Saturday, October 29, 2005

Two Fronts of the War on Terror

Guess who did this:

At least 16 people were killed and over 60 injured when three blasts rocked crowded markets in Delhi in quick succession on Saturday evening.

The first explosion occurred in Paharganj market at 5:40 PM when it was crowded with people busy shopping for Diwali shopping, killing seven persons and injuring over 60 others.

("Three blasts rock New Delhi; 16 killed." 29 Oct. 2005. Rediff.com 29 Oct. 2005. <http://us.rediff.com/news/2005/oct/29delhi.htm?q=tp&file=.htm>)

Although the article says that India has many militant groups and does not conclude that it was an Islamic terrorist group that triggered the explosion, Islamic militants (terrorists) are by far the most likely people that set of the explosion.

I can just picture Paharganj now: Hindu ladies, draped in elegant saris, with their children and escorted by their husbands, shopping for new clothes; sweet makers, like magicians, producing big, curly orange jalebies; young men buying gold, diamons, and array upon rainbow array of glass bangles for their young wives; families standing around slurping hot and spicy pani-puri; hath-lorry (hand cart) vendors selling steaming, spicy samosas drizzled with tamarind chutney, and then BOOM--for some, the lights go out, their lives end. Others are crippled for life. For many, a warm and beautiful holiday is marred by death and injury. The question boiling underneath the stoic facade of Hindu tolerance is "why?"--WHY MUST THIS BE TOLERATED?

Although it is true that most Muslims don't blow people up, can we ask if it is true that most Muslims are appalled by this? Many are, for sure, yet to discredit a system or a community, it only takes small number of people. There will always be anti-social elements--all societies have them--but is only a fine line between the anti-socials being kept under control and them being out of control. In India, the Islamic anti-social elements are out of control.

Why they are out of control is that Muslim society largely considers itself separate and distinct from the other societies, be they Hindu, Sikh, or even Christian. What happens to them is not their concern, not much anyway. It is their problem, and so they "Hindus" have to do something about it, as long as they don't interfere in Muslim society. Yet the problem itself not only exists in Muslim society, it exists because of Muslim society.

Just consider why, in America, the chances of a criminal successfully escaping the law are slim. If a criminal breaks out of jail, or is identified by law enforcement and a manhunt ensues, it is usually only a matter of time before the criminal is brought to justice. Identification and incarceration happen rather quickly. It can happen because the criminal (or small group of them) are pitted against society itself. Everyone will be on the lookout for him. Justice is swift and almost certain because the scenario is an individual going against a society.

But in the case of Islamic terroism, it is a society against a society. Islamic religious leaders condone terrorism, or at least look the other way if pressed in public, and the body politic of Muslim society, reflecting the views of their social and religious leaders, are vaiously sympathetic toward those who would perform hienous acts against those outside of their community. Even if there are many Muslims who object to terrorism, there are enough social and religious elites who support it: Witness Iran's recent anti-Israeli demonstrations, lead by none-other than their elected president. Because Islamic terrorists have the support of their society, they can melt into it and take advantage of the money, the safe-houses, and sympathy of their fellow Muslims. One front of the war on terror is Muslim society and, especially, its societal elites.

The other front of the war on terror, and this is perhaps the more dangerous front, is the shield of political correctness lent to Muslim society by Western or Western educated intelligentsia. For them no society may be taken to task because acts of terrorism are ultimately individual acts. (There will always be exceptions, though: societies run by white, European males or overtly Hindu males.) Western intellectuals are overwhelmingly radical individualists, and because they are radical individualists, by instinct or by decision, they discount the role of society in shaping the opinions and in provoking the actions of individual members in society. If a moulvi preaches in his mosque that the infidels should be killed by any means, that is free speech. He can say anything he wants and it is not his fault if some of his followers actually go out and kill some infidels. The unwarranted presumption of individualism is that the leader and follower are coequals--it does not admit the power dynamic of the leader over the follower where no coercion is discernable.

But why should the Western intellectuals wield so much power at all over people who themselves are also individualists? The reason is knowledge is power, and intellectuals, as a class, by definition are the final arbiters of that power. They themselves possess power over their cultural and intellectual followers, and, in one sense, to admit that the leaders of Muslim society are largely responsbile for Islamic terrorism would also mean exposing, or admitting to, the responsibility of Western, Left-leaning intellectuals for much of what is wrong in their own society. (And, I might add, the refusal to admit this dynamic of power between leaders and willing, not coerced, followers is why the radically individualistic Left is perhaps among the greatest of threats to the idea of democracy itself.)

Just as there is a geopolitical alliance between China and Muslim countries like Pakistan, there is also a strange but nevertheless existing cultural alliance between the Western intellectual Left and fundamentalist Islam. The alliance, for sure, is one of convenience: destruction of the West. Because India and the West are becoming more alligned, India--Hindu India--is also slated for destruction by Islamic fundamentalists and destruction by Western intellectuals.

4 Comments:

Blogger J&M said...

Your opinion is naive and poorly informed. When you have been in politics for 30+ years then you will know.

9:57 AM, October 29, 2005  
Blogger krishna_kirti said...

Wooo Hooo!!!!! I've made it!!

10:22 AM, October 29, 2005  
Blogger bordergal said...

J&M must work for CNN.

How dare the peasants have an opinion about events that impact their worthless trivial lives!

Sheesh.

10:27 PM, November 07, 2005  
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