What is the Root Cause of Terrorism?

Let me state it loud and clear: it’s people crossing diversity borders for political or economic reasons. As I point out in my book, Gandhi, Ambedkar, and Tagore held similar views. Let me produce some quotes from these three thinkers (I’ve used them in my book).

Let me state it loud and clear.

The root of all global problems today is the fact that people are crossing diversity borders for political or economic reasons at an unprecedented rate.

As I point out in Chapter 3 of my book, three of India’s most important thinkers, namely Gandhi, Ambedkar, and Tagore, held similar views.

Let me share some quotes from these three thinkers (I’ve used them in my book).

Mahatma Gandhi pointed out that people become ‘confounded’ when they come in contact with others of different natures, religions, etc. His point was that the very meeting should not take place. He literally considered the British-introduced Indian Railways evil:

[Man] is so made by nature as to require him to restrict his movements as far as his hands and feet will take him. If we did not rush about from place to place by means of railways and such other maddening conveniences, much of the confusion that arises would be obviated. Our difficulties are of our own creation. God set a limit to a man’s locomotive ambition in the construction of his body. Man immediately proceeded to discover means of overriding the limit. God gifted man with intellect that he might know his Maker. Man abused it so that he might forget his Maker. I am so constructed that I can only serve my immediate neighbors, but in my conceit I pretend to have discovered that I must with my body serve every individual in the Universe. In thus attempting the impossible, man comes in contact with different natures, different religions, and is utterly confounded. According to this reasoning, it must be apparent to you that railways are a most dangerous institution. Owing to them, man has gone further away from his Maker.

B. R. Ambedkar issued words of caution to be exercised whenever there is the intermingling of diverse peoples. According to him, if diverse peoples are ‘forced to take part in a common cycle of participation, such as Government’, there can be neither fellow-feeling nor peace because of racial and cultural conflicts which arise due to sheer ‘enforced juxtaposition’:

Why do Tamils hate Andhras and Andhras hate Tamils? Why do Andhras in Hyderabad hate Maharashtrians and Maharashtrians hate Andhras? Why do Gujaratis hate Maharashtrians and Maharashtrians hate Gujaratis? The answer is very simple. It is not because there is any natural antipathy between the two. The hatred is due to the fact that they are put in juxtaposition and forced to take part in a common cycle of participation, such as Government. There is no other answer. So long as this enforced juxtaposition remains, there will be no peace between the two.

Rabindranath Tagore wrote profusely about how India’s task from time immemorial had been to make social adjustments to deal with racial differences between Aryans, Dravidians, Greeks, Persians, Mohammedans of the West and Mohammedans of Central Asia. In an environment charged with fervent Indian nationalism and Gandhian claims of ‘oneness’ in everything that mattered all over India, Tagore was deeply conscious of India’s diversity and deeply worried about its rising neglect. India was ‘naturally many, yet adventitiously one’, and therefore, a reconciliation of race differences was central to India’s mission on earth:

Races ethnologically different have in this country come into close contact. This fact has been and still continues to be the most important one in our history. It is our mission to face it and prove our humanity by dealing with it in the fullest truth. Until we fulfil our mission all other benefits will be denied us.

Clearly, nobody cares for the words of caution issued by these three great Indian thinkers any more.

Today, it has become stupid – even antinational – to think like this in India. How can a patriotic Indian think pan-Indian trade is evil? How can travelling on the Indian Railways be evil? How can someone even think Tamils and Andhras are in any sense different? They’re both Indians! And how can someone talk of different races on Indian soil? And finally, how can someone talk as if international trade is evil? It’s the crown gem of humanity!

(For the sources of the above quotes, please refer The Pyramid of Corruption)