Friday, December 7, 2007


The mechanism of terror in the world today encompasses various kinds of terrorism, and religious terrorism is a major part today. The purpose of terrorism is not war but to cripple a society with fear. It is more a shock value and because it has grown due to availability of material they have had quite an impact. We see suicide bombers; young people who are willing to give their lives.The revolutionaries and the resistant forces have all been educated people. But now when physician have become terrorists then its like people who are supposed to give life are taking lives. There seems to be so much anger that people are willing to take lives for whatever cause they believe in.

One way of looking at it is-any man who is willing to die for what he believes in is a wonderful man. The problem is that there is a huge volume of anger and hatred behind it and so the end result is ugly. Otherwise a man who is willing to die for what he believes in has a wonderful quality.

It’s just that this is happening with enormous anger and hatred against some body and that is the problem. In India we have the naxalites, the communist group which believes they are causing a revolution but we call them terrorists. Then there are the Tamil Tigers in Srilanka and the IRA group all of whom believe they are freedom fighters. And now there are the religious terrorists who believe they are fighting for their religion.

So different causes have bred the same thing-whenever there is a powerful force that becomes oppressive, people who do not have the same level of power will naturally go in for the method of fighting we call terrorism.It is very important that the armies, the government and the leaderships in the world look at the cause why people are so angry. For every creature on this planet, its own life is always precious. Even if you try to kill a little ant, it does its best to save itself; so it is for the human being. To be willing to die for something means that “something” has become very important to him, especially when so many people are going in the same direction.
We have to address the fundamental issues beneath that decision rather than treating it as something you can just stamp out.Right now the level of terrorism in the world has grown because we are blatantly trying to stamp things out rather than looking into and addressing the fundamental issues. Today you have to live with the reality that once every few months another terrorist event will happen on the planet.

Who is a terrorist? People who are in it do not believe they are terrorists. It is just a term that they feel someone is using for them. Many of them think they are freedom fighters, revolutionaries and some think they are God’s own children. You stamp out one person and a hundred will be born out of that lack of understanding.

Right now in many ways the US is the leader in the world. Whenever a particular nation becomes very powerful there can be a possibility of exploitation and domination on one hand or if done the right way, there is a possibility of changing everything for the good.Earlier there was Russia and because of the mistrust, both of them went about doing all sorts of things to gain superiority in the world. A lot of illegal activities happened and the excuse was always if we don’t do it, the other would. Now that Russia is gone, there is only one gun left and so it should be easy to keep it down.

If truly wise leadership comes up in the United States, they can truly change the world. It doesn’t take a lot of money and resources to address all the problems in the world-it just takes the will. USA has spent more than 600 billion dollars on Iraq. A fraction of that amount could have helped in eradicating poverty or providing healthcare (forty percent people on the planet don’t get medical help), educational facilities and nourishment on the planet.

We have not re-built Iraq. We have done nothing except kill our men and people of other countries. It has happened due to lack of vision and simply looking at the world with the same eyes as the barbarians have looked at it. If some body pricks you with a pin instead of cutting off their hand if you try to turn their hearts around, try to work on their anger and move them towards a more sensible way of looking at life, things may be different.

By cutting one hand you are making a million more hands come up.

When you look at the Muslim doctors from India who went to UK, they are good students who have done well. They are married and have children. They definitely did not build their lives around becoming terrorists. They wanted to live a normal life. They feel that the international activity against their community is such injustice that it’s firing them up to such an extent that they are willing to die for it and kill people. Even if they are misguided, if a large number of people are going in this direction, I think we need to work on turning them around. Shooting them down is not the answer.I was at the World Economic forum and a positive development is that the major economic forces on the planet are thinking of peace- not necessarily by compassion but by compulsion. Especially in the last four years, I see a trend where major corporations in the world are looking at changing the fundamentals of human life on the planet in terms of education, health, nourishment and medical care.

Corporate social responsibility is not always driven by compassion today but even if it becomes the fashion, as long as it serves its people that is all that matters.

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