙂

    Ohhhh!!!!I have already slept……..

    • First of all I would like to thank you di for an unbiased post.I have read almost all the comments and have many things to say.But would restrict to some.

      First,to use the term Jihadi’s for people like Qasab itself is wrong.Jihad is of course a holy war.But the one which was fought by Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم .The basic problem is,people don’t know the history related to this term.

      I quite agree with Anas that we should first change our perception towards Pakistan.

      One gentlemen even fails to understand this religion(I don’t know whats so complicated there).There is no prohibition in Islam to read the Vedas or the Gita itself.I don’t know how many Hindu’s read it often.If you know Dr.Zakir Naik……..he is my favorite orator….he has done a comparative analysis of different religions.

      Lastly,in respone to one of the comments,you cannot upgrade your religion just for the sake of mixing with the society.DO but within what the religion has permitted.

      • Salman – I am sorry but I read this comment just now. I seem to have missed it altogether. Thanks. Understand your perspective very well. Religion is misused by terrorists and politicians alike, unfortunately people like you and I become the unfortunate victims in this vicious blame game.

      • Salman – Please do tell us the exact meaning of Jehadi. Looking forward to your view.

  17. Thank you for taking note of it.There are two more that you may have not taken notice of.

    Now,to talk of Jihad,the root of the word “jihad” is “juhd” which means “effort”.

    Although Islamic jihad is a Qur’anic concept, the Qur’an, in reality, is rarely consulted for understanding this concept. The widespread misunderstanding of jihad can only be attributed to an endemic neglect of the Qur’an, not only by non-Muslims, but by Muslims as well.

    Jihad is simply the process of “exerting the best efforts,” involving some form of “struggle” and “resistance,” to achieve a particular goal. In other words, jihad is the struggle against, or resistance to, something for the sake of a goal. The meaning of the word is independent of the nature of the invested efforts or the sought goal.

    Contrary to common belief, the word “jihad” does not necessarily imply any violent effort, let alone “war” and such instances of extreme violence. It is a general term that can mean violent as well as peaceful actions, depending on the context in which it is used.Similarly, “jihad” as a generic word can be used even when the sought goals are not Islamic, i.e. in non-religious contexts.

    Furthermore,it is manifest by this verse of the Holy Qur’an which eliminates any misconception associated with Jihad
    “Fight in the way of God against those who fight against you, but do not transgress. God does not love transgressors” (2:190).

    • Thanks salman for standing by my statement that instead of branding Pakistan as the Axis of evil we shoul first understand it. Yes it sure does act like the big baddie but that does not certify all of its people or even the nation as a whole to be labelled as a villain

      • Absolutely Anas,its of no use to raise fingers on each and every Pakistani for the wrong doings of some culprits who have taken shelter on their land.In fact,they can exist in any country.Taking the example of India itself,what will you call these Maoists and Naxalites.Are they themselves not terrorists?An issue which the govt has not been able to resolve from long.

        But,now we Indians have become so ardent in opposing Pakistan,be it about cricket or terrorism,I hardly see any chance of a change in our perception towards them.

      • Anas – My point of view on Pakistan is always against the administration that represents it, surely not againt the innocent citizen in the least. The administration has failed miserably on all counts.

    • Salman – Thanks a ton for this. Saving it. Cheers

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