Of colours, religion and terrorism


Been a long while since I ranted…my fingers have been itching for the pats few weeks. So, here I am 😉

Our Honourable Home Minister Mr. P. Chidambaram always manages to hog the limelight, thanks to his regrettable statements made without giving it a second thought.
The latest, of course, has been his usage of the word ‘saffron terrorism’.
Let’s not even go into the problem areas in uttering those words publicly. Let’s just look at the two words used here-‘saffron’ and ‘terrorism’.
Firstly, as most editorials of prominent newspapers have pointed out, terrorism has no religion, colour, caste, creed, race, et al. It is driven by hatred and hatred alone. The editorial published on August 28, 2010 in The New Indian Express asserts that PC was trying to avoid using the term ‘Hindu terrorism’ which would have been even more objectionable. What makes PC think that he can get away by simply replacing a religious word (Hindu) with a seemingly neutral and ‘colourful’ word (saffron)?
Going by the trend of bomb blasts and terrorist attacks in our country over the past couple of years, most were either conducted by Islamic fundamentalists to target the Hindu community or Hindutva fanatics to target the Muslim community. Or simply fanatics and fundamentalists whose religion has no connection with their terrorist activities. Movies like My Name is Khan (which I am yet to watch) apparently deal with a similar theme-that a religion has no connection whatsoever with terrorism.
I stayed in New Delhi, the capital city of our diverse nation, for three years before coming to Bengaluru for my Masters. Given that it was the national capital and a politically active place, Delhi was always on high alert even if a bomb was suspected to be seen at some remote corner of the country. We were so used to brisking and checking at hotels, restaurants, shopping complexes, malls and metro stations that we suspected that something was fishy when we weren’t subjected to brisk checking.
I remember an incident quite vividly. This happened after the Malegaon blasts in Maharashtra in 2008. All major metropolitan cities in the country were on high alert, which, in most cases, is just a fancy term for extra checking and inconvenience caused to fellow citizens for their own safety . Sadly, civilians, in their hurry to reach their respective destinations forget to acknowledge the same.
But anyways…
I was travelling to Connought Place from the University (boy, do I miss that place?) in the metro when this high-alert drama was on in Delhi.
As usual, all passengers were subjected to fairly rigorous checking that day. What surprised me (or maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised given its all-too frequent occurence) was when I saw two young Muslim men being subjected to extra frisking, checking, questioning and grilling. That they were Muslims was clear from their attire and Muslim caps that the people of this religious community wear. The security policemen who were conducting the security check suddenly seemed wide awake and alert deciding to frisk these young men in and out, making it very clear that these Muslims were the obvious target of their suspicion.
I would have probably dismissed this casually until I boarded the train.
As soon as these two young men entered the compartment, all the passengers clutched to their belongings with greater firmness. The message was very clear: You are Muslims. The nation is bleeding with bombs planted by people from your community. You will rob me too. I’d better be on the safe side.
The men were subjected to such intense stares that i wouldn’t be wrong in stating that they were almost raped to death by those disapproving eyes. One should have seen the faces of these two men. That they were feeling extremely uncomfortable in a compartment full of Muslim-haters must have been a living torture for them.
Muslim alienation isn’t anything new and has a whole history that goes behind it dating as long as Partition in 1947. Sadly, it has only grown over the years.

10 thoughts on “Of colours, religion and terrorism

  1. >Hi Deepa,Like all other self styled social activists and human rights guys you have also very comfortably said that muslim alienation has grown over the years without giving a complete understand to ground reality.Though i agree with you, its important to understand how this graduation of the so called alienation occurred. Its fashionable to say that muslims are innocent and they are being targeted. The process of alienation is not completely internal like one would believe. Its roots like outside India. Its in the intrests of our enemies to see that muslim section is isolated and so they can pin on them for getting deep inside India. This is being acheived by mullahs in various madrasas across the country. You might just feel that am biased towards muslim community, this is what i have seen travelling across the country especially in Kerala and Hyderabad.I even had a chance to attend one such brainwashing session which one of my muslim friend took me to show how slowly minds of young Indian muslims are being brain washed to believe that its their religion thats more important than anything more than the motherland.Their were quite a lot of videos being shown, not all of them genuine to invoke emotional responses from the attendees.There is a systematic campaign happening on their side in their own interest to isolate themselves from rest of the nation. Its fashionable to say that terrorism has no colours and religion, but the bitter truth is that it has. Having said all this, let me make it very clear that i do not mean that all muslims have a role to play. Even those who have are innocent victims as they were brainwashed systematically. But the fact still remains that there are terrorists and they have religion!

  2. >@AnoopThank you for your comments Anoop, and welcome to my blog! :-)While mentioning about Muslim alienation at the end of my post, I mentioned that it has huge history behind it starting from Partition in 1947 (its seed having grown even before thatwhen the Muslim League came up). The very fact that Muslims felt the need for a separate party (Muslim League), a separate nation (Pakistan) implies the beginnings of a sense of alienation. By saying that a particular religious community felt alienated, I am not showering any kind of sympathy here. It is just an objective observation.Having said that, I would revert back to one of your statements: "Its fashionable to say that muslims are innocent and they are being targeted."Intrigued as I am, I would really like a further elaboration of this statement. What is 'fashionable', I did not understand.You also say: "Its in the interests of our enemies to see that muslim section is isolated and so they can pin on them for getting deep inside India."Who are these enemies? I'd like to know.Lastly, I would still assert and stand by my statement that terrorism has no religion. If at all they do have one, it is the 'religion' of hatred. No known religion in this world teaches/preaches/believes in/encourages violence of any kind. And I strongly believe in the same.Cheers!

  3. >Anoop and Deepa – both of you are converging to the same point, but with different dimensions."i do not mean that all muslims have a role to play. Even those who have are innocent victims as they were brainwashed systematically" – Anoop."No known religion in this world teaches/preaches/believes in/encourages violence of any kind" – Deepa.I feel, both the above are different versions of the truth.Basically no religion in this world preaches violence/terrorism. But, groups of people with a narrow view and standpoint, strongly encourage and trigger terrorism. So, it would be wise to call TERRORISM itself as a religion rather than labeling some particular religion to terrorism.

  4. >@PrashanthHere comes the wise old man to our rescue :o)Lol!Jokes apart…well put, Prashanth.But, I would add one point. To call TERRORISM itself a religion may not be approved by religious leaders/believers. That's why I concluded in my previous comment saying: "If at all they [terrorists] do have one [a religion], it is the 'religion' of hatred."Hope you agree

  5. >see this is what today's young journos do. get some thought in the mind and immediately let the ink flow with it to paper.history is important. this goes back to history in kashmir where husband used to be tied up and wife used to be raped by the muslim invader in front of the husband.the muslim invader used to stay in that house for months doing this by brutal forcebut today luckily we have all moved away from the brutalitybut the horrible past is transferred from generation to the next generation and it is not easy to forget such humiliationhope the entire world realizes the fact of short life and live in peace together

  6. >deepa, how about writing an article on " psychological manipulation " today's strategy followed by many people.Title 1: Do relation-ships have any meaning at all, in today's world of psychological drama ?Title 2 : Is the older generation really so bad that they should be ignored ? Are we forgetting the wisdom store-houses in them ? Title 3 : Why are there so many divorces today ? Are there more than 2 people in a marriage ? Is this hidden fact very cleverly concealed ?Do today's youngsters have reliable elders to save marriages or egoistic elders to break marriages in a very neatly planned psychological way ?Title 4: Do we need politicians ? Title 5: How better is the post-independence journalist from the pre-independence journalist ?

  7. >@PenOfGod"see this is what today's young journos do. get some thought in the mind and immediately let the ink flow with it to paper."This is not what young journos do…this is what most bloggers do. Blogging is meant to stimulate your thinking process. I don't see much of a connection between the blogger and his/her profession except that perhaps the subject of the post may be influenced to some extent.And thanks for those topics. They've given me some food for thought 🙂

  8. Minority communities feel that they are alienated by the majority community. The majority community thinks that minority community is itself alienating from the society. If a community practices and propagates its cultural ethos, others tend think that it is a form of alienation on the part of that community. Majority community becomes suspicious of minority more because of wrong perception than actual knowledge of history.

    Here in this article, both common people and part of state machinery (policemen) are apprehensive about two Muslim men though they know that these guys are apparently innocent: what causes this anxiety? It is accumulated preconceptions mainly.

    Though one can not rule out the glaring evidence of involvement of Muslims in most of the terror attacks in India and elsewhere, ghettoizing whole community is even more dangerous for the society (world) as a whole. This breeds discontent and may result in violent consequences.

    It was naive for Chidambaram to brand terrorism perpetrated by few fanatics belonging to Hindu community as ‘Saffron Terrorism’. Terrorism has only intentions – political, religious and historical. Any community can get into this; if their grievances are not addressed, cultural uniqueness is not respected, and demagogues in those communities are not kept under vigilance for their activities. State has more responsibility here.

    Thanks for this thought provoking post 🙂


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