A Historical View of Political Violence

History designates that terrorism and violence, have been used by numerous groups, parties, organisations, and criminal gangs to achieve their political desires. Because “It has been used to suppress slaves, peasants, weak, and minorities so that the sufferers could be reduced to a state of submission and obedience.” As a result, millions of people were killed who were unequivocally at odds to the outrageous and vicious activities of these clusters.

However, numerous revolutionary and fundamentalist groups wanted to eradicate the monarchs and high state officials, through terrorism and violence to alter the fabric of societies. Thus, criminal gangs, mafias, private killers, and underground criminal groups have used the power of violence and intimidation to oppose their foes and opponents. As a result, violence was adopted as a final resort to accomplish their “power and independence.”

Among the Muslims, the followers of Hassan-i-Sabbah (d.1124) formed a terrorist organisation in northern Persia. They started to assassinate high state officials and religious clerics who opposed their misguided ideology. In reaction, thousands of people have been killed by the stalwarts of this group in order to suppress the ordinary people. Therefore, they were known as the assassins or devotees. Though, after killing their enemies – they waited on the spot to face the abysmal repercussions.

In Russia numerous, terrorist and radical groups had emerged in the 12th century. Who have killed a lot of people by creating violence in the society? Their prime targets were the Czar and the minister. And miserably, they were succeeded in killing the ruler and his minister. Soon after the killing of the ruler and the minister the positions were instantly replaced by new entities and officials. They wanted to change the structure of the state, but fortunately, the structure of the state remained intact despite of these – immoral and violent activities of the radicals.

In ancient Greece, when Sparta was occupied by the Dorians “after defeating the local inhabitants known as Helots.” The local population have been isolated and forced to cultivate land – and the agricultural producers could likely to give benefits to the new conquerors. It was usual on the Spartans to go to the areas of Helots and kill the common people who found at night outside of their respected homes. Hence, it has created terror, mayhem, and intimidation among the local population.

At the end of ‘American civil war’ when slavery was obliterated in American societies. The white underground criminal group known as the Ku Klux Klan did not accept the ‘Black Americans’ as equal to the white’s race. Subsequently, quoting Dr. Mubarak Ali “They would dress up in white robes to emphasis on the ‘purity’ of their race and also disguise their identities.” The racism and the antagonistic attitudes of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) had been ostracized the black population on the one hand. While on the other hand they instigated various terrorist attacks against the black population to terrorize them. Thus, the black population could have stayed – out of the white areas.

However, after the partition of Bengal in 1905 – numerous terrorist groups attacked the state institutions to destabilise the structure of the British Colonial Empire (BCE). Moreover, they killed police and high state officials to disrupt and emasculate the working administration of the state. Likewise, the British government has crashed and stifled the politically motivated political violence against the state officials.

In Iran, radical groups emerged during the reign of Mohammad Reza Pahalvi. Who made miscellaneous endeavors to assassinate him, but he survived several times of the assassination assaults. These groups were backed – by the political elites to gain certain – political purposes by creating violence in the society. But finally, he crashed these radicals and terrorists with the help of his furtive security “called Savak.” Therefore, it indicates that if the state institutions are strong, they can eliminate terrorism, violence, and radical movements of all hues and colours.

Furthermore, sometimes the state itself back terrorism and violence to exterminate its foes and opponents. In the case of state violence, it takes a legitimate cover to deal with its enemies and anti – state elements. “During the French revolution – the period “between” 1793 to 1794 is known as the Reign of Terror.” The revolutionary government adopted various steps to establish the committee of public safety in order to protect the revolution from anti – revolutionary movements. As a result, a great number of people including the king and the queen have been executed. Around 60,000 anti – revolutionaries have also been executed during that alarming period of the Reign of Terror. This method was further espoused by China and Russia after their particular revolutions.

History describes that terrorist movements and violence could not alter the fabric of the state by creating anxiety, through bombing, killing, and terrorizing the people. Because once they become involve in the awful activities, they would lose the sympathies of the people. However, history has also provided us the imitations that how – from time to time terrorism and violence being, used to disrupt the state and achieve the so – called political interest.

We must learn lessons from history, that the African National Council of South Africa had opposed the apartheid government by adopting the policy of non–violence. They had succeeded to alteration of the state and recognized the black populations as equal. However, The Arish Republican Army (IRA) had also left the policy of terrorism in response to non–violence to accomplish their cherished and indispensable rights. And finally, they succeeded to acquire their rights and change the structure of the state from violence, chaos, antagonism, and terror to a peaceful land of the human being.

Meanwhile, terrorism and violence could not achieve its desire results by creating panic in the society. Because most of the terrorist movements have failed to transform the society to a state of turmoil. Violence plunge the society to disorder, anarchy, and bloodshed without achieving its final objectives


The article originally appeared on The Balochistan Voices

Najeeb Kakar is a freelance writer and researcher interested in Politics, society, history and terrorism. He can be reached at najeebkakar195@yahoo.com Follow him on Twitter@najeebkakar19 and Facebook.


The Afghan Tribune | Najeeb Kakar | Published: March 14, 2016, 02:12 PM


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