CHILD SHIELD

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 30 Jun 2018 12:14:43

EVEN as the United Nations has talked of how terrorists are recruiting children for their nefarious activities and how over 10,000 children were killed or injured globally after having been used a human shields or child-activists, it has stated unequivocally that terror outfits such as Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) used children in clashes with security personnel in Jammu and Kashmir. This revelation in the UN Secretary General’s Report on Children and Armed Conflict, confirms the Indian observation in this regard. Obviously, the terror outfits, thus, proved to be cruel organisations that did not mind using kids as human shields or activists who came out onto the streets of Kashmir to overwhelm the security personnel with heavy stone-pelting. And because the children were up front, the security personnel felt helpless as they could not respond tit-for-tat.

The UN Report, thus, shows to which length the terrorists can go to pursue their dirty goals. They do not mind if the children get killed during their ugly operations. For them, human sentiment has little value. What counts most for them is their goal of spreading violence in the name of Islam all over the world. It was not without reason that a scholar like Prof. Samuel Huntington wrote in his seminal work “The Clash of Civilisations” how some unholy elements in the Islamic civilisation would always remain a cause of international conflict in which human values would have no meaning. The author was candid enough to insist that much of the future conflict would have these elements as one side of the divide.

It is most unfortunate that even as this has been happening, the common Islamic population the world over has yet not risen in unison to oppose such an abuse of children. True, many saner elements in the Islamic world are beginning to oppose terrorism and violence. They insist that violence could never be part of the fundamental Islamic thought. Despite this, terrorism has continued to dominate the thought and action of some elements in the Islamic population the world over.

The saddest and the most insane part of terrorism is that the activists in that area are groomed to shun all human emotions such as love, kindness, mercy, togetherness etc. They are selected, too, on the basis of the individual’s criminal propensity and ability to the worst extent of cruelty. That the terrorists adopt such an approach is clear from the recruitment and use of children as human shields and activists not just in Kashmir but also the world over. This abuse of children appears to have become a major tool in the hands of terror masterminds.

This is most reprehensible, but the shameless terror lords do not seem to have that fine human emotion called ‘shame’. It is a sense of shame that has kept the human civilisation within the boundaries of decency and dignity. But the terror masterminds and strategists have ignored that fine sentiment and have continued to use even children -- of their own community -- to push their goals to whatever levels of fruition. This is obnoxious.

This report of the Secretary General of the United Nations should be good enough to trigger a counter-action by the rest of the world in its fight against terror. It is time the world got together and hit back in a systematic manner so that the kids are spared but the masterminds are annihilated ruthlessly. This is a tall order, of course, but absolutely necessary for the civilised world for the success in the fight against terror. There were times not so distant in the past when the global leaders seemed united in this pursuit against terror. Of late, however, some slackness in those efforts seems to have set in. This is worrisome. There is a need now for a fresh revisiting of this cause by global leaders so that they arrive at a common response to the Islamic terror in the most united and most authentic manner. Any failure in this regard, otherwise, would prove too disastrous for the civilised world.