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   On Western Terrorism
Reviewed by Sudhirendar Sharma
30 Nov 2013

Has the world gone mad?

So, it would seem! Else, all dreams for better arrangement of the world would not have been attacked, poisoned, discredited and ridiculed. From Cuba to Rwanda and from Congo to Iraq, countries refusing to Western dictate have succumbed to atrocities unleashed in the guise of ensuring 'political stability'. Accumulated evidence indicates that western terrorism has consumed lives of some 55 million people around the world since the end of World War II.

The shocking reality is that such global arrangements have not only gone unchallenged in the West, it has often been accepted without much opposition in rest of the world too. The conversation between a renowned social critic and an investigative photo journalist offers a painful reflection on how millions of 'un-people', a term George Orwell had coined for people who do not matter, continue to be victims of the neo-colonial whip.

In 173 pages, the conversation traverses across the world to unveil the footprints of imperialist brutality. The facts are devastating and so are the manipulative designs of the powers that be. There is not much to choose between Europe's brutal colonial legacy and America's neo-colonial hegemony. The form may have changed, from armed combat to drone warfare, but the content and the intent remain the same. The West, despite few setbacks, seems to be trying to consolidate its control over the world. It is seemingly not done yet!

The trouble with this otherwise absorbing conversation between two intellectuals who are in the prime of their career is that both have similar insights on the geopolitics of organised crime by the West. Consequently, one doesn't get to the depth of why-the-world-is-the-way-it-is and how-it-could-be-different-from-what-it-is? Exposing the hypocrisy of the imperialist forces, however, the conversation takes a definite shot at the media reinforced argument which presents terrorism in relation to Islamic extremists only. Since terrorism refers to a methodology of using violence and terror to serve political ends, the world ought to be worry more about ‘western terrorism’!

On Western Terrorism: From Hiroshima to Drone Warfare
by Noam Chomsky and Andre Vitchek
Pluto Press, UK
Extent: 192, Price: Rs. 1,022


 
 Other books reviewed by Dr Sudhirendar Sharma
Features > Book Shelf
 
Spoiling Tibet
Posting Date: 28 Feb 2014

A Journey in the Future of Water
Posting Date: 28 Feb 2014

Yamuna Manifesto
Posting Date: 28 Feb 2014

 
Corruption Watch

The bad news is that corruption has not only sustained but has grown in size and stature in the country. With scams being a regular feature, seventy per cent respondents in a survey have rightfully opined that corruption has continued to increase in India. One in every two interviewed admit having paid a bribe for availing public services during last one year. Transparency International's latest survey reveals that the political parties top the chart for the most corrupt public institutions, followed by police force and legislatures. No wonder, India continues to make new records on the global corruption arena!

The shocking revelation is that the health and education sectors haven't remained untouched by this phenomenon. With 5th and 6th positions respectively for these sectors on the public perception chart on corruption, corruption has crept insidiously into these sectors of hope for the masses. With bureaucracy being fourth in the list of corrupt institutions in the country, corruption seems to have been non-formally institutionalized with little hope if public services would ever be effective in the country. With economic growth having literally institutionalized corruption, are we now expecting corrupt to be socially responsible - a different CSR.

Poor. Who?

Not giving 'aid' to India is one thing but calling it 'rich' is quite another. If one in three of the world's malnourished children live in India, what does average daily income of $3 indicate? It perhaps means that there is a relative decline in poverty - people are 'less poor' than what they used to be in the past. But having crossed the World Bank arbitrary threshold of $2 a day does not absolve the 'developed' countries of their obligation to part with 0.7 per cent of their Gross National Income in development aid. Should this three-decade old figure not be revised?  

An interesting debate in UK's House of Commons delved on future of development assistance by the British Government. While prioritizing limited resources has been a concern, there has been no denying the fact that development aid must be guided towards tangible gains over a short period of time to start with. There are difficult choices for elected governments to make - should they invest in long-term primary education or in short-term university scholarships? Which of these will bring gains and trigger long-term transformation in the society. As politicians continue to be divided on the matter, poverty persists!!   

Lead View
People, Partition and the Pain
By Rina Mukherji
15 Aug 2013

Dr Jayanti Basu's book analyzes the complex feelings of hatred and longing for the homeland that have contributed to shaping the personalities of a generation of people who were forced to ..
Book Shelf

Yamuna Manifesto

A Journey in the Future of Water

Spoiling Tibet

On Western Terrorism
Commentators
Devinder Sharma
Carmen Miranda
Pandurang Hegde
Sudhirendar Sharma
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