“One person’s delusion may be another’s salvation,” say psychologists Arthur S. Reber, et al. That’s why religion has to be accepted as part of our social fabric. Perhaps it is impossible to live out life on this planet of ours without labouring under many delusions or even sustained by them.
So, this blog is not against any religion. That’s a hands-up from the writer for those who are going to take their machine guns out after reading this.
Of late, we have been told time and again by religionists that “terrorism has no religion.” That is an absolute lie. Terrorism, more than anything else (like Maoism, for example) has religion. The title of this blog article is borrowed from today’s Times of India [17 Feb]. The newspaper, like many others including this writer, thinks that there is a terror called “saffron terror” and that it is associated with a religion.
The report quotes the home ministry of India that at least six major terrorist attacks in the country were carried out by the saffron terrorists. They are: Malegaon blast (2006), Samjhauta Express bombing (2007), Mecca Masjid and Ajmer dargah terrorist attack in Hyderabad (2007), explosions in Malegaon and Modassa (Gujarat) in 2008.
Many Muslims were arrested in the names of many of these attacks. Many of them may be still languishing behind the bars though it is clear that they are innocent.
But there have been Muslim terrorist attacks too in the country. Quite many of them. So, terror has a religion.
The Frontline’s latest issue features Hindutva’s war by other means on its cover. I’m focusing on that war here because I think that’s deadlier than overt terrorism.
It is terrorism without any ideology or principle. Can terrorism have an ideology or principle? Of course, it can. The Maoists, to repeat an example, have a clear ideology and are guided by a set of principles like protecting a particular section of people, attacking a particular form of governance and economy, etc. The Frontline articles show how the Hindu outfits indulge in “multispeak”: they will keep changing their views according to situations. They can distort history, again just to suit their temporary needs. They can switch issues from minority-bashing to prevention of cow slaughter, again as demanded by the political situation. They demand anti-conversion bills but perpetrate conversions themselves. The list is quite edifying for the most venal politician of any colour. To understand this more, you are encouraged to read the 5 articles and 2 interviews that Frontline offers.
The worst kind of terrorism is misuse of people’s delusions.
Distorting delusions into lies that become religious myths is to keep people in slavery. In the slavery of ignorance and vicious attitudes. It is to fill people’s hearts with poison. It is to create a nation of hate-mongers, a nation of neurotics.
That’s the contribution of “saffron terror” to India: a nation of neurotics. I think it’s high time thinking people start questioning such terrorism. Can reason stand up against venal egotism (which is what drives the kind of terrorists with no clear vision, no ideology, no principles)?