I was a spinner in my high school cricket team, and my position was always precarious. I was simply not good enough. Vinay came to our school from another one, and promptly displaced me by his proficiency with the ball. Rumour went around that he was spreading malicious gossip about me.
Once I cornered him in one of those corridors that teachers never use, and I caught him by the collar. A few of my staunch friends were with me.
I still remember the sudden urge that rose unbidden within me. That was to kill him. Smash his face against a rock. Sit on top of him and squeeze his neck, till he begs for mercy- but I wouldn’t spare him his life.
Nothing happened. It ended in a minor scuffle.
I am ashamed to tell you that this was not the only one. I have fantasized about killing people. Am I actually capable of it? What if someone threatens my family? What if he kills one of my dear ones? Would a lifetime of self-civilizing hold me back, or will the thirst for revenge surface, in a devastating flood of hate?
You know what. It may. I may do it, if I can get away with it. I honestly don’t know.
When you hear that a terrorist attacked and killed nearly fifty innocent people while broadcasting it on live camera, some immediately dismissed it as the doing of a madman.
He was not a terrorist, some tell me, but a White Christian Majoritarian supremacist.
Sorry boss. When I see a turd on the road, I call it crap or shit. Not an amorphous gooey yellow substance of uncertain paternity. A terrorist is one who kills innocents to make a political point. It is a staged show of wanton, excessive cruelty, designed to attract attention to an ideological cause, and fostered by a political framework providing a scaffold of propaganda.
The killer could be as sane as you or me. The Norwegian assassin, who systematically gunned down seventy students one by one for a white supremacist cause, was not mad. He was probably one who could care for and love people close to him.
There are many parallels with the New Zealand killing, and the Norwegian one. In both, the perpetrators were steeped in a partially hidden subculture that told them repeatedly, the following points:
-The White Christian culture is inherently superior to others.
– Others are subhuman, hateful, and valueless.
-They will come, contaminate our culture and change it in a way that you would not like.
– They are evil, alien.
– They should be stopped.
We should understand that our minds are like a Swiss Army knife. There are modules that can do different things. There are areas that can love our fellow humans, and contraptions that urge you to protect the vulnerable from harm.
But there are knives, blades and needles that can harm. Areas those are very vulnerable to propaganda. The horrific Rwandan genocide that happened recently, were lakhs of minorities were killed with machetes and sticks over a period of just one year, was preceded by sustained propaganda from the official government that the victims are alien vermin of a different kind, and planted stories of atrocities committed by them. Initial majoritarian outbreaks of violence were met with an encouraging lack of response.
Let me be clear. In this modern age, when guns are ubiquitous, and when any teenager can learn to make a bomb from the internet, any discourse that says that we, as an ethnic, religious, political, or even nationalistic group are inherently better than other groups of human beings is – evil.
Evil. They may not know it, or mean it. But the people who do it, are opening the door to Evil, with a capital ‘E’.
There is a difference between the Swiss Army knife and our brains. If we use the knife too often, the knife becomes bigger and bigger till you have a sword in your hand. And this enlargement of our dangerous tendencies can spread, like a disease.
We have buttons that can be pushed. The more of us that realize this, the safer humanity will be. (Jimmy Mathew)