Terrorism or not ?


[Context: The worst terrorist attacks over 2002-2011 was in #Nepal, where 518 people died, according to the Global Terrorism Index http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2012/12/daily-chart-0 #GTI]

Irony: What the world considers as a terrorist attack, the “great revolutionary people” of Nepal will probably identify as an “altruistic attack” on a legitimate state they identified with.

This is a question I get asked quite often on twitter:

“When Nepali Congress does it, it is a freedom struggle, but when UCPN Maoist does it, how is it a terrorist attack?”

For different reasons:

1. In the cave age, the humans killed fellow humans for food, and it was a perfectly acceptable way of living life at that point in time. Similarly, non-violent means of political change was something that was established by Gandhi in the world. Before that, violent struggles were pretty much the standard way of getting things done. Some of the pioneers of the Gandhian struggle were the Nepali leaders like Krishna Prasad Bhattarai, Dilli Raman Regmi and Bhim Bahadur Tamang. But until their time, violent struggles were still the standard way of getting things done.

2. Leaders like BP Koirala served very strenuous jail sentences for involving in violent activities. It can’t be compared with other leaders who took no responsibility whatsoever about the violent political campaigns they led. BP Koirala was in fact serving a life sentence. And even people inside their parties were against such violence at that time (e.g., KP Bhattarai). In fact, at later points in time, even BP Koirala regretted violent activities. But comparing them with Maoist violence where neither the wrong has been admitted nor have the wrongdoers been served the necessary sentences, is totally outrageous.

3. In 2010, violent struggles are usually purveyed by international community for war crimes and terrorism charges. It is not like in 1700s or 1960s where violent struggles where the only means to achieve political change. Today, they have to pass different standards to qualify as a legitimate freedom struggle as opposed to a humanitarian crime. In the past, non-violent means of achieving political change were uncommon, and even when they were, they were non compulsive. Evidences tell that in case of Nepal, violence was more of a luxury than a necessity at the hands of those who could afford them.

Terrorist attacks mapped around the world (via The Economist)

Terrorist attacks mapped around the world (via The Economist)

So, before you make non-standard arguments like: “The Congress or the UML did violent movements in the past, so why only ostracize the Maoists” please try to understand that people actually understand that you are making an unqualified statement. It will help you prepare with much stronger arguments against a series of horrendous terrorists attacks.

Until then,
Best Wishes,

  • Ushaft

One thought on “Terrorism or not ?

  1. Those who like to parade themselves as the only defenders of democracy and human rights and the biggest progressives around should look at themselves in the mirror. Anyone who defends the government and the Maoists are on the side of the powerful, not on the side of powerless. The real progressives in the country are those who question the government, demand accountability from the rulers and risk their safety while doing so.

    I would like to ask the armchair revolutionaries what were you doing when the Maoists were fighting a war. Were you in the battlefield? Did you lose an arm or two? Or were you in the safe confines of a foreign university busy fashioning yourself in the mould of the cliched left intellectual? Maybe you are still there? Maybe you are preparing for your return, hopeful that the new Red Elite will not forget your loyalty and dole out few favors like bones thrown to a dog perhaps? Or maybe you are happy stirring the pot from your capitalist haven certain that the mud slinging never reaches you.

    Why is it that most of you are employed by one of those shady foreign organizations working at which makes you so ashamed you want to hide it lest it reflects bad on your analyst career? Why don’t you have regular people appreciating your work? Why is it that outside of your small mutual admiration society no one takes you seriously?

    And why are you so scared of Ushafts?

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