The foundation of any good relationship is care, commitment and communication. And when even one of these three essential ingredients is missing, discontentment creeps into the relationship. If not remedied in time, this could lead to alienation and a complete breakdown in relations.
Come election time and all political candidates promise to commit themselves to care and always keep the communication lines open between themselves and the common man. They commit to address the grievances of the constituency, the state, the nation, and the world. Such promises are doled out freely with not much thought given to keeping them, but when they are broken and when the trusting voter/citizen feels betrayed, the price to be paid for such betrayal is unimaginable.
Years and years of broken promises and betrayed trust lead to a simmering discontentment amongst the people. When people are dissatisfied with the elected government, they first try communicating through petitions. If the grievances raised are not addressed, then the next step is protests, strikes and bandhs. If all civilised methods of resistance fail, then threats are issued, and the last resort is brutal force in the form of "terrorism".
People look upon the elected leaders/governments as those who have promised to undertake the task of nurturing the welfare of the people, just like parents who are supposed to see to the welfare of the children in a family. Central and state governments thus play the role of parents in the family.
A family is known as dysfunctional when the desired goals of closeness, self-expression and meaning cannot be attained by the family members. When this happens, symptomatic behaviour occurs. Juvenile delinquency is the direct result of a dysfunctional family and association with terrorist outfits and anti-social groups with separatist tendencies. It is nothing but a desperate and misguided attempt by the discontented children of our society, at creating a world, a family for themselves.
The children of self-centred and psychologically immature parents who do not make the welfare of the children their number one priority, feel like emotional orphans, and when they cannot find emotional fulfilment at home, they start looking for it elsewhere. Similarly, when people do not feel nourished and cared for in their own motherland, in their own world, and when communication, protests and threats do not seem to work, then separatist and rebellious tendencies start developing. They then start seeking a homeland, the right of self-determination and start living by their own rules.
The psychology of suicide terrorism
The growing number of terror attacks has provoked many reactions and responses from all over the world. Defence experts talk of retaliation, security personnel talk of beefing up security measures, politicians talk of a war between the civilised world and terrorists, between good and evil. But no one has tried to fully understand what led to this. What converts a human being into a Frankenstein? No one has tried to explore the psychology of the suicide bombers, and understood completely what causes people to want to die. Terrorism does not come from nowhere. It has a deep root and stems from extreme frustration and anguish.
When the children of our world feel abandoned by our leaders and moral keepers of our world; when they find that there is no forum to air their grievances; when their petitions are repeatedly dismissed and promises repeatedly broken; then there arises in them the deepest form of hopelessness and powerlessness. Such people are not only willing, but eager to undertake suicide missions, and they play right into the hands of the evil ambitious leaders who can then drive them to do anything.
Suicide terrorism demonstrates a serious thought disorder in the minds of certain people who venture into suicide and homicide together. Terrorism is the wickedness of a humiliated people and this menace cannot be eradicated unless the reasons that create terrorism are not addressed.
The way to healing
Having said this, I would like to clarify that this is in no way a justification for the terrorism and anti-social activities happening along border states in India, or anywhere else in the world. But, it is in fact an attempt at understanding the entire dynamics behind such activities. It is an attempt at getting to the root of the problem.
It is therefore, futile to condemn the power-hungry sharks who feed on the discontented children. It is even more futile to punish the misguided youth. These discontented, angry and misguided children need to be allowed to express themselves verbally, and give catharsis to their anger. They need to be understood and their grievances addressed, and they need to be taken back into the family fold.
Terrorism is a scourge that must be removed, but only through suitable diplomatic and political moves. What is truly required for genuine healing is for the entire family to get involved in therapy, and to form a community based on the equal worth of all.
What needs to be done?
- Sincere attempts have to be made by elected heads of state and upholders of democracy to evaluate their own contribution to the problem and steps have to be taken to eliminate it.
- The parents [the government] need to work in harmony with each other.
- Direct communication needs to be established between the parents [the government] and the unhappy children [terrorists].
- A selfless commitment to care for the welfare of the people must be top priority.
- The disgruntled youth must be willing to open up themselves to trust once again.
- They must also re-evaluate their demands and be totally and completely reasonable in their requests.
- We, as brothers and sisters of our estranged siblings, must be willing to accept them back into the family fold once more.
- Mistrust and bitterness needs to be put aside to find a way forward.
- And above all, every member of this world family must have the real will for co-existence, with each one keeping his side of the bargain and committing to live by the principles of care, commitment and communication under any circumstances.
It is only then that true healing can start, and we can have our very own Garden of Eden.
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