Total Pageviews

Follow by Email

Friday, May 31, 2013

Morality of terror? There isn’t any

By Swapan Dasgupta

The lazy journalist, it is often said, invariably equates his taxi driver with the aam aadmi. I must confess to falling back on the oldest shortcut in the trade on my journey from Central London to Heathrow airport on the day after two fanatics decapitated a British soldier in mufti on a busy street in Woolwich.

The taxi driver turned out to be an Afghan living in Britain since 1999. A Moscow-trained specialist in drip irrigation from Mazhar-e-Sharif, he was an ethnic Tajik who had fled the Taliban. He was a middle-class Afghan who has been reduced to driving taxis in a country that had no real use for his expertise.

So, I asked, as he helpfully re-tuned his radio to a station devoted to Bollywood music, what did he think of yesterday’s killing in Woolwich. “They are crazy people”, he burst, “and they make our lives miserable. They destroyed Afghanistan with their jihad and now they want to destroy Britain.”

“If they asked me for advice”, he went on, “do you know what I would tell the British Government? I would tell them that you can’t reform these people because their minds are full of half-baked nonsense. There is just one solution: just shoot them.”

London’s taxi drivers are always full of certitudes but even by the exacting standards of the Daily Mail this was going a bit too far. Today’s Britain is so overwhelmingly obsessed with ‘human rights’ that the deportation of a hateful jihadi who entered the country on false pretexts and who has since been subsidised by welfare payments has been endlessly delayed because of fears that Jordan (a country from which he is a fugitive) uses torture to extract information.

Or take the case of a guy named Anjem Choudary, a trained lawyer who was the main inspiration for a group called Al Muhajiroun which has subsequently been banned for its hateful and murderous Islamism. This gentleman, a favourite of BBC talk shows which need a “balancing” voice is said to subsist on welfare payments that come from the earnings of decent individuals. To put it another way, the British state actually pays for Choudary to motivate young British Muslims into jihad and even helpfully provides him a platform to broadcast his demands for the destruction of tolerance and the British way of life. If this isn’t an example of liberal self-flagellation, I don’t know what is.

Since the Woolwich murder, there have been calls in Britain for less tolerance of those who disregard the basic rules that govern public life in a democracy. Pressure is being put on universities to be less indulgent towards students’ Islamic societies that misuse the pluralism of institutions of higher learning for the promotion of murder and sectarian conflict. There have also been calls on the free media to be more circumspect in providing the oxygen of publicity to the overground voices of the underground.

The last issue is a tricky one. There are many supporters of terrorism and jihad who mask their real intentions with clever arguments and diplomatic silence. To demands for outright condemnation of jihadi atrocities, they invariably fall back on the “roots of terrorism” argument. The real culprit, they proclaim grandly, is the British policy of persecution of Muslims in Afghanistan and Libya, its deep links with the US and its friendship with “racist Zionists” who are out to annihilate the Palestinian people.

“Leave us in peace” one of the Woolwich killers hollered at passers-by while flaunting his bloody hands and blood-covered machete. In his mind, he was the victim and the British state the oppressor.

Last week, I heard the very same arguments on Indian TV. Following a perfunctory condemnation of the Maoist massacre of a Congress yatra in the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh, they would invariably shift tack and talk with poetic indignation on the brutality and even the criminality of the Indian state. Just as the London-accented jihadi will invoke Palestine, Chechnya, Afghanistan and even Kashmir, these well-heeled individuals will romanticise those who are fighting for the rights of India’s tribals against rapacious corporate houses and their politician friends. Whether it is the massacre of 75 CRPF jawans in a carefully-planned ambush, the decapitation of a tribal policeman in Jharkhand and the orchestrated massacre of political activists last week, the notes of the theme song are common.

The feigned victimhood has been carefully crafted. The overground friends of the terrorists have systematically drawn a moral equivalence between a democratic way which, despite all its many imperfections rests on the will of the people, and an armed struggle that takes Mao Zedong’s infamous assertion of political power flowing from the barrel of the gun as its inspiration. The jihadis are not really fighting for either the Palestinian or the Kashmiri but for a the establishment of a medievalist political order. Likewise, the Maoists couldn’t give a damn about indigenous peoples and poverty: their single-minded goal is the creation of liberated zones that will be used as launch pads for the capture of political power.

Both sets of political predators need what Lenin called ‘useful idiots’ to enlarge the arena of struggle. They are the poets and wordsmiths of murder. And not only do we tolerate them, we accord them social sanction. Perhaps we are the real idiots. Maybe we should employ taxi drivers as counter-insurgency experts. They have the right instincts.

Asian Age/ Deccan Chronicle, May 31, 2013 

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very well said.

Anonymous said...

A very incisive article about the threat democracies like Britain are facing rom the Islamist fundementalists nurtured by religious extremist outfits who have infiltrated the colleges, universities and other such spaces of public life. A similar thing is happening among Hindus also in countries like US and Britain. It is understood hat Hindu extremist outfits like RSS and VHP have infiltrated public institutions especially academic institutions and have formed spin-off outfits for students to radicalise them. What is your take on the Hindu fundamentalist outfits in these countries. Aren't hey going the same way as the Islamists?

Anonymous said...

Hindu fundamentalist outfits affiliated to extremist group in India trying to spreading their influence in campuses in USA and UK is a recent phenomenon. It is as dangerous (especially for the expat hindus themselves!) as the islamist variety.

Anonymous said...

I also watched on beeee beeee seeee & heard the dead soldier has a wife & a child. I prayed adequately for them asking HINDU GOD to give peace.

My PRAYERS in fact were very very SINCERE. Not faux & shallow heartless ones like the heartless british.

Recall one two year old child in the same Britain called Jamie Bulger who was brutally bludgeoned to death after being kidnapped by ten year old boys ( all british british not HINDUS , MUSLIMS , SIKHS etc of India settled there in britain) from a supermarket.

Everything was caught on camera. Thus the culprits could be apprehended by the british super sleuthing. The murder of that two year old child REALLY left me sleepless. As his mother was expecting another child & extremely distraught.

BUT her british husband DIVORCED her so very callously. DIVORCED leaving her his own wife pregnant wife who had lost just a two year old son to BRUTISH british boys.

The judges granted PARDON to those killers. Their identities , names -everything remained unrevealed.

I have not recovered from grieving for that mother of Jamie Bulger yet.

britain itself is so weird , heartless besotted with anachronistic queen & her lingeries , cakes , puddings yada yada.

AMERICA is far far far SUPERIOR. AMERICANS still have EMOTIONS left in them.

india is more british than the british today.

Anonymous said...

If britain can shed COPIOUS tears non stop on us Hindus & Muslims of India so craftily colonizing & ruthlessly bleeding us all for so many years do you think I an aam janata a HINDU BRAHMIN is incapable of returning their MUNIFICENT christianised compassionate "benefits , profits & RUIN" by not mourning adequately for the belated death of one solitary british soldier in mufti????

I have done so in style with gusto blaming very conveniently ISLAM:-))

So relax! britain's queen herself has not given up drinking tea from dainty china along with devonshire cream topped pastries , shepherd pudding etc donning various hats & twirling brollies receiving bouquets of roses & posey from her british subjects / sycophants.


I also watched on beeee beeee seeee & heard the dead soldier has a wife & a child. I prayed adequately for them asking HINDU GOD to give peace.

My PRAYERS in fact were very very SINCERE. Not faux & shallow heartless ones like the heartless british.

Recall one two year old child in the same Britain called Jamie Bulger who was brutally bludgeoned to death after being kidnapped by ten year old boys ( all british british not HINDUS , MUSLIMS , SIKHS etc of India settled there in britain) from a supermarket.

Everything was caught on camera. Thus the culprits could be apprehended by the british super sleuthing. The murder of that two year old child REALLY left me sleepless. As his mother was expecting another child & extremely distraught.

BUT her british husband DIVORCED her so very callously. DIVORCED leaving her his own wife pregnant wife who had lost just a two year old son to BRUTISH british boys.

The judges granted PARDON to those killers. Their identities , names -everything remained unrevealed.

I have not recovered from grieving for that mother of Jamie Bulger yet.

britain itself is so weird , heartless besotted with anachronistic queen & her lingeries , cakes , puddings yada yada.

AMERICA is far far far SUPERIOR. AMERICANS still have EMOTIONS left in them.

india is more british than the british today.

Prasanna said...

Sir,
No wonder we Indians have borrowed many of the public tolerance of terrorists into our system, as we were blessed by the British. In the garbs of secularism and nowadays "inclusive growth" our politicians and NGOs are going that extra immoral mile to do anything to appease these groups. Setting up separate universities, which has been rendered unconstitutional, is one such steps taken by our government. We are allowing them to be a separate entity, in total separation from the rest of the society, at our own peril.

Anonymous said...

Swami Dayananda of Arsha Vidya Gurukulam has lots of AMERICAN , AUSTRALIAN foreign devotees / students also LEARNING from Him The Aacharya. He has one in Pennysylvania also. He said very interestingly:-

" Some of my American students LOVE sambar etc served. So give clear instructions like " bring the sambar but remember to cut out the tamarind & too many chillies".

Things have CHANGED a lot mercifully TODAY in many aspects.
Lots of them are able to sit cross legged effortlessly in India & adjust EXTREMELY WELL. These foreigners in many many aspects are simply REMARKABLE.

It is indians who are the problems. We have LOTS & LOTS to learn from them , unlearn our prejudices , preconceived notions & relearn HONESTY , HUMILITY & VALUES all over again.

indians are always not some superior super hoo haaa creatures.

V.L.SASTRY said...

this is a precision analysis of the maoist atrocities and political interest of politicians . only when congress politicians were killed , Sonia Gandhi termed the act by maoists as attack on democracy ? otherwise not . one cannot also forgive political inability in 65 years in diagnosis of the desease.