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Mainstream, VOL LI, No 32, July 27, 2013

Demystefying the Phenomenon of Terror

Sunday 28 July 2013, by Humra Quraishi



With terror gaining ground, this book comes at an appropriate time. Not one of those typical books, but one with a difference—there are not just illustrative visuals but there are those backgrounders, to those vital basics to today’s terror. And it is authored by academic Ram Puniyani (he was earlier with the IIT, Mumbai), with illustrations by Sharad Sharma, founder of the World Comics Network.

This book—Terrorism Explained: A Graphic Account—was launched here in the capital city this mid-week, on July 10. And as Ram Puniyani details: “Our book Terrorism Explained deals with the theme of terrorist violence, globally and locally. It narrates some of the major events related to terrorist acts, goes on to discuss the stereotypes associated with terrorism, takes up the genesis of global terror with politics of oil, takes up Hindutva terrorism and the ideology guiding that...”

Ram details more—“While acts of terror have been recorded in recent history from last several centuries, this phenomenon has come to prominence from the ghastly tragedy of 9/11 2001. With this the American media popularised the word Islamic terrorism, and worldwide this propaganda against Islam and Muslims picked up. The Al-Qaeda, a product of US policies to control of oil wealth in West Asia, has been the major tormentor of people and its worst victims have been people of India and Pakistan. ..Parallel with this the likes of Sadhvi Prgya Singh Thakur and Swami Aseemanand also came up with the goal of ‘Bomb for a bomb’ and for pursuing the politics of Hindu Rashtra (Nation).... It focuses on the definition of terrorism, and the genesis of the Al-Qaeda through indoctrination in the specially set up Madrassas by America in Pakistan. The phenomenon of Osama bin Laden and his support by the US is presented in the book. ...It also takes up the theory of ‘clash of civilisations’ and its fallacies. The series of blast from Nanded 2006 to Ajmer and Malegaon blasts are also analysed. The book demystifies the phenomenon of terror and shows that terrorism has nothing to do with religion but there are political goals behind the same.”

And Now Come these Ten Volumes on India-Pakistan Relations 

Those researchers keen and interested in grasping details of the Indo-Pak relations ought to read these ten volumes: India-Pakistan Relations 1947-2007: A Documentary Study (Geetika Publishers, New Delhi, in cooperation with Public Diplomacy Division, Ministry of External Affairs). These have been put together and edited by Avtar Singh Bhasin.

Bhasin had worked in the External Affairs Ministry. And it is after his retirement that he published a series of volumes on—India’s Foreign Policy. He had also published and edited several volumes on India’ s diplomatic relations with Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal.

And these recently published ten volumes by him could be termed the most detailed and significant work on the relations between the two countries, India and Pakistan. And though I have not read them but these volumes are said to cover each aspect—right from the political relationship, to defence issues, the nuclear factor, trade and financial issues, borders, minorities and evacuee property and, of course, the foreign policy.

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