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Rehabilitating Radicals

By Fida Firdous

The idea of setting de-radicalization camps by India’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen Bipin Rawat may be new to Kashmiri people, but very old in the history of some great countries. This idea is appreciable if it helps to stop violence and terrorism which are the basic assumptions of radicalization. Extremism is taught by radicalization and counter-radicalization will help youth to save them from violence and terrorism. Before, we entrench further argument into the statement made by Gen Bipin Rawat (CDS) we have to understand de-radicalization camps and their role. De-radicalization is a process of rehabilitation of radicals. It is a policy and measures designated and implemented by the authorities to normalize and convince the groups and individuals who have already become radicalised or extremists to repent and disengage from violence. Typical de-radicalization programme may also include various measures, various parties’ example, religious rehabilitation, education, vocational training, social training, family programme, physical programme it can be either collective or individual. Civil society is an important source of soft, it mediates between state and power society.
For example concepts such as Radicalization, violent extremism and terrorism are extensively used in literature to refer to violence carried out by groups and individuals. These challenges can be defeated under de-radicalization package of policies and measures designed and implemented by the country to present youth or most vulnerable groups and communities from becoming radicalize in their home country.
Understanding radicalization and its worse consequences we must not forget Incident like Lathpora Pulwama by a suicide bomber which is an eye opener fact of radicalization of youth in the valley. Behind every suicide bomber, terrorist attack and violence there is a psychological methodology. Hence, it is a process whereby groups or individuals undergo a psychological transformation that leads them to depart from tradition and increase their advocacy to an extreme political, social or religious ideology. Radicalization is an ideological transformation through many methods and ways. It can be done at schools, Madrasas and other religious organisations by teaching hate ideology of social and religious ethics targeting poor and saving their kins from the violence. Unlike terrorism which is a systemic, deliberation and planned measures to inculcate fear by using tactics of terror to attain certain politico-religious objectives, radicalization is a process which occurs in due course of time with sustained efforts. While experiencing the certain ideological (religious, political, nationalist or social) injunction, the subject individuals adopts extreme views, rejects the status quo idealizes to bring about change in the society.
Instead of targeting terrorists with the focus of the counter-terrorism policies which are furthering execrate and produce harm and anger in the society. Focus should be on Counter-radicalization which will targets communities, by targeting violent extremists from recruitment, sympathy or any form of support. The overarching aim is to increase and create resilient communities. Ideology and activism, the kind of action, a counter-radicalization package could include (unlimited) depending on the culture, norms and innovations and capacity of national and local actors and involves multi-channels and various parties, including in particularly gross roots and civil society. This may include educational and political reforms and campaigns massaging, capacity building, outreach to civil society and various communities and use of role models.
A general consensus among the observers, that the fight against radicalism and its offspring’s, violent extremism has been mismanaged and mishandled even long before the 9/11 attack of 2001.
Treating radicalization as a process requires a completely different approach. One where the overriding object is to win the hearts and minds of communities most vulnerable to radicalization and violent extremism to successfully deal with conditions conducive to radicalization and extremism that leads to terrorism. ““Waging the war of ideas” not the war on terror to defeat radicalization and win violent extremism.
This renewed interest in the question of what leads an individual or group to leave terrorism has been encouraged and motivated by the emergency and implementation of some innovative approach, mostly these approaches carried different names, terminologies but are generally known in the wars for lace of better terminologies as counter-red and de-radicalization have been deemed more successful then military approaches and less likely to format a new generation of violent extremists.
It is not the sheer presence of a dynamic and rigorous civil society and community that matters most but rather the ability of the state to build and maintain truthful relationship with its communities. It is self-evident for Kingdoms efforts to counter radicalization and extremism in British society. Extremism is precursor to terrorism as all terrorists are extremists by virtue of their ideological beliefs.
It can be simply an attempt to disengage a militant from violence and extremist tendencies from his political or religious association with a cause. Rehabilitation of a militant is an integral part of the de-radicalization process and without rehabilitation the process never completes.
Terrorism is inexpensive and that is one reason considered as the weapon of the weak, whereas counter-terrorism is expensive as it requires more human and material resources to thwart terrorist plans. On the other hand de-rad is very expensive as it is a long overarching process requiring much more resources.
Focus on the places where radicalization is said to take place- prison, masques, universities, madrasas, Diasporas or the internet.
(The writer is a peace activist and can be reached at: [email protected])