Issues

Death of Osama bin Laden and Changing World

The declaration of death (2nd May, 2011) of Osama bin Laden is mired in many mysteries. It is also full of blatant violations of International law. It does have a profound impact on the future of global politics. Osama and Al Qaeda had been dominating the global political scenario since a decade or so, and covertly through their activities since the last 2-3 decades. West Asia and Indian Subcontinent have been the biggest victim of their dreaded acts; still the death of this Frankenstein’s Monster has been accompanied by infinite questions and repercussions.

To begin with, there had been various news items claiming that Osama is dead, times and time again. Pakistan’s ex Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who herself became a victim of an act of terror, had said that Osama is already dead. Any way, what matters is the popular perceptions and understanding. This understanding, manufactured or real, is propagated by the global bully and the world dominating US media. This seems to be more important than the truth. Truth shall ultimately prevail, but in the short run, propaganda and perceptions do dictate the global and local scenario. So in that sense now Osama is really dead for good.

The manner of his killing, brings to the fore as to who is the biggest violator of International law. Here is a superpower, with its tentacles spread all over the World, itching to take proactive steps in the name of Democracy and World Peace, but in reality only to protect its interests of controlling oil wealth and maintaining global supremacy, the United States. Its armed forces blatantly violated Pakistan’s air space, ignored its sovereignty and killed an unarmed Osama. Noam Chomsky, the indefatigable Human Rights Conscience keeper poses an interesting question. What if Pakistani or some other army lands up in White House, kills someone there and dumps his body in the sea? Unthinkable, no!

Osama could have been captured and tried in the International Court of law and punished accordingly. Why an unarmed man; a criminal, had to be killed is beyond imagination in a civilized world with so many laws and norms. It seems laws and conventions are for ordinary mortals and states, for some states (US) for the Medieval law ‘Might is Right’, ‘We are the law’, still prevails. This is a warning signal for the whole humanity, reminding us of the need for reviving international bodies like the United Nations not just formally but in reality, with real flesh and blood. Organizations like United Nations not only need to be revived and democratized they also have to be endowed with legal and moral authority to mediate in international affairs. The arbitrary ‘cow boy’ norms need to be condemned and done away with.

This ‘death of Osama’ should open a new chapter in global and local politics. The previous decade had been dictated by the US policy of Oil hunt by creating the bogey of ‘Clash of Civilizations’, a slogan which is an insult to the humane values of mankind, a concept which deliberately overlooks the deeper alliance of people and civilizations. This clash of civilization thesis practiced by the US, projected Islam as the threat to democracy and freedom, irrespective of the fact that it is the same global power which overthrew democracies and promoted dictatorships in the area for its economic and political agenda. The overthrow of democratically elected Mossadeq regime of Iran, (1953) had set the tone for imposition of authoritarian regimes in this area. Again the processes which have begun in Tunisia, Egypt etc. are reminders that Arab World-Muslims aspire for democracy as much as any other people in the World and are trying to overthrow the yoke of dictatorial regimes.

The US invasions of different countries in the region were justified by projecting Islam and Muslims as backward by the ‘global super-cop’, which projected the myth that it is playing the role of the saviour. With the death of Osama-bin-Laden this chapter of dark global politics should be over, and the region should be left to its own moral and political resources to develop the political systems, away from the interference by outsiders. Democracy is basically a grass roots process. It cannot be ‘exported’ or ‘imposed’ on others. The efforts should be to let the local alliances emerge, to let global democracy amongst nations emerge and let the local population choose their path for achieving a democratic system. It is on these issues that all the concerned peace movements assert the values of Peace and democracy through mass demonstrations. These voices and peace campaigns should put a brake on the hegemonic policies of the superpower.

In India, the terrorism begun by local groups, Aseemanand, Pragya Singh Thakur and others derived its raison d’etre from the terror acts of Osama and company. Since Hemant Karkare’s landmark investigation in Malegaon blast case, series of operatives with saffron leanings have been caught and hopefully this dreaded process will also come to an end, it will not derive provocation form other terror groups.

As far as India and Pakistan are concerned the whole talk of repeating Abottabad by a section in India, needs to be thrown in the dustbin. The Indian political leadership has shown political maturity and offered the dialogue table for achieving friendship with our neighbour. The same should be further promoted. On the one hand we must deal firmly with the criminal elements, by promoting trust and amity between nations and on the other co-operation in the area of culture, trade, commerce and education needs to be boosted. It should not only be restricted to Pakistan, we need to revive the spirit of SAARC at a deeper and broader level.

This May 2011, the death of Osama, some claim is the 9th time that he has been declared dead, is a boon to the process of peace anyway. The demonization of Islam and Muslims will hopefully come to an end. Morality of all religions has contributed greatly to the development of human values of mankind. All religious communities have contributed to the progress of the Human race, and this needs to be the major slogan for coming decades. (Issues in Secular Politics)

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 June 2011 on page no. 13

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