Q: What is Terrorism?
A: Terrorism, simply put, is fear instilled in the people’s mind by the #Terrorist.
Q: Alright. So, who is a Terrorist?
A: One who uses violent means in their pursuit of an agenda
Q: So, police who use the third degree, the teacher who beats her student, the butcher…
A: No. But only those who terrorize
Q: You mean all violence is not terrorism. But state’s military terrorizes, too
A: Yes, but within the framework of Law of the land
Q: Aaha! So you mean some terrorism can be good terrorism?
A: I told you. Terrorizing for the state, for the sake of law should not be called terrorism
Q: OK. But whose Land? And whose Law?
A: The state’s law, the government orders, of course.
Q: So, a rebel Shivaji fighting the Emperor Aurangzeb, or a ‘seditious’ Bhagat Singh attacking the British were…
A: You see defying barbaric rulers, throwing away the yoke of slavery are patriotism and chivalry. Violence is inevitable but it should be resorted to as a last measure, and only for a good cause
Q: I see. And what can be the criteria for a cause being deemed ‘Good’?
A: It should serve the interests of the public, and be directed towards collective good
Q: “Public” means “local public”, right? Or “national public”? And “Collective” means “of Majority”?
A: You are confusing me. Why don’t you see? Terrorism is what the people, the govt, the media call as Terrorism.
Q: Alright give me some examples of Terrorism
A: Why, the AlQaeda, Taliban, JeM, ISIS, Khalistanis, Kashimris… plenty of examples
Q: I see. But what about the violence of Gujarat cops like the Vanzara’s and Barot’s… that actually terrorized people with fake encounters and mass detentions without due process of law, or what about violence of the Cow Vigilantes, or the Moral Police of Mumbai and UP?
A: You see if it is mass killing, on a large scale…
Q: So it was wrong to call lone wolf Muslim attackers like those in France, England or Germany who killed just one or two people, as Terrorists?
A: But they were widely called the Terrorists. Let’s face it. If the violence is by Muslims, it is generally perceived as Terrorism.
Q: But you started by saying…
A: OK, OK, but you see that was the classic meaning. The contemporary meaning is…