Before I write, I request all of you to read this post with an open mind, minus bias to the perspectives that have been in our minds for ages because of where we belong to, and the social perspective thereof.
Who is a terrorist? There is no International definition of the same, and that is so for a reason. In common parlance, a terrorist is said to be someone who causes terror at a mass level. But then again, who defines this terror.
A person who murders many, is he a terrorist? If yes, then every serial killer should be prosecuted not under the normal criminal law, but as a terrorist. Is someone raging a war against a country a terrorist? If so the crime of sedition should be removed from the Indian Penal Code and should be replaced by the crime of terrorism. What exactly does it mean to cause terror, and who really is a terrorist.
Bhagat Singh and other such people are called Freedom Fighters by us Indians; Extremists, yes, but freedom fighters none the less. Let’s look at what they were doing. To put it simply, they were causing terror in the minds of the British (which were a mass) and raging war against the government in force at that time. They were breaking the then laws of the land. The British called them terrorists. I guess they were, if we go by the definition we give for terrorists.
On the other hand, we have the sensitive area of Kashmir, the people there call themselves freedom fighters, fighting for the freedom of Kashmir from India. We call them militants or terrorists. Why? Are they not doing what they are, for freedom.
You may say that J&K conceded to be a part of India. But then similarly, did the Nawabs not initially concede to a contract with the British to hand over government to them?
How are our “freedom fighters” not terrorists, while theirs are? Or looking at it from the opposite end, how are their “terrorists” not freedom fighters but our’s are? Think over it.
Another issue I would like to take up is the Nuremberg and such trials. Out of the people tried after the Second World War, was a woman, who was tried because she had told the then government of her husband who was acting against Hitler. Her argument was that she was following the law of the land, as it was at that time. How and why is that punishable? Also facing trial were some high officials of the government for imposing the rule made my Hitler. Their stand was that they only imposed what was the law in force, and had they not complied, they would have been given the death punishment. How is this fair to them?
The major argument that comes across for these trials is of Human Rights violation by the Nazis. And to this I ask you, what is natural justice? What are human rights being violated? The basic human right of right to life?? Is not the POTA (Prevention of Terrorism Act) [ though repealed], against human rights. The Act stated that a person could be kept in custody for 180 days before he had to be produced before a Magistrate. The normal law says within 24 hours. How is that not human rights violation? Also the people who die every year of hunger, or excessive cold or heat, how is that not human rights violation? Put the legislation and the government and executive to trial for these violations.
Finally, I leave you all with one more question. If today a law is passed, that states something as mandatory, which is against the consciousnesses of you or I, with the punishment for disobedience being death, can you or I fight it? The best we can do, is appeal to the higher judiciary of the country to make the law ultra-vires (against) the Constitution, but if that is not done, would we not follow it? Think about this..