Elsewhere I have failed to recognise terrorism on more occasions than one; so, do I fail here as well. The use of the word “terrorism” here is a mere reflection on the aspirations of the civilized society as it exists today. Yes, it expects terrorism in some form or the other. Till I am able to satisfy this requirement of the society with another better name, let it be. Of course, the emphasis of this piece is mere reflection. No attempt has been made to innovate or even educate.
State’s monopolization of violence is the biggest illusion of present times. Thankfully so. If it was not an illusion, we would have become zombies long ago. No smart state agent expects common men to accept violence without a retaliation; therefore exists the democracy with all its options to create illusion. It is the fear of violence which is far more effective than the violence itself. However, there are some who lose this fear. The state immediately term them as terrorists and starts the “war on terror”. Sometimes they even start recognising each other as terrorists, and then the difference between war and “war on terror” disappears, but it remains a fact that most of the terrorists are born through the intelligence machinery of the state. Ironically enough, it is the state only which disillusions, just the nationalism is different.
Now coming to the point. Why terrorism is better? The reasons are simple. First, it signifies civilization growth. Secondly, it leads to less collateral damage. Thirdly, it keeps the state under challenge. Fourthly, the disillusion is generally emancipating. Fifthly, it leads to lesser wastage of resources. Sixthly, it provides an alternative medium to states for show of power. Seventhly and most importantly, it avoids war. Let me explain each of the above with the case of the ongoing Indo-China tussle.
I don’t know much about human rights violation in China except for media reports, but, in India, I have far better insights because of my citizenship of India for last 43 years. Human right violations are necessary prerequisite for growth of terrorism. Both India and China provide excellent prospects for growth of terrorism. But, as I said I am better aware of India, I will exlore terrorism in India for the purpose of this piece. In India, Naxals supply a ready playfield. Dalits are another group which are highly exploited in India. Muslims are yet another. If we were to reduce further, the next in line would be OBCs (Jats, Rajputs, Yadavs, Marathas, etc), whom Ambedkar called cast away Kshatriyas – and trust me Indian Army trusts Ambedkar more than anybody else. Further reductions would make even the Baniyas and the Kshatriyas the downtrodden, leaving only the Brahmins at the top. Only requirement is that somebody will have to do a churning and prominently display the fault lines. (I have not included Kashmiris above because I think they are a separate nation, but, of course, it is an opportunity lying for China on platter.) The mere display would end the illusion of many, especially those who work for state forces themselves. Such stratification of society is also a pointer of civilization growth. Instead of finding enemies outside, if we were to find them amongst ourselves, we would be able to make better friends with people outside. This is beneficial because mostly we don’t cause so much bloodshed to those near us than to those far from us. Also it leads to emancipation of weaker classes. The collateral damage is also less because you target and kill leaders instead of foot soldiers – I am calling killing of foot soldiers in war also a collateral damage. Such terrorism growth also leads to less militarisation as the states tend to co-operate with eachother even though while knowing terrorism is also their baby only. Lastly it avoids war. This needs more elaboration.
Presently, India and China are most irresponsibly sitting at the brink of a war. Both the states have acted most irresponsibly. Neither of them have made any attempt to spread terrorism in eachother’s countries before going to war. If China, instead of bringing force on the border, had provided support to any of the above-mentioned groups, say Naxals, it would have achieved much more without expending so many resources – this is a recurring problem with China; even in Nepal, it denied support to Naxals when they were fighting the state. There is actually no need for the nations to go on war now as the technology and freedom of movement provides them ample opportunity to spread terrorism. I would say Obama’s modus operandi in Egypt was even better. He used social media to turn every citizen into a potential terrorist but achieved everything without any violence. Such strategem is not possible for China, but it can at least try. Anyways, it will have to drastically change its tactics if it wants to take on USA. Now coming to India, It has been playing this game with Pakistan for pretty long now, and so is Pakistan. This has also probably avoided many wars – only recently Modi’s stupid surgical strikes had brought the two nations on the brink of a war; there is never any need to be ostentatious on strategic matters. But, with respect to China, there are enough reasons to believe Indian intelligence relies solely on media reports; so, their knowledge of possible fault lines in China is as good as mine. The truth is India and China have not considered eachother as potential adversaries after 1962. Now Covid has brought about a paradigm shift. But even now it’s not too late to explore terrorism over war, for as the title of this piece reads “Terrorism is Better”.