Every time there is a terrorist attack, only one image comes to my mind – a 10 year old girl blowing herself up in a crowded market place. Boko Haram had convinced her to become a human bomb and she blew herself up in a crowded market place killing hundreds .. I can’t convince my 70 year old mom to sit still for 5 minutes. I wonder what they told her, I wonder what they told her parents or whether she was an orphan. When LTTE started using young boys and girls as soldiers there was a huge outrage and rightfully so … But making 10 year olds become suicide bombers is unthinkable.
Why do we never hear of Bill Gates being recruited by a terrorist outfit ? Or a Mukesh Ambani or Shah Rukh Khan or Richard Branson … They are all human beings and have the same problems that all of us do – we can be brain washed or hypnotised or coerced to do some things when our loved ones are in danger – what sets them apart ?
I wonder why no one in Africa is trying to find a cure for obesity … And all the research to find a “fat” gene happens in the US and Europe ? It’s the same question that needs to be asked for terrorism – why did the Boko Haram choose Nigeria to operate ? Could they have convinced a 10 year old from a middle class family in America to become a human bomb ? I doubt it.
In the animal world there is no terrorism .. They also have territories, they also eat, copulate, sleep, play, have families, friends and are at the mercy of the elements. They are intelligent too – they stay alive by finding food and adapt to their environment. What makes the supremely intelligent man to become a terrorist and kill wantonly ?
Think of the business world – you manufacture and sell products or services, employ people after checking if they have the skills to help your business, pay people enough to keep them moving along and you put away the profits for a rainy day. When your products or services are no longer needed by others, your business suffers and you can either change your product or service or decide to shut down. Now just bring the same logic to the business of terrorism – the service you offer is to create unrest and trouble in some countries in the world. The country changes depending on the who is buying this service. How do you recruit ? Either you find a cause that these folks can get excited about or you put them under duress (hurt their loved ones) or you drug them. A minuscule portion of the employees may love to kill fellow human beings, but that variety is really small. Most people want to make lots of money and can cheat easily for it but not kill easily for it.
Terrorism is a sunrise industry now, because inequality is at its peak and technology has made it possible to showcase this inequality in graphic detail…. Every poor citizen of the world may die of hunger but he is never deprived of television. What programs do we show ? Food, clothes, travel, comforts. The security guard’s son sees a movie star’s son eating Pizza and wants to eat it too…. It will burn a hole in his dad’s pocket so he is upset for a few days. If there was no television he would not have seen it often enough to get interested. Nothing wrong with the movie star’s son eating a pizza and enjoying it, but the fact that a security guard’s son can’t do it everyday is brought out in technicolor on TV. Some security guard’s son may use it to spur himself and some just “spud” themselves.
When that security guard’s son steals the pizza he goes to jail and is beaten up … In the same way the world is behaving as an ostrich with its head buried in the sand when it comes to terrorism – we keep solving the symptoms but never get to the root of the issue. Inequality. Inequality of opportunities – Bill Gates’ son will get admitted to Harvard over a phone call, I will have to clear a few exams and take a student loan, but for a kid in Somalia to reach Harvard will be more difficult than climbing the Everest without an oxygen tank. Till we don’t address this inequality of opportunities caused by poverty, color and religion – we cannot solve terrorism. Terrorism is making money and you cannot stop human beings from making money because we human beings have made money the most important thing in life. Terrorism is making money for many people and that’s why there is no concerted effort to shut this business down.
Inequality of opportunity cannot be solved by doles, appeasement, reservations or communism. We are all born in-equal, unique. We just need a level playing field to excel. A level playing field can be created by opening borders and opening minds, having a dialogue. Are the world leaders capable of doing it ? NO. Everyone is protecting their territory and working from a scarcity mentality. So expect the bad news to get worse.
Isn’t the world an ostrich ? And a foolish one at that !! What a lost opportunity not just lives :(:(:(