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A human being killing another human being is inhuman. Therefore, a terrorist, or a suicide bomber is inhuman.

Suicide bombers lose their humanity to political and religious rhetoric brainwashing – and kill. But, being temporarily inhuman, they have nothing to do with religion or politics. They are robots. And what they do is against religion and politics.

The accepted understanding of both politics and religion are that religion serves the spiritual needs of human beings, and politics serve the material needs of residents of a country.

The accepted understanding is that religion encourages and inspires a peaceful spiritual life for all human beings both in the present and the hereafter. And the intention of politics is to help the citizens of a country lead peaceable material lives.

Religion suggests that life has a purpose, and lays out the ground rules for what is right and what is wrong, it endorses a life of morality and ethics. Religions, in their own ways, support mutual acceptance, justice and peace.

When politicians are committed to protecting diverse communities and nurturing diversity, then, politics exists to protect and safeguard people – citizens, from terror and violence.

The ultimate goal of politics, as it is of religion, is justice and peace. Good politics, and good politicians, which every nation, and every citizen, deserve, are representatives of peace for people of all nations.

The accepted understanding of peace is – when people live serenely, free from stress and disturbance and live together in freedom, harmony and well-being

Peace is the absence of the fear of conflict and violence between peoples, communities and countries. Peace is a state of calmness and security. Peace is when conflicts are not resolved through violence.

Religious and political peace becomes real, when adherents of different religions and political thoughts accept the idea of universal brotherhood and recognise that the whole human race is one, and, reject hostility and suspicion towards people of different religions, or political parties, or their race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, etc.

Religious and political peace becomes real, when leaders do not use a rhetoric of religious and political extremism to separate and create divisions and spread tribalism, i.e. loyalty to one’s own political or social group.

So, when a terrorist strikes, misguidedly turned into a suicidal robot who kills human beings who are loved by their families and friends and are mourned by all, it is an inhuman act by an inhuman person.

Good politicians and good politics rise above war talks and set their goal on peace. Talk of revenge, retribution and war, and of returning acts of terror and violence with similar terror and violence, shows lack of humanity. Violence does not have to be met with violence.

A politician’s duty is to build peace, keep peace, and make peace, both, with people within the nation, and amongst nations. And it is fortunate that politics and politicians are meant to be protectors of peace and not predators of peace. After all, politicians are human too, and the pursuit of peace is a civilised answer to fundamentalists and terrorists.

It is necessary for politicians, and politics, to talk in terms of peace, than to talk of war; resolve conflicts rather than escalate conflicts. It is essential for politicians to start peace talks rather than war talks and aggressively fight for peace and not for war. Good politics and good politicians are not distracted by religious and political extremism. Constructive de-escalation is the true path, and peace is their goal.

Pratap Antony is a Passive activist. Active pacifist freelance thinker and writer on ecology and environment, social justice and pluralism, management ideas and issues and jazz and western classical, music and Indian classical dance.

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