Trivializing Terrorism

Mangalore was hooliganism, gender abuse and sexual harassment. Not terrorism.

In the wake of the inhumane incidents at a Mangalore pub which are undoubtedly tantamount to goonda-ism and autocracy in free, democratic India, the media and public in general have rightly raised voices calling for strict and severe action against the accused. Such deplorable acts of violence against women have no place in contemporary Indian society that has progressively evolved in the right direction and offers opportunities galore for all sectors of society to earn rewards for hard work and perseverance. Perverted, fundamentalist groups that masquerade in the name of God hence go against the spirit and values of the India that is making commendable strides in diverse fields.


Inarguably, India has judiciously moved on to an improved standard of living for its people and any attempt to sabotage a safer, developed nation should be effectively curbed and eliminated. The threats imposed by fringe right-wing groups should be pre-empted and the bhakt senas banned immediately irrespective of political affiliations or blessings from power brokers.

However, a disappointing outcome of the outburst against the Mangalore hooligans has been the constant attempts by the media and the public in general to equate the larger threat of cross-border terrorism with the incidents in Karnataka. By no means does Mangalore even feature close to the audacious terror attacks on Mumbai or for that matter even Delhi/Ahmedabad/Jaipur/Bangalore and several other Indian cities. The sheer scale of the number of dead in the various blasts of 2008 is enough to ensure that terrorism from across the border features at the number one position on India’s priority list.


Moreover, terror acts are meticulously planned, extensively prepared for and then executed with a monstrosity and fanaticism that only believes in the piling up of dead bodies irrespective of religion, caste and creed. Then how does Mangalore feature in this category? Or is the Mangalore incident yet to be completely disclosed by the media and there were indeed a lot of girls slaughtered and raped to death?


Another inadequate term that might soon become a catchphrase with the media which has emerged in the obsessive reporting of this incident is the word Taliban. Sure, the Taliban’s ideology is the complete disempowerment of women and their ostracism from societal participation. Sure, even the hooligans in Mangalore would have that deep down in their minds. But there is a difference between slapping a woman and chopping her head off without the slightest remorse. Just like there is a difference between India and the fundamentally wicked “original” Taliban. If incidents like Mangalore occur in every nook and corner of India, only then do words like “Taliban” and “terrorism” deserve to feature in mainstream vocabulary.


Surely, there is a difference between Mangalore’s reprehensible violence and the Indians dead in the Mumbai attacks. Or have our feelings for the dead gone astray in the wake of the acts of Mangalore, the videos of which are replayed again and again by the media to invoke rage and the “true Indian” in us who spares a minute or two for its people? The same “true Indian” who conveniently glues the tag of terrorism to such incidents. What is required is to deal with all wrongdoing rationally and at its magnitude of occurrence along with other factors like fatalities involved and degree of violence engaged in.


May the Law have the last say.






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42 thoughts on “Trivializing Terrorism

  1. Very well said! The media has this tendency to use fancy over-the-top expressions for anything that happens these days.
    Mangalore was a pretty shameful incident, but definitely not terrorism.

  2. "The sheer scale of the number of dead in the various blasts of 2008 is enough to ensure that terrorism from across the border features at the number one position on India’s priority list."

    My comment : They have not killed anyone today, cz we are not completely talibanised yet. A little encouragement, or little inaction from people/govt/police against them and these people will gradually make another Taliban out of India, dont you think so?I mean, the idealogy sounds pretty much the same.They have no respect for women, they cant digest the fact that women can be as free/independent as men.
    And once that happens, we dont need outsiders to attack and kill us.Our very own people will start killing us in the name of culture. And trust me, if that happens, they wont limit themselves to women. Any god damn reason like pre-martial sex ( its not in our culture- SUPPOSEDLY), and bang!

    I am not saying its gonna happen soon, but why move in wrong direction?Ofcourse they are comparable to terrorists.Just because there were more dead bodies in Mumbai today, is no excuse to not have a comparison, dont you think so?

    "Moreover, terror acts are meticulously planned, extensively prepared for and then executed with a monstrosity and fanaticism that only believes in the piling up of dead bodies irrespective of religion, caste and creed".

    My comment : I dont care if it is planned or unplanned. Terrorism is Terrorism, and they did manage to terrorise the gals India-wide.
    Here it was ir-respective of caste/creed/religion, but 'social equality' as per preamble also has the word 'sex'. This attack was against women. I hope we both agree on this one.dont we?

    "Then how does Mangalore feature in this category? Or is the Mangalore incident yet to be completely disclosed by the media and there were indeed a lot of girls slaughtered and raped to death"

    My comment : Again the same logic, there were no nodies TODAY! if we walk in that direction for a lill while, you wont be left with this justification soon.

    "What is required is to deal with all wrongdoing rationally and at its magnitude of occurrence along with other factors like fatalities involved and degree of violence engaged in."

    Correction –> What is required is to identify the problem that could become a much BIGGER PROBLEM and has the potential to create MANY MORE FATALITIES in future and kill the problem right when you see it growing. If only Kashmir was taken much more seriously in 1990.

    Its high time, we develop a futuristic approach to problems.What kills me is India is particularly bad at it and has no intention of improving.

  3. How should the Mangalore incident be classified? As just another one of “those things” that keep happening to women? Because in truth, it is- another one of the several bullying, molesting incidents that women in our wonderful nation undego everyday. It begins to appear that women are secondary citizens in this great nation- the government, the police, the goons all ensure they learn it. For women it is a form of terrorism, however, certainly as second class citizens, that is not an issue that the rest of the country need bother about.

  4. the dictionary meaning of terrorism is “the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce”

    You tell me, doesn’t this fit the bill?

    Sure, even the hooligans in Mangalore would have that deep down in their minds. But there is a difference between slapping a woman and chopping her head off without the slightest remorse.

    The difference will be overcome sooner than you will know if they aren’t stopped. And by the way they were garlanded on getting bail and the sena was allowed to hold a rally in the middle of Mangalore is really telling you something.

  5. What happened in Mangalore is also a form of terrorism. It did terrorize people and also well planned.

    What saddens me though is excessive usage of ‘Hindu’ along with these fanatics. Yes! no doubt they were using Hindu religion but then every terrorist use a religion to attack. Do we educated bunch brand them then? If we don’t then let us also not classify these goons.

    The main issue in all this is still women who I don’t think is ever going to escape moral polices belonging to any religion.

  6. Well that is a wishful thing to say specially knowing India well. But as I have said till there are a few hope full there is a chance.

    Media is not where I see the hope coming from they are still fighting for the eye balls and not the people.


  7. @Chikki
    I certainly doubt whether any fringe elements have the powers that the Taliban enjoy in the Afghan-Pak axis. They will be brought to book, like Abhinav Bharat.

    I am not saying its gonna happen soon, but why move in wrong direction?Ofcourse they are comparable to terrorists.Just because there were more dead bodies in Mumbai today, is no excuse to not have a comparison, dont you think so?

    I certainly do not believe that we are moving in the wrong direction. There is enough progress around me to be cynical because of the acts of a select few. But terrorism, in its wholeness, is too extreme and the largest threat to not only the people but even the sovereignity of the nation as a whole. Hence, to call Mangalore as terrorism is absurd.

    I hope we both agree on this one.dont we?

    Of course I do. Women are equal to men. In no respects do they deserve what happened in Mangalore. My only point -> it's not terrorism. Not the terrorism that killed 2765 Indians only upto 2006. [Link]

    What is required is to identify the problem that could become a much BIGGER PROBLEM and has the potential to create MANY MORE FATALITIES in future and kill the problem right when you see it growing. If only Kashmir was taken much more seriously in 1990.

    Hindutva extremism could definitely become a way BIGGER PROBLEM. And it can even lead to MANY MORE FATALITIES, undoubtedly. However, Kashmir is not India’s fault. 1990 is too late to even comprehend the Kashmir problem. There were no mistakes made by India in this respect. Insurgents occupied the state as soon as Independence was achieved. Kashmir is not a problem. It has been made into a problem. By the same extremists who indulged in Mumbai and likewise attacks.

    Its high time, we develop a futuristic approach to problems.What kills me is India is particularly bad at it and has no intention of improving.

    Hmm. So India’s problems are India’s faults. So India is responsible for failing to develop a futuristic approach. Have not the Malegaon accused been brought to court? If the majority was having their say, wouldn’t the accused have been freed? Haven’t they been convicted? India considers all forms of extremism equally while meting out justice, but fails on the international front because terrorism is an external problem and not a result of India’s misdeeds.

    Why dont you consider all this before branding India as particularly bad with no intention of improving?

    A look at Pakistan or China’s human rights record will tell you what human rights violation means and what oppression of women is in reality.

  8. Jai, you have said what needs to be said. These days it has become fashionable to refer to any form of social violence or hooliganism as ‘terrorism’.. it is not just a trivialisation of the serious problem that this nation faces but is an insult to the thousands of soldiers who have laid down their lives fighting terrorists to make you and me safe, as well as the thousands of innocent citizens who have lost their lives in terror attacks.

    This is not happening accidentally. It is a part of the agenda of some political parties and social organisations to play down the threat of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism by getting hyper about such incidents and saturating the media with them.

    The most obnoxious part of the whole scenario is that the same people who yell about human rights of terrorists and, till 11/26, been shouting that existing laws were adequate to deal with terrorism, are now asking why bail is being granted, as per law, to the Mangalore hooligans, and are even demanding that they be arrested and tried under the new terror law!


  9. @ @lankrita
    No. It is not one of “those things” that keep happening to women.

    It is severe infringement of women’s rights and individual freedom. And the added touch of hooliganism makes it worth the condemnation voiced. And it deserves justice. The release on bail of the Ram Sene activists was hence surprising.

    If you assume that “this great nation” is ensuring that women remain secondary citizens, then I can readily assume that despite every opportunity in all fields made available to women, you still want to be called as “second-class citizens” in a bid to play up India as the abode of evil that doesn’t consider all citizens equal.

    The President is a woman. The head of the ruling party is a woman. There are women pilots. There is a women’s regiment in the Army. Women can choose to lead their lives however they want to, be it getting married or doing a job. There are leading women journalists, teachers, scholars, actors and even CEOs.

    Once any of the above is no longer afforded by India to women, then I would be the first raise a voice about women’s rights and term India as Talibanized. Because that is what the Taliban is. But not what India is.


  10. @Rakesh
    Certainly. That is exactly the definition of terrorism. But when state-sponsored external elements take it way beyond just silly violent acts and threats and indulge in blatant killing sprees and massacres, then the definition should be modified, shouldn’t it?

    Mangalore is hence not terrorism, of the type that comes from across the border.


  11. @Solilo
    I agree that the excessive use of Hindu is disappointing.

    What saddens me though is excessive usage of ‘Hindu’ along with these fanatics. Yes! no doubt they were using Hindu religion but then every terrorist use a religion to attack. Do we educated bunch brand them then? If we don’t then let us also not classify these goons.

    Spot on. The hypocrisy of intellectuals is very evident.

    I agree with the fact that women will find it difficult to escape moral policing. Because advocates of moral policing exist in most religions. And the difference is also largely due to an obsession with traditionalism and the generation gap.


  12. @Vinod Sharma
    Yes, Mr. Sharma. I too repent the amount of hypocrisy in most of our intellectuals who graze the limelight.

    The media plays a vital role here. In fact, all actions from the people are media-controlled. Whatever is played in the biased media outlets across India is the usually the source of public outrage.

    Mangalore deserves the coverage that the mainstream media is giving it, but why trivialize the larger threat by equating the terrorism with it?

  13. Trailblazer,

    1 question:

    Is bringing up the decidedly greater menace of terrorism here, & linking it to the decidedly deplorable mangalore incident, not trivializing the mangalore incident?


  14. @1conoclast
    That is exactly the question that you should ask the media and the public calling Mangalore as terrorism, first.

    The issue has been raised well but the wordings have been escalated beyond their actual scope.

    My post is a response, 1conoclast. I am not the one raising an issue.


  15. @1conoclast
    I believe my argument expresses enough outrage at the Mangalore incident, doesn’t it? Where do you see me trivializing it?

    But I’d prefer calling a spade a spade. Mumbai is terrorism. Malegaon is terrorism. Mangalore? I doubt it.

  16. Rightly said. As I am from the place which is very near to Mangalore, it seems that the incident is exaggerated more than required and shown just only to create bad impression on government of Karnataka. Surprisingly no cases booked by Girls who media termed as “Molested” and also not even no local women organisation lodged complaint.
    But I don’t think banning them will ban the mindset of the people who support the Sena! Only thing government should do is to force such right wing extremists to use peaceful protest and raise the voice without harming freedom of others in the democratic way.
    Surely this is no where compared with Taliban or terrorist activities. Our first priority should be to eradicate the terrorism completely from the soil. Along with that we have economic crisis to face. Such incidents should be handled by local governance itself and it should not be given more importance. Coverage of this incident, the media seems to be playing in political hands! And for that only we have here blog-sphere to share the right thought!!

  17. Dint wana spam your blog again, so I myself wrote a post about our discussion so far.;-)

    Feel free to comment, whatever you feel. I love the game of perspectives.;-)


  18. @Pangala Nagendra Rao
    I agree. Even I was aghast at the incident, but also shocked by the terminology used to describe it.

    Yes, blogs are a sign of democracy. The opinions brought out by blogs can fizz out the biased media houses in the country.

  19. Trailblazer,

    🙂

    1. Just doing my usual making people think thing.

    Just like you're suggesting that comparing mangalore to terrorism is trivializing terror, I'm asking you whether your comparing mangalore to terrorist incidents, doesn't trivialize the rights of women issue in mangalore.

    2. It's about perspectives yes. I've said that before. Most animals can only see in black & white; some humans are colour-blind & some have lesser peripheral vision; some have cataract… Just because their perspectives vary, doesn’t make the truth vary…!

    3. Blogs are a sign of democracy yes. But what about biased blogs undoing all the hard work that honest, investigative journalism seeks to do???
    At least newspapers are being watched & criticized for bias. Who is criticizing blogs for their bias???
    Just one 1conoclast?

    4. We all called raj thakre a terrorist when he unleashed violence, damage, hatred & fear in Bombay. Why not call this terrorism. What is Terrorism? To make people terrified, fearful, right? They're all acts of terrorism. Just different in degrees, damage & sophistication.

  20. Actually the revivalist agenda of Hindutva extremists will harm our Country and Hinduism more than any across the border terrorism due to the simple fact that it is an internal threat to our secularism and democratic polity with the support of major opposition party of India. The havoc Islamist extremists caused to Islam and to the Nations of Afghanistan and Pakistan is worth remembering.
    Cross border terrorism is a security problem for India while Hindutva extremism is a socio-political cancer eroding our Country.

    Why are you forgetting the 2000 dead bodies of Muslims,victims of State sponsored terrorism in Gujarat[2002]?

  21. Let me quote your post
    By no means does Mangalore even feature close to the audacious terror attacks on Mumbai or for that matter even Delhi/Ahmedabad/Jaipur/Bangalore and several other Indian cities. The sheer scale of the number of dead in the various blasts of 2008 is enough to ensure that terrorism from across the border features at the number one position on India’s priority list.
    All this you give as an example of cross border terrorism.I did not find any mention of Muslim genocide of 2002 that took place in Gujarat which is to be considered as state sponsored terrorism

  22. Charakan,

    I know how you feel. Most REAL Indians burn at that memory & continued injustice that Gujarat is today.

    But so does Trailblazer. Whatever little I know of him. He is no apologist for modi. He despises him as much as you & I.

    The point he was attempting to make here was a little different.

    I'm sure he agrees with what you or Chikki or I am saying here.

    Trailblazer… the floor is yours.


  23. @Charakan
    Exactly. The examples I’ve given are indeed of cross-border terrorism, aren’t they?

    Is Gujarat cross-border terrorism?

    By not mentioning Gujarat, does it mean that I’ve forgotten it?

  24. Borders exist because of a clash in Ideologies…?

    So both are terrorists because they attack based on their Ideology.

    Right?

  25. Let me make my point of view clearer. In this post you have considered Mangalore Pub attack only as an isolated incident of some hooligans. Many others including me do not have such view. I consider it as yet another attack on Indian democracy, Hinduism and secularism by Hindutva extremists that started from the Gandhiji Assassination, gained strength with Babri Demolition and peaked during the Gujarat massacre of Muslims in 2002. Karnataka has been witnessing a series of such Hindutvaisation incidents lead by the new BJP Government in last few months. The pub attack is one of them. So when we compare cross-border terrorism and terrorist activities by Saffron brigade we cannot forget Gujarat.
    This view is not attacking India as a Nation, but attacking the Saffron brigade there by to prevent disintegration of India and to liberate Hinduism from the clutches of these extremists.

  26. CHARAKAN!!!

    WELL SAID!!!

    Trailblazer… See? Even if I don't say it, there will be others who can "see the TRUTH" & will speak it.

    The bjp is responsible for degrading India's prized democracy!

    A true nationalist will never support them. Or even suggest that they may be a good bet.

    They bring sorrow wherever they go!

    PS: What googleads doing showing advani ads on your site???


  27. @1conoclast
    Haha. Yes, I put Google Ads on my site.

    Technically, it’s up to Google as to which ads they want to show. If Advani has chosen Google to market his campaign, how much is it my fault?


  28. @Charakan, 1conoclast
    Before any further misunderstanding, may I stress that I'm NOT a BJP supporter/Hindutva apologist/Modi fan.

    Just re-read my post. I've only stated that I reject the use of the words 'Taliban' and 'Terrorism' because I dont want India to be painted with the same brush as our neighbours. Hate the saffron brigade. I have no love lost for them.

    You want to call Gujarat terrorism -> I call it terrorism. I believe it was as serious as any terror attack on Indian soil.

  29. No true nationalist will support the BJP ? That is pretty harsh . If people here are missing Gujarat 2002 , then what about 1984 ? I consider myself to be a patriot , but I am not a big fan of Congress . What does that make me ? A traitor to the nation ? In my eyes , both the major political parties suck. The difference is that one of them gives the illusion of being cleaner and more secular, and the other not .

  30. http://www.deccanherald.com/Content/Sep152008/state2008091490030.asp

    Please have a look at the above link and then tell us honestly if you still believe that they are not similar to, if not the same as, the Taliban?

    What has the Taliban done to India? Nothing. Have they invaded our borders yet? No. There is no question of cross-border terrorism in this case, yet most Indians would call them terrorists. They have, in their own country, limited the rights of individuals, especially women, to a severe extent by means of violence. What is the Ram Sena trying to do? They are, in their own country, trying to limit the rights of individuals, especially of those who do not belong to a certain religions as well as those of women, by means of violence. How can you NOT draw parallels? None of us WANT to compare India with these fanatics, but groups like these force such comparisons. The body count has not started yet, but once it has started how difficult will it be to stop it? Anyone who tries to curtail the freedom of another individual, by means of violence, is a terrorist. As for which is the bigger threat; if there is chaos inside the nation, then how will it be possible to stand united and fight united against cross border terrorists? My opinion: Ban the Ram Sena and as punishment for its members, make them all enlist in the Armed Forces.

  31. They have the full capability of turning into Taliban. All they require is encouragement, which they are getting from the government.

  32. Kislay, 1984 Delhi Sikh massacre is as gruesome as 2002 Gujarat Muslim massacre.
    But there are some important differences. Delhi incident was not part of a series of planned incidents targetting Sikhs.Before or after the incident Congress Party never carried out a hate-Sikh campaign.Communalism of Congress is opportunistic,and therefore it swings to either side. On the other hand Hindutva of Sangh Parivar [of which BJP is the political wing] is ideological.Hate-Muslim/Christian campaign is the basis of its origin.
    No you are not a traitor if you hate Congress.But voting for BJP may not be good for a secular democratic polity.

  33. @Charakan
    Well, I am pissed off at Congress for personal reasons . And this latest regime poured fat in the fire . Arjun Singh . Antulay . Shivraj Patil . WTH . And I say this honestly , I am politically ambivalent . I do not consider the BJP as a viable option , but what else do you have ? It is so confusing man .

  34. The kind of people that were indulged in doing Manglore incident seem kind of frustrated. Its evident that we are not able to do something against their prevention. If a State is unable to control its own citizens in its own country, how would that be able to control their actions in other countries.
    I guess thats the position of Pakistan right now. Everything has a motive, though justified or not. The manglore maniacs attacked pubs in name of protection of girls or culture. I suppose it is these people only that when they do something stupid outside their places at a large scale just to get out their frustrations, are referred to as Terrorists.
    Such issue should only be discussed as an issue of ideology or freedom, it just can not be imposed on anybody. I wonder what would such people do when they would feel unsuccessful ?

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