Thursday, May 31, 2007

Who/what is a Terrorist?

What makes a Terrorist? What exactly is the Global War on Terror all about? Wikipedia throws up the following nugget:

"Terrorism expert Walter Laqueur in 1999 also has counted over 100 definitions and concludes that the "only general characteristic generally agreed upon is that terrorism involves violence and the threat of violence""

Not very useful, is it? According to this definition, if I punch my brother in the face, I'm a terrorist. Surprising, given that this word is splattered all over our newspapers and televisions - I've always wondered what a headline like "Terrorist shot dead in Bombay" means. At what point in your life do you become a terrorist? Upon having committed the act of violence, or even when preparing for it? What if you're just a trainee? What act of violence qualifies - does it have to be a bombing? Specifically a suicide bombing? Do you have to be a Muslim bomber to be called a terrorist? If it is a shooting, what kind of gun do you have to use? An AK-47? What if you shoot someone with a pistol? Does the violence have to be communal?

Another way of defining the word could be by looking at the motive of the offender. The word itself then presents a possible answer: "Terrorism" could mean "attempting to spread terror". Sorry - too vague again. Is a high-school bully also a terrorist, then? What if I'm trying to scare a witness into not deposing against me, and kill off a couple of his family members - the motive is clearly to spread terror. Am I a terrorist, then? Or does the target have to be more than one person - if so, what's the threshold?

Also - does membership of a "Terrorist Organisation" make you a terrorist? what kind of membership - what if you handle accounts for the JeM...or make lunch for the cadres? Does membership automatically make you a terrorist, or do you have to actually kill a few people before they bestow the epithet upon you? Is there a fancy certificate involved?

Too many questions - and till I get some answers for them, I'm going to be rather skeptical every time I see a headline talking about terrorists being gunned down.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

What's the Difference between...

...saying "I give a Damn" and saying "I don't give a Damn"?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Politics at Work

The lower the average workload-per-employee in any company - the greater the amount of politics played there.

Le Blog est Mort, Vive le Blog

(With due respect to whichever language I've just butchered above)

The blog, whatever there was of it, is mostly dead these days, since I've turned into a restaurantrepreneur. (I thought I'd invented a word, but turns out Google already throws up 6 results for it..bah!) So if you're ever visiting Sector 110, Noida, do give me a shout and come visit for some great food.

Monday, May 7, 2007

What makes a Poem a Poem?

Sometimes I wonder if
I'll ever understand what makes
a poem a poem and
an essay an essay.

I wonder if there is a
set of rules that defines
what a poem is. It us-
-ed to be simpler in my t-
-ime. Stuff like rhyme schemes
made it easier to understand.

abab, ababa, abba
and the
like, and I instinctively knew that
it was a poem. But what if there's
no rhyme scheme? Is there
a fixed number of words per
sentence? Or is simply pressing "enter"
midway through whenever I
feel like it good enough to make
this blog-post a poem?

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