Kalam asks: What should we do about terrorism?

Nobody wants to die for a martyr’s cause. Only the martyr wants to die for his cause. But terrorism happens when the cause the martyr is dying for also requires the death of a person who does not share a belief in the martyr’s cause. So as long as there are people who does not share the martyr’s beliefs there will be terrorism.

The only way out of this vicious circle is to let people realize how fleeting and valuable life truly is. Nobody realizes the great fortune of having been born, the fortune of existence as an intelligent & healthy human. Religion, Poverty & Discrimination makes it even harder. I am not saying religion has to be abolished, but people must be shown that to be alive is truly something precious & worth living for.

There must be education, movies & documentaries that show how great, real (not ordinary) lives can be. The media shouldn’t give false high hopes for a better life that only a few people get to live (e.g. that kid’s honeymoon in Switzerland spending his rich dad’s money). The media must focus on how great, cool & sexy a life that everyone gets to live can be(e.g. from homeless to Harvard). I remember a Hindi movie which depicted Amir Khan as a womanizer & a terrorist. That made it sound among my friends as though it is kinda cool to be a terrorist with personal ideologies for which others who dint care should die for.

I think if people can have a sheer desire to live a non-Bollywood-movie life and can find that life extremely cool, there would be no revolution of rising expectations. Rising expectations from religion (e.g. heaven for terrorists) & culture (e.g. only healthy people can be happy etc.) may spawn a small number of people who are willing to kill others for their beliefs.

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