Saturday, February 20, 2010

Stupidity of terrorism

Bear with me here. I was reading the stories of five of the victims of the German Bakery bomb blast in Pune. A boy invited his sister and three of her friends to celebrate his promotion over a celebratory snack fest at German Bakery. The five friends selected a table and sat down. The bag with the bomb was under their table. It killed all five. They were all below 23. They were bright and beautiful and had already begun to take on the world.

They will be bitterly grieved by their families and friends for years to come. The rest of us will forget them within a week. We will continue going to German Bakery to buy some of their famous goodies once the premises are repaired. Life will carry on. People will be jumpy for a while and then settle down to the rhythm of life. So what is the point of blowing up people who have nothing to do with Kashmir or Palestine or Afghanistan or Islam. How will the death of five youngsters and four others and 33 injured victims help the cause of the Al Qaeda or whichever morons perpetrated this obscenity?

The point of terrorism is to spread terror towards a specific end. The plan is to chase intruders out of your land. Here the terrorists are the intruders. Their home is far away. The purpose of terrorism is to spread terror; to keep the enemy in a perpetual state of fear; to destroy any quality of life their target may aspire to.

It cannot work in India.

It cannot work because our sheer numbers are impossible for any group of crazies to wipe out. Even if you blow up ten trains on 10 days in Mumbai, huge crowds will still rush onto the remaining trains, hanging by their fingertips if required to get to work. Terrorists don’t seem to realize that the fear of having no money is greater than the fear of bombs.

We need money for housing, food, clothing, education, health, entertainment. We can get that only by going to work everyday. It’s not a question of being “resilient”. We cannot miss a day of work and that’s why we step out of our homes eagerly every morning and don’t even feel grateful when our heads touch our pillows at night. We take it as a matter of course.

What about the rest of us elsewhere in the country? Can they convert the entire country to Islam? Goa is proof that forced conversion does not work. The Portuguese tried to convert tiny Goa to Christianity. It did not work. Remember, Goa was even tinier in area at that time.

So why do they waste so much time, money and effort on a futile exercise? These deaths and maimings are merely drops in the ocean of pain that India has suffered over the centuries at the hands of invaders unafraid of showing their faces. They say Al Qaeda is being funded by Saudi Arabia, aided by China, by Pakistan, by the CIA of the United States of America. It seems such a waste of time and effort.

There are families in Mumbai who “sell” their sons for anything from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 5 lakh to militant recruiters. Their sons are sent off to Pakistan where they are brainwashed and trained to kill the infidel, even if it includes friends and neighbours.

Even the David Headley exercise was to my mind a total waste of money. There was no need to send him, unless he brought money with him to spread around his colleagues in the country. Al Qaeda has sleeper cells in India. They have the Indian Mujhahideen to do the leg work. It does not take much knowledge or effort to place a packet of explosives at any soft target like a restaurant or train or festival. No one bothers when the metal detectors bleep at railway stations. So what is the point? We Indians are already so neurotic, we have so many fears, we jump at so many shadows, terrorists should know that even if we die, we will survive. Life goes on, regardless of death. I wish the handlers of these purveyors of death were among the two-and-a-half people who read this column. If you know anyone please send them this cutting.

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