Terror in the age of freedom
Mains Paper 3: Internal Security
Prelims level: Not much
Mains level: Linkages between development and spread of extremism.
- A night before Ramzan in 2017, as part of the celebrations,
children in the suburbs of Jakarta were marching with torches.
- The children were chanting: “Kill Ahok! Kill Ahok!” [Ahok was the
nickname of Basuki Tjahaya Purnama, the Jakarta governor].
- Basuki’s family had Chinese and Christian connections.
- When he sought a second term, his opponents attacked him on racial
grounds and launched a communal campaign against him. Not only did he lose
the election, he was also sent to prison on charges of blasphemy. The
children were celebrating the coming of the holy month by shouting death
threats against him!
- Violence in the name of God is surely not new. But in this case,
the mob included commoners and children.
Challenges of Indonesia
- Indonesia may seek to present itself as a friendly and tolerant
country, but it has had its share of religious extremism.
- Borobudur, a 19th-century Buddhist temple, was bombed by a group
of jihadis in 1985. In 2000, Christmas celebrations ended with the bombing
of churches in several cities. One year, one month, and one day after 9/11,
a group of terrorists killed more than 200 people in Kuta, Bali, a
predominantly Hindu province.
- The attacks on non-Muslims are carried out in the name of Allah,
but in many circumstances the victims are Muslims.
- Terrorism existed, but it was a faraway, unpredictable event.But
for most people, terrorism was nothing but another piece of news.
- They argued briefly to the extent that, eventually, it felt like
an event that happened in India, Palestine or Germany.
- Terrorism may never succeed in overthrowing the government, or in
controlling large territories. But one thing has become very clear: The
terrorists have managed to implant the idea of violence and hatred in
- Embracing the idea of violence and hatred does not make a person a
terrorist or perpetrator of violence. But continuous expressions of
hostility and contempt would have created something worse than terrorism
Why is there so much bloodshed in the name of God?
- In Indonesia, Muslims are arguably the main actors.
- In other places, terrorism could involve people who follow other
- In every corner of the world, “us” versus “them” has became the
discourse at the grass roots as well.
- The idea of religion as a peaceful path has been shattered.
- The idea that humanism will promote equality and union also lies
- We are at a crossroads, where broader human values are being
replaced by exclusive group values.
- Justice, equality, fairness, and peace only apply to groups. It is
only about “us”, and never concerns “others”.
This is a paradox
- Modern technology has been accelerating rapidly but it has not
made people citizens of the world.
- Instead, people tend to fortify themselves in a group that
distinguishes itself from another.
- In Indonesia, freedom arrived with the fall of the Suharto
dictatorship democracy Freedom of the press and free speech achievements in
the economic, political and cultural spheres.
- At the same time, in the name of freedom and democracy, radical
ideas such as enforcement of the Islamic law in daily life and the
establishment of an Islamic State, are being talked about.
- These radicals do not recognise that their ideas are
anti-democratic and do not value freedom.
- In some areas, Islamic law eventually became the official law, as
in the province of Aceh, where caning as a punishment has been reinstated.
- For some people, the opening up led to a flood of aspirations. For
many others, it meant a threat.
- It could lead to new knowledge, wisdom, prosperity, power, and
even the making of new civilisations.
- It could also mean new disease, tyranny and war. The internet and
digital revolution could lead to contradictory outcomes.
- It could trigger aspirations in one set of people, whereas a
larger number of people could feel threatened.
- Those who feel threatened could act in self-defence.
- This is when the “us” versus “them” discourse and the struggle in
the name of God become one and the same.
- The world, of course, will continue to move forward. Either we
resist or humanity will crumble.
Q.1) The ratio of total additional planned savings in an economy to the
total additional income of the economy is known as:
(a) Marginal propensity to consume (MPC)
(b) Savings rate
(c) Marginal propensity to save (MPS)
(d) Consumption rate
Q.1) “Terrorism is emerging as a competitive industry over the last few
decades.” Analyze the above statement.