Dealing with Terrorism

“You can speak reason to a man who is fighting for anything else, but when a man believes he is fighting for his God, there is no reasoning with him.”


The recent terror attack in Punjab has brought society’s and media’s focus back on terrorism. In this article, Sadhguru looks at the short-term and long-term solutions.

Sadhguru: It is a matter of deep concern and regret that in the recent past, terrorist attacks and bombings killing and maiming innocent people have become a matter of routine in the country.

The purpose of terrorism is not war but to cripple a society with fear. Their aim is to spread panic among the people, divide the society, derail the economic growth of the country, create strife, violence and lawlessness at every level – in other words, reduce the country to a failed state.

Of all the kinds of violence, particularly religion-motivated terrorism is the most dangerous kind. You can speak reason to a man who is fighting for anything else, but when a man believes he is fighting for his God, there is no reasoning with him. When people are fighting for money, property, or something else, it is possible to negotiate with them because they are life-oriented; but those who think they are fighting for God, or working for God or doing God’s work are only too eager to die and take all of us with them.

After more than a thousand years of external invasions, foreign occupation and extreme poverty, this nation is now on the threshold of economic wellbeing. This opportunity has not come free, but out of much pain, suffering and sacrifice by generations of people before us. It is therefore our duty to bring their efforts to fruition and make their dreams come true. It is obvious that there are certain elements who do not want this nation empowered. It is high time we defeated the nefarious designs of these anti-national elements.

An Iron Hand & Steely Resolve

There are those who are not committed to the idea of nationhood and they cannot be dealt with softly. If we want to preserve and nurture the sovereignty of this nation, these elements who are willing to kill indiscriminately and also die in the process, whose beliefs are not concurrent with the fundamentals of the nation-state, should be dealt with an iron hand and a steely long-term resolve. Someone who carries a gun or bomb, with the intentions of shooting and killing anybody on the street – innocent people, women and children – simply needs to be dealt with decisively.

If we want to exist here as a nation, we have to learn the fundamentals of how to maintain the sovereignty of the country. It is very important that anybody who threatens the normal functioning of society and the nation must be put down. The long-term solutions are different, but this “fighting for God” has to be put down, absolutely – it doesn’t matter which section of society it comes from.

These terrorists are not always political pawns or tools in somebody else’s hands. Those forces who cater to such elements are always there, but when one says, “Let’s go fight and kill people for our God” – whether you directly participate in it or not, as long as you believe that your way is the only way, you are a part of it. We are still unwilling to face that there are people among us who have such beliefs and intentions. Somewhere we think, forces from outside the border are pulling the strings. But help is coming from outside only because people here have these intentions.

The Larger Picture

There are larger, long-term solutions for these growing causes. We must nurture the integrity of the nation and a strong bonding among the people of different social, ethnic and religious backgrounds. We must bring a more equal distribution of education, economic opportunities, wealth and welfare on all levels. The socio-economic development has to reach everybody so that youth don’t go in the direction of terrorism. All these aspects have to be taken care of over a period of time, but for immediate purposes, these terror activities must be put down strongly. This lawlessness has to be brought to an end.

In the larger picture, what we need for the country and the world is more inclusiveness in individuals and the institutions of society. And inclusiveness is not only the fundamental nature of spiritual processes, but the very basis and goal of life itself.

At this time, it is of utmost importance to stand together as a nation beyond all narrow divides of religion, caste, creed or political affiliations, and to support our security forces at all levels to perform their duties. These are the times when we need to display our spiritual strength and stability, and a determined focus toward a solution.