What I discovered in Jaipur part 1 on insurgency

After the first day at the Jaipur Literature Festival here in India, one of the highlights for me was hearing New Yorker journalist John Lee Anderson talk about the politics of insurgency. Listening to Orhan Pamuk (Nobel Prize winner) and Jung Chang and Jon Halliday (author of the recent book on Mao) was fascinating but Anderson explained how even the most atheist militant groups found a way to imbue religious symbolism into the sacrifice of dying. Spirituality was essential, he said, for insurgents to continue the struggle, to believe that what they were doing was important for the bigger cause at hand.

The idea of pushing for a belief – Palestine, Tamil Eelam etc – often supersedes all other beliefs.

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