‘Bad, bad men’? | india | Hindustan Times
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‘Bad, bad men’?

A group of British politicians has questioned the BBC’s use of ‘gunmen’ and ‘militants’ — instead of ‘terrorists’ — during its reportage of the Mumbai attacks.

india Updated: Dec 03, 2008 21:00 IST

The venerable Bede, the 7th-8th century monk credited as ‘the father of English history’, said, “I have devoted my energies to the study of the scriptures, observing monastic discipline.” The Venerable Beeb, on its part, may have made its reputation by being non-monastic. But it certainly has scriptural issues. A group of British politicians has questioned the BBC’s use of ‘gunmen’ and ‘militants’ — instead of ‘terrorists’ — during its reportage of the Mumbai attacks. Considering that this is a less contentious debate than the old one about one man’s terrorist being another man’s freedom fighter, all we can say is that our definition of a terrorist is someone who uses systematic terror, especially as a means of coercion. One way of deciding the matter could be to check whether terrorist bullets hurt less or more than militant bullets. Case solved.