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A terrorist is a social activist gone horribly wrong

Posted by Unknown Sunday, 15 July 2012 0 comments

"I was insulted and assaulted;
Did you have any answer?
I faced sorrow and humiliation;
And when I retaliated, you called me a social disaster!"
With increasing terrorist attacks around the globe, it is natural for us to realize that the scourge of terrorism is getting worse by the day. Terrorism has provoked unparalleled indignation throughout the world. But seldom have we thought of the cause that drives a person to the cult of gun and bomb.
What constitutes a terrorist? What madness, what violent rage and what chemistry of misplaced idealism can create such a fury in the blood of a person to turn him into a suicide bomber, killing himself along with his targeted victims and innocent people? Is the terrorist insane or is he a self styled martyr seeking self actualization?
A terrorist is not an individual with a pathological psyche. He is not mentally ill. Infact, terrorists are the victims of the rotten system of the society that create more victims of misunderstanding. Actually, terrorists are human beings like us but the inhuman treatment meted out to them turn them into wild beasts. An environment in which some communities have been marginalized socially, politically or economically has laid the foundation of terrorism which has spread throughout the world. The root cause of crime does not exists in an individual but it exists in the society which makes a criminal more prone to crimes. The punitive system of the society acts as a catalyst for the victims to do wrong. They are compelled to wreak vengeance against those whom they regard as their ‘enemies’.
It is a common impression that the encounter killings are a common extrajudicial tactic for dealing with the problem of terrorism. Terrorism cannot be ascribed to any particular religion, sect or community. Any effort to give terrorism a communal colour will surely spell disaster for our country. The failure of the State to ensure justice to the victims of communal attacks and to punish those guilty of heinous crimes against minorities are indeed attracting a few elements among the youth to the extremist cause.
Terrorists should be treated as human beings with a cause. We should try to understand the terrorist is trying to say something which he believes in strongly and he is not merely a trouble maker. Those who feel they are victims of discrimination and injustice should be invited to speak about it. The alleged criminals and terrorists have a right to due process, which includes the right to fair and speedy trial, the right to proper defence and presumption of innocence until a person is proven guilty. It is essential to fight back those extremist forces within the community who seek to exploit the genuine grievances of the terrorists.
Here it is important for us to ponder upon the following thoughts;
In India’s freedom struggle, column upon column of people marched up to fight against the shackles and oppression of the British without killing innocent people. Would one label them as terrorists? Instead they are adorned as revolutionaries!
A group of young people from a remote village of northern India suffered a lot of misery and discrimination when they were tested positive for HIV infection. Their houses were burnt; they were brutally beaten and were even forced to surrender all their possessions as a compensation to carry out some orthodox religious activities to restore the auspiciousness of the village. These youth later turned into a rebellious group to wreak vengeance by placing syringes filled with their contaminated blood on the seats of cinema halls to attack innocent people. But when these people were counseled and motivated by the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) and treated compassionately, they turned into NACO activists.
Terrorists have their roots in anger, hatred and wrong perceptions. This anger should be prevented from becoming a collective energy. Compassion and dialogue are the only antidotes for anger and violence. A terrorist is indeed a social activist gone horribly wrong!!! 

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