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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Prosecution’s nightmare —Ejaz Haider

What does one do when terrorists are involved and one government is accusing another — or, as in this case, accusing “non-state” actors on another’s territory as having done this?

Take the legal course and one gets trumped. Kill the terrorist and beget more. In any case, a killed terrorist doesn’t help make the case one wants to — against a people or a government.

Moral: difficult though it may be, look at what is causing people to kill and get killed. No one wants to die; and except for psychopaths, no one wants to kill gratuitously. Still, people kill and get killed. The problem is way more complex than we try and make it out to be. Easy categorisation is today’s political Ockham’s Razor and helps us retain and deepen fault-lines and identities. But that is precisely where we tend to go wrong.

Make the terrorist irrelevant and the only way to do that is for the states to contextualise the problem before everyone can live in peace.- Prosecution’s nightmare —Ejaz Haider

Tailpiece: For a scholarly exposition of Mumbai and what is involved, see Professor Veena Das’ “Jihad, Fitna and Muslims in Mumbai” on her SSRC blog.


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