Sunday, 30 November 2008

Courage or Cowardice

I have always questioned my world. I’ve always questioned institution and established ideas. I’ve questioned norms and conventions. I don’t do this to rebel, but to be convinced.

Once again, I question.

Was this attack in Mumbai, an act of cowardice?

We know that this time it wasn’t a faceless bomb. Instead it was an unmasked and armed militant.

As I’ve mentioned before, they were not afraid to die, and they were not afraid of living life in jail if caught alive either.

They had a cause, and were willing to go to any extent for its success.

When army men kill in battle and lay down their lives for their country, it isn’t considered an act of cowardice. When freedom fighters boldly challenge their captors, they risk their lives, and that isn’t called cowardice either. When they finally do die for what they believe in, it is called courage. They are called martyrs. We honor them like saints.

This is not to make excuses for what the terrorists have done, and will continue to do. But this is to try and understand it. This is not to take away from the nobility of our soldiers either. I love them and am fiercely proud of them.

Terrorists also have something they believe in. Something they are willing to give their life for. The cause is not honorable. But it’s a cause all the same.

They live their lives with passion. They have so much zest for this life, that they kill in order to live it the way they dream. They aren’t afraid of this life and they boldly contest the next. They have confidence in heaven. They do not obviously live by the standards of chivalry and honor that the rest of society lives by. They do not care for our code of conduct.

So how then can it be called cowardice?
One can call it disgraceful, misled, sinful, primitive even. But surely you cannot award it cowardice.

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