Wednesday, December 02, 2009

"It is about killing and getting killed and becoming famous." "Come, kill and die after a killing spree. By this one will become famous and will also make Allah proud"

So said Ajmal Kasab when interrogated about his understanding of Jihad. It's obvious that he has been adequately brain-washed to believe that :

a. He has to carry on the God's will (Boss has clear instructions from the God)
b. He has been specially chosen for this honorable mission and his family will be blessed.

Kasab was clearly exploited by his bosses for their own political ends. They did that in a fairly simple way: control his information sources, play out to his emotions, make him feel that his mission is why he is on this earth - yeah, that whole Orwellian '1984' thing. Clearly, he has been incapacitated of any critical thinking or judgment.

Looking at it this way, the anger is gone for me. It's not that strange anymore. While terrorism is an extreme example, don't we find the ghosts of 26/11 all around us? Various forces - parents, teachers, politicians, media, religious institutions - every agent around us wants us to accept their ideology, their world-view and act accordingly. And we often do so, to belong, to assert and to be a part of this social drama of life. We end up subscribing to ideologies and world-views without even pausing to realize what we are doing.

The same lack of critical thinking pervades all around us. It is powered by blind faith and backed up by a definitive lack of interest in understanding opposing viewpoints and is discouraged by every institution with a self-interest motive right from family to media. It's our daily life. We battle these forces everyday. 26/11 wasn't a stray incident after all. It's just that we are on the receiving side of the story.

Yes. It's the anniversary of our most recent national tragedy.

The vociferous, high-decibel pillar of our democracy - MEDIA is reverberating the nation by holding candles, sponsoring silent solidarity movements to the fallen heroes and telecasting live debates discussing the junta views on : Is India safer? Did the government do enough? Are you feeling better about your personal security? Can we use the national security to save ourselves from our wives? ... and so on.

I think these are stupid, time-pass questions. Let me you tell this. Till the day we all get strip-searched each time by the watchmen of apartment complexes in the country, I will not be convinced that we can achieve perfect safety. However, I understand that this dystopia is completely unnecessary if we realize that we should not freak out. I like the way India did not lose its cool when faced with the crisis. For one thing, it didn't try to bomb any country - one letter off or not !!!


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