This was a movie day, reached early at the multiplex and had a solid hour to spend…running out of wit, I decide to grab a couple of beers at four in the evening!!! So here is this beautiful cafe cum bar representing everything chic and uber, running with the times, hip layout and suave presentation. As I breeze through the layout, I am in admiration!
Suddenly in one of these book shelves they displayed, I encounter a name I am very less conversant with but which is probably, the biggest viral media phenomenon of the last hundred years. Even when newsprint was not as permeating leave alone the net and electronic media, this name and the glance which owned it, was, “The Cultural Icon”!!! Yes, I am talking about CHE. The Argentinian doctor was clicked with a glance adorning a beret with a star. Whether its the mural in a management institute’s cafe or the sixty bucks worth of T Shirt, Ernesto Che Guevara seems to be everywhere. A revolutionary, a communist, a Marxist, a cultural icon, a hero, an Irish rebel (by his father’s admission)….et all; several monikers have been associated with this person.
So what the hell is the connection between me grabbing a few beers & a Cuban revolutionary…heavens know, that there is a hell of a connection between beer & opinions / philosophy…but, this is quite a few days later, so, sorry to disappoint!!
While THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES was a very romantic read for a young teenage mind, today as I finished reading the book again after many years, I also recollected another page from the history. Commandante Guevara (only his favorites were allowed to call him Che…) was responsible for God knows how many executions (even the Cubans lost count at one point of time…), the gruesomeness of it not exactly known (unlike Jehadi John & Jehadi John 2… whom we keep seeing on net every other day slashing people). He was ultimately executed in Bolivia when he got tired / bored, of the stuff he did in Cuba and looked for some more fun & revolutions to be brewed across other Latin american / African nations (the only other famous picture associated with him, his bullet ridden body again with an open eyed wretched stance lying on a table…). Did he have to die in spite of his deeds in the manner in which he died?
What about some rights to go along?
COMING BACK – a friend of mine threw a question on Facebook the other day. Do terrorists have rights? Here’s what I had written…
“1. As a human being, YES (well surrounded in a wide spread & well fortified fencing of rights)
2. However, the moment you enter into the threshold of rights of fellow human beings, the space & threshold of the fencing keeps getting squeezed.
3. When you are a terrorist (purely from the defined version of a democratically elected Govt/executive of a well defined nation state) and have killed people, you have reduced the threshold right to the limit of your being.
4. Then, when the gruesomeness, nature of killing, victims, the context (again defined by the democratically elected executive) crosses a certain limit (eg: killing innocent / children or ISIS like acts) you have pushed the threshold well beyond your existence….
Question arises: for fairness, even after all this they have the right to be shown the light, to reform, to be brought out of the mess/disillusionment…
One probable answer: How many lives form an equitable trade off level before you don’t think about the above question anymore….
As you said it’s an open ended question, this was an answer partly from an individual perspective and partly from the clouded ethos & ideas of civilization entrenched in a soldier’s being….”
Some people will hack me for just discussing Che & the above question in the same note, but, still it puzzles me how a few changes in description, a few different monikers & the blessings of the media later…a person with a similar chequered past ceases to be a terrorist and translates into a romantic euphemism…now I remember, on the same friends question, I had written this also…
“It just hit me while writing (since I have to deal with politicized idiots / scumbags who feign/pretend to fight for the villagers’ rights) that all said and done about this question, there are ‘n’ no of arguments & counter arguments / philosophies which can turn most of the terrorists into cult figures / revolutionaries / heroes / freedom fighters, blah blah….I was wearing a Che Guevara T-shirt long before I read about his countless executions in the name of treason against Cuba…. he’s said to be a revolutionary and so entitled to all the rights in the world, but if I dare to term him a terrorist also, quite a few ‘rights issues’ are off the table (maybe someone will kill me for this) again quite a few interpretations and fine lines of demarcation….quite a difficult question you threw!!!”
Yes indeed a difficult question that has created an even more difficult question in my mind….forget about rights, where’s the thin line that exists between the way you define someone as terrorist & a revolutionary leader…
…it was not long ago (two decades maybe at best….) when so many Europeans & Americans were so worried about human rights violations in Kashmir; Fidel Castro & his bunch were the demon on earth; did I just hear someone define the same bunch in Kashmir as f****** terrorists & opening hotels / resuming trade with Fidel’s Cuba ain’t so bad???!!!
…the myriad world of convenience and changing perceptions / equations…forget rights & other blah, blah…its always the equations & their enormity, numbers & relevance which dictates what you brand someone & what rights he/she/it has got…only the equations win it seems!!!