Google+ Consumer Psyche: Election + Blasts


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Election + Blasts

All over the world, a killer is a killer and a rapist is a rapist. Only in India do criminals have religious and caste identities: they are either Hindus, Muslims or tribals, each with their own political protectors and detractors. Terrorism all over the world is a law and order and police issue: only in India is terrorism about competitive identity politics. Now, as we enter election season, bombs are being wrapped in party manifestos.

Political stances on bomb blasts do not focus on ensuring fair and just law and order, rigorous investigation and tough impartial policing. Instead "terrorism" is all about how well we understand the Koran and how many times we visit the masjid. At a time when many thinking Muslims are trying to distance themselves from terrorism, politicians, by contrast, are forcing the dialogue backwards and are determined to make religious identity the sole definition of those knocking up lethal mixtures of ammonium nitrate and ball bearings. Is it not a supreme condescension to the Muslim community to assume that they will vote for politicians who do not believe that bombers need to be brought to book?

Both "secular" and "communal" parties are repeatedly confusing criminality with religion. It is only a tough fair-minded cop who will catch the criminal. A political-ideological netaji, both saffron and secular, will only succeed in making the "terrorist" more powerful than he is. Bomb blasts must be left to the police and to the investigative agencies. Politicians must stay firmly out of conjuring up identity politics from the smoke of ammonium nitrate.

Rajdeep Sardesai

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