Hindu dharma is implicitly at odds with monotheistic intolerance. What is happening in India is a new historical awakening... Indian intellectuals, who want to be secure in their liberal beliefs, may not understand what is going on. But every other Indian knows precisely what is happening: deep down he knows that a larger response is emerging even if at times this response appears in his eyes to be threatening.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

A National Satyagraha against Terrorism

The cancer it seems is now terminal with no cure in sight. With a Government that wont learn from its mistakes nor see the folly of its ways it is no longer enough to to talk of Anti-Terrorism as a policy of the State but to think of Anti-Terrorism as a sustained people’s movement that will be uncompromising and unrelenting.

If Gandhi’s Satyagraha was to fight Terrorism on the people of this nation by the State, by intent, this 21st century Satyagraha is to fight Terrorism on the people of this nation despite the State, by default.

So How would this Satyagraha be unlike the the previous one form the century gone by ?

Gandhi answers it for us very eloquently. Offstumped had posted this Gandhian Doctrine to guide on responding to Terrorism several times in the past based on a reading of Gandhi and the Gita where he expounds on the principle of “Desireless Action”. If “Ahimsa” was the mantra for the Satyagraha to battle British Terrorism in the 20th century, “Anasakata” and “Karma” should become the twin mantras for the Satyagraha in this century to battle the twin evils of Terrorism and the State’s indifference to Terrorism.

Quoting from this Offstumped post in the aftermath of the 7-11 Mumbai Blasts on the morality of pre-emption and the immorality of inaction

as India debates its response to terror, it must be purely guided by its primary duty to its citizens and not by any other moral considerations. The State must not take recourse to inaction under the cover of the resilience of its people. More specifically the State when in posession of legitimate intelligence on intentions of terrorist to hurt and kill its citizens must act proactively to pre-empt, such pre-emption is morally consciable for the alternative is willing inaction which is immoral. The state must not rule out going to war against terrorism in fulfilling its duty as long as it does so fully mindful of its consequences and has demonstrated the capacity to accept those consequences with equanimity

So how can we take these principles and apply them to a people’s movement ?

The Satyagraha against Terrorism must have the following characteristics.

Characteristic# 1 - It must be unrelenting in the demands it makes of the State to compel it into action on Terrorism pre-emptively or otherwise.

Characteristic# 2 - It must be uncompromising in its intolerance of not just perpetrators of acts of terror but also of those who aid and abet terror by providing sanctuary to those perpetrators.

Characteristic# 3 - It must be self sustaining in its execution through local community action directed at vigilance and audit of local law enforcement

Characteristic #4 - It must be Dharmic at all times by being “desireless” in its actions

A beginning must be made someplace for this Satyagraha against Terrorism to take root. A good starting point could be Bangalore. Of all Indian Cities, Offstumped records the highest traffic from Bangalore. Perhaps Offstumped readers in Bangalore could take the first step.

But to make it national and to have the necessary impact on the State, this Satyagraha requires moral Leadership at the national level. Mr. L.K. Advani has provided that kind of moral leadership in the past in the wake of Jain Hawala scandal by vowing to not seek elected office till he was proven innocent. The situation in the nation demands such a sacrifice once again of Mr. Advani to make this Satyagraha impactful. He must appropriate the moral high ground by vowing to not seek any entitlements from the State including his security cover till this Satyagraha against Terrorism has shamed the Manmohan Singh Government into action.

Offstumped appeals to Mr. Advani to seize the moment and provide that moral leadership to this Satyagraha.

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