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Indians in terror plot: Is it really shocking?

July 5, 2007

When I heard that two men, Mohammed Haneef and another man called Sabeel Ahmed (both doctors from Bangalore) had been detained as suspects in the car bombings in the UK, I wasn’t very surprised. In fact what has surprised me is that so far no Indians have been deeply involved in any global terrorist attack. Surely, this utopia had to end sometime, given that we have our countrymen plotting terrorist attacks on our own soil? The Mumbai train blasts had Indians involved, even though they were not the masterminds.

It is sad for Indians living abroad as this news has made world headlines. So far Indian nationals have not been as heavily scrutinised as middle eastern and Pakistani nationals by authorities, but this will soon start to change. Indian youngsters are being lured into this terror network (someone told me that its a Pak plot to defame India!!) and the evidence is there to see in India itself.

There are those who hope that these two Indian nationals are not involved and that the UK police has simply picked them up on suspicion, but if I were them, I wouldn’t count on it. Apparently indicators like emails and cell phone conversations prompted the UK police to detain these men…in fact the two Indians are thought to be quite deeply implicated and are allegedly part of the Liverpool terrorist cell.

Why should educated people get sucked into a terror network?
For the same reason why educated people get sucked into the world of crime. Normally, a good education and a high IQ does tend to make people shy away from criminal activities…but finally what counts is vulnerability, and ofcourse, mental stability. The world has seen several doctors who have been serial killers and murderers. I feel its time we dropped the terrorist label and called all terrorists deranged serial killers. There are perhaps worse, as the term ‘terrorists’ seems to give them a respectability and power they don’t deserve.

If a person is mentally unstable, socially crippled or simply excruciatingly lonely, then what he needs is a group of people who will offer him support. And killer groups offer more than that…they brainwash and pump up the person’s self-esteem to absurd levels and the victim is hooked. And religion is often used to do this…what a great binding factor!

Actually, no religion justifies homicidal behavior and Islam is no exception. Islam is a beautiful elevating religion which is being used by unemployed criminals with murderous tendencies. These are people who get deep pathological satisfaction from killing. They are vicious, violent people at heart. The place for them is either a jail or a mental asylum.

All criminals need a brotherhood. Religion can glue together a fantastic one. Its a great way to salvage one’s conscience isn’t it…just say God told you to kill. Now, isn’t that what many serial killers have said time and again throughout history??

And what a way to earn money! Collecting donations in the name of the brotherhood…’God’s’ brotherhood. Imagine, these criminals get money without doing any work except plotting to kill, getting money to satisfy their feelings of hatred against humanity! What a life for any criminal! And on top of it all, they are made to feel good about it.

Why should anyone believe that his own religion condones killing of innocents, unless he is dreadfully ignorant or dreadfully disturbed?

Religion and religious cults have been used by criminals to cover up their evil deeds since time immemorial. There are priests and holy men from all religions who have misused their robes. In fact it has been found that pedophiles deliberately choose professions which will cloak their evil and many become teachers or holy men (opportunity plus mask). If you delve into history you will find that some of the most evil deeds have been committed in the name of religion. There are those like Richard Dawkins who believe that religion is the root of all evil (he’s written a book on it) and there are those who counter these views…my views are somewhere inbetween. While I believe that we “do not need religion to be moral,” this doesn’t mean that religion, any religion causes evil. What happens is that immoral people have a fantastic crutch in religion. Anyone who says he is killing or looting because of religious reasons is a liar. These so-called terrorists are just a criminal underworld, a global criminal underworld. Someone should strip them of their pretences.

If there was no religion, then these evil people of the world would find other justifications to kill. Did Hitler need religion? Race was sufficient for him. Revenge is often another justification used to murder others, even innocent people. If it isn’t race or revenge, it can be self-delusion of the kind which tells the evil-doer: You need to save the world. Evil people always justify their deeds…otherwise how will they manage to recruit more people into their fold? How else will they feel good about themselves?

Update 18th May 2008: One of the doctors, Dr. Haneef, was found innocent although the police still suspect that he had some inkling of the other man’s (his cousin) was up to. Sabeel Ahmed was found guilty. What is wonderful is that Haneef was freed, was allowed back into Australia, and now there is government inquiry on to find out why he was framed. You can read about it here.

Related Reading: What are the reasons for our terrorism deaths?
Harsh anti-terrorism laws can be counterproductive
Technology can help us strengthen our anti-terrorism infrastructure
In India foreign students are not checked and they can easily get a fake Indian identity

39 Comments leave one →
  1. July 5, 2007 8:19 am

    //Normally, a good education and a high IQ does tend to make people shy away from criminal activities//
    only if u do not consider white collar crime a crime.

  2. July 5, 2007 9:49 am

    Amazing post! Loved the way you analyze so objectively without having any prejudice on any nationality or religion.

  3. July 5, 2007 12:24 pm

    “Surely, this utopia had to end sometime”

    yeah it never made sense….Al qaeda or not. whose brotherhoods are these anyway.
    Muhammed Nabi would be bleeding in heaven.

  4. Balu permalink
    July 5, 2007 12:45 pm

    I am from Bangalore Mirror, part of Times of India Group. I saw your blog and found it interesting. We have a section called Blogger’s Park, meant for blogs with international relevance. I wanted to know if I could use your blog for the section.
    Please mail me your approval to nt.balanarayan at

  5. July 5, 2007 5:14 pm

    If there was no religion, then these evil people of the world would find other justifications to kill.

    Rightly said, Nita.

  6. bunti permalink
    July 5, 2007 9:34 pm

    The involvement of Indians is SHOCKING!!! indeed. I totally disagree with you.

  7. July 5, 2007 10:18 pm

    Hullo Bunti. I see from your IP address that you don’t live in India. Very often Indians who live abroad are not aware of how things are here. Here its common knowledge that Indians are part of terrorist networks.
    I wish I could be shocked as well. But being shocked is a feeling, not a thought.

  8. July 5, 2007 11:07 pm

    If your post is to be justified
    “mentally unstable, socially crippled or simply excruciatingly lonely, then what he needs is a group of people who will offer him support”…

    How can you call Mohammed Haneef or co socially crippled if his manager Dr.Bell says

    ” Dr Haneef did not raise any suspicions. ”

    He’s a fairly quiet doctor, very conscientious, and performed at a very high clinical standard and he is very well regarded by his colleagues and patients,” Dr Bell said.

    Rest of the post looks good , written in a good taste!

  9. July 5, 2007 11:08 pm

    Hullo everyone else: Please do read my comment policy. I do not publish comments denigrating any religion.

  10. July 5, 2007 11:08 pm

    Please vist to know more about Haneef

  11. Phantom permalink
    July 6, 2007 6:07 am

    It is a travesty of modern times that the world has now literally evolved to a islam vs rest-of-world stage. Its funny how they talk of islamic instigated terrorism as being islamic “fundamentalism”. This is ironic, as the word fundamentalism implies a journey back to the bare fundamentals, the basics. Islam is NOT a “kill all others” religion. There are many peaceful and spiritual aspects to islam. However where it differs from many other faiths is in its susceptibility to a wide array of interpretation. And it is precisely this loophole that many of the so called jihadis are exploiting, by deriving their own aggressive interpretation.

    I feel nothing but pity for the front line soldiers of this jihadi moviement, the ones who actually implement the terrorist activities. They are just puppets in the hand of the real brokers, the real masterminds, who tend to be quite intelligent, well educated, urbane and ruthless to the core. It is these masterminds who need to be persecuted as nothing less than serial killers, rapists and genocidal maniacs. It is they who have gone against the univeral law of humanity, that of willingly taking the lives of innocents.

    The irony is that in a religion where it is haraam to take or charge interest, where it is deemed worthy to donate a portion of your income to charity…it is the zealots of this religion who think it appropriate to take the lives of innocents. It is not a fair fight these ppl are fighting.

    I just feel bad for the true peace loving muslims worldwide who are inevitably tainted by the actions of the increasing numbers of wrongdoers in their faith, in the name of their faith.

    Humans don’t commence a religion

    It is a logical assumption to make that when islam started out,

  12. July 6, 2007 4:38 pm

    Phantom, your comment was left half way, I am not sure why….?
    Anyway, I was thinking abt one point you raised, about interpretation. Well, I think that almost all religions of the world are open to wrong interpretation by bigots. There are violent passages in almost all religious books. Don’t you think?
    But the question remains: why are people using Islam to commit terror?
    Well, I think that economics and politics plays an important part…if you look at the Islamic countries, many of them are economically and politically weak. They have no recourse to democratic speech. When popular feelings are suppressed, often violent movements are given birth to. Unemployment is also rife. And you will find the the masterminds and driving force of the terror movement comes from these countries. Its very difficult to analyse why so many Muslim countries have fallen into economic problems, I don’t even want to get into it.

  13. July 6, 2007 6:09 pm

    Khadak SIngh, you comment had gone into spam and I just found it! I don’t know why your comment should go into spam even without links, but it happens sometimes I guess.
    Well, if you felt that I was talking about Haneef, then surely it must be that my power of communication has been weak.
    I will not even dare to psycho-analyse Haneef. That would be very stupid of me. I was talking generally.
    If you read the post again, you will see that I have even put everything in another context….about how educated people etc behave…you might feel that I have implied as if those are the reasons for H’s problems…but if you read ahead you will notice I have mentioned other motivations like money, power etc. So which one of these is H’s motive??
    I don’t know! How can I know??? Only a psychoanalyst will know and so far I have not come across any reading material with the interview of his psychiatrist! As far as possible I try to stick to facts when talking about other people – by giving links. This is a rule with me on my blog.

  14. July 6, 2007 7:42 pm

    Thanks for retrieving those comments, they look good here 🙂
    Communication-Nita you write well, you have a big fan following including me 🙂
    Motivation-Let’s leave that job to the investigators.
    However, one thing is clear something is really really wrong somewhere behind this whole rot of terrorism and suicidal attacks.

  15. July 6, 2007 8:45 pm

    Thank you for your kind words Khadak SIngh.
    Yes, you are right, god alone knows what made Haneef act like that. And only God can help him now.

  16. Phantom permalink
    July 7, 2007 8:03 am

    Nita – i clicked on the submit button before i actually finished my post, hence the half sentence 🙂

    Yes, any religion is open to interpretation, and someone with a vivid imagination can iterpret the hell out of anything. However it is also true that islam as a religion does leave itself to be more vulnerable to a wide array of interpretation. Islam has always been associated with aggression. It was partly spread by the sword, by the arabs in the middle east, by the mughals in the sub-continent etc. Within the Koran (and i’m not claiming any academic, religious or experiential expertise of the koran here) there is a term “kafir” which refers to any non-muslim. Kafirs are basically considered unworthy as they don’t believe in the one true god Allah. Of course, this feeling of religious supremacy and exclusionism exists in other religions too – with the european colonials often considering the indeginous people in the colonies as heathens who don’t have a god (i.e. a god as percieved in christianity), or even the hindu pundit who, as part of the shlokas in a cermeony i once attended when i was about 12 or 13, exclaimed “adharmon ka naash” (for non-hindi speakers, this means – let the non-believers be destroyed).

    However, for some reason, over the centuries, islam seems to have condoned the persecution of kafirs, far worse than any other religion. I believe islam to have many peaceful and spiritual elements. However it is also a very tightly prescribed framework, with clearly and tightly defined views on how women should be treated, a woman’s place in society….basically it lends itself to a form of orthodoxy. For some reasons, over the centuries, islam also seems to have become very alienated from the other mainstream religions, which further creates the opportunity for the orthodox muslims to feel a strong sense of urgency to protect their faith, to further tighten the framework of what desribes islam.

    And of course, there is the concept of jihad. No other religion actually has an openly discussed and prescribed concept such as jihad, which as I understand, from speaking with people well versed in the koran, actually refers to a deep emotional struggle one has to face, when confronted with forces that truly threaten the termination or explusion of one’s faith, life, family etc. This concept probably came about during the crusades when it literally was a christianity vs islam issue and religous fever ran very high.

    However, as I understand it, jihad is meant to be invoked by the highest powers within islam, not to be taken lightly, a reaction to deeply oppressive forces that threaten the very way of islamic life. This is in keeping with the natural law of life – anyone would do anything to protect what they hold dear and near. However, the fact remains that it is a pan-islamic invocation, not to be used as a justification by a bunch of free lancing terrorist organisations.

    I do not believe that the islamic way of life is being threatened anywhere, and to an extent that justifies a pan-islamic sense of aggression. There are many islamic followers who do not agree with the considerations and intentions of the numerous terrorist organisations. End of the day, islam does not condone the killing of innocents, many clerics within islamic administration have condemmed the various terrorist activities.

  17. July 7, 2007 8:37 am

    Like you said, Islam does not condone killing of innocents. That is the main thing.
    True this destruction of ‘heathens’ and ‘kafirs’ is there both in Islam and Christian scriptures (not in Hindu or Buddhist scriptures) but as you said no one takes it seriously now. Not even Muslims. So I am not sure when you say that Islam still condones the persecution of kafirs. If the terrorist organisations are doing what they are doing, its because of other reasons.
    And if Islam has certain codes for behavior of people, well it applies to men as well as women. Men are to wear beards and cover their bodies too, but men don’t bother. This is a social thing, and prevalent in Hindu society inspite of having no religious sanction. In Hindu society all men wear western clothes but the society expects Indian women to wear Indian clothes. Many conservative people from small towns think women who wear skirts and jeans are sluts! I firmly believe therefore that if Islam imposes a religious code about dress on women is a patriachal mindset which is prevalent in eastern and middle eastern cultures. If it was not patricachal why don’t Muslim men follow the scriptures? I can understand if their women don’t either, or if both men and women do it, but this is not always the case. Certainly not in places like the UK and USA.

  18. Phantom permalink
    July 7, 2007 12:10 pm

    The fact of the matter is that there are enough powerful people within the islamic world who condone the persecution of non-islamic people/states. Nearly all the hard liner madrassas in pakistan, afghanistan brainwash the young students with religious propaganda, a lot of it involving hatred against the evil west. We have the Iranian President Ahmedijenad, who publicly makes statements proclaiming his desire for the state of israel to cease existing and for the evil zionists to be worthy of only extermination. Yes!!!!!! a public statement has actually made such statements in public. Numerous mosques in the UK indirectly encourage religious sermons where the cleric basically lectures young impressionable young men and women about the evils of the west and non-islamic frealm, and encourages them to heed the holy call to arms, to defend their holy islamic realm from the evil intentions of the west. How else do normal, intelligent youngsters get involved in terrrorist attacks. They must have been brainwashed to a very high degree.

    This is what I mean when I say that even today there are enough factions within islam that encourage prejudice against “kafirs”. Granted that the aggression is mostly targeted against the US, israel and allies, and as such other faiths such as hinduism, zoroashtrianism, buddhism etc aren’t targeted….but then again, we did have the taliban pro-actively destroy the buddhist statues at Balmiyan. If that isn’t religious persecution then I don’t know what is!!!

    Sure the terrorist organisations have largely sprung independent of religious or administrative sanction, but for there to have been such systematic and wide reaching terrorist operations over the past 50 years, there has to have been enough tolerance displayed by hardline elements within the religion. And the fact of the matter is that enough islamic theocratic states have openly and often indirectly supported the more powerful terrorist groups.

    My feelings really do go out to the millions of muslims who are peaceful and who will inevitably get affected by the negative publicity that islam as a faith is getting on account of the terrorist activities.

  19. July 8, 2007 1:48 am

    I haven’t followed the news as much as I would have liked to, and hence I will not comment on the actual stance you are taking. But some questions immediately popped into my head when I read the first few lines.

    a) Who are these educated doctors? When I ask that question, I do not wish to know “son of…”, “daughter of…” or similar questions. I hope to uncover when they were originally recruited by terrorist organizations. It will often be noticed that terrorists are pretty well educated. It serves their purpose in some way. It is usually the case of Terrorist becoming educated, rather than the educated becoming a Terrorist.

    b) Why are both the Indians named in the incident, Muslims (that is what I perceive from their names)? While I am sure Hindus can be as extremist, their motives to spread terror on foreign soil seem less prominent.

    c) Though you mention Richard Dawkins, you have not quoted what he actually says in his commentaries, interviews etc. Islam and Judaism are one and the same religion, for most part. And they both have a “god” that doesn’t care for “his children” if they choose to obey “a different god”. I have seen instances of this in the bible but I am too lazy to want to verify the same with the Koran. Though some propaganda sites do that online, I would rather read it myself and come to my own conclusions.

    d) “Now, isn’t that what many serial killers have said time and again throughout history??”

    “I feel its time we dropped the terrorist label and called all terrorists deranged serial killers.”

    The above two lines have been quoted from your article. The following two sentences are what seem to be accurate definitions of the terms “Serial Killer” and Terrorist. Feel free to correct.

    “A serial killer is a person who kills three or more people in three or more separate events over a period of time including an “emotional cooling-off” period in between the homicides.”

    “Terrorism is a term used to describe violence or other harmful acts committed (or threatened) against civilians by groups or persons for political or other ideological goals.”

    Now while you are correct that Serial killers do use religion or “gods word” to commit some of those crimes, it is most often for Power and control. The two are however inherently different.

    You mention Hitler. While Hitler’s “ethnic cleansing” seems clear cut, some people beg to differ. A professor in the United States started making a documentary in an attempt to show Hitler as part of a much larger political conspiracy. However the documentary never made it out through a movie house as it was “too controversial” and drew parallels with the Palestine-Israel conflict and US interest in the matter. I can’t remember what the documentary was called, and I wasn’t as politically interested at the time to make notes of his facts and verify them. However, Militant Nationalism or not, more hate crimes have been committed as an effect of Religion than any other, or for that matter ALL the other reasons you can come up with. Will all these crimes stop if Religion is abolished? No.

    We as humans are inherently evil, savage. We surely would find something else to motivate us, but the fact remains that while other reasons (hating homosexuals, or Blacks, etc) eventually die out due to their becoming more and more acceptable in the social strata, religious “differences” forever reign supreme and are timeless.

  20. July 8, 2007 1:59 am

    I just read Phantom’s comment, and I would like to clarify it.

    “We have the Iranian President Ahmedijenad, who publicly makes statements proclaiming his desire for the state of israel to cease existing and for the evil zionists to be worthy of only extermination. ”

    I hope to do this in the process of bringing to light something that propaganda and western interest makes sure isn’t heard or seen. The Iranian President is a puppet. He controls none of their foriegn policy, and almost all internal affairs too are controlled by the Ayotollah. The President is less powerful than the Indian President. Even in the eye of the Iranians, the Ayotollah is supreme. No one bothers with what the President, does or says, because they know it does not affect their lives. So in conclusion, basing your arguments on what Ahmedijenad says are grossly ignorant. I do agree wth most of what you say though. Just thought I should clarify this blunder.

    Slightly Off Topic, I suggest people watch Occupation 101. While the documentary might be made with a slightly biased tinge, the facts remain facts and for that very purpose, it is a highly educational documentary on the Middle East problem and I highly recommend it.

  21. July 8, 2007 7:30 am

    Doormat, Ofcourse technically you are absolutely correct in your definition of terrorist and serial killer. I guess my writing was more emotional and my disgust for serial killers (as people who kill a lot of people at different times, a wrong definition as you have pointed out) is the same disgust I felt for terrorists who I felt were sort of serial killers because they kill strangers and innocents and they often do it repeatedly.

    I am not sure I agree with your statement:
    “It is usually the case of Terrorist becoming educated, rather than the educated becoming a Terrorist.”
    In fact I am still trying to understand it.

  22. July 8, 2007 5:01 pm

    “Islam is a beautiful elevating religion which is being used by unemployed criminals with murderous tendencies. ”
    If this is true, then tell me how there are more terrorists belonging to this religion across the world than any other religion?
    I’ve not found much terrorists in Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism, etc; as in Islam. Doesn’t that mean that Islam is one of the failed religions?

  23. July 8, 2007 5:50 pm

    Rhonald, I have thought of this many times myself. Well, I am not an expert but I feel that its something to do with the politics and social fabric of Islamic countries. Now someone could argue that its the religion itself that has caused the problem…I honestly don’t know. Only an expert on Islam can answer this question. I am but just an ordinary member of the public, someone who abhors violence of any kind.
    As I had mentioned in one of my earlier comments, there are violent passages in all religions…but these religions are not being used the way Islam is being used.

  24. July 9, 2007 12:42 am

    Rhonald, I disagree when you say only Islam breeds violence. Isn’t the Zionist movement basically a religious belief? Aren’t the overwhelming majority of conservative and evangelical christians of the US ignorant and equally religiously bigoted? If you think that they are any less violent when it comes to religion then you should see the reason why they do support the state of Israel and why they urge their government to support Israel.

    I wish to clarify however, that I am not making a stance on the Middle East crisis, nor am I claiming that, these religious zealots are the only reason for US support for Israel. The point I wanted to convey is that brainwashed crazies exist in every religion, but the selective persecution of Arab and Islamic states is perhaps one of the reasons they hate the west. That is just a guess.

  25. July 9, 2007 12:58 am

    Nita, I wished to clarify something, In your response to my original comment, you said you do not agree with me (possibly) when I say It isn’t educated people becoming terrorists but usually the other way around. I know that isn’t the case 100% of the times. Sometimes circumstance has a huge role to play in the lives of the well educated. And if I sounded absolute in that statement, I apologise. I only wished to convey that which one of the two is more true is not known.

  26. Phantom permalink
    July 9, 2007 12:21 pm

    No religion in itself breeds violence. However the level of aggression associated with islam over the centuries is way more than that associated with any other religion. Sure, the portugese, spanish, dutch were quite ruthless colonials, often converting people by the sword in the colonies.
    More than the issue of islam breeding violence, I think is the issue of how islam over the years has come to isolate itself from other faiths. Its almost as if the religion prescribes a mutually exclusive approach, by not openly accepting the presence of other faiths. THAT is what allows all the terrorist activity to be condoned by some within the islamic realm. It is that degree of isolation and segregation from the rest of the world and the other faiths that makes even an average peaceful muslim feel seperate from others….and certainly allows extremists to feel a sense of extreme distance from other faiths and more importantly – from people of other faiths. This is what allows the terrorists to actively participate in activities that they know will kill innocents, mostly from other faiths – cos to the terrorists, the life of a non-muslim holds infinitely less value than that of protecting their religion.

    So the question isn’t that islam per se breeds violence, cos there are some examples of islamic states and people who live very peaceful and progressive lives – Malaysia and to a large extent, indian muslims, being a prime example. However the more impt issue is the extent to which islamic orthodoxy extends into the harsh extreme that the world has now come to regard with wonder, hate to some extent and fear to an extent too.

  27. July 10, 2007 9:40 pm

    Terrorists esp the jehadi ones have got no specific nationality, no loyalty to any kind of democratic/liberal state. Do anything for them, they just continue their nonsense mental garbage preachings supposedly from ‘Gods messenger’ Duh! For how long the world peace will be at threat from these blockheads..

    Only one solution for them – shoot at sight, show no mercy on anyone who supports this kind of crap..any group that teaches moral insecurity and insanity is fit to be thrown in gutter.

  28. July 11, 2007 6:19 am

    I was just wondering if anyone here has ever spoken to a militant or a jehadi or a terrorist or a fanatic or any such person ever. I haven’t been with one either, but I have been in Srinagar (the capital of Kashmir, India) and I have spent a few days at a Border Security Force (BSF) camp, speaking with the Commanding Officer and the people at the lower ranks.
    The reason why I mention this is because I strongly feel that these people, the militants, are not socially crippled or mentally unstable.

    Shoot at sight is I think that what terrorism is all about – merciless killing.

    I remember a conversation. We were traveling from Srinagar to Charar-E-Sharif, a mosque/tomb closeby, and I was speaking to a sergeant about militants in general. He told me that they had an encounter a couple of days ago, in which a Commander was killed.

    “18 saal ka tha woh, bahut hi bahadur tha… ekdam furtila, Hrithik Roshan ko dekha hai Mission Kashmir mein, bilkul waisa hi. Bahut afsos hua jab woh mara.”

    He was 18 years old, very brave and agile like Hrithik Roshan in the movie Mission Kashmir. It was very sad that he had to die.”

    The entire conversation had no religious remarks, nationalities or causes. It was only about a teenager who died, from someone who was a party in the killing. These people have a reason or they are made to believe that they have a reason.

    The most important thought being – “What will we pass on to the next generation?”. The campaign against Global Warming started because we wanted the planet to be a cleaner place to live. The Jehad is Kashmir is not for religion, it is about a separate nation which those people want for their children.

    Why would a doctor drive a jeep into an airport building which can anyways not be destroyed with petrol and LPG? The doctor himself, or the engineer who allegedly masterminded the plot would have known this fact but still they went on to commit suicide. Could this not be because they wanted to attract the attention of the rest of the world?

    I know it is insane to compare but getting on the other side of the table, Shaheed Bhagat Singh threw a bomb in the assembly corridor and dropped leaflet during the war for Indian Independence. I am not trying to compare, I am just trying to say that the Law of Relativity plays a vital role while viewing terrorism:
    Which side does one belong to?!?

  29. Phantom permalink
    July 11, 2007 1:19 pm

    One man’s terrotist is another man’s freedom fighter. Yes, it is all relative, a freedom fighter will view his actions as noble, as relevant to the cause of his state, his people, the freedom of his people, all which sound just and fair reasons. But at the end of the day, that is where we as a global society have to adopt a humanist yet pragmatic and sensitive view to global and local affairs.

    Look, every man wants freedom, lots of regions want autonomy, lots of parties want their voices to be heard. Sometimes drastic actions really do have to be taken. But aren’t they the easy way out???? It is relatively easier for a charismatic, wealthy, resourceful brigand to motivate disillusioned impressionable men and women to take up arms to foght for their cause, than to actually push their case through the regular political, diplomatic channels. Theres somethign swashbucking, romantic and honourable about fighting for our cause, about being ready to lay blood for it, from the point of view of those being recruited into the insurgency squads.

    But, and I think anyoen with a humanist view will agree here, no one, not anyone in the world, has the right to take the lives of innocents, in the name of their cause. One wrong does not righten another wrong. All the children, women, old people who get killed in terrorist atatcks have no battle with the terrorists, it becmes an unfair battle.

    And therin lies the globally acceptable, simple rule of life – no matter how deep ur cause, no matter how much u’ve been wronged… take the lives of innocents is a no no, and that makes u a terrorist in everyone’s eyes, and therefore liable for punishment similar to that of a serial murderer.

  30. shirish permalink
    July 12, 2007 6:05 pm

    Richard Dawkins – God dillusion – i havent read it yet but ofcourse, seperate god from the actions of these terrorists and they will stop being (or rather proclaiming to be), acting on his will. Indeed an interesting take, if there is no god what will these people hold on to, will they find something else? I have my doubts. This leads us into a debate of God as a person, commanding, and ordering versus Religion as a phylosophy helping us percieve life on the planet earth.
    Your post is interesting and opens more than one stream of debate like the one mentioned above.

  31. July 12, 2007 8:14 pm

    Shirish, you said:

    //if there is no god what will these people hold on to, will they find something else? I have my doubts.//

    Well, if there is no God, there will still be killers and evil people…but in a way you are right. Because only God gives killers a respectability that nothing else can. If there is no God, these power hungry people, these murderers who want to to create a “state” of their own (as one of my commentators so rightly said) will not be able to sell their evil to vulnerable people.
    But then who knows, without God, maybe there will be something else that humanity will value, think of as sacred, and these murderers will latch on to that.

  32. amla from adelaide permalink
    July 25, 2007 6:52 pm

    Hi Nita and others on this blog!
    I was looking for more stuff on haneef since i am close to the epicentre so to speak and was a bit disappointed to see the note of “he must have done” “what made him act like that” etc. which seems to assign guilt to him without benefit of doubt.

    I dont say he has done nothing, or otherwise for that matter, but it might be interesting for you to look at his initial interrogation by the Australian Federal Police here which IMO does not indicate any portrayal of “guilt”, and certainly not to the extent portrayed by the australian govt. and sensationalised by the media.

    Also, the thing which is rarely mentioned in the media, is that the SIM card in question was given by him (this seems at this point to be the ONLY thing linking him to the alledged accused, apart from distant relationship) to sabeel more than a year ago, when he was leaving the UK.

    Like I said, I would rather wait for further evidence before I make up my mind either way, but knwoing john howard, and the paranoia he loves to create as elections draw close, If i had to take a bet, I would probably say the only thing Haneef is guilty of is having the first name mohammed, being conveniently muslim, and trying to leave australia on a one way ticket instead of a return ticket ( and I can understand his situation since I have myself asked on at least 2 depressingly desperate occasions if my parents could send me a one way ticket as i was broke, out of a job and home sick).

    Fortunately for me, those offers were never actually actioned, and so here I am – possibly better off, but who knows??!!

  33. July 25, 2007 8:28 pm

    Thanks Amla for giving your version of the events. We live so far away in India that everything is pure speculation. We do not get the detailed news that yu get there…
    But frankly where Haneef is concerned, I really feel quite blank. All I know is that there seems to be flimsy evidence against him…
    It does seem like racism to me too.
    We in India have been suffering terrorism for years Amla (almost 30), so we are used to stories of police picking up suspects randomly to question them. There are several cases here similar to Haneef’s by the way. Lots of accusations against the police too. There was an interesting movie here Black Friday which shows how the police pick up the suspects…ofcourse based on them simply having been seen with someone..
    In australia this must be absolutely shocking. Its wonderful to see images of people protesting. .
    I guess in India we have a long way to go…

  34. amla from adelaide permalink
    July 26, 2007 5:14 am


    thanks for your response. I don;t know whether you realised but I am Indian myself, and have lived there – Gujarat no less – so I know that this occurs there regularly! what i was surprised about was that despite knowing this, a lot of indian blogs seemed to assign guilt before the presumption of innocence.

    You are right in assuming that in Australia it is all the more shocking, but the sentiment is leaning more towards the shocking treatment of haneef and the flimsiness of the evidence rather than a presumption of guilt. In fact, I think that Aussies seem to be more sympathetic to him than Indians!! But then we have been burned by johnny boy before, where as you have the benefit of only those reports as the media choose to sensationalise!

    You are also correct in your view that India have a long way to go – mine is we ain’t gonna get there in my lifetime!! LOL

  35. July 26, 2007 7:29 am

    Maybe we Indians have become de-sensitized? India has suffered a lot at the hands of terrorists which I think Australians cannot even begin to imagine! The world only woke up after 9/11.
    I am talking of Mumbai not Gujarat. I think in Gujarat the Muslims have suffered more.
    Also I do not think any commentator on my blog has condemned Haneef in particular. Maybe other blogs have condemned him, but frankly, that even that was a human reaction to all the media blitz. That was the impression that the media created and these press notes emanated from Australia don’t forget. Later on more news came out, which had not come out earlier.
    I think you are too hasty in judging India.I really wonder if australia had gone through the kind of terrorism that India has it would have shown the sensttvity it has?
    And on another note, frankly, I am proud to be an Indian. As a race we have never subjugated any other race. The world knows what Australia did to the aborgines. We are not a racist nation Amla, we are a melting pot. If there is one nations which shows this intermingling of cultures and religions its India.

  36. amla from adelaide permalink
    July 26, 2007 8:06 am

    I seriously apologise if I came across anti_indian, for that was not my intention at all.

    In fact, any negative impression that might have leaked through may be more a case of “been there, seen that!!” rather than dislike or contempt. I do believe however that we are a nation that has been great and will be again, if only the politicans would let us be. when as i say that as well, let me clarify that it is a handful of corrupt power hungry people not the entire system, infact I believe we may be on the road to a better polity already.

    I relocated from India when these changes had not yet begun, and am at the stage where it is not practical for me to return when I sincerely wish I was part of this Indian age (well, not unless I win the lotto).

    I feel that we have for too long been the elder brother of civilisation and so tend to have a “let go” attitude to other nation’s atrocities towards us. this belief is not sustained by the younger India as they view the western world has more advanced, and we are fast losing the generation that told tales of its glory and heritage. I cannot deny that my intimate knowledge of our ancient world “domination – although not the word i would choose, has too much negative impact” has come at my great grand parent’s knees, and has been rekindled by research on wikipedia! I am not too sure whether I would be able to pass on that passion to my daughter, were we even still in India. In fact, I believe I stand a better chance of getting her to respect it here than in the atmosphere that is in India today.

    I may be wrong, but please do keep in mind that this feeling comes from what I see in youngsters as portrayed on the net, media, to some extent movies (i’m not much of a new movies person, i’d rather watch chalti ka nam gaadi than say, dhoom) I won;t even mention the K zone serials, where every sister seems to want to sleep with her brother in law etc….

  37. July 26, 2007 8:15 am

    Amla, no I didn’t think you were anti-Indian, but I did feel there was a lack of understanding and feel of what is happening here. I don’t blame you, if i was in your place I would probably feel similar things. Your sentence:
    //I am not too sure whether I would be able to pass on that passion to my daughter, were we even still in India. In fact, I believe I stand a better chance of getting her to respect it here than in the atmosphere that is in India today.//
    I think is quite off the mark. The atmosphere in India today is fantastic. I too grew up during the time you referred to and never have I been as proud of India as I am today. It was socialism which held us back and socialism and communism fosters secrecy, lack of transparency, corruption, and discourages private enterprise. Poliicies have changed now but it takes time to root out corruption. Its happenign with the RTI act, more freedom to the media etc. Nothing can happen overnight and I am glad to be here, to see it happening. My children will get the benefits of it and I am glad.
    Also I don’t even blame India for getting into the wrong sort of govt earlier. It was years of subjugation by the British which made us quite incapable of knowing what was best.
    I don’t know what sort of youngsters write on the net and what exactly they write, but they are but youngsters.and do not necessarily represent India.
    And to think of India in terms of the soaps, well thats a mite unrealistic. They do that to sell and perhaps talk of the rich set…I don’t know.
    When it ocmes to sexual morals, we have them here, far more than in the west.
    I hope to see you here more often Amla, and maybe we can have more dialogues like this. 🙂

  38. amla from adelaide permalink
    July 26, 2007 8:33 am


    It is indeed heartening to see this enthusiasm, and like I said, I too have noticed the change, would love to be a part of it, but am perhaps bound by choices made earlier! However, our hope had always been to have our daughter study in India, and this perhaps strengthens that resolve. I do believe that by the time she is ready to step out of the educational environment (I dare not say professionally, I may be too presumptive, she’s 3!) the economic centre will have shifted to the east, in fact, it is already doing so.

    But, my luck might be to cheer from the sidelines instead of from within the stadium!:-)

    I enjoyed talking to you, though real life beckons… hope to continue later…

  39. sharp point permalink
    September 1, 2012 8:36 am

    Indians prefers to do adjustments
    and compromises. It is their habit.
    Generally because of lower leveled
    education / lack of education and poor
    life style stops them to raise their voice
    against any injustice . They can’t come
    out of there struggling daily life . So at
    the other end of Indian society It is
    very easy for policy makers, political
    person to keep common Indian people’s mind
    undercover and non active against system ,
    just by promising words and dreams. This way
    it is very easy to let (less / uneducated and
    poor) Indians live in fake satisfaction. So they
    cant think of to punish someone for their
    struggling life or injustice . They surly thinks like that, as you will
    allow them. Thing starts towards darkness
    of terror, when all these situation comes in front of
    highly educated, skilled, unsatisfied Indian. Because
    he/she keeps independent thinking about everything
    including Indian system. It is not easy for anyone to
    satisfy them by only promising words and
    dreams ,for long time. When according to the highly
    educated, skilled, unsatisfied person time gets over.
    Then he/she thinks of punish to reason (reason may be a person or a system)
    Its never necessary that his/her punishment will be reasonable.
    If he/she decides to punish a person, he/she will do so by any way (may be killing).
    If he/she decides punish a system he/she works may target
    innocent people. That’s why killing of innocent people takes place.
    Because well educated, skilled, unsatisfied person thinks by his/her
    own ways. THAT’S WHY educated, skilled, person

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