Gandhism and the issue of Terrorism

To begin with, what is terrorism? According to Oxford, "Terrorism is the use of violent action in order to achieve some political aim...

To begin with, what is terrorism? According to Oxford, "Terrorism is the use of violent action in order to achieve some political aim or force a government to act". It affects each and every nation, and even us on a personal level. The Middle East and nations of South East Asia are the most infested with the problem of terrorism, as per statistical data. Over the last few decades, the number of terrorist organizations have grown exponentially.

As the old saying goes, unity is strength.
In Iraq, the Islamic State, nicknamed 'ISIS' is the most brutal of all terror networks till date. It shocked the world with its series of beheadings of Western journalists and resource men. The group has no respect for anyone suspected to be an infidel- that is, anyone who is a non-Muslim is unwelcome. It highlights their policy of intolerance- which is in stark contrast with one of the fundamental pillars of Gandhism.

What people should realise is that war cannot be ended with war. As a case study, we can take the example of the Afghan war. Post 9/11, the American retaliation perhaps caused more harm than good in the native land of the Pashtuns. Gandhi would have never supported such action, as in the words of Gandhi, "An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind". There are millions of Afghan refugees, with the vast majority of the diaspora settling in Pakistan.

Another important statistic that unfurls itself is the military budget of nations, which has shot up considerably over the years. Countries have opted for nuclear warheads and continue to do so. History has already shown us what those nuclear weapons could do, as in the case of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a section of whose people continues to suffer today on account of radiation linked congenital diseases. Governments probably do not realize the fact that a couple of these nuclear weapons is enough to cause mass casualty.

It is essential to understand that the role of Gandhian ideology in the tensed-up environment of today; we cannot disregard it at any point. Gandhism calls for self-realization of the importance of peace and stability in the modern international polity. In my opinion, terrorism sticks out like the thorn in the rose- an undesirable element in an otherwise beautiful earth. The greatest vice, as I always say, is the radicalization of young minds. It might be particularly enchanting to know that Gandhism, if practiced, can resolve these conflicts, its base principle being non-violence or ahimsa. The problem is, no one cares.

Let's not get subdued by the fact that there is so much of violence around us- people take time to realize their faults. It all starts with the change in mindset; people wouldn't be running for programs inciting religious intolerance unless they were blind fanatics. It would be worthwhile to mention that Gandhi considered sectarianism to be a big threat to the unity of a nation whose people are multi-ethnic.

As I mentioned earlier, let's take that ounce of disregard for a different community out from our hearts. Far-sightedness is better than short-sighted mentality, after all.

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