Friday, July 29, 2011

How to heal the wounds of Mumbai and Oslo killings

How to heal the wounds of Mumbai and Oslo killings
Syed Ali Mujtaba

We live in a strange world, devoid of love, hatred and insanity. There were e two incidents that happened in quick succession; one is the Mumbai blast and other Oslo killings, that gives the picture that we live in a strange world, a world that harps on make believe assumptions.

Its not even week when Mumbai was rocked by another series of bomb blasts, and then a lunatic open fires in Oslo killing scores of innocent people, both condemnable act in every term of words, but equally condemnable was the quick conclusion drawn of the suspects of both the incidents.

While the Mumbai attack was blamed on Indian Mujhadeen, Lasker -e -Toiba and Jaish- e- Mohammad, the usual Muslim suspects, the needle of suspicion for Oslo killings initially fell on the Islamist. However both the assumption went haywire.

There was not even a shred of evidence pertaining to the events linking it with the Islamists but the entire country was fed on the staple diet of the usual Muslim suspects. I was trying to look for balanced reportage but no TV channel had the audacity to report that the security forces can not correctly place the needle of suspicion on any exact group or groups and every one is innocent in the eyes of the law.

Contrary, each channel was going gung-ho hate mongering when it was moment of restraint. The vernacular television screens were louder in stoking the tempers against a particular community.

Now, when the heat and the dust of the blast has settled down, all the theories that were earlier circulated has come cropper, there is complete lull about all that has happened a while ago.

The Mumbai blasts have been a tragedy of innocent killings. Hate mongering the usual follow up of all channels was once again on display. Investigations have gone no further than catching the usual culprits, rounding them up and some calculated leaks from the investigators leading to no deductions.

Is it not all this sound strange? Anyway I leave this as food for thought and try to pick up the thread of the Oslo killings.

The moment this tragedy struck Norway, the first suspect was Al Qida. One report tried to make believe that it was Osama Bin Laden’s men who had gone on rampage to avenge the killing of its leader.

Another said that some Islamic radical dressed in mufti, created the mayhem. It was to protest Norway’s participation with NTO operations in Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan.

How simplest were the deductions, one wonders. Now, as the clouds have cleared and there is no Islamic angle to the killings and the truth is very different from all the assumptions being made, its time for introspection.

The Oslo killing is beyond expression. Innocent lives were lost. All those killed had no inkling what was that all about. A lunatic young man, with fascist ideas, full of hatred in his heart, imaginary or real which he himself is unable to explain went on rampage taking innocent lives.

This brings to the fundamental point, why the media is in a hurry to do the postmortem of such events. They seem to blame on what ever comes handy and are easy targets.

It’s a dangerous trend and not good for the consumption of civilized societies. In all humbleness there should be a protest to stop the muck that’s thrown around in the name responsible journalism.

Media may restraint from casting judgments and gradually figure out the actual reasons of the event gained through authentic sources and only then disseminate them to the public.

Another interesting observation that comes here is about Andres Behring Breilvik, the man who massacred many innocent souls and left over hundred severely wounded was classified as a lunatic. He was never branded as Christian terrorist even though he was a “devout Christian.”

This is because Christianity is associated with love and peace paradigm and no Christian may like their faith to be associated with terrorism.

So far Islam and terrorism has come to become synonymous and this opinion seems to rule the roost. Now terror is being connected to Christianity, then it’s hurting many devout Christians.

This happened in India a while ago, when the ugly face of Hindutva terror came to lime light. The Samjutha express blast, Mecca Masjid blast, Ajmer blast, Malegoan blast are all linked to Hindu terrorism. Now when this was getting established, then many devout Hindus are feeling hurt. They could not reconcile to the fact that Hinduism can be associated with terrorism.

What worries most is the manifesto of Breivik, which throws considerable light on the plans of the Hindutva radicalism. This has to be given a serious thought because this could possibly lead to a cane of worms and if not put in control may lead to certain disaster at a later stage,

The point I may like make is terrorism cannot be with a religion and to call a Christian terrorist or a Hindu terrorist hurts many devout Hindus and Christian, similarly, when its said that all Muslims are not terrorists but all terrorists are Muslims, it definitely hurts ordinary Muslim.

Here, I may also like to add another fact that is that some Islamic radicals have rejoiced at the pain caused due to the killings in Oslo, calling it a divine justice for the pains suffered in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. This again is a dangerous trend and has to be condemned in very harsh words. Such thinking can not be called as an act of civilization. It is sheer barbarism.

Another unfortunate trend these days apart from media there are other actors such as some politician, some judges who has a high standing in the society, do point fingers with no basis or logic. Their tone and tenure is full of hate and justification enough to be hauled up for inciting public, without any proof. Government on the other hand is unable to enforce its authority and book such people under the rule of law.

We watch all this with anguish and pain, and a particular community carries the burden of innumerable abuses and false allegations, along with the usual difficulties a common man faces in this turbulent world.

Both Mumbai and Oslo killings has brought huge pain and sufferings to the people who are victims of such terror. It’s a time where each of us should unite to fight such dastardly acts. This is done without any prejudices.

Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule, said one of India’s iconic saint, Lord Buddha. Equally important is quote of another saint of India Hazrat Nizamuddin who says do not give me scissor as I do not like to cut, give me needle, as I like to stitch.

India has known to practice plural values for centuries. Barring a few fissures even that due to political biases, India boasts of its traditions unknown to any nation and cultures in the World.

At this point of time, the pain and sufferings of the victims cannot be healed by blaming someone; it can only be overcome through the resolve of acting as a needle to stitch the wounds of hate.

With deepest grief in memory of those who have lost their lives in Mumbai and Oslo and sharing of pain of their families, lets pray for global peace.

Syed Ali Mujtaba is a journalist based in Chennai. He can be contacted at

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