Dr. Anil Athale,
Insurgency wars in the later half of the 20th century were a tool for the `weaker’ Communist bloc to change the global power balance. Open confrontation carried the risk of escalation and the Communist powers were at a disadvantage in the field of technologies of conventional weapons. The insurgents relied on guerrilla tactics that precluded the use of heavy weapons. Thus, the insurgents successfully managed to dictate the terms of engagements. Captain B. H. Liddle Hart in his foreword to the book on Mao’s thoughts on guerrilla war says,
“Campaigns of this kind, (revolutionary wars) are more likely to continue because they fit the condition of modern age, while at the same time well suited to take advantage of social discontent, racial ferment and nationalistic fervour” Guerrilla war is thus a low cost, low risk option for a weaker party to change the political map despite adverse power balance. In addition, protection of human rights has emerged as an issue of global concern making the task of countering insurgency even more difficult. Often the guerrillas can provoke a fire fight in crowded area and virtually paralyse the reaction capability of the security forces. This has added a new dimension to the potency of guerrilla warfare. What was new in Mao’s and Che Guevara’s theories was the degree of emphasis on politics. Insurgency wars could well be called `armed politics’ rather than the conventional way of treating it as politics by other means. Mao brought down politics from the level of policy to the level of tactics and morale of an individual soldier. This showed shrewd understanding of the circumstances under which the guerrillas operate.. Mao’s emphasis on indoctrination and ideology was a direct result of his understanding of insurgency as a protracted war. Human element is thus of crucial importance. Wearing down the enemy and lowering his morale are concepts that are also common to all forms of warfare. But in revolutionary war the order gets reversed. In the classical concept, destruction of armed power leads to collapse of enemy’s morale and eventual victory, while in the Maoist conception, it is the loss of morale that leads to the defeat of enemy’s armed forces and victory.
Large parts of
A sociologist gives primacy to 'social order' in maintaining peace. There are administrative, legal and political perspectives on internal violence. But administration or law are methods or means to maintain peace, essentially there are only two major perspectives ie political and social. In the political view, it is the state that has primacy. Use of force to achieve state aims including keeping peace, is regarded as legitimate both internally and internationally. In case of social order maintained by society, force or violence, signifies the breakdown of order. Upheavals or revolutions are not normal but an abnormal social phenomenon. On the other hand, in political perspective, use of force or violence is an accepted norm. Much of ideological conflict and condemnation of use of force, internally, could be attributed to this basic divergence between social and political perspectives.
Democracy has been widely accepted as the ideal form of government. The political acts of the state, including use of force, have to be taking place in the democratic framework. At the apex, social order rests on consensus on values, goals, means and rules of the game. When such a society is also geographically and historically linked, a state is born. This consensus or willing consent of the majority of the ruled to accept rules of the game is not majoritarianism. The consensus and legitimacy is due to the 'values' that are universal, non-discriminatory and in tune with the prevailing international and philosophical norms. This adherence to norms and values has to be de-jure as well as de-facto. If the state is dependent merely on the majoritarianism and consensus, then the minorities pose a perennial problem
INSURGENCY AND TERRORISM
There is indeed much truth in the
fact that the West dominated world order has been unfair to the Asians,
Africans and Latin Americans. The victims of injustice are not just Muslims but
citizens of all third world countries. Sensible countries and societies
therefore embarked on the path of ‘DEVELOPMENT’. Today the erstwhile third
world countries like
There is the mistaken notion of ‘everything is fair in love and war.’ By that token even an acid attack due to a one sided love could be justified- it is not. Similarly, even within war, from ancient times there have been rules of the game, norms and ethics, written or unwritten, which are more or less universally observed. Once a terrorist act is clearly defined, the UN must enforce a universal adherence to mandatory and exemplary punishment to the supporting organisations, instigators, helpers and propagators of this METHOD of resistance.
Terrorism is global issue and
needs global solution. In the 1980s when the world faced a rash of aircraft
hijacking, a world consensus was built around the agreement that NO COUNTRY
WOULD GIVE SHELTER TO THE HIJACKERS. As a result of this measure hijackings
have been more or less controlled. Similarly the world needs to clearly define
a terrorist acts- as distinct from actions of Guerrilla fighters or militants. This may well entail
some form of legitimisation of Guerrilla war on the lines of
Counter terror operations have lost much of its popular support by terming it a WAR ON TERRORISM. Instead it should be treated as a counter-insurgency. The implication is that the force used must be adequate and discriminate and not maximum and indiscriminate. In addition the emphasis must be on isolating the terrorists from support base and NOT destruction of supporting people.
The obvious objection to this would be that it would mean a licence for Guerrilla War. Which is true. But mankind has lived with this form of warfare since ancient times. By separating Guerrilla war from terrorism, the world would certainly become safer.
DEALING WITH GHQ OF TERROR INC:
For long Indian complaints on
this score were ignored by the world at large by bestowing legitimacy to Pak
proxy terror against
ROLE FOR INDIAN MUSLIMS
It is indeed a matter of great
It is indeed fortunate that the
attackers in Ayodhya failed or else
consequences for peace in
I must end with two personal encounters that show the kind of pluralism that we all can be proud of. Some time ago while attending a wedding I was struck by the interesting sight of Muslim Fakirs seeking donations for a ‘Darga’ out side a Hindu marriage hall. Neither the Fakirs saw anything a miss in it nor did the Hindus who donated to good cause feel anything odd in it!
The other day while travelling from Mumbai to Pune by Deccan Queen, I encountered a ‘Fakir’ with his green bandana and burning incense, similarly seeking donations from all and giving blessings of Allah to all- very obviously Hindus!
The truth is that these Fakirs have grasped the true spirit of Islam that calls for brother hood and peace for all mankind. Unfortunately the so called monopolisers of Islam have distorted the message by adding ‘Islamic’ to all. So for them brotherhood is also confined to “Islamic Brotherhood” or the tribe of ‘believers’ is also similarly confined to only ‘Islamic Believers’ , both distortions of the message of Quran. Much of the current problems can be traced to this narrow definition and tunnel vision.
In this crisis faced by Islam
world wide, Indian Muslims with their Sufi traditions and universalistic
message of Islam could and ought to play the leading role. As the world’s second largest
concentration of Muslim community living in a pluralistic society they could be
role model along with