05 Editorial - Tyranny of Terror - Fr. Anthony Charanghat

posted Feb 20, 2019, 9:55 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Feb 20, 2019, 9:56 AM ]
The unrelenting tyranny of terror once again stained the sacred soil of our nation with the blood of martyrs in an attack on our military personnel on Thursday, February 14 in Pulwama. The death toll from the terror attack on a CRPF convoy in Lethpora district rose to 44, besides the 38 others who were wounded in the worst-ever terror attack in Kashmir.

A 'fidayeen' bomber belonging to the Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) terror outfit rammed an RDX explosive-laden SUV into a bus carrying CRPF troopers on the Srinagar-Jammu Highway. With Prime Minister Narendra Modi's resolve to avenge 'each drop of tears shed' in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack, India has started drawing out a retaliatory action plan, and is roping in international support to isolate Pakistan on the world stage.

PM Modi said, "Those who spray bullets or those who provide guns and bombs to target our soldiers, will not be spared." All political parties have lent full support to the Modi government to take tough action against the Pulwama terror attack perpetrators and those harbouring such organisations. The grief over the dastardly attack on the CRPF convoy refuses to die down, and people across India are demanding a strong response against these terror groups.

The Christian community, too, unequivocally condemns such barbarous, inhuman acts by agents of faceless terror. They are numb, indoctrinated minds that spew senseless violence and merciless death outside the ambit of a just war. To kill in the name of God or cultural ideology is immoral. It is against God who is the Creator and author of life, who has forbidden us to kill. Whoever kills a person is like one who kills the whole of humanity. Our hearts go out to the jawans and their families. May their sacrifices never be in vain.

The widespread anguish of the nation is palpable, and the spontaneous commitment to combat terrorism is resolute. Every action has a reaction, but an intelligent human action of the nation should have a responsible response, if it has to succeed in its efforts to eradicate the despicable hydra-headed aatankwadis masquerading in stealth and diabolical deceit. Our response should be prudent and meticulously planned, so that no one of goodwill is alienated from this humongous challenge and united task of the nation.

Having such a vision and perspective will not allow any room for sowing seeds of disunity and hate among our varied regions and communities. Shrill cries for instantaneous retaliation, vendetta and retribution, and vociferous demands for surgical strikes will only escalate the ongoing spiral of violence. Calls for a blanket ban and discrimination against students or organised violence against groups after branding them as terrorist sympathisers are dangerous and disruptive trends that will hijack the war against terror. We must place our trust in our political leadership and security experts who are best equipped to handle this pressing challenge.

To understand the urgency of the problem at hand, we quote Pope Francis who recently said at Abu Dhabi, "History shows that religious extremism, national extremism and also intolerance have produced in the world, be it in the East or West, what might be referred to as signs of a "third World War being fought piecemeal."

It should not be forgotten that terrorism is a crime, and it must be fought taking full advantage of criminal law and international mutual assistance among police and judicial authorities. Security or military means are never sufficient by themselves to combat terrorism, and seldom lead to desired outcomes.

On the other hand, measures to wipe out the tyranny of terrorism must scrupulously respect human rights, international humanitarian law, and due process. The United Nations has a key role in assisting Member States to prevent terrorist activities becoming threats to international peace, and must be the pivot of our endeavours to completely wipe out the tyranny of terror.