It must be understood that fighting terrorism is not just a battle of arms— it is an ideological battle too – the battle to establish sanity over bigotry, reason over religious parochialism and human progressiveness over regressive machinations.
“The war against terrorism is a joint responsibility of all civilised and democratic forces and they must bury their personal interests for the larger humanitarian cause. Today there is nothing like their terrorism or terrorists of that or this country; India has long been crying hoarse, alerting countries to understand the problem.”
IN AN informal meeting of the BRICS nations, conducted on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Osaka recently, BRICS leaders Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa discussed the issue of terrorism. Speaking at the meeting, Prime Minister Modi said, “Terrorism is the biggest threat to humanity. Not only it takes the lives of the innocents, it negatively affects economic development and communal harmony. We have to stop all mediums of support for terrorism and racism.” All the BRICS countries condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, reiterated their responsibility for preventing financing of terrorism, for using territories and the Internet for terrorist purposes.
The growing incidents of terrorism globally have united countries. Today, almost every country is a sufferer and this naturally develops a consensus between them. This global unity and understanding of the threat terrorism poses to civilisation needs joint action. Condemnation is good but we need to move beyond that through concrete actions and without international cooperation, it is not possible. India’s global ascendancy in recent times and her diplomatic successes have made her issues heard globally. The US has suffered, France, England, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Kenya, Russia have suffered; tomorrow it can be China too. Terrorism and violence, when perpetrated by religious dogmatism, don’t see the barriers of boundaries or peoples.
Anyone not aligning with certain views can be a potential target. It is a war between civilisation versus anti-civilisation. Anyone standing for a reason, light and progress can be a victim of regressive forces which see every non-follower a heathen, who is fit to be butchered. The war against terrorism is a joint responsibility of all civilised and democratic forces and they must bury their personal interests for the larger humanitarian cause. Today there is nothing like their terrorism or terrorists of that or this country; India has long been crying hoarse, alerting countries to understand the problem. Now that terrorism is rapidly spreading its wings, the world is realising it is not just an IndiaPakistan issue, but a global problem that touches all lives. It must be understood that fighting terrorism is not just a battle of arms— it is an ideological battle too – the battle to establish sanity over bigotry, reason over religious parochialism and human progressiveness over regressive machinations.
It is an effort to dislodge the attempt of a group to uphold a certain religious belief in its most uninitiated and inchoate form.To counter its influence, it is important to build a stronger narrative around human unity, camaraderie, love, peace, harmony and progress. The forces of goodness have to trump the advances of evil and for that, we have to unite. Never in the history of humanity did we need so much unity of the humanitarian forces as now. And if we don’t realise the crisis and act smart today, the world will be left in tatters in the near future. Our leaders must rise above their political affiliations or religious bondage and think like statesmen, because if terrorism spreads and penetrates further, their children will also be affected for wherever terrorism exists, the whole ecosystem gets devastated and there are cascading effects on society, education, healthcare, culture, trade and prosperity – a wound that is not healed in decades. Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and even Pakistan – everywhere we have the specter of devastation because of prolonged armed conflicts and violence.
And this happens mostly due to indecisive and powerless Governments and the lack of consensus and unity in the voices of sanity. If those who can act won’t do so, we are bound to be doomed, because power is not just about maintaining peace but also to fight it out when peace is in peril. India has been living with terrorism for decades and the bitter experiences have also taught her a lot which other countries can learn from through greater bilateral bonding. Every country must pledge that no terror outfits in any form are allowed to survive in their territory. Through sustained combing operations, clampdowns on terror modules, arrest of suspects and intense vigil of suspicious movements inside the country along with guarding the borders well, countries can and should up their anti-terror mechanism and do more than just showing the intent. If Governments are more alert and sincere in their war against terrorism, it will be very difficult for outfits like ISIS to make inroads in countries and establish their network that is competent enough to mount an attack.
It is unfortunate that despite terrorism spreading its wings in all parts of the world so rapidly, countries are not on the same page and they are still sparring on insignificant issues, forgetting the larger goal. Many countries calculate their petty interests and short-term gains which is why they are not forthcoming in action against terrorism, nor are they as vocal beyond lip service. This approach is only the abetment of terrorism. Unless democracies and civilian Governments of the world unite in their fight against terrorism, terrorism will always find a way to strengthen itself. Thousands of lives are lost every year and so is money in billions of dollar to terrorism, when on the other hand we need resources – both man and material – to fight more pressing concerns like poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy and injustice. Terrorism is a lost cause and doesn’t make any logical progression except satiating the temporal whims of some bigots, no matter how much ‘religion’ is mixed with the perverted narrative. No religion teaches killing of mankind and those who proclaim to be the saviours of their religion are the most ignorant of the tenets of the religion. They concoct and convolute the meaning of religion and mix it with rampant violence, bloodshed and destruction, peddling it as a necessary way to ‘save’ religion and humanity. Not that many people endorse this stupidity but just disassociating is not the solution— the solution lies in giving it a tough fight and rooting it out.
Terrorism is a cancerous growth that we have no choice but to throw out. Countries like China and Pakistan must understand this reality. There was a time when the US too helped groom disruptive factions to achieve certain power goals in the geopolitical game. Later as these factions grew more and more powerful and became dreaded terrorists, the US itself faced the brunt, something that it is still nursing and frantically exploring ways to come out of. Terrorism is a dangerous province which burns even its patrons and promoters. Any country that today thinks that sheltering and supporting terrorism is a religious need or a social cause is going to pay for it. The war against terrorism is a global war where no one Government or country can do it alone. Leaders need to unite and discuss ways to eliminate terrorism by joint action and sharing of resources, Intelligence and technology. We all have a common cause and a common enemy.
There is no reason why we cannot join hands for larger interests of humanity and destroy terrorism before it destroys us. There is no temporary solution to it – the war should be intense, final and decisive. By the way, we simply cannot afford to let it continue. Peace is the basic condiment for prosperity and development. If peace is not given to us rightfully, we will have to snatch it, because it is our right and also our duty – we are answerable to our children.