By Ratan Bhattacharjee
November is ‘the cruellest month both for Mumbai and Paris. On 13/11 the world saw another terrorist cataclysm in the City of Love and Art, the land which once ushered in hopes for mankind, in the catchword of liberty and fraternity. Now the question of security is more important. 26/11 in Mumbai seems to have been repeated in 13/11 in Paris. If in the me of religion things occur like this, then we need no religion.
Terrorism has no tiolity or religion. The self-styled apostles of Islamic State in Syria emerged on the global scene for causing the bloodbath in the me of religion. At other places terrorism wreaks havoc with other excuses as Jihad in Kashmir. Friday is usually holy for Muslims and the number 13 is unholy for the Christians. On Friday, November 13, the tragic happenings in Paris sent a cold shiver down our spine. No place is being spared by the terrorists. People of nearly 15 countries were affected because of the Paris attack that killed 129 people and wounded 352. It is incredible to assume that only Parisian Christians went to the concert hall to watch a rock band. Children, women and old men too were there who can by no means be the target of terrorists on any excuse. Suicide assassins rammed into the Bataclan Concert Venue of Paris where nearly 1500 people in the audience including children, women and senior citizens were watching the US band Eagles of Death Metal and became unfortutely the soft targets of terrorists who justified their attack relating it to their revenge for French airstrikes on Raqqa, the Capital of the so-called Islamic state in Syria. Real Muslims explain Islam as the religion of peace. But the attackers targeted Stade de France , Le Carillen , Casa Nostra Rue, Le Belle Equipe Rue and we shiver in fear imagining what could happen if they all succeeded in wrecking destruction and carge and all in the me of Islam. There is every reason for worrying about terrorism becoming a global malady taking an epidemic turn. Earlier in the 9/11 incident suicide bombers killed thousands of people by ramming a wide-bodied aircraft into the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon. In Mumbai the terrorists did the worst of carges. There are nearly no ways to stop terrorism as fear prevails. Our feelings are getting paralysed and what we need is the removal of fear. Fear is to be overcome and we must counter the audacious gimmicks of the terrorists if needed. The ISIS will have to be effaced from this planet that loves peace and liberty.
The immediate reason that comes to surface according to the war alysts and the reports gathered by the European intelligence agencies is that a group situated in Syria was organising attacks on places situated in Belgium and was inciting them to act on French territory. The barbaric terror strike calls for coordited intertiol response and G-20 summit has surely taken firm decisions to stop terrorists unleashing more violence globally. It is ironical that these leaders played a silent spectator’s role when Pakistani ISIS organised the Mumbai attack. India appealed again and again to the world leaders and even in the UNO not to remain unconcerned about the terrorists as the tragic memory of 26/11 is still alive. Today all are becoming worried about the ISIS but over the years India has suffered for the clandestine activities of the ISI of Pakistan. Soon after the Charlie Hedo Massacre in January, the second shock wave was felt in Paris on 13/11. Europe is now facing the same problem as India.
Preventive measures are required in Mumbai, Delhi or other Indian cities and India’s secular parties must remain united against Muslim extremism. It is a time of reckoning that jihadis have expanded their venomous tentacles globally. ISIS in Syria or Pakistan or anywhere else in the world can wreak havoc and no one can remain blind to the horrible carges which may wait for us in our careless moments.
The Paris carge was an attack against the civilized world. The world is now expressing solidarity with the peace loving people of France and giving full support to hunt down the perpetrators. It is imperative that G-20 leaders put an end to fince, supplies and communication channels of terrorists. UN Secretary General Ban Ki- Moon rightly asserted that he would soon present a comprehensive action plan to prevent violent extremism. The need of the hour is to address the underlying drivers of violent extremism so that the cycle of killings cannot be perpetrated again and again. Terror can strike anywhere. France stands for liberty, equality and fraternity and Paris is a symbol of all positive values of humanity including the Revolution and the dreams of a new millennium. Today the Luvre is closed, the Eiffel Tower is closed. Emergency is imposed. This has to change; dark days cannot linger too long. After the darkness the dawn of peace and love will prevail. Our heart bleeds for the fellow Parisians and those who are affected by the carge. But the dark cloud of anger and hate will be dispelled soon. It is hoped that Paris will come back to normalcy, people again be going to the concert hall to watch US band Eagles of Death Metal to sing the lines: ‘And it’s not my purpose to break your spirit/ I’m not really interested in what’s in your heart/ I don’t want you to fall in love now, so please don’t start / I only want you.”
Terrorism cannot say the last word. As in Mumbai the scars are now forgotten, the anger subsided, with a calm mind all passions will be spent after the tragic catastrophe in Paris. Only the resolution to combat terrorism in any form will continue and endure!
(Dr. Ratan Bhattacharjee is an Associate Professor and Head of Post Graduate, Department of English, Dum Dum Motijheel College, Kolkata.)