Since childhood, I have been hearing keywords like terrorism and terrorist but there has been no comprehensive definition to describe its characteristics. Parents were a victim of the 1947 India-Pakistan partition and had their definition of the subject. My grandfather was involved in World War II while serving in the Indian Army, he had his own definition. A Kashmiri neighbor had their own definition, textbooks gave me a definition, the television news in 1990 Iran-Iraq war gave its definition, friends gave their definition in 1993 Mumbai blasts, a witness from the US gave his definition of the 2001 attack, Google gave me its version of the definition, and now all of my acquaintances give me their version of definitions.
But where was the time to decide for me that what is the meaning of terrorism and terrorist? I’d to find my own truth rather than accepting ready-made definitions. Hence, I tried to define it a while ago—after a lot of introspection.
Let’s define terrorism: In simple words, an act that brings danger to – ideas, thoughts, freedom, life, culture, tradition, market, dignity, community, ethnicity, business, equality, justice etc.
Let’s define terrorist: In simple words, a person—irrespective of community, caste, creed, ethnicity, color, race, gender, region etc.—who brings this danger.
If this is true in any sense then, there are millions in planet Earth who are doing such acts and bringing such dangers every day:
- Thousands of women are sold, beaten, raped, and disgraced—in the home or in the market.
- Hundreds of people face humiliation because of a rotten social caste system.
- Millions of people are involved in some of the other economic offenses.
- More than half of the population of few countries don’t pay tax.
- Hundreds of politicians, bureaucrats are involved in huge monetary scams.
- Thousands of children are forced into bonded labor.
- Millions of trees are being cut in name of industrialization.
- The cities are being turned into the dustbin.
- Rich is getting rich, poor are getting poor.
- Hundreds of large-scale vendors are into black marketing of food items.
- People are ready to kill each other for a fistful of money.
- Hundreds of people are forced to convert their religion—some do it by choice.
All of this and much more happening in India—and other countries—on a daily basis. It is killing our nation like a slow poison. Then:
- Isn’t this terrorism?
- Aren’t the people involved in all of this terrorist?
- Or is that a terrorist is only such a person who is from a specific community, a specific country, in a specific dress and only comes from across the border?
Half of the world is busy doing all such inhuman acts. That makes all of us a terrorist at some point or another—irrespective of our religion, region, gender, caste, ethnicity, color etc. Why are we then pointing to a specific community? What are we fighting against?
- Hatred or community?
- Commotion or belief system?
- Terrorism or entire humanity?
We’re failing to see that the seeds of hatred we’re showing in our children will reap horrible cultivation of hatred and destruction. I don’t understand world politics but I understand that whatever the question, love is the answer. Even my parents—before death—finally, removed hatred from their hearts and forgave each one of them who was the cause of that mass destruction in 1947. Father was so free and in joy after letting it go and to be able to think of the future in a positive sense. Not that he denied justice but he had learned the art of forgiving and asking for forgiveness. But who knows, like the epic Mahabharata, a war may be the only solution.
We should remember that a small nuclear bomb from a small country can destroy a city. I figured out a formula i.e. 0 x 0 = 0, 1 x 0 = 0, and 100 x 0 = 0.
Before pointing immediately to someone, can we research questions, some radical ones?
- Who is sponsoring this hatred? Who is organizing this hatred?
- Who is manufacturing weapons to kill? Who is building the infrastructure?
- Who’ll benefit most from this business of hatred?
- Is there a specific pattern followed since World War I?
- Who all are involved? Can we clap with one hand?
- Who is the ultimate authority? Who is just a pawn?
Search for it and you’ll be surprised and shocked. After all my research and understanding of the subject, I come to the conclusion that terrorism has no face, no religion, no region, and no nothing. It’s a sponsored program like a television soap opera involving writer, producer, director, actor and whole team involved in it.
A great leader of the 20th century said that poverty and hypocrisy is the worst form of violence and if we go by his definition, then we’re also a violent country.