19 December 2010

Who Creates Terrorists ?

By Sudhir Gandotra

Politicians, Law-makers, Judiciary, Police & Army, Religious-heads, Media and others are known to be talking about terrorism as a big threat to the society today. Some call it the biggest threat while others use different adjectives to bring home the same point.

While they all talk about the terrorism and the need to kill the terrorists, and using that as the reason or an excuse, buy more and more arms, pass every-time-tougher laws against freedom of people and create a fear-psychosis in the population, no one seems to be talking on the issue of “Where/How did terrorism start and how is it surviving and increasing all the time ?”
It is important to understand the root cause of terrorism and why they go for violence. There is always an interest and a reason for a group to pick up arms. Violence can be of two kinds, Organized and unorganized. Organized are those used by police and army, in different forms. Unorganized are the others who are in modern terms called ‘terrorist’.

I am neither a social-scientist nor a historian with the credentials to go into the technology of the topic/s involved in this matter of human behavior and history of conflicts. But, I, as a simple peace-loving-citizen of this world, would like to express my views on the matter, inviting discussion from other such concerned citizens on this topic, with the humble aim of reaching some conclusions as to what can we, the simple peace-loving-citizens of this world can do about this issue.

With this background, I would like to stress that violence that manifests in different forms, creates violent response from others. Manifestation of violence shows a poor ability to manage situations, a lack of smartness, a lack of humanness, a lack of abilities to use the mind for resolving an issue. Same is the reason for violent-response also.

It is important to be clear on this, because, in this presentation, while I do not intend to justify the violence committed by people nor the violent response of the affected side, it is important to note that people/groups/organizations/countries do respond to violence with violence. Experts in the field of psychology and education may need to look at a possible solution through non-violent education so that people develop the attitude of non-violence as part of their growing-up process. I certainly am against the violent action of those in uniform, for the solution always lye’s in the hands of the power that be, by discussions and negotiations.

The different manifestations of violence and some examples of how violence creates terrorism and hence the terrorists, is worth looking into. It is clear that terrorism is the act, while its practitioner is termed as a terrorist.
At times the violent ones use different manifestations of violence which I have tried to explain below.

Physical Violence : Where people are ill-treated, thrown away from their homes/villages/slums, families are killed, houses are burnt, short supply leading to hunger and sickness, what happens ? While this kills many, some from family or village vows to take revenge by taking up arms joining the group which offers them the chance. These become the criminals, Dacoits or even a group of Terrorist, since they need guns for their revenge. Its known that different violent groups help each other in their network, just like the people in trade or community. For poor people, running away from the violent situation, having no money or resource, the criminals come to their rescue, providing them food, shelter and the resources needed for violence, provided they becomes a part of the gang. This process easily creates terrorists.

Economic Violence : Poverty also breeds Violence. Terrorism is nothing but a form of revenge of the weak-minded with a mistaken ideology. There are enough examples of Dacoits of this category. Naxalites (the extreme left Maoists) get their major support from people affected by economic violence of the system.

Racial Violence : Where people are discriminated racially and their dignity is violated, some are strong enough not to submit, resist by running away and later returning to take violent revenge. There are enough examples of dacoits in this category. This was the case in Sri-Lanka by the LTTE.

Religious Intolerance (also a Violence) : Religious violence are clashes created by the religiously fanatic people. The case of Jihad is an example in Islam where they even go against their own people. Well-documented presentations show as to how the big powers, military-industrial-complex of America, have created and nurtured the Islamic fundamentalism in order to create conditions for increased and regular sale of arms. There are well-documented presentations showing the increase of cultivation of plants and manufacturing of drugs have grown once again after the Taliban were thrown out of power by the American troops. Similar was the case of extremism in Punjab state of India with the menace of Bhindrawale and the like. The constant conflict between India and Pakistan has the colors of this category.

Ruling over others' territories (Wars) : Wars create foreign-rulers and it is natural that a situation of hatred is crated between the losers, who are violated all the times, and the rulers. Enough examples that created a situation of terrorism can be seen in the History. When British ruled India, people who were fighting for freedom, were termed terrorists by the British rulers, while we Indians called them ''Freedom Fighters”. The point of view changes everything. The same can apply to those who are fighting for freedom in Gaza, on Indo-Pak borders, in Afghanistan, Iraq, Burma and many other places. There are others who are fighting silent wars, like the case of Aung San Sui Kyi of Burma and Liu Xiaobo of China, who has been denied release from jail even to receive his Nobel prize. When Russians were occupying Afghanistan, USA worked to create and nurture Al Qaeda and now they are fighting among themselves a deadly war on many fronts. Many more cases that demonstrate cultivated terrorism can be sited.

Violence is not a natural way of reaction of human beings who are without tensions and in peace. The violence we witness today in the society demonstrates the lack of education (specially on non-violence and its various forms), denial of human dignity, equal opportunity, freedom, non-discrimination, and many other factors.

Violence is not just of any one category but usually has overtones of more than one types. For example, the case of Phoolan Devi who was raped by the higher caste hudlooms, ran away to forests to become a dacoit and returned with guns for her revenge and killed them all, we can see the mix of racial, economic and physical violence among others. Same way, all examples if taken would show us the manifestation of violence having more than one colour, while one of them may be a primary one.

We are facing a system with greed and corruption that rides on the weakness of insecurity of many who, on gaining control of power upon people's resources, are now sick-and-hell-bent to maintain this situation. They go to any extent to retain this situation, compensating their lack, a psychological weakness, while putting millions in the process of suffering that breeds violence.

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