ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Macabre Cycle of Violence

Pretending that terrorism has no social basis or history will only perpetuate the violence of terror

The deadly serial bomb blasts against the people in Jaipur on May 13 cannot have any moral or political justification. Such terrorist violence, needless to say, can only be severely condemned. But, tragically, the death count only gets higher and higher as one follows the trail from Delhi to Varanasi, from there to Mumbai and Malegaon, onward to Hyderabad and Ajmer, and now, Jaipur. The powers that be never seem to learn from all the death and destruction – they pretend as if this kind of violence has no social basis, no history. Images of the dreaded ones – rut hless, irrational, delinquent, inhuman fanatics, “outsiders”, “foreign agents” – constitute the official identification of terrorists and terrorism. Such depictions do the rounds after each strike, the mainstream media abiding by its designated role, faithfully mirroring the official conception. And, making no allowance for the time that even an initial investigation requires, sundry Bangladesh and Pakistan-based groups are named, along with their alleged Indian collaborators.

Those in power, cultivating a diametrically opposite likeness to that of the dreaded terrorists – “non-violent”, wedded to “democratic politics”, law-abiding and patriots all – begin playing their petty political games, above all evoking nationalism in their quest for power, more so if elections are round the corner. Predictably, this time around, the Bharatiya Janata Part y spokespersons have been quick to blame the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government’s “soft approach” towards terrorism as being responsible for the spread of “Pakistan-based terror groups” in the Hindi heartland. There will surely be strident calls for vengeance, the stepping up of the “war against terror”, more of “the hard option”, bringing back the Prevention of Terrorism Act, more counterterrorism and so on, with those who have virtually nothing to offer coming up with “packages” to deal with the problem.

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