Pooja Krishna H A, III Year B.A. English
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There have been lots of studies and surveys conducted, and a lot more of articles written, about what goes on inside the mind of the suicide bomber. You might be wondering how this article is any different. Well, the important difference is that this article aims, not to understand what goes on inside the mind of the suicide bomber, but to establish firmly, what does.
As I mentioned before, several studies have been conducted. One by Dr. Yusef Yadgari, an Afghan pathologist, in 2007, revealed that the majority of Afghan suicide bombers had missing limbs and other physical disabilities (before the attack). Another by Criminal Justice professor Adam Lankford claims that suicide attackers are not psychologically normal or stable, and they carry out the attacks mainly to mask their desire to die beneath a “veneer of heroic action”. Yet another research, conducted by Robert Pape, Director of the Chicago Project on Suicide Terrorism, quite interestingly, reveals that the majority of suicide bombers came from the educated middle classes.I will be analyzing these studies conducted by various professors and doctors, and coming to a conclusion of my own.
First of all, who is a suicide bomber?
Well, I think the question answers itself. A suicide bomber is someone who chooses to bomb a particular place, committing suicide in the process, as he is the carrier of the bomb.
Let’s move on to the more interesting questions.
Why have I never used the words, ‘her’ or, ‘herself’ so far, while referring to the suicide bombers?
My answer is this – suicide bombings are not a new tradition, or something that just emerged. It has been going on for at least a century. In fact, the world’s first suicide bomber is believed to be Ignaty Grinevitsky, the man who killed Tsar Alexander II, way back in 1881. And in all that time, no females were involved. It was only later, much later, in the 1980’s, did little Sana’a Maheidii, became the world’s first female suicide bomber. Even now, don’t imagine that women have evolved as suicide bombers because they have earned equal rights, or anything. No, it was only because the men realized, too late, that females were viewed as less of a threat in public places, and hence were easy assassins.
What is the goal of the suicide bombers?
Well, obviously, to kill, so let’s skip that question, too.
Who signs up to be a suicide bomber?
Now, that’s the million dollar question, isn’t it? Who? Who could be so depressed, so demented, to sacrifice their own lives in favor of taking a few others’? Aren’t normal bombs much easier? Well, there are multiple answers to that question.
Answer #1. People who are genuinely sick of their life; sick of living.
Answer #2. People who believe that they are sacrificing their lives for a, ‘noble cause’.
Answer #3. People who believe that the above-mentioned noble cause is religion, caste or race.
Answer #4. People who have been convinced, brainwashed, or sweet talked into giving up their lives.
Out of these four answers, I personally think that the first reason is closest to the truth. People don’t randomly go away blowing themselves up. There has to be a motivation behind their actions. Let’s face it. A human being’s natural, first and foremost instinct is survival. Even an illiterate person would have that instinct. Secondly, the person who signs up to be a bomber has to know that they wouldn’t make use of the money they get after they die, so that’s not the cause, either. What, then? The answer: like I mentioned before, demented, depressed people who are sick of the lives they’ve been living, and decide to end them. Here, the other three reasons come into place. Deciding that they want to end it, anyway, they decide to give up their life for a ‘noble cause’, or have been influenced by someone else who believes in that cause.
I have gone over the different researches conducted by the doctors, and come to a conclusion. I move to establish that Adam Lankford’s answer is the closest to the truth. That the suicide bombers are truly, sadly, psychologically unstable people