Terrorism - The Symptom of a Serious Social Disorder
The recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai seem to have shaken not only India but the entire world. These acts of terrorism demonstrated that even a handful of people who decide to lay down their life can shake a country which has one of the biggest and mightiest army and police in the world.
Yet the instance was not the first of its kind. Just few years back, terrorists attacked USA on 9/11 and killed thousands of people. Thereafter, the war on terrorism was launched by Western powers lead by USA against the countries believed by them behind the attack. No one knows how many people had been killed by the western forces to revenge the death of their innocent people. Many of us are perhaps not even interested as we treat the terrorists as our enemy whose lives matters little for them who are the victim of terrorism.
Yet, before claiming that terrorism is the biggest threat or the biggest killer today, it would be interesting to glance through the statistics published recently in an article "Lightening kills more than terror" in The Times of India, (New Delhi edition) on December 17, 2008. The article provides the statistics of the unnatural deaths in India (per day) in 2007. There are 934 people dying every day due to natural deaths which includes
-Suicides - 336
-Road Accidents - 314
-Drowning - 74
-Falls - 29
-Lightening Strikes - 8
-TERROR VIOLENCE 2
If we add the number of people dying every day in India due to medical illness, poverty, hunger, cold etc i.e. due to man made causes, the number of unnatural deaths may be many thousands times that of the numbers of people dying due to terror.
Thus logically, terror may not be the biggest killer of people even in the countries affected by terrorism. Yet it shakes the humanity due to the inhuman way, a terrorist kills the innocent people.
The act of terrorism also shakes the faith of an ordinary human being in God as he wonders, what is He doing when innocent people are being killed? Even the people, who have deep faith in God, fail to explain such acts spiritually.
Terrorism, having seed in the hatred, creates tremendous hatred in the world. People just can not adjust with the idea of love and compassion against the terrorists. How many of us are willing to even listen to the sermon like "Love your enemy" or "offering the other cheek, if someone slaps you". "An eye for an eye" seems to be the only solution of the problem of terrorism.
Is it so?
The Wisdom of God
We all know that when we are angry, the first casualty is our capacity to think, logic and reason. Anger, like a fire, burns the body and soul of the person and it must not be allowed to engulf us for a very long period. We have to find solution of terrorism by understanding it rather than hating it.
The first requirement for any understanding in man is to have faith in God and Man. If He is Supreme, nothing can happen in this world without his direction and wish.
Why must God allow terrorism to happen?
Why should the innocent human beings be killed by terrorists?
Terrorism is an attack on the society and not on the individual. Any one who would be coming in the range of the gun would be killed on that day.
Are We Not Sowing Hatred and Injustice?
All scriptures universally endorse that you have to reap what you sow. Yet, most of us expect to reap good while sowing evil in this world.
There are numerous studies that have proven the harmful effect of smoking, alcoholism, drugs, fatty food, sexual indulgences and its role in causing dreaded diseases like Cancer, Heart Attack or AIDS. In India, for example, it is written on every packet of cigarette that smoking causes cancer. Yet, people do such acts every day thinking that they would not suffer from it.
Yet when it is pay out time, they curse advertiser, manufactures, drug traffickers and even God for their ply.
There is no limit to the hatred and injustice that is perpetuated by the mankind in this world.
Millions of innocent birds are killed even before the first man gets infected from Bird Flue. Millions of innocent Kangaroos are killed to protect man in a country. Just a few days back, an Honorable Judge of High Court in India ordered to kill all stray dogs in the State of Maharashtra.
We are killing millions of innocent animals, birds and fishes everyday to feed just one specie of the earth known as man.
Man has acquired virtually all lands and forests and water bodies of the earth for its sole use as if Lord has created only for man for Earth.
Yet man found nothing wrong in such inhuman acts until the mightier and greedier of the men decided to kill other men for conquering the Earth to satisfy their greed. Millions of people were killed in the wars to satisfy one person's quest of power in last century. Yet none asked question as there was always a cause for such action which was logical and reasonable at least to the people who thought they can win the war.
Yet, when we are on the receiving end we call it injustice and cruelty.
Can Might Be Always Right?
Even though man has evolved from animal, yet they prefer working by the law of jungle i.e. "Might is Right". Even the scientific community accepted this universal law of jungle by calling evolution of life as "Survival of the fittest."
There is no doubt that the Western world today is so powerful that they can destroy the rest of the world perhaps in a matter of days. There are thousands of unused nuclear weapons and missiles which can send any country into the Stone Age. Hence, in their exalted sense of power and security, they often think that what they know is right and what they do is right. While no one has the right to judge their "rights", they can judge everyone's right.
Jesus Christ said in Bible, "Do not judge so that you will not be judged".
The reason why we must not judge others that all judgments are based on a particular perspective and based on the relative truth that changes with time. The history has demonstrated in countless times that no principle is sacrosanct and nothing is in fallible. Therefore, judging others from one's own perspective always lead to wrong judgment.
Even the first principle of natural justice says that nobody would be judge in his own cause.
Scriptures: The Path to Happiness
As per one survey conducted by Newsweek, more than 91% people in USA still believes in God and only 3% call themselves atheists. This is simply amazing as even after five centuries of the scientific knowledge and technological developments, people are convinced that only scriptures can guide them in the path of happiness and peace.
Yet it is surprising that we violate virtually every law of scriptures while claiming ourselves to be Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist or Jew.
Some of the universal principles of scriptures can be summarized as following
1. God is one (Do not fight in the name of God).
2. God is present in all beings (Show compassion to all lives).
3. Love all people and feel compassion for all living being (Do not hate).
4. Do not accumulate wealth (Do not live for bread alone)
5. Do not seek power (Serve instead of ruling others).
6. Respect your parents and elders (Have gratitude to parents) .
7. Shun violence (Respect Other's Views).
8. Speak Truth (Do not Speak Falsehood).
9. Be faithful (Do not commit adultery).
10. Deal with people in a way you would like to others to deal you.
Yet, one can easily see that the modern societies are evolved on just the converse principles, though based on the same laws. These facts are demonstrated from the following
? People do not believe in the God of others. The result is that God is used as the main justification for wars
? People see God in themselves while see Devil in others (enemy)
? We are compassionate only for people of our family, country, race or religion
? There are few people in this world, who have billions in their account, while there are billions who do not even have one dollar. They sleeps in footpath, remain hungry for days, die due to cold and heat and by simple illness
? Society is hierarchical and everyone is subordinate to someone. The head of some nations are so powerful that they can kill millions at their wish
? Parents are discarded by their children at old age when they fetch no return
? Violence is the most desired solution for the rich and powerful for solving all problems. Nonviolence is for the weak and poor.
? Truth is rare or fallacy the rule
? Adultery is a rule and Faithfulness is an exception
? Different treatment for different people even within the same religion, state or status
The Root of Terrorism
The values preached in scriptures are not merely theories but contains in it the universal laws of peaceful and loving existence. Religions, though developed in different countries under different prophets in different times, contain the same truth.
One can break these laws for the immediate material benefits or instant gratifications, yet he loses peace and happiness in the process.
Terrorism is just a symptom of the ill of the society like theft, murder, rape or any other crime. Terrorism, however, makes great news as it is fought against the most powerful organ of the modern civilization i.e. State.
Terrorism is a weapon of the weak who can not fight the might of the State power. Hence the weak demonstrate their power by killing the citizens of the powerful enemy.
When a journalist, threw shoes at George Bush, The President of America, the most powerful person of the world, recently at Baghdad he became a hero overnight. The entire Arab world rejoiced at this incident. A man even offered 10 million dollars for the shoe.
Terrorism or other crimes can be eliminated from this world only if the humanity is able to rise above greed, inequality, injustice that is perpetrated by the modern world against the weak and poor people.
This is a difficult solution as the very foundation of modern life is based on the principles of the survival of the fittest. Let the weak perish from this world as they have no right to survive in the world that is based on competition and not compassion.
World As Family
The only way to avoid the symptom of a disease is to eliminate the cause of the symptom. The root of all crimes, particularly terrorism lies in the basic philosophy of materialistic life that defies all tenets of scriptures and spirituality. Only when the modern world can visualize the whole world as one family, such problems can be solved. Are we ready to live like a family and share our fortunes and power with all humanity? In answer to this question lies the solution of terrorism.
Dr. Awdhesh K Singh is an Engineer by education and philosopher by passion. He holds his PhD degree in the area of E-Governance.
He has published several papers in International Journals and Conferences on the subject of E-governance and the application of Artificial Intelligence tools like Fuzzy Logic (FL) and Expert Systems (ES) for E-governance.
He has keen interest in the study and application of Religion, Spirtuality and Philosophies for solving the real-life problems of the modern world.
Many of his articles are published on the website of Aatmic Science Forum and Science of Soul.
His can be contacted on the email aksinghirs [a] yahoo.com