of the rest of the world refers to 'terrorism' and measures
of countering that vein of violence, the focus is usually
on the activities of one or more groups which desire political,
socio-economic, ethnic, religious and cultural freedom. The
aspiration of the aggressor and the viewpoint of the victim
offer credence to the adage "One man's terrorist is another
man's freedom fighter".
precisely why there are groups, small and large, claiming
responsibility (often falsely) of a terrorist attack soon
after it is perpetrated, as the primary purpose of an attack
on a stronger opposition is to draw public attention and sympathy
to the cause of the weaker, by whatever measure.
the series of brutal bomb (grenade) and other form of attacks
on political meetings, cultural gatherings and journalists,
and now a university professor that may be bracketed as terrorism
have not, barring hoax calls and fictitious fax messages,
had any serious claimer. Furthermore we have also upgraded
ordinary dacoits and extortionists to the rank of terrorist.
While doing that we are often doing serious injustice to freedom
fighters (dubbed 'terrorists' for the sake of convenience
by the tormenter) who are opposing oppression of some form
or another in some country or region.
group, even if clandestine, coming forward to make known why
they attacked any particular public meeting or a cinema hall
or a press club in this country, the acts can at best be attributed
as cowardly attacks of a few individuals with no strong or
popular agenda. The failure of our law-enforcing bodies to
unearth even the tip of the volcano has only encouraged the
repetition of such gutless acts that have claimed dozens of
innocent lives. The nation needs to know who did it and why,
if only so that the situation may be addressed from all necessary
if it may be called that in today's perspective, began as
a struggle for freedom 2000 years ago in Judea as a resistance
movement of a Jewish sect the Zealots, who opposed the occupation
by Roman rulers of their land, the modern day Israel. The
Zealots killed the intruders and their Jewish collaborators
in public, often during the day in busy places so that people
knew who did it and why. One thousand years later Syrian Muslim
freedom fighters called Assassins opposed and killed Christian
invaders to draw maximum publicity for their just cause.
the above bill, can the grenade hurlers, financial extractors,
roadside chitkaas and others, who have been terrorising
(oops!) Bangladesh for long, be called terrorists? They are
dacoits and robbers, large-scale pocket pickers.
has been defined as violent acts or acts dangerous to human
life that intimidate or coerce a civilian population, influence
the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion, or
affect the conduct of a government by assassination or kidnapping.
here does not fall into that classification. Moreover, in
most cases, it is locally effected against the affluent, business
houses, creditors, family members, 'friends', and political
opponents. But we shall never know for sure because we are
never provided with the identity of the attacker/s, neither
with the motive. We only assume. We can be wrong.
the dangers of the continuing surreptitious activities is
that personal vendetta may be disguised as a terrorist attack.
A political opponent, a business partner, a person caught
in a love triangle may each be murdered in so-called terrorist
there are unfortunate incidents of street muggers and pickpockets
being killed and burnt in public wrath. How do we know that
some opponent/s of the victim had not set up the whole drama?
A gang of five-six persons can very easily act as 'public'
and get the rest of the crowd involved.
shall have apparently no one to catch because the act has
been labelled as 'terrorism' or 'public rage'.
positive aspect of terrorism, as known to the outside world,
is that terror campaigns have usually targeted democratic
countries. That should make us a very democratic country indeed.
(R) thedailystar.net 2005