Thursday, July 07, 2005

The London Blasts

Amit Varma posted a response to the London Blasts here, and it was promptly congratulated as being "close to perfection" by DesiPundit.

To quote Amit:

This isn't just an attack on the UK, but, like the attacks of 9/11, they're an attack on a way of life and a value-system, one that is dear not just to Western countries, but to millions in the developing world, like me.

I've gotten used to hearing such statements from Western politicians (esp Bush) after 9/11. I never was comfortable with the argument. Reading an Indian blogger espouse the same views got me into thinking on why exactly I disagreed with these statements. My conclusions are as follows.

1. I dont condone the blasts, but I think the reasons for the blasts can be understood without being on "their side".

2. The attack was not quite on a way of life, but the attempt at imposing this way of life across the world - which is how globalisation aka Americanisation are perceived by quite a few people in the developing countries.

3. In a sense, the blasts are a part of the way of life Amit mentions. The globalized world bestows people with certain basic rights which are exploited by those who perpetrate such crimes. Earlier, all they could do was probably fight their local wars and kill each other. But in today's world, they have the wherewithal to export fear. In short, they globalize fear. (I think Friedman mentioned something related to this in The Lexus and The Olive Tree)

4. To extend my previous point, the western idea of a globalized world is one that is truly connected. Ok, but what then about the geo-political tensions across the world? That according to the western view shall be limited to a certain locus of comfort, right? How can a restless Middle East be localized in a global world?

5. Amit also went on to say "Concepts like personal freedom, equality of women and, in fact, human rights are alien to those behind the attack, and they must be defeated." Imo the current Indian society doesnt believe in any of these concepts either. Or do we?

6. If I might be a little provocative, perpetrators of such crimes are like violent kids. Solving the problem that causes and sustains this violent streak in the child is the only permanent solution. I'm not trying to imply the London criminals were victims themselves - more like if there wasnt a problem back home, they wouldnt have the power and finance to go ahead with these activities.

7. Here's what I would like Bush/Blair to do as a reaction to the London blasts (Its more of a dream, actually) - Identify key issues that trouble Muslim societies around the world - Palestine, poverty and illiteracy would probably be the top-most ones. Rally around the world to solve these problems in a concerted manner on top priority.

8. In short, stop whining about how you are being such a good boy and others are just jealous of you. Get working on the problems humanity is facing right now.

2 Value-adds:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Varath,

Good Post!


July 09, 2005 11:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

u kno wat...
i show ppl this article, and impress them by telling them that i used to sit next to u in class...

...of course, i talk nothing abt ur grades....

- kabutar.

June 20, 2007 5:04 PM  

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