The Ghost of Pakistan in our political life
Dharmaraj Kumar, The Milli Gazette
Published Online: Oct 31, 2016
In the wake of series of recent attacks on Indian borders resulting into severe casualties of soldiers, the massive campaign to brand Pakistan as a terrorist country has reached to the UN. The demand of Indian state to declare Pakistan as a terrorist country is put forth in every international forums. It is evident that people of our country have taken it quite seriously. The resentment of people on the social media like whatsapp and facebook is far more obvious than other media. In other words, the fierce campaign against Pakistan is run through Whatsapp at the largest level possible. No whatsapp users can deny from this fact. With this, the ghost of Pakistan is believed to have come to life again. Once again, the entire world is said to be haunted by the fear of reawakening of terrorism. The mere difference is that this time it is one of the South Asian countries, Pakistan replacing the news of the terrorist act after the war-torn countries of middle east.
There is no denial that the act of terrorism must be stopped or countered. But this time, there is something more to it than the mere discussion of countering the act of terrorism. And it needs to be thoroughly examined as to how the present discussion on terrorism has taken the tremendous shift from the previous one. We need to inquire deeply as to how the present debate of terrorism do not just tend to stop the terrorist act but to make it perennial with the demand to declare a country as 'terrorist country' in which the competition amongst political parties to score points for future benefits is open secret. Well, keeping the note of dissent against any such demands for any country or state by any country or state of the world, we must ask few questions to ourselves which are as follows.
The meaning of terrorism:
In this section, I would like to begin with a few questions. What is terrorism ? What is terrorist act ? Is it somehow related to the act of violence ? What is the difference between violence and terrorism ? What happens when terrorism grows ? Why does not the news of attack of violence get reported as 'violent act' but 'terrorist act' ? What is the terrorist country ? Can there be a whole country terrorist ? Is every citizen a terrorist in the declared 'terrorist country' ? What is the parameter of being a 'terrorist country'? Who will declare another country as 'terrorist country'?
In my opinion, there are many such fundamental questions regarding terrorism at present but these are some questions which need to be urgently addressed. If we look at all the questions posed above we will find that all of them are interlinked to one another. For example, all of us know that the idea of 'terrorism' is the idea of creating terror or fear. Any such act which creates fear is the terrorist act. Terrorist act expands through the violence. So, violence and terrorist correspond to each other. When terrorism will grow, so will grow the violence.
Apart from other questions, the question of violence and terror needs to be understood minutely. The meaning of 'violence' is actually different from the meaning of 'terror'. While the word 'violence' can be construed as an act or event which takes place, the word 'terror' implies the fear or threat of this act of event leading to casualties. So, the 'terror' word is far more deep in meaning with a huge potential of psychological expansion and political underpinnings. But, the act of terrorism can be validated only through the acts of violence. That is the reason, an act of terrorism rules the headlines only after some events of violence or casualties of human lives.
The illusion of 'terrorist country':
Keeping in mind the difference between violence and terror, we ought to ask ourselves as how far the demand of declaring any country as 'terrorist country' is sensible. Recently, we have observed after the Uri attack that all concerns of everyday life have been washed away by the overflow of war frenzy against Pakistan. The whole attempt of the media is seen centering around as how Indian people are calling for war with Pakistan. As a response, political leaders have represented the people in a true sense! Otherwise, leaders are rarely known to fulfill the aspirations of the people in terms of providing education, health facilities, jobs, housing etc. The cut-throat competition is going on as who or which among the parties will get Pakistan declared as 'terrorist country'.
My submission regarding this issue is that this demand is 'bullshit'. It is misleading the trajectory of the politics in India. So far as the question of casualties of soldiers is concerned we are all deeply pained and in deep consternation, but it does never mean that waging war against Pakistan will solve the problem. Even if Pakistan is declared as 'terrorist country', the problem of terrorism cannot be addressed. And the call for war sours the whole idea of peace. No war has ever brought peace. It can be possible only through the dialogue between both countries. Rather, it is a matter of shame for such leaders who are saying that Pakistan should immediately be branded as 'terrorist country'.
There can be no country where people will stand in support of any kind of violence. There is no such history in the world where violence has not caused economic instability after war, or it can happen only when the economy of a country depends on the war like USA. It is a public knowledge that the economy of USA depends on the war industry. The crisis of Middle-East countries caused by European countries and USA is a better proof of it. The crisis of Indo-Pak relation cannot be understood in isolation of various such reports which have proved the criminal intervention of European countries and USA in the Middle-East countries in the name of countering religious fundamentalism or accepting the White Man's burden.
The notion of 'terrorist country' is an illusion. It becomes more so when we begin to observe it in the wake of violence perpetrated by certain forces. If violence on the Indian borders perpetrated by Pakistan is a ground to call Pakistan a terrorist country, what should we call our country where there is innumerable records of violence on Dalits, women and minorities perpetrated by RSS outfits sometimes in the name of beef ban, sometimes in the name of cow slaughter or sometimes in the name of protesting against reservation, etc? What should we call our country in the wake of violence rather 'terror' unleashed by Indian state in Kashmir, where the death toll is rising everyday?
The terrorism 'of' or 'in' Pakistan:
When we discuss about terrorism with reference to Pakistan, we must think before we start as should it be terrorism 'of' or 'in' Pakistan ?
If we believe that there is a terrorism 'of' Pakistan in India or anywhere, we must not forget that Pakistan is equally under threat of terrorism as we often read in the newspapers that some or the other institutions are blown up in Pakistan. Recently, there was a blast in one of the universities in Pakistan. There are many such reports of violence.
And if we believe that there is a terrorism 'in' Pakistan then we should ask as to why would Pakistan want terrorism in their own country leading to the casualties of their own people who are Muslims as Pakistan is country of Muslims.
Putting forth such arguments does neither mean the negation of involvement of Pakistan in any act of violence at the Indian borders nor it underscores such potential, it is just to say that under the pretext of terrorist act calling whole Pakistan as 'terrorist country' would be the self-defeating argument as we boast to have the biggest democracy which values the individual opinions of every citizens and it must find its manifestation in every demand we ask for. We can also not ignore that Pakistan is not a country like India where the practice of democracy is deep rooted. Rather until recently, Pakistan has been functioning as a military state having dictators like Pervez Musharraf and others in the name of leadership.
So, in my opinion, we must rise against this kind of mania or -phobia of getting any country declared as 'terrorist country'. Instead, we, the people of India and Pakistan or any country, will have to come together to fight against violence of all forms. We have to hold the ground until peace returns to the valley of Kashmir to the hearts of our people. We need to stand against war-mongering notions spread by all forms of media and monstrous leadership who claim themselves to be the representative of people and pretend to believe in democracy. The people of our country are not desperate for war, rather dying to bring peace.
The writer is pursuing Ph.D in CIL, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He may be contacted at : dmaxrule$gmail.com