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January 26, 2016

THE MENACE TERRORISM : A GLOBAL AFFAIR




THE MENACE TERRORISM : A GLOBAL AFFAIR



The Pathankot attack on 2nd Jan 2016 is highly monstrous and cowardice. In the attack India lost many of his heroes.  Media reports suggested that the attack was an attempt to derail a fragile peace process meant to stabilise the deteriorated relations between India and Pakistan as several evidence was found linking the attackers to Pakistan. The attack on our own Indian Parliament was also one which again checked our patience. We were always united and doing action like these will make us even more unite and fight more strongly than ever against it. Last year of Paris attack, Twin Tower attack in USA, years ago of Mumbai attack, kargil, middle east affair make us ponder where the World is going.

Terrorism is something which all over the world is a major problem at the moment. Its effects are very much that it can ruin a country's economy and can cause between the countries. Terrorists were not born but they were made in the name of religion. None of the religion preaches terrorism nor ask the followers to take the lives of other people but it was preached by wrong leaders and innocent people fall as a prey and lose their lives and kill other people as well.

Terrorism is an International issue. Terrorism has become a global phenomenon and a kind of global awakening and enlightenment against terrorism has been created .Terrorism contains four elements. The first is a threat of violence or an act of violence. Next is a political objective. Third is that violence and threat of violence is a direct attack on civilians making civilians a primary target. Lastly, it is perpetrated by a supporting a nation or nations of terrorism. The terrorist attacks in France and Denmark and the sharp rise in terrorist activity in the countries of North Africa and the Middle East have focused the international community’s efforts on areas beyond fighting the terrorist activities of organizations like Al-Qaeda. The ongoing flow of foreign fighters from many countries into Syria and Iraq, and the threat to their countries of origin upon their return, in combination with the globalization of the threat of the violent extremism of the Islamic State (ISIL), have centred discussions in the European institutional organs and internationally on issues having to do with prevention of terrorism, including deterring the radicalization and recruitment of young terrorists, confronting violent extremism, and intercepting the financial flows fuelling terrorism.

In spite of the extensive legal and political debates, spanning decades, the question still remains: ''What is terrorism?'' With no common international legal definition, on what grounds do countries establish and pursue a terrorist entity? And could this void in definition provide a smokescreen for governments to orchestrate state sponsored terrorism by clamping down on legitimate political movements - both domestic and foreign? Countries across the world are being terrorised and ravaged by extremism; both territory and minds conquered by a militant and ideological crusade. Right or wrong, the mere mention of the word “terrorism” conjures up images of bearded Muslim men – holding AK 47 - intent on eradicating any thought, person or object which runs contrary to their narrow fundamentalist ideology. Terrorism did not begin with the attacks of September 11th, 2001 in New York City and Washington DC, or in April 1995 with the bombing in Oklahoma City, or with the hostage taking at the Munich Olympics in 1972. Nor did terrorism begin with the Cold War or the establishment of the Soviet Union after World War I. Nor has terrorism been restricted to activities by groups from the Middle East or those parts of the world with large Muslim populations. Terrorism has been a nearly universal phenomenon. There is no doubt that extremist Muslims are a driving force behind terrorism in the Middle East and South Asia, but the problem is clearly a much wider one. Ignoring this fact is to jeopardise our ability to comprehensively tackle the scourge that is terrorism.

In recent years , terrorist networks have evolved , moving away from a dependency on state sponsorship , many of the most dangerous groups and individuals now operate as nonstate players. Taking advantage of porous borders and interconnected international systems-finance, communications and transit-terrorists groups can reach every corner of the globe. While some remain focused on local or national political dynamics, others seek to affect global change.

The international counterterrorism regime continues to suffer from three main weaknesses. First, lack of a universal agreement over what constitutes terrorism weakens efforts to formulate a concerted global response. Second, multilateral action suffers from inadequate compliance and enforcement of existing instruments. Third, although counterradicalization and deradicalization initiatives have gained some attention over the last five years, progress is lacking, particularly in states with limited resources and expertise. Presently the counterterrorism regime lacks a central global body dedicated to terrorist prevention and response. The landscape for counterterrorism activity thus lacks coherence. It is multilayered-ranging from legally binding instruments and strategic guidelines, to multilateral institutions and regional frameworks. 

Terrorism is a global problem but also a relatively localized one. Last year, 82 percent of terrorist attacks counted by the GTI occurred in just six countries: Iraq, India Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria, and Syria. In all of these countries, there are large regions where the government is fighting with militant groups for political control. These attacks were primarily carried out by four groups: the Taliban, Boko Haram, ISIS, and various affiliates of al-Qaida. While these six countries dominate global terrorism, the report also notes that there were nine additional countries last year that had more than 50 terrorism deaths, bringing the total number to 24-the highest in 14 years. These were: Algeria, Central African Republic, China, Egypt, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Sudan, and South Sudan.

There are the 3 main factors associated with terrorism:

Greater social hostilities between different ethnic, religious and linguistic groups, lack of intergroup cohesion and high levels of group grievances. Presence of state sponsored violence such as extrajudicial killings, political terror and gross human rights abuses. Higher levels of other forms of violence including deaths from organized conflict, likelihood of violent demonstrations, levels of violent crime and perceptions of criminality.


Is there any business behind terrorism? When Al-Qaida first began to form under Osama Bin Laden, members of the organization wre recruited from communities that already had a large presence in the organization. They were then taught and essentially radicalized in the infamous madrasas, partnered with a mentor, and eventually worked their way up in the ranks of the organization.

Today, terrorist organizations including ISIS rely heavily on Twitter and Facebook to reach out to potential recruits -- those who are friends or family with someone already affiliated with the organization. From most of the terrorism research available, Abrahms said, those who join terrorist groups like ISIS are the most "ignorant people with respect to religion and they are generally the newest members to the religion." 

Terrorist leaders are deadly sadistic psychopath to the humanitarian to the idealistic driven. Dozens of young men - neighbours, sons, friends, from places like London and Minnesota - had left their homes to join the terrorist’s organisations. They are driven to join ISIS by the need to “belong to something special and got a purpose for the Higher Calling.” Do terrorists have their reasons for committing atrocities? Sometimes people do what they do for the reasons they profess. Sometimes not, because what they do is motivated by reasons that are too dark, shameful, or bizarre to be openly acknowledged. Sometimes people do things that are so morally contentious that when called to account they are liable to justify, rather than to explain, their actions. They are highly motivated. Terrorism scholar John Horgan opined, “The most valuable interviews I’ve conducted [with former terrorists] have been ones in which the interviewees conceded, ‘To be honest, I don’t really know,’’ he writes. “Motivation is a very complicated issue. To explain why any of us does anything is a challenge.” It’s a challenge further compounded by the fact that some actions are informed by multiple motives, and even if these can be reliably identified it is often difficult to disentangle them and calculate their respective causal weight. “

According to anthropologist Scott Atran , who has dedicated his career to studying the psychology behind terrorism, with a recent emphasis on ISIS and how they radicalize youth. Atran has interviewed terrorists in the days leading up to their executions, rifled through terrorist training manuals and formed a broad understanding of what is going through the mind of a terrorist before, after and during an attack. “None of the ISIS fighters we interviewed in Iraq had more than primary school education,” according to Atran. “When asked ‘what is Islam?’ they answered ‘my life.’ They knew nothing of the Quran or Hadith.” Meanwhile in Europe, the average terrorist is a different breed. Foreigners join ISIS for the camaraderie, but are otherwise educated, emotionally stable people who, “fall within the mid-ranges of what social scientists call ‘the normal distribution’ in terms of psychological attributes like empathy, compassion, idealism, and wanting mostly to help rather than hurt other people,” Atran writes. “They are mostly youth looking for a new family of friends and fellow travellers with whom they can find significance.” Atran says, the youth are exceedingly easy to radicalize. What inspires kids to join ISIS, “is not so much the Qur’an or religious teachings,” Atran writes. “It’s a thrilling cause that promises glory and esteem. Jihad is an egalitarian, equal-opportunity employer: fraternal, fast-breaking, glorious, cool and persuasive.” As more anthropologists and psychologists begin chipping away at what makes terrorists tick, perhaps a real understanding of what drives terror will help us combat it in the future, and prevent these unspeakable tragedies.” The first step to combating terrorism is to understand it,” Atran writes. “We have yet to do so.”

How does one get out of this vicious circle? Of course it is not easy, and even a lot of the “peace movement” struggle on this answer, but perhaps if more voice was given in the media to these broader views, then alternative thoughts could be considered. True, more on peace-related alternatives are discussed in TV forums and debates, but when it comes to the actual reporting and one-on-one discussion and analysis, the context is limited to the current actions and options. The discussions are therefore within those confines, mostly.

Honestly, I don’t find any conclusion. Whatever the conclusion - it is still guessing.

Siddhartha Shankar Mishra
The Writer is a Lawyer ( Human Rights & Socio-Legal Awareness )





Judicial Manipulation Rocks the Nation




Judicial Manipulation Rocks the Nation

 Our judicial system is based on manipulative finesse and exploitative abilities of the lawyers. Smartness of the advocate or solicitor may allow the criminals to walk freely. Fairness of judicial system resuscitates the entire national edifice through distinguished and valuable verdicts, while maintaining symmetrical impartiality. The system ensures provision of justice to every citizen, irrespective of color, creed, caste, political affiliation, socio-economic status, prestige and degree of influence.

It took 13 long years to give a verdict on Salman’s rash and negligence driving, whether he was drunk or not, a diificult conundrum for the experts and obfuscating the process. He was involved in an accident at a footpath in Mumbai bandra area, where one got killed and four injured. There were two others in the car: Personal Security Officer (PSO) Ravindra Patil of the Mumbai Police (since dead) and Mr. Khan’s friend Kamaal Khan, a singer. Salman fled from the place of the occurrence. The FIR , was filed by the PSO , Ravindra patil at Badra Police Station , mentioned that Salman was driving irresponsibly  and was over indulged with alcohol intake . The Case got registered under Sec 304 ( Culpable homicide not amounting to murder )  / 294 ( Rash and negligent driving ) , along with sec 304 –A (causing death by negligence) and Section 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) of IPC and a few Motor Vehicle Act provisions. He was released on bail later on. After 10 days he was again arrested when the IPC section was altered to 304-Part II (culpable homicide not amounting to murder by an act with knowledge that it is likely to cause death, but without any intention to cause death). He was under judicial custody for 14 days and released on bail . A chargesheet was filed under sec 304 of the IPC , after investigation. The trial was knowingly delayed / prolonged for 7 years . The Court delivered the judgement of 5 years of rigorous imprisonment , he appealed before  the Mumbai High Court and he was acquitted of all the charges . ( Very funny , I am surprised as a lawyer , the incident happened in 2002  and the sessions trial began in December 2013 )

The FIR is an unchallenged and scared document and there was no unusual delay in reporting. There is a provision that if the person filing he can explain reasons for the delay to the court’s satisfaction, the report retains its value. There was no delay in this case. The FIR , only describes the basic facts of the incident rather describing everything in details , further it can be investigated thoroughly. It was a misfortune that Patil died before he could be examined before the Sessions Court. Patil was harassed by his own department and some outside elements to make Salman out of the mess. The sudden appearance of one Ashok Singh is quite surprising and a twist in the case, when he told he was driving the Car. According to me, it is an artificial statement and fabricated one. Further according to the defence, the accident happened because the tyre was burst. The motor vehicle inspector investigated the vehicle and noticed that there was puncture in the left wheel of the SUV, which might not lead to such mishappenning. The whole investigation was tawdry, poor-quality, inferior, and low graded. Salman’s verdict or acquittal was unjustified and irrational. He was acquitted under benefit of doubt not a complete and clean acquittal. This shows that there are flaws in our laws and our corrupt lawyers and leaders misuse them according to their whims and fancies and abuse the process of law. There is utter and urgent need to amend the defective Laws and Constitution.

In a democratic country like India, judiciary plays a vital role in establishing a state of justice. Therefore being the watchdog, they are not allowed to shift their burden to others for their failure to establish an actual State of Justice. It is judiciary on which millions of people have struck their faith of getting justice. It has the capability of imparting justice to the aggrieved. It is that part of our constitution which acts as its Messiah. It is that structure of our society, which cemented its place next to the God and if not properly dispensed will shatter down the entire trinity of democratic instrumentalists with checks balances, parliamentary structure and the judicial facets of our constitution. Generally, aggrieved with lots of pain anguish and hope in their heart approaches the court of law for their grievances to be clarified but at the end of the day the procedural lacuna left them with bare hands. They are denied of their most important right of Justice.

Take for example The massacre of Niroda Pataya is beyond descriptions, horrible, horrific, horrendous and it shivers down the spine. In the case, 97 people, mostly from minority community (Muslims), were killed in 2002.  The train Carnage at Godhra triggered, a massive riot in Gujrat , but Niroda Patiya is beyond imagination and highest death toll . In this case, all the Hindutva outfits were involved ( RSS, Bajrang Dal, VHP & some BJP leaders ) . They were outraging the modesty of the muslim women, torching women , children by burning them alive. The National Human Right Commission filed a Writ Petition against the Government of Gujrat & Others before the Supreme Court of India, which was
decided on 1/5/2009 . The prime accused were Babu Bajrangi , Raju Chobal, Harish Rohera , Kishan Korani , P.J.Rajput active member of VHP and BJP leading a mob of 15,000 to 17,000 , shouting , “ Attack and Kill “ . A special court 32 persons including a former BJP state minister under the then Narendra Modi government, Mayaben Kodnani along with Babu Bajrangi  , a former Bajrang Dal Convenor. 29 persons were acquitted under the benefit of doubt. Those who are convicted were found to be involved in guilty of murder, attempt to murder, conspiracy, spreading enmity and communal hatred and unlawful assembly under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Bombay Police Act. Some of them, including Suresh Chara, were also found guilty of rape and molestation. The conviction Kodnani, was a  Minister of State for Women and Child Welfare raised a demand for Mod’s resignation on moral grounds . But again it was twisted by Jayanarayan Vyas a spokeperson that Kodnani , a practising gynaecologist , was not a minister that time and her individual action could not interpreted or construed  as  the growing responsibility of the cabinet . The Niroda Patiya post – Godhra episode is one of most cruel some and darkest moments in the history of Independent India, claiming the highest number of bloodshed.

The reputation of India’s judiciary, considered overbearing and democratically unaccountable by many, has taken a knock with the publication of a report by Transparency International (TI) called the “Global Corruption Report”. A survey conducted by the Centre for Media Studies, finds that a very high 77 percent of respondents believe the Indian judiciary is corrupt. Money was paid to the officials in the following proportions: 61 percent to lawyers; 29 percent to court officials; 5 percent to middlemen. In a 12-month period it found was around 580 million dollars of bribes. “This is a wake-up call not just for India’s legal system, but for society and the state itself”, says Upendra Baxi, a highly regarded Indian jurist, former vice-chancellor of Delhi University, and professor at the University of Warwick in Britain. “It confirms what we have known for years and casts a shadow on the integrity of the judiciary. It also calls for urgent, drastic remedial measures.” “The report only covers the lower or subordinate judiciary and excludes the judges of the High Courts (of Indian states) and the (national) Supreme Court. There are credible reports that corruption has permeated the higher judiciary too,” said Baxi.

Judicial Corruption on rampant. “In India, impeachment is not feasible because it requires a huge (two-thirds) majority in Parliament,” argues Colin Gonsalves, a public interest lawyer with the Human Rights Law Network. “India’s parliamentary elections have produced hung verdicts for years. And it is virtually impossible to muster the numbers necessary for impeaching a judge. In 1993, V. Ramaswamy, a Supreme Court judge, was found culpable by a court committee. But he was politically well-connected and could not be impeached.” “The judicial system, including judges and lawyers, has developed a vested interest in delays as well as corruption; it promotes a collusive relationship between the different players” and this works against the public interest and the citizen’s rights. But even more important is the assault on rights that has occurred under the globalizing neoliberal turn made by India’s higher judiciary .

As a lawyer I can say , “ Verdict has no meaning it is only for the rich and powerful . “  A question arises, “ Does our justice system give equal treatment to rich and poor, equality of Justice ? Our legal system is based upon dispute resolution between parties and not to determine right or wrong. An individual is either guilty or not guilty. The use of the term "innocent" is vastly incorrect and the general media should cease the practice when reporting.  Within our system, the more money you have, the greater your chances of having access to expert legal advice. Access to savvy legal advice increases your chances of receiving an outcome that is more favourable to you. Lack of money results in the poor rarely have the same level of access to legal services, or favourable outcomes, as the privileged.

My Experience --- 4 years back I was fighting a case on behalf of the students pursuing MBA distant learning ICFAI, sambalpur . The ICFAI, duped the money of the students and wanted to shift the institute to some other place . On ICFAI side other associate of Lawyers and they  thrive under a political umbrella , there Chief is a National Secretary of a prominent national party, started creating delays... giving time petitions. I was calmly witnessing everything. They gave number of pleas that they were busy in some other courts and couldn't come, so time may be allowed . I immediately inquired whether the concerned lawyer was in the mentioned court or not. However, after facing much of obstacles I won the cases & the students recovered there hard earned money. They assaulted me because I was creating obstacles in their path. They manipulate judiciary by putting pressure on the lower court through Justices at the upper court. They do under table business. Whenever before approaching for a case, I pray to God , whether I am fighting for a cause or just for earning money. Since 7 years I am working on my conscience. I have faith on my God's timing. The emphasis is more on winning the case rather than ensuring that justice has been done. It is more important to see how smartly the case has been presented and how strong were the support arguments to influence the concerned honourable judge.

Our "justice" system is all about lawyers making money, people remaining in elected positions of power, and winning an argument. We are far more concerned about the rights of perpetrators rather than victims and over the years interpreting law has become an exercise in creative writing, such as defining what the word "is" is.  Mr. Nikhil Wagle, an eminent Journalist rightly tweeted, “When u defend corrupt corporates/netas you have no moral right to speak about corruption free India.Big lawyers must understand this.”

In India, Justice is beyond the reach of most and the right of access to it is not communicated to the citizens properly. In many a circumstances it was found that the litigant who has had access to the court failed to obtain quick relief and for some never have the opportunity even to knock the doors of the court due to ignorance and poverty. If we want justice to be accessible to all, then it must be relieved from the Laissez faire pattern, where justice like other commodity can be purchased and initiative must be taken to educate the populace.

Quest for justice has nothing to do with procedure or jurisdictional aspect rather it cares for its speedy disposal. Delay in disposal of cases is considered as one of the most vexed and worrying problem. It is the code of procedures, which makes it so worse. However personality likes Nani Phalkiwala opined that” Justice in common parlance is considered as blind but in India it is lame too and hobbles on crutches. It is on the verge of collapse with more than 30 million cases clogging the system. There are cases that take so much of time that even a generation is too short to get any type of redressal.”

India is free from the so called British Rule. From Cricket to
Judiciary India excels even Great Britain today. Naturally we are more British today than ever before. India badly needs today Indian Home Rule than ever before. The stumbling block for this Home Rule will be right from Indian Judiciary to Indian Lawyers down to political and apolitical elites sitting in National Capital Territory Delhi and State Capitals and exploiting the millions denizens. A Judge needs vacation. A Lawyer needs vacation. Both needs court rooms and files. Judges need salary enhancements and privileges and pensions. Lawyers need their fees whether the case is admitted or not and the judgment is in the litigants favor or not. They can dare for a Court Bandh or National Bandh. Where courts are busy in attending the appeals of their lower ones, and other such issues far away from the scope of the courts, humanity somewhere is left buried below the bunch of files which no one dares to uncover or we can say do anyone wants to extract these files out unless some political issue is attached to it.

Thus courts and judicial system transpire lifeline of every nation by providing breathing space and steadfast foundation for the victims and the feeble. The social order gets reinforced by excellence of judicial system and so is the case of moral values.
Good laws have their origins in bad morals. – Albert Einstein

Siddhartha Shankar Mishra,
The author is a Lawyer and work on Human Rights & socio-legal awareness,
Sambalpur , Odisha