There are many light hearted comments about World according to Americans. For them, world is US of A and anything beyond Pacific and Atlantic is alien. It is a huge exercise for self-absorbed Americans to understand the world. So, I am not surprised at the latest facts in the ‘World Fact Book’ of CIA.
I am amused that some people are upset about CIA ‘World Fact Book’ labelling VHP and Bajrangdal as militant, and calling Jamait Ulema-e-Hind as religious body. Indians of every hue are basically religious but very few are militants or terrorists.
I do not understand why we Indians should be sensitive to an organization like CIA’s views. Simple truth is that there are two worlds – one that we live in and one that CIA wishes to create according to the once unchallenged super power US of A.
To be more sure, I went to dictionary and Thesaurus to reconfirm my understanding of the terms, militant and terrorist. I believe that militancy is but one step away from terrorism. Forget CIA, our own liberal intellectuals too very easily interchange description of terrorists as militants whether it is North East or Kashmir. But, I believe even this is deliberate. Most left being closet supporters of Islamist, Maoist and organised Church influenced terrorists from Kashmir to Bastar to North East, like to call terrorists as militants. CIA being more sophisticated, has kept a degree of separation between the two.
Being conscious of my ‘desi’ acquired English knowledge, I refreshed my knowledge. It was very revealing.
Thesaurus has many synonyms for ‘Militant’ – aggressive, violent, belligerent, assertive, pushy etc. Colins says, you use ‘militant’ to describe people who believe in something very strongly and are active in trying to bring about political or social change, often in extreme ways that other people find unacceptable.
For Terrorist – Thesaurus gives synonyms as – bomber, rebel, subversive, even revolutionary. But, it is not as colourful as militant. Colins is more forthcoming . It says terrorist is a person who uses unlawful violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims. Or as an adjective, describes terrorists – unlawfully using violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims, and goes on to call such a group “a terrorist organizations.”
Well, well, now this puts me on a slippery path. Does it make CIA a terrorist organization, looking at its feat of overthrowing regimes using subversion and unlawful violence?
I try to recollect whether VHP has ever picked up arms or used violence to fulfil its aims? Except bringing down of Babri structure, a historic aberration due to historic circumstance; I could not think of any such violent effort by VHP to bring about political or social change. I wonder if being aggressive and assertive can be bracketed with ‘being violent’. Why should violent not bracketed with the word terrorist? But, then, this is limitation of colonials’ language that it is not rich enough in expression. Nor do ‘Gora sahibs’ ever feel the need to understand and update their language.
It takes years for circumspect CIA to name their one time allies as Terrorist till they turn against their CIA masters, like in Afghanistan and Pakistan. CIA itself has the distinction of propping up dictators or banana republics in pursuit of USA’s imperialist goals of dominating the world. It has to its credit overthrowing of democratically elected governments or its own erstwhile collaborators when it cannot control them. Reason can be oil or expanding military foot prints. Subversion is the key.
CIA is the brainchild of Harry Truman who created it under National Security Act in 1947 to strengthen US of A government’s hands in ‘Cold War’ era to take on rival power centre USSR. Fact is it was never a Cold War, in its wake lay scores of governments, thousands of hapless victims of CIA mechanisations. If you calculate loss of human lives from violence instigated by CIA, numbers would go into millions.
Steve Kangas in ‘A Time line of CIA Atrocities’ claims, “CIA actually teaches it in a special school, the notorious “School of the Americas.” (It opened in Panama but later moved to Fort Benning, Georgia.) Critics have nicknamed it the “School of the Dictators” and “School of the Assassins.” Here, the CIA trains Latin American military officers how to conduct coups, including the use of interrogation, torture and murder.” Prathikit Sanyal in DailyO quotes from the same essay, “the organisation “uses every trick in the book: propaganda, stuffed ballot boxes, purchased elections, extortion, blackmail, sexual intrigue, false stories about opponents in the local media, infiltration and disruption of opposing political parties, kidnapping, beating, torture, intimidation, economic sabotage, death squads and even assassination… [and] justifies these actions as part of its war against communism.”
This arch of subversion and violent games of CIA extends from Europe to Latin America to Africa to Asia, South East Asia and ofcourse Middle East. All in pursuit of dominance of the world, and securing natural resources for its own people, who devour more resources than any other country in the world, in proportion to its population. Based on World development indicators of 2008, If undeveloped countries consumed at the same rate as the US , four complete planets the size of the Earth would be required. People who think that they have a right to such a life are quite mistaken. Americans constitute 5% of the world’s population but consume 24% of the world’s energy. On average, one American consumes as much energy as 2 Japanese, 6 Mexicans, 13 Chinese, 31 Indian, 128 Bangladeshis, 307 Tanzanians and 370 Ethiopians.
So, you can’t really blame poor CIA working hard in the interest of its nation, the US of A. We would be fine neglecting these innuendoes against India or for that matter other countries. But, only reason we need to worry is that this data is used by US of A to arm twist governments world over with its other overt tools like sanctions against them using such faulty, ill informed views. But, one shouldn’t worry too much about these things now. Prof Vaidyanathan was telling one day, his mantra to government bureaucrats fretting over policy decisions keeping US in mind was, “before beginning your day, do a chanting ‘USA is no more a super power, USA is no more a super power’ 10 times”, you will work much better then.
Author, Ratan Sharda(Ratan Sharda is a free lance columnist, author and editor. He also translates books in Hindi and English. He has written ‘Secrets of RSS’ which is in second edition and biography of Prof. Rajendra Singh in Hindi. His latest book is The Sangh & Swaraj – Role of RSS in Independence Struggle, last most talked about book is – RSS 360 degree.
He has done his PhD on RSS – Understanding RSS through its Resolutions – focus on North East, Jammu Kashmir and Punjab, translated two key books of Guruji – his biography and Guruji – Vision & Mission written by senior RSS thinker – Shri Ranga Hari.
He has also mentored many new writers and is currently editing 12 books. He is also a well-known personality of TV debates)