A chapter on the horrific events of the 26th of November, 2008, in Mumbai, that rocked the country and the world, came to an end with the pronouncement of death sentence on the lone surviving terrorist, Ajmal Kasab. The trial took 17 months, during which more than 300 witnesses were examined. The special trial court found Kasab guilty on 89 counts, some of which were as serious as ‘waging war against the nation’ and the judge had no hesitation in sentencing him to death by hanging.
The cult of terrorism has acquired such a monstrous dimension that it is ‘wishful thinking’ to presume that capital punishments can stop it. One Kasab will be replaced by half a dozen others and the acts of terrorism will continue as long as religious bigots exist, who have access to a large source of unaccounted wealth and unemployed youths are available to be brain-washed by them to carry out their designs, in exchange for money. Today, no country is absolutely safe from terrorism, including some of the Muslim populated countries from where it originally started. It is ironic that some countries which had been sponsoring terrorist activities in other countries, have also become victims of the same acts and are helpless to contain it. Did not someone say, “If you train a snake to bite others, it may turn on its trainer someday and bite him, too!”
What is the remedy against terrorism? Is there any solution? There seems to be none at the moment, but, over a period of time each country has to plan a series of measures to cut down the impact of religious fundamentalism. The new groups of terrorists have come from affluent social backgrounds and are well educated. The fact that they can easily mingle with the people in other countries and become a naturalized citizen of that country, makes them potentially more dangerous. The recent attempt at exploding a bomb in the busy ‘Times Square’ in New York, is an example.
What is the motivation for such people to risk their lives and become terrorists?
Sociologists give various reasons. The most common being the perception amongst a section of the people that they are being marginalized on the basis of their religion or faith, by the superior western civilization. There is also a belief that by sacrificing their lives in protest against this discrimination, they can attain glory and martyrdom. This belief is fanned by the religious fundamentalists, who preach that anything connected with western civilization is ‘un-Islamic’ and the perpetrators must not go unpunished. Then the seeds of revenge are sown in their minds by invoking the name of ‘Allah’, who has ‘chosen’ them to carry out this noble task of purifying society.
The only remedy seems to be a classless, secular society, where there is no discrimination on the basis of religion, country of origin, or race. There should be no exploitation of one section of the people, on another. Highly idealistic ideas which are impossible to implement globally! The false dichotomy between the religious beliefs should be removed, because the final goal of every religion is to attain salvation, although the paths may be different. As long as these conditions are not fulfilled, terrorism, associated with all its evils, has come to stay.