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Militancy Arises Out of Fear and Anger

Photo by AP/Hatem Moussa

Out of fear for their survival as minority people, terrorists use their high energy to sublimate their anger through the use of violence.

At the root of their militancy are years of oppression by the majority.

However, oppression does not need to result in terrorism to counteract State oppression.

In the following article, I will quote from the source which has inspired this blog entry, and follow with a commentary.

Terrorist, Rebel Or Freedom Fighter?’

By Dilnaz Boga

07 November, 2009

The ugly scar on his cheek gripped me. With a loaded weapon between his legs, his eyes searched the parched terrain from our jeep. We were hunting for the Reds – left wing extremists who boast of a Red Corridor in the heavily mined jungles of Gadchiroli, some 350 km from Nagpur, Maharashtra state in India. To break the ice, I asked him why he had chosen to be a commando in the dreaded C-60 anti-Naxal force. It was then that he revealed his story.

Suresh was a tribal from a hamlet in an impoverished district that copes with forest fires annually. He rarely visits home — that too only under the cover of darkness, always accompanied by the commandos to protect him from the Communist rebels.

In Gadchiroli scars run deep and a clash of ideologies is a bloody affair. A neglected tribal population is abandoned by the State. No electricity, water, hospitals or industry. Naxals win locals over with a bag of rice. People are trapped between the gun of the security forces and that of the Naxal – sides have to be taken.

Suresh’s only brother was a Naxal. So, I asked him what he would do if he came face to face with his brother.

"I will kill him," he replied calmly, fixing his gaze on me.

My bewildered expression prompted him to continue…

"Because if I don't kill him, he will kill me."

That day, my lines between ‘the good guys’ and ‘the bad guys’ blurred. I started to question beliefs on nationalism, civil liberties and history, and found that it was easy to be judgmental on a full stomach.

Commentary: Today's terrorist is yesterday's freedom fighter. 9/11 has colored the world with shades of gray, and the color of freedom is now the color of terrorism.

At the root of such violent conflict is anger and fear, both of which are justifiable when you consider the socio-economic background of the people involved in such militancy.

To call them terrorists, one needs to align with neo-conservative groupthink. For what is political oppression but the rezsultant suppression of those feelings of anger and fear until they grow into the conditions for tomorrow's terrorists when once they were fighting for their freedom?

As a Buddhist, I cannot condone violence that goes beyond preventing others from harming oneself. So, to kill another for the ritual abuse that is the physical expression of oppression goes beyond the use of force to prevent violence against oneself. Thus, the use of guns do not stop others from oppressing your people; it is the means to notoriety and the making of a name for the terrorist.

IMHO it may be the ego which causes a terrorist to desire recognition so that his group's political agenda is served. Yet for all warriors, if one may call a terrorist a warrior, it is their own selves which is in need of conquest before they may truly conquer their enemies.

And the most expedient means of conquest is not through bloodshed but through peace.

Anyone in denial of this truth may believe that only through violence can one free oneself from oppression, yet the roots of oppression are belief in the permanence of the self.

Thus, as long as this belief is implemented through violent oppression and rebellion, no one is truly free of anger and fear.

As a result, it is up to world leaders to negotiate peacefully with terrorists for a peaceful solution to terrorism, both militant and State.

For the Decade of Peace came to a close in 2011, and peace is even further from coming to the Middle East.

Edited 20121124.1454

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