Friday, August 5, 2011

The Armageddon of Terrorism

Two successive terrorist attacks traumatized the people of the world recently. The financial capital of India, Mumbai, was blown apart in a matter of 10mins by bouts of serial bomb blasts on 13th Jul 2011, and so was the capital city of Norway, Oslo on 22nd July 2011. The attacks left the people of Mumbai shaken and stirred, arousing anger against the governing authorities demanding their right to security. While the people of Norway although were initially shocked by these attacks, remained calm and resilient.

So, why that difference in reaction to almost similar catastrophes? Mumbai which houses a population of approximately 20.4 million people accounting for about 20% of India’s population alone, has been struck by terrorism not once, not twice or three times...but this city that I love so much, has been brutally hit umpteen numbers of times. While on the other hand, for the people of Norway, which houses about 20% of Mumbai’s population of approximately 4 million people, it was a first and hopefully (and surely) the last kind of brutal attack after World War II.

No doubt that the whole wide world is being terrorized and neither you nor I really know about what’s in store for us tomorrow or even the very next minute. But then, in between uncertainty and cruelty like this, there is 'hope' and 'faith'. ‘Hope’, that similar attacks like these will not repeat itself, and ‘faith’, that the internal system will be strengthened and would be intolerant toward such ruinous mishaps from repeating itself.

The people of the United States of America may criticize the debt crisis and the rising figures of unemployment in the US...but I don't think a single American has or will ever complain about the feeling of insecurity after the 9/11 twin attacks in New York city. The twin attacks certainly jolted the people of the nation, but it surely didn't shake their faith in the government. The people are assured that henceforth, anyone trying to plan such attacks again on American soil will have to be a superhero with supernatural powers. So much is their faith in the security system of the nation! Each global citizen anywhere in the world wants to have that same feeling of security.

Instead of assuring people of better methods for curbing such attacks from revisiting us, a man who supposedly has inherited the right to become the future PM of India says that the centre can prevent 99% of terrorism but the remaining 1% of it is bound to happen. Now how would anyone react to the arithmetic justification of this situation…that to, when it is coming from a government representative? Did this supposed PM-prospect mean that the 13/7 attacks in Mumbai, which took 25 innocent lives and left so many limping (for life), belonged to the 'inevitable' category of attacks. Shameful justification! When you don’t know what to say or do in a hysterical situation, it is better to simply shut-up!

Why do these cruel bloody attacks happen in the first place? Why would any sane individual or cluster want to take innocent lives of people they have never met nor have anything to do with? Even if we suspect insanity to be the reason behind these attacks, how can such illogical people make flawless plans and execute them with sheer precision then?

Bridging inequality in society
Don’t we need to first stop pointing a finger towards a particular section of society as soon as a terrorist attack strikes anywhere in the world. Why are Muslims being stereotyped? Is it really fair? When the Oslo twin bombing happened, speculators all around the world tried to scrutinize Islamist group influence/ involvement in the attacks. When in reality, the lone terrorist who bombed this beautiful city was an anti-Muslim extremist and a contrarian to the local immigration policies. The more we pigeonhole our Muslim brethren, the more we isolate them from the rest of the world, and the more divide we create. Someone’s religion is certainly not an indicator to judge whether he/she is a terrorist. It is the circle that a person lives in and the way he is programmed to think and behave that makes a person do crazy things. Isolation and discrimination are also the two deadliest evils.

Ask the lone terrorist who took Mumbai to ransom on 26/11 - Ajmal Kasab - why he aimlessly shot down so many innocent people, and he spontaneously replies saying that he fought for ‘jihad’. Interrogators did ask him what is the meaning of jihad and he said, "It is about killing and getting killed and becoming famous". Muslim clergies rubbished this, saying that, anybody who says that jihad is a ‘holy war’ needs a life. Jihad instead broadly means, striving hard by putting in your best efforts to achieve a goal by overcoming one's own weakness.

Terror surely is growing not only in India but around the world and it is time that each nation comes together carrying a single agenda to fight terrorism right from its roots. It is easier to celebrate martyrdom than to fix responsibility or make changes, so that more people don't get martyred. We need to act now!

Increasing security and a joint global anti-terrorism plan is the way forward. No nation can fight terrorism alone. It has to be fought in consultation with each other. Fighting terrorism is not only the business of the nation that has become victim to frequent attacks, but should be a concerted effort across nation pan-world. Just like we aim to become a world with zero nuclear weapons and also aim to reduce global carbon footprints to zero, shouldn’t we also aim for ‘zero- terrorism’ as well?

God Bless our world!

Post script:
I have been to Norway once and the first and the last thing I remember of it is the sight of the landscape 30mins before touching landing strip. Just one word to describe it…“Heaven”. Besides that, Norway is the only nation in the whole wide world which has been uncontroversial with peace and equality being her topmost priority. Truly a country which not only bestows humanitarians with the Nobel Peace prize award for their outstanding contributions in Peace, but also a nation that walks the talk.

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