In one of the most daring and yet cowardly terror attacks, Bombay/Mumbai has been attacked. In an earlier post we had discussed the question of violence – ‘revolutionary’ violence, and the utter futility of resort to such methods. Violence is not a solution to anything; it cannot be. If anything, it is part of the problem; it is the problem. For violence begets more violence.
This brings us to one large and repressed question: repressed by the shrieking television anchor, repressed by the police, the state, the judiciary….the dead conscience of a once-aspiring nation. Even as we hear the tired rhetoric of the ‘foreign hand’ – the surest opium of a state that prefers to live in constant denial – we know that that repressed question will not go away.
If violence begets more violence, let us not forget that violence that has been and is being perpetrated over the years: Mumbai 1993, Gujarat 2002 being merely the big events, followed by the everyday terror and humiliation that Muslims are subjected to. Let us remind ourselves that all forces – including secular state institutions and media – have colluded in ‘punishing the guilty of the Mumbai blasts’ while not daring to get the perpetrators of the Mumbai riots to book. When the message sent out by the state and its institutions is that normal channels of justice are closed to some people; that law and the judiciary are also going to succumb to the power and blackmail of the Hindutva forces, what option do you leave for any kind of legal-democratic channel of redress to be accessed?
Let us remind ourselves that no terrorism has ever been eliminated by counter terror, counter violence. A political problem requires a political solution, not a military-administrative one. Once your normal channels of justice begin to inspire confidence, you may have won half the battle. Else, God alone knows….