Terrorists, however, mighty and invincible they might appear, will not have the last word and the course of civilisation will be determined by those who talked about peace, love and compassion, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said in Kolkata on Saturday.
"Yes, these forces may be mighty and appear invincible, but as an individual I believe that they cannot say the last word. Therefore, what you should learn is that the last word is said not by those who talk of violence, but by those who talk of love, peace and compassion," Mukherjee said at the third convocation of St Xavier's College in Kolkata.
Mukherjee, who deviated from the printed convocation address, said terrorism was the biggest threat to peace and tranquillity in the post-cold war world.
"I have tried to figure out, not as the Minister in charge of External Affairs, nor as a Defence Minister, or as a political activist, the reason for this senseless violence. In my own way, I have come to the conclusion that I do not find any rationality in this," he said.
Describing the Mumbai violence as "unprecedented in its ferocity and audacity", he called upon the students to ask themselves the reasons for the attack. "Is it to assert any particular right? To achieve a particular political gain? To draw the attention of the community to any particular justice? Has it to do with religion? Does any religion preach this type of terrorism?" He expressed anguish at what he described as efforts by some Western scholars "to raise the pitch against Islamic terrorism," and said, "Islam preaches universal brotherhood. Therefore religion cannot be the reason for terrorism."