July 14, 2006

Two hands of the question

Let's try this, shall we? Exactly what is the distinction between riots and terror attacks?

Let's make it specific. Three examples each. Exactly what is the distinction between:

  • on the one hand, the massacres in Delhi in 1984, the massacres in Bombay in 1992-93, the massacres in Gujarat in 2002

  • on the other hand, the bomb blasts in Bombay in 1993, the bomb blasts in Delhi in 2005, the bomb blasts in Bombay three days ago.

    Anyone care to explain this? (But in civil, reasonable terms. Anything else will be ignored).

    Abhilash Ravishankar said...

    An electrical engineer's perspective:(not for humor, but for ease)
    The Terror attacks are more like sharp impulses, whereas the massacres are more like aperiodic noise while watching a signal(analogous to society) over a period of time.

    Both of them claimed lives.
    Both of them had the intention of terrorizing people.

    Rahul Siddharthan said...

    Here's my answer and question:

    The "on the one hand" examples were perpetrated by local people, who did that to their own cities, their own communities. Thousands were killed (in each case).

    The "on the other hand" examples were (probably) perpetrated by foreigners, (almost certainly) not by people from the same community. Hundreds were killed.

    Yes, comparisons are odious especially when we're comparing heinous crimes. Still I can't help wondering: which is the worse crime? And why?

    Shashikant Kore said...

    Perpetrators in the former cases continue to enjoy power, whereas in the latter, they are on the run.

    Surya said...

    does the massacre you describe Gujarat 2002, include the burning of a train coach with women and childeren in it?

    Nilu said...

    in civil, reasonable terms. Anything else will be ignored

    Just curious, if you are going to ignore someone, does it not beat the very purpose to state it?

    milieu said...

    Good question to ponder.

    Riots are spontaneous (a bit like a chain reaction) involving large number of perpertrators and casualties.

    Terrorist acts are planned, organized involving fewer perpertrators but few or high casualties.

    Either can be a cause of the other.

    Anonymous said...

    In the Indian context, the distinction is blurred because many of the riots are meticulously planned and executed. I think M. J. Akbar in his "Riots after Riots" has documented evidence of how riots are anything but "spontaneous." And certainly, the examples of "riots" mentioned by Dilip all bear the hallmarks of detailed planning. However, in other contexts -- for instance, UK where there was a riot between "Blacks" and "Asians" recently in Birmingham -- the planned/spontaneous distinction may be useful.

    I guess, though, in "riots" the number of people involved is larger...a riot may have been engineered and set in motion by a small number of scoundrels but once set off, it takes on a dimension of its own. Terror attacks -- at least as of now -- don't have that dimension. I would not be surprised, however, if more such "terror" attacks, at some point, results in "riots" involving large numbers of individuals. As I said, the distinction is blurred.

    Anonymous said...

    My view:
    - Riots can be spontaneous (no less reprehensible for that) but can often be engineered.
    - May need less planning but more ppl
    - can use cruder / homegrown tech. or weapons.
    - last for days/ weeks.
    - generally easier to track down the culprits.
    - Hence will tend to be executed by groups who think they may be able to get away with it thru other means (political support/ background).

    Terror attacks would be:
    - well planned
    - focused impact, few plotters
    - use higher intensity devices to maximize impact with fewer attackers
    - may be more difficult to track down due to the planning/ prep.
    - hence groups not in favour with power centers will tend to this form of violence.


    km said...


    My take: it's "Inside Versus Outside". Riots propagate from the inside. Terror attacks are from the outside. (But now we have the trouble of defining "inside" and "outside")

    I believe Rahul made the same point?

    Another take: it's an artificial distinction. Why not simply call both riots and terrorist attacks just "crime"?

    Anonymous said...

    Cause goes beyond a point, and so you have an effect. Zidane head butts because the sledging went past a point.

    So Dilip, would you also call the Indian Army "Police Action" in Goa terrorism? Or go back to Vasco de Gama? Why stop (or start) with 1993 boss?

    "Do you know when your forefathers caravan stopped along this river?"

    Anonymous said...

    if riots and bomb blasts were the same thing, why are riots called riots and bomb blasts called bomb blasts? they should both be called 'blashtiot'. it is a new word i have invented for the benefit of dsouza, so they both can be referred to with the same word.

    Anonymous said...

    Other than obvious differences we can haev several matrix to differentiate between the 2.

    1. No. of people involved
    2. No. of casualties/no. of people involved
    3. Time for which the acts go on
    4. No. of deaths per unit time (seconds, days etc.)

    get this statistics for last 10 riots and last 10 terrorist attacks and I can bet you that you can find a pattern (linear or non linear regression) that is distinctly different between roits and terrorist attacks

    This study will not tell you anything about causation but will tell you what the differences are.
    For causation, its more about belief than science.

    e.g. Irrespective of the conclusion of the study You can blame the government for riots & terror attacks or you can blame one single community (muslims or hindus). Quantifying differences (which I am sure there are quite a few) won't answer your fundamental question of who is responsible or how to tackle both of them

    P.S - General comment about the blog: I like reading your stuff because you write well. But with all this commentary I would like to see an attempt to suggest some form of action or solution to stop it.

    i.e.: Some people call for extreme action like blaming it on one community etc. which I can't agree with and I am sure you don't. But what I don't get a sense from your blog is that what do you propose we do?

    Some pointed questions (I would be interested in your opinion):
    1. How to go about catching the people who did this
    2. What should be done if we capture them and they are rponounced gulity (Will death penalty do? Do you support death penalty?
    3. What do you propose to stop future attacks like thse? Will banning RSS, Shivsena etc be a positive step in your opinion etc.

    Would like to know your opinion on result oriented actions to minimise all the matrix which we talked about. i.e. no. of riots & terrorist attacks should drop below a n in a few years etc..

    Anonymous said...

    >>I would like to see an attempt to suggest some form of action or solution to stop it

    Dilip never suggests solutions but only asks rhetorical questions. I guess you haven't been reading him long enough. The kind of writing that makes you think, that's the goal of Dilip's writing. Like you think when you read your fortune cookie or scribblings in bathroom or even a movie hoarding. All makes you think, no solutions please.

    Related 'rhetorical' questions: What's difference between say Neillie, Assam riots of '83 or Gujarat riots? Let me make it easier... what's difference between Gujarat '69 riots and Gujarat '02 riots?
    One's very very profitable for our secular guys others not. Any more you can think of?

    Anonymous said...

    Just letting my mind run and I may not necessarily be correct on even one account. But:

    Riots are when people you always knew, suddenly decide you are the enemy, and that they can live only when you die. Riots are when internal anguish overrides all rationality. When you stop thinking and let anger overtake you. Riots are caused by people rebelling against something.

    Terrorist attacks are when people from amidst you decide the only way they can cause differences between others is by scaring and killing them. Terrorist seek to instill fear and harm people's morales. Terrorist attacks are conducted by people who are rebelling for something.

    Well. Just what I feel. Of course its a well known fact that rioters are often people paid to carry out the looting, breaking and murders.
    In the end both aim to destory human life and its sanctity as we know it.

    BTW, Dilip, your posts on the Mumbai Blasts echoed much of what I was feeling. Just managed to read them all now. I blogged about it too for it haunts me.

    Anonymous said...


    I wont bother commenting because I completely understand where you are coming from. Sigh!

    I hope this was civil enough!

    Anonymous said...

    wise donkey.

    err..while I appreciate your sympathies for those who cause terror attacks, and of course like NYT, I wont call them terrorists but would refer them as misguided youths(is this civil enough, Dilip?) most humbly I submit, such misguided youths who occasionaly cause bomb blasts also rape woman. If you require some links, I would be happy to provide them. I will not ofcourse not blame them for such acts would treat it as a part of their education, I suppose.


    Anonymous said...

    what's the difference between a massacre and a riot? why do you call 92-93 mumbai as massacre?

    when will we finally get to hear a condemnation of congress incompetence?

    Anonymous said...

    Why is the confused bloke always so aggressive online? He seems fit to be hired as a jehadi

    wise donkey said...

    where and how did i express my sympathies for those who cause terror attacks.
    and confused on terrorists being rapists, sorry i did make a mistake.
    i should have written it as terrorists rape, but then what else do you expect from cold blooded killers.

    and rioters too can rape or encourage rape, but they are just expressing their outrage.

    Anonymous said...

    not confused



    I never disputed that rioters rape. Sure as hell!

    Anonymous said...


    just write the post with the conclusion you have already reached! nautanki kyon?

    Anonymous said...

    Typically, the descriptor 'riot' seems to be used when a larger group of aggressors is involved, whereas a 'terrorist attack' seems to involve a smaller group of aggressors. And (or maybe 'therefore') the former seems to express itself in multiple acts -- burning of buses, looting of shops, and of course good old-fashioned slaughter of people. The latter however seems to limit itself to one high-impact act at a time. Seeing as the result tin both cases is the suffering of innocent people, you'd think the labels shouldn't matter a great deal.
    But I find there are distinct social implications arising from this difference : because a 'terrorist atttack' can be pinned more easily to a smaller group of people, the socio-politico-legal system finds it easier to award culpability. Not so in the case of rioters. Which means we have a sizeable bunch of folk roaming our streets, unbranded and unbrand-able, confident in the knowledge that they can get away with violence. How scary is that!

    Anonymous said...

    why do you drag hindu fundamentalism into everything, oh dsouza? are you a one-note musician?

    when do we hear other notes, such as criticism of the congress establishment, the total lack of governance, the systematic degeneration of our public institutions? all these engaged your attention when the congress was out of power.

    can you explain, oh one who is neither leftist, nor rightist?

    Anonymous said...

    Mr. D'Souza,

    India today is 'secular' for only one reason - It is predominantly Hindu. Some questions I request you to address in your blog because you have always been presenting just one side of the coin.
    Where else will you find people throwing muck over their own religion (nothing wrong with that as long as they notice similar things in other religions too) so that minorities are appeased?
    How come not one commentator in our 'secular' media has called upon Muslims to introspect and condemn, in unequivocal terms, maybe through fatwas, the religious overtones of the attacks?
    How come no one points out that for some curious reason, most terrorist attacks around the world are perpetrated by Muslims?
    How come we expect Hindus to condemn terrorist attacks perpetrated by them but we don't expect Muslims to do so because we have come up with a perverted logic that we are testing their patriotism by expecting them to do so?
    How come there is blatant sucking upto organizations like SIMI by our 'secular' leaders and we don't protest at all?
    How come all 'secular' commentators appealed for peace and no backlash from Hindus, when there is absolutely no historical evidence that Hindus have attacked Muslims after terrorist attacks?
    How come no one points out that our foreign policy is dictated by 15% of the population while the rest look on helplessly? Why do our hearts bleed for theocratic and autocratic states in the Middle East?

    Dilip D'Souza said...

    Lots of responses! Thanks, all. Let me see if I can attempt some responses in turn.

    Actually I was interested less in definitions than in why we see these differently at all. As Abhilash himself says, both kinds of atrocities claim lives, both are intended to terrorize. So wouldn't it better serve us to see them for what they are, equally outrageous attacks on us all? Rahul alludes to the right question: is it possible to see either one as "worse"? And if so why?

    Jai, thanks for the mention of political support. Anita, good thoughts. Will go look at your blog.

    km, precisely: it is an artificial distinction. Though I think we don't call it crime because we recognize that these are crimes orders of magnitude more deadly than other crimes, like pickpocketing. My point is, why do we shy away from calling both terrorism; and more important, going after both sets of perpetrators as terrorists?

    Surya, I recall as you do that that coach was burned in Gujarat in 2002. "Massacres in Gujarat 2002", therefore, by definition includes that atrocity.

    GBO my rum-drinking pal, exactly, why stop or start with 1993? We should be willing to punish heavily anyone, at any time, who kills and terrorizes innocent people: whether by bomb blasts, or by setting buildings and trains on fire, or by massacres on the streets.

    Anonymous 1019: your pointed questions.
    1) How do we catch the people responsible? As you catch others responsible for crimes: by investigation and trial. In the case of the 1993 bomb blasts, for example, 150+ accused have been in jail and under trial for some 12 years now. In the case of the 1984 massacres in Delhi, for example, we've had nine official inquiries, some of which have identified senior Congressmen as responsible. Nobody has been arrested or tried.

    2) What should be done if they are guilty? Punish according to the law in force. I believe we have good laws, they need to be applied is all.

    3) What do I propose to do to stop future attacks? Same answer as #2: Punish according to our laws. That's what laws, properly applied, are meant to do. I don't believe in banning organizations.

    WiseD: Thank you. Though I hope you realize one thing. In connection with terrorists, when you use such phrases as "no politician will be proud to stand next to a terrorist", and "inhuman out of control maniacs" and "antinational" and "all parties condemn terrorism" ... when you say those things about them, you are of course showing "your sympathies for those who cause terror attacks."

    Haricane, that's just my point: how scary is that thought about criminals roaming our streets?

    Naveen, I'm unable to see what in this post or any other has warranted your comment. I will respond to three of your points:

    1) How come not one commentator in our 'secular' media has called upon Muslims to introspect and condemn, in unequivocal terms, maybe through fatwas, the religious overtones of the attacks?

    This question itself is flawed. Why the assumption, with every atrocity, that Muslims don't condemn it and therefore approve? You don't make that assumption, I presume, about Hindus, or women, or Tamilians, or left-handed people, or cricketers ... why solely about Muslims?

    And if you make that assumption, you will naturally remain blind to the innumerable condemnations, even fatwas, by Muslims of terrorist attacks. For just one example, this one.

    2) How come no one points out that for some curious reason, most terrorist attacks around the world are perpetrated by Muslims?

    It is pointed out plenty of times. And it is patently untrue. For one thing, there's years of terrorism in Nepal, Sri Lanka, Northern Ireland, Colombia, Peru (picking five). Not perpetrated by Muslims. For another thing, it's just that we decide not to call various other attacks "terrorism", that's all. Delhi 1984, Bombay 1992-93, Rwanda 1994, Gujarat 2002 -- when will we call these what they were, terrorism?

    3) How come we expect Hindus to condemn terrorist attacks perpetrated by them but we don't expect Muslims to do so because we have come up with a perverted logic that we are testing their patriotism by expecting them to do so?

    Speaking for myself, I don't "expect" anyone to "condemn" anything. This is not a test that anyone, Hindu or Muslim or anyone, must pass every time there's an atrocity. Instead, I assume that by virtue of being human, people will abhor these terrorist attacks, whichever they are and whoever they are.

    Anonymous said...

    Mr. D'Souza,

    When you point out places like Ireland and Srilanka, you might be missing the point that they are largely ethnic tensions. Even the North East terrorist attacks are due to ethnic tensions. How come you miss the point that the attacks in Mumbai and Delhi and Gujarat have been due to religion. How come you miss the point that ethnicity cannot be as unifying a force as pan-religionism?
    I don't know what you expected from Hindus after the various riots but many of us 'non-secular' people did expect and did get wide condemnation from all quarters. The BJP did lose power in the rest of India. Now that you have a Cong. govt. at the centre, what prevents them from persecuting the perpetrators of the riots?
    When people can get together in lakhs and condemn US attacks in a distant place, what prevents them from doing so in this case? It obviously is closer home.
    The maximum that most Muslim organizations are willing to do is disown the terrorists as Muslims. But not one has accepted the need for introspection in their own community about what has gone wrong. The theory of 'a few misguided youth' will not hold good anymore, after a series of high profile attacks the world over.
    The first step is to accept that there are flaws in the Islamic system (not the religion but the system) that need to be corrected. When people, both the 'secularists' and the Indian Muslims themselves, are not willing to do that, then there is an inherent contradiction between the consitution and the system.

    Anonymous said...

    i think you are doing more damage to 'secularism' simply by not accepting what is obvious and therefore forcing people to dwell on the same point over and over. this is unfortunately common to secularists.

    why is it hard for you to accept that terror in different parts of the world are on account of fundamentalist islam? extreme islam as an ideology is a REAL problem, oh ostrich with head buried in sand! islamists in kashmir, afghanistan, england, pakistan, bangladesh, indonesia all draw moral, financial support from each other. bomb blasts in different parts of the world are rooted in the same ideology.

    this doesnt mean that we persecute every muslim, or that an acknowledgement of this fact will result in persecution of muslims individually, or as a community. a refusal to acknowledge this rather obvious fact does not help matters however.

    barbarindian said...

    This is a trick question. No difference, both are committed by heathens. Right?

    barbarindian said...

    The above was an uncivil answer, now for the civil part.

    Riots and terrorism are morally equally reprehensible. The difference lies in practical matters and has to do with tactical differences in how to deal with them. Many commenters have already pointed out some of the differences. You have also managed to group them quite nicely. Surely there are distinct markers?

    Compare this with a question: what is the difference between a fruit and a vegetable. Most people would be able to pick one or the other. Some perhaps would not know the difference.

    Questions such as this are dangerous because they lead to sweeping generalizations and hence jeopardize prevention and investigation. Apart from politicking and trying to induce guilt I see no purpose to your post. Unless you want to debate whether to bring back a POTA like law.

    Unknown said...

    There is no difference.
    If there is I am sure so many good people here will find out.
    Do we still need to find out differencees between the two, after wehad seen so many of them.
    We have gone blind!!

    Dilip D'Souza said...

    Dear Naveen,

    Ireland and SL are "largely ethnic tensions"? Shall we try something? You ask anyone in those countries what they would call what they have been suffering from for decades now. I bet they will say "terrorism" and not "largely ethnic tensions." Willing to try this with me?

    You claimed in your previous comment, "most terrorist attacks around the world are perpetrated by Muslims". I point out five countries where they are not perpetrated by Muslims, as examples of why your claim is mistaken. You fling out two of them saying they are "largely ethnic tensions." (No word about the other three, but never mind).

    So it seems to me what you want to do is this: define terrorism as those attacks, and only those attacks, perpetrated by Muslims. Well, following that definition, certainly "most terrorist attacks around the world are perpetrated by Muslims."

    In fact, all.

    I told you, I don't "expect" anyone to "condemn" anything. This is a fool's game, this idea of "why didn't you condemn XYZ?" Instead, I assume of my fellow human -- I assume of you -- that he will find all terrorist attacks, whether blasts in trains or killings in the streets of Bombay -- horrifying. With that assumption, I am yet to meet a single person who has shown any happiness over these blasts. Also, while pretty much none of the people I've met have got up and explicitly said "I condemn these blasts" (it's not something people you meet tend to say), I assume that they do.

    For just one example, I haven't seen an explicit "I condemn these blasts" from you. But I assume that you do, and I believe it is a good assumption.

    Why hasn't the Cong prosecuted the perpetrators of riots? Because it is a craven party that has no use for justice. Because prosecuting those perpetrators means, in many cases, prosecuting its own people. Most of all, because the rest of us are happy to point fingers abroad, but unwilling to take on our own terrorists; and the Congress, like every other party, is happy to feed on that.

    barbarindian said...

    You should go and join that party, Dilip

    Ha ha! You need quite a bit of catching up to do.

    A trip down the memory lane

    A former chief secretary says resentment for 1992 riots is the cause behind the attacks

    Anonymous said...


    Stop playing these little tricks.

    The point is that the attacks are carried out in the name of Islam. As we can see from your example in Nepal, the Maoists are probably athiests who are carrying out a campaign against a Hindu King.

    So should we blame ordinary Muslims?


    Should we blame Islam?

    I am not sure, however I would point that any religion whose followers insist on carrying out their business exactly as it was 1400 years ago or for that matter 5000 years ago, will lead to violence and conflict.

    So, why is the world frightened?

    I think the world is afraid of the pan Islamic conciousness. In India, you will give the examples of riots and whatever....

    But if we remember London tube bombings, there was no violence against against Muslims in Britain, yet 4 local guys chose to blow themselves. Why? I suppose because Britain attacked Iraq, but why should guys in London feel so much anger that they would blow up their own country men?

    Yes, ordinary Muslims suffer, how do we find a way around it is a difficult question. We must ponder over it, but not at cost of victims.

    But that way Dilip, cannot be shown by apologists of terror who try to justify such attacks.

    Anonymous said...

    Dilip D'Souza on 9/11:


    " I hope they get these guys. I hope they get the sick bastards who conceived this inconceivable horror. "

    Again I cannot help noticing the CONSIDERABLE difference in tone you adopt Dilip between this and Mumbai 7/11.

    Overall that article had a nice DDS balance by the end, but why politely call ppl who bombed trains in your city, that you have travelled by as "non-human"?

    And then start off with the link to riots etc.

    As several others have pointed out here, I dont think root cause analysis leading to circular justifications will help.

    As you yourself pointed out in that article that had perceptive Americans speaking about the cycle of violence they feared would be unleashed.

    Here, dont you think appearing to justify terror blasts by linking to riots will exactly acheive the same thing- close a cycle of violence, and ensure further violence?


    Dilip D'Souza said...

    confused:So should we blame ordinary Muslims? No.

    Good. So did you pull up the guy who wrote on this page: Muslims to introspect and condemn, in unequivocal terms, maybe through fatwas, the religious overtones of the attacks?

    Why is it assumed that Muslims don't condemn the blasts? That they must be told to do so in unequivocal terms? Because some terrorists who claim to be Muslim set off bombs, we must assume that all Muslims must get up and "condemn"? Thus assuming that they actually approve of them until they "condemn"? I'm making no such assumptions about anyone else; as I've said on this page, I assume that everyone condemns the blasts in unequivocal terms.

    apologists of terror.

    Ah, now we have the ancient tactic of the guy who doesn't even believe his own arguments: resort to insults, paint the other guy as a monster.

    Dilip D'Souza said...

    Jai, "nonhuman" is polite? I search for differnet ways to say things with every article I write. This time I chose "nonhuman", that time I chose "sick bastards"; little did I know that along would come someone who would see "nonhuman" as polite. (Of course, that time I got a guy who said "sick bastards" was "too good a term").

    You talk about a cycle of violence. Here's what I believe about that: we are going to have violence of this kind for years to come and we had better get used to it. Why? Because we don't have the will to punish the guilty, the men who kill our fellow citizens. Take three:

    The trial for the 1993 bomb blasts was essentially over two years ago, there's no verdict yet, nobody sentenced for that killing of 250+ people -- and that, over 13 years since they happened. The 1984 killings of Sikhs have seen not a single person punished, even though report after report named senior Congressmen (Bhagat has even died) as responsible for those 3000 deaths. 22 years. The 1992-93 riots have seen not a single person punished, even though about a thousand people died. 13+ years too.

    A country that's unwilling to punish terror will only suffer more terror. I'm getting used to that idea.

    Anonymous said...

    While we are on riots vs. terror attacks here, I would like to know more about this thread that I keep hearing: (approx as follows)

    " Prior to the BJP becoming a force to reckon with / coming to power, most riots in India were started off by community M who could get away with it and community H had to silently suffer. What the BJP & Co. have done is to reverse this trend."

    I would like to collect opinions on this. This is a * sincere * question not a rhetorical one. It was way before my time.

    If there is substance to this, it could lead to "justification(?)" for H riots as revenge for earlier M riots , the H riots having now (justifiably?) provoked terror blasts in turn.

    The cycle of violence, one more roll backward...


    Anonymous said...

    Mr. D'Souza,

    How many attacks in countries like SL, Ireland, Nepal, Columbia, Peru have impact in other parts of the world? I told they are ethnic tensions (in the context of pan islamic conciousness) and I never said that they are not terrorist attacks. Please show me where I have said that. I said that most terrorist attacks are perpetrated by Muslims. That means there are some other terrorist attacks that are not and they include all the countries you named. If you make statistics of no. of terrorist attacks the world over and you classify them based on their perpetrators (even after excluding ethincially related attacks like in Chechnya or Basque), you can see that pan-islamic reasons for attacks are on the rise.

    Why should a person be more affected by what happens in the rest of the world than what happens next door? Why the heck should a Kashmiri or an Iraqi go and fight in Chechnya?

    After Islam's advent, it was geographically limited to Arabian peninsula. And what happened in your neighbouring country could affect you directly. Today, what is the reason for people to get all worked up over the attacks on a country far away without bothering about its ramifications on our own country?

    Unless Indian Muslims give up this pan-islamic consciousness, there's no way you can prevent people from questioning them about their loyalty towards the Indian constitution.

    There are some apologists in the media who have pointed out that the attacks may have been because of Gujarat/Babri. Then by the same logic, can we justify the attacks on Muslims because of atroities peepetrated on Hindus during the period of Muslim rulers?

    If you are replying to my comment, can I also know your opinion on Mulayam's remarks on SIMI? Thanks in advance.

    Amanda said...

    Being of Irish descent, I feel compelled to clear up a misconception I see being tossed about. The conflict in northern Ireland is not ethnic. It is religious: Protestant vs. Catholic. Both the IRA and the ULA are very much white and very much Irish.

    Anonymous said...

    "I don't believe in banning organizations"

    Do you think KKK, Nazi etc. should be banned?
    Should AQ be banned?
    Regarding applying laws?
    Do you support death penalty?

    Trying to understand your opinions/viewpoints thats all.

    Anonymous said...


    First, I am not obliged to pull up anyone who comments on your blog. I am responsible for what I write, quote me a line where I have blamed ordinary Muslims, and I would be happy to apologize.

    Second, when I said apologists of terror, why did you assume I referred to you?



    The point I was trying to make is that it serves no purpose to obfuscate the issue and claim militant Islam is not a danger to the world. That would be a fairy tale which would draw people away when you make more reasonable arguments that ordinary Muslims cannot be blamed.

    Please understand that

    Anonymous said...


    >>Second, when I said apologists of terror, why did you assume I referred to you?

    Guilty conscious? (Dilip's I mean)

    If you didn't refer to Dilip as apologists of terror, I'll wager that Dilip's terribly disappointed. He's worked so hard to reach that position.

    Dilip D'Souza said...

    Naveen: Unless Indian Muslims give up this pan-islamic consciousness, there\'s no way you can prevent people from questioning them about their loyalty towards the Indian constitution.

    Says it all, doesn\'t it. The Indian Muslims I have met -- like several just this afternoon on a random walk through Bhendi Bazar in Bombay -- are ordinary Indian citizens like anybody else in this country that I have met. Concerned about the same things, fearful of blasts, worried about the downturn in business ... the usual. Yet whatever they do as ordinary Indian citizens, there will always be people who will say \"you have a pan-Islamic consciousness and your loyalty will be questioned.\"

    I trust you read bez\'s comment.

    Anonymous 958: I don\'t believe in bans. Period. Death penalty, I\'m not sure.

    confused, of course you are not obliged to pull up anyone. I\'ve known that for a long time. No surprise

    Your statement about apologists, doesn\'t surprise me either. I\'m learning, finally.

    claim militant Islam is not a danger to the world.

    Not that I expect an answer (as I said, I\'m learning), but what the hell, let me ask anyway. Where did I claim that militant Islam is not a danger to the world?

    Anonymous said...

    ''of course you are not obliged to pull up anyone. I\'ve known that for a long time. No surprise''

    So, Interesting! When I comment on this blog, I read all the 40 comments before and then keep pulling up people. Why don't you hang a sign outside the door? And please, I pull up enough people on my blog, Mostly who support the position I have taken, so I really dont need any lessons on that. Ok?

    ''Where did I claim that militant Islam is not a danger to the world? ''

    Where have you ever? Your standard response in such cases is to start writing stories about how Altaf-Bhai is suffering!

    Cite me one piece you have ever written when you have gone against likes of Mulayam, Naxalites, Muslim fundamentlaists. But your standard response is that you don't give tests. This is not a test, just a statement of facts. Please understand that, this causes more harm to the cause of secularism than you would realize.

    And yes please do keep learning.

    Sailesh Ganesh said...

    Dilip I must say I am disappointed with this post. I cannot imaagine why you would come up with such a post that serves no purpose other than to add to "Hindu vs Muslim fundamentalism".

    You are defeating your own purpose by the tone of your post here. You purport to view all acts of killing as the same, no matter how they are labelled, yet you manage to prejudice the reader into viewing them as different from each other.

    The point of your post defeats me. I do not think anyone has suggested that the "massacres" were any different from the "terror attacks" as fas as end result goes. Yet, as others have pointed out, you try to induce a feeling of guilt when none is required. Why?

    It also seems to me as if you are trying to shift the focus from the main issue - that there were terror attacks, most likely by a few Indian muslims, whose participation in such activities seems to be increasing - to some non-issue, and in the process, widen a rift that we are better off without. Again, why?

    Dilip D'Souza said...

    confused: Why don\\\'t you hang a sign outside the door? ... [etc]

    Don\\\'t follow.

    Where have you ever?

    A quick comedown indeed. From \\\"claim militant Islam is not a threat to the world\\\" to \\\"where have you ever?\\\" What\\\'s the next step?

    One small thing: I write about what I see around me. Not about what you see around you (or me). They may not match. OK with me.

    Sailesh: I looked hard, but this has nothing to do with Hindu vs Muslim fundamentalism. I don\\\'t see those massacres I mention as being due to one or the other fundamentalism, I just see them as terrorist attacks. That\\\'s all. I have no desire or interest in inducing guilt.

    Finally, to me the main issue, bar none, is our unwillingness to punish terrorists -- whether the Bombay train blasts 2002 scum or the Bombay killings 1992-3 scum.

    Nath said...

    I do not think anyone has suggested that the "massacres" were any different from the "terror attacks" as fas as end result goes.

    Well then, let me be the first to do so. I see a difference between riots and terrorism.

    Terrorism is the use of violence -- or, rather the resulting panic and irrationality -- as a political tool. Usually executed by a relatively small group of people. The killing is a means, rather than an end.

    Riots are violent outbursts from a large group of people. The violence is in anger, with no concrete goals beyond revenge against a real or imagined grievance. Those responsible for riots do not consciously bring themselves closer to any political goal.

    Dilip D'Souza said...

    Nath: Those responsible for riots do not consciously bring themselves closer to any political goal.

    Really? What would you call the Congress electoral victory after the 1984 killings in Delhi? The BJP electoral victory after the 2002 killings in Gujarat?

    Those parties should have been thrown out on their behinds for their roles in those respective killing sprees. Yet they won massive victories.

    Nath said...

    Nath, I agree with you that there doesn't seem to have been anything pre-meditated about the riots -- unlike this pre-planned and elaborately orchestrated bombing attack.

    Perhaps I should clarify my definitions. What I should have said was:
    Riots do not necessarily have concrete political goals beyond revenge.

    Hypothetically, one could indeed plan a riot and use it to achieve a political objective. This would simultaneously be a riot and an act of terrorism. The two words do have different meanings, but they are not mutually exclusive.

    ori0nis said...

    riots are terror attacks by those who
    don't have bombs... playing into the hands of those who had...