— Two deadly terror strikes in France – office of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket store were targeted this January – and multiple coordinated terror strikes in Paris killing over 120 people in the worst terror strike in France and the worst on a major western power after 9/11 – and two more attempted terror strikes were thwarted, a planned attack on a concert and one on an Amsterdam-Paris train – and France is a major world power

— The worst time to fear that the war theatres of terror are expanding to other peace time nations after the lull of 9/11

— Sporadic events in some other European countries – continued dastardly terror strikes in India – pre and post 9/11

— Terrorism deaths in last few years – multiplying rapidly now with emergence of the Islamic State and the outfit’s increasingly global designs

— Terrorism deaths in state-sponsored terrorism – in countries like Pakistan, in many civil war torn African nations and in many tyranny-ridden Middle East countries

— Increasing civil war theaters – with failure of Arab Spring in countries it took place, except Tunisia

— Deaths in civil war theaters – Yemen, Libya, Nigeria, Somalia and many more countries across the globe – the human crisis is at its deafening levels now

— Deaths in ethnic wars/clashes – Christian and Muslim clashes in Nigeria and elsewhere – Shia-Sunni clashes panning countries, symbolized now in the IS

The powers that be must intervene without fail. The geopolitics of domestic concerns is no more a guarantee that terror will not strike you next.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/


Geopolitics is always skewed and social media is no exception.

Charlie Hebdo attack rightly outraged us. The intensity of shock is still fresh and it cannot be said when the process of reconciliation would begin as the crime took three days to wind up, with reports saying the suspects were killed just now (10 PM India Time). And to add to the intimidating chaos, Paris has seen two more shootouts, one yesterday, killing a policewoman, and one today, where gunmen took hostages in a Paris suburb grocery store. Now, three gunmen are dead, and going by the reports, a woman, suspected to be with the grocery store gunman, has been able to escape. Reports also say that she is ‘heavily armed’.

The events unfolding in Paris, still not clear, have the global media and audiences hooked.

Meanwhile, a crime of a much bigger scale was being perpetrated in Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy, crying for our attention.

But countless incidents of crimes against humanity in so-called uncivilized or third-world countries where dictators prowling or where sectarian warlords decide which way the wind would blow are not given even the passing mentions.

On Wednesday, when Charlie Hebdo attack happened, yet another Boko Haram massacre was in making in Nigerian town Baga.

The official reports said of 100 dead initially but the town was completely torched and even if most of the residents had fled before the Boko Haram’s assault, the unofficial consensus, that is more accurate than the official sources, was of thousands of dead.

But, apart from routine news reports, coverage and hence the audience engagement didn’t go further. As expected, there were no consolidated, campaigned expressions of outage and no runs of solidarity to mobilize the opinion on social media platforms.

Yes, the obvious differentiators were obviously there.

The Charlie Hebdo attack took place in Paris, one of the global cities, world’s fashion capital and the capital city of France, one of the major global powers, an advanced economy and a permanent member of the UN Security Council. And the reason, as shouted by the terrorists, was to avenge the ‘blasphemous’ acts, the Prophet cartoons by the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, all of them killed in the Wednesday massacre.

So, it was about a controversial issue, terrorism in the name of Islam, being debated the world over with its increasing spread and brutality, and it was logistically within reach of media outfits. And in a globally connected world, soon it was the world over, in real time.

There were elements to keep the audiences hooked to the TV sets and Internet platforms – armed terrorists killing 10 journalists and two policemen in Paris – they flee then and disappear with tens of thousands of security personnel mapping roads and leads – they reappear and disappear and reappear –meanwhile more shootouts happen – and then hostages are taken – all being covered and watched in real time – the world over.

While Boko Haram massacre targeted a Nigerian town that most would not have heard of. Historically, Nigeria’s ethnic clashes have killed thousands and have displaced millions. And Boko Haram is latest in the series.

There cannot be media outfits there to report in areas of Boko Haram control and reach and that is logical. When bodies are lying there rotting and no one is able to go there to dispose them, it is difficult for reporters to reach there and carry out a detailed assessment to let the world see and realize the scale of horror. And there was no one in pursuit of Boko Haram, unlike in France where the whole state machinery was involved.

We had live, moving images with incidents in France while we had none in case of Nigerian massacre. But didn’t we have the numbers?

Yes, the two cannot be compared and we should not. A tragedy taking away human lives cannot have a degree, irrespective of the numbers.

But what when we have astronomically high numbers – as has been reported about Boko Haram massacre in Baga?

Shouldn’t it make us numb to react on first mention so as to react more expressively – thousands shot dead and their bodies rotting?

Shouldn’t it agitate us to discuss it and make more and more of the world aware of it?

No world leader tweeted on it. We didn’t hear the United Nations making a formal statement on it. We didn’t know if the White House released statement condemning it.

Since 1998, some 30,000 Nigerians, human beings like you and me, have been killed in the social violence, a report by The Nigeria Social Violence Project says. The report puts the toll over 11000 since July 2009 when Boko Haram started its military offensive. This excludes the Baga massacre and many others not covered in the report.

Boko Haram Violence-1Graphic courtesy: The Nigeria Social Violence Project (African Studies Program at Johns Hopkins SAIS)

#CharlieHebdo, #JeSuisCharlie and #ParisShooting are trending but #BokoHaram and #BokoHaramKilled2000People must also trend.

I am in full solidarity with #JeSuisCharlie and #CharlieHebdo but #BokoHaram just killed thousands. Cry people, cry.

France’s tribute dimmed Eiffel Tower for #CharlieHebdo. I did not sleep the night sleeping in my tribute to the thousands of nameless victims of Boko Haram massacre who had a name and address till this Wednesday.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey–https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/


Charlie Hebdo is going to come out next Wednesday, the day it comes out every week – in the true spirit of the rightful and needed defiance of the terror attack on its office in Paris yesterday that killed its 10 staffers including its four cartoonists. And they are going to print 1 million copies. In past, the average circulation figure of the magazine has been hovering around 50,000 copies.

The killers are on the run. The manhunt is on. Some over 80,000 French security personnel are mapping the possible leads. The world is watching. And the world is speaking on it.

There are voices of defiance. There are voices of shock. There are voices of support. There are voices of resolve. And there are fanatic voices as well, lauding the attack, from terror groups like ISIL or Taliban to even from politicians of vested interests.

And the defiant voices that started emerging immediately, are getting stronger with time, with people from the world over expressing their outage, flooding the social media platforms – with media outfits paying tributes and keeping up the momentum.

And the anger, the shock, the pain and the resolve – it reflects in the cartoons drawn to pay tribute and drawn to show the defiance – with cartoonists coming out fiercely in denying the terrorists what they were aiming for – instilling horror in the hearts of those who defy the diktats of terrorists and the terror warlords.

The cartoons of defiance slap rightly in the face of terrorists and fear-mongers with hard and direct attacks, something that made for several Charlie Hebdo covers, as well as with subtle symbolisms, the hallmark of political cartoons.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey–https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

Here are some of the best ‘cartoons of defiance’ from the Internet pages:
(Images courtesy: different cartoonists, independent and working for media outfits)

Cartoons Collage-1

Cartoons Collage-2

Cartoons Collage-3

Cartoons Collage-4

Cartoons Collage-5




It happened in real time, almost at the same time it broke in France. The Twitter feeds of news carriers and Twitterati in general broke the news to France, and to the world that the Paris office of the weekly satirical magazine ‘Charlie Hebdo’ was under attack, facing heavy gunfire from terrorists armed with Kalashnikovs, and a rocket launcher as well.

Well, these were the frantic reports of the moments when fanatics were on the prowl, like it happens in every terror attack, when armed people kill people, indiscriminately. In these rushed moments, when the sense of the credibility of the news inflow is tasted, one thing always stirs the soul and leaves with haunting questions for humanity to think over – that there are people dying, people like you and me, by the acts of people, people like you and me.

This has been the alter-ego story of human civilizations – men killing men – to build civilizations – to annihilate civilizations – and in the recorded history, it has been basically about religion, revolving around it – fighting for religion – killing in the name of religion – when it was not to be the story when religions started taking shape – when formations started getting changed in search of ‘more’ and ‘perfect’ religions.

Charlie Hebdo, the French magazine, had crossed (and has been crossing) the path of religious fundamentalists, the central characters of these wars, becoming thus a party, willing or unwilling it never matters, in the wars, being waged in the name of religions.

Countless lives taken by these wars and still growing – religions that are supposed to liberate people by uniting them to live a humane way of life have become cages to bind them and blind them.

Religion liberates. Religion unites. Religion gives a sense to the life.

Religion also indoctrinates. Religion also disintegrates. Religion also infuses you with fanaticism of its supremacy.

By the men who control religions!

By the men who control men in the name of religions!

Some of these men sent some men today, to kill people who they had condemned to be killed.

Stephane Charbonnier, Charlie Hebdo editor and one of the cartoonists behind the controversial Prophet Muhammad cartoons featured in the weekly in past, was on Al Qaeda hit list.

And he was among the 10 staffers of the magazine killed today, by the terrorists who claimed to be from ‘Al Qaeda in Yemen’ (AQAP-Al Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula), one of the deadliest jihadi outfits, perpetrating terror this time, in Paris, right in the heart of France, one of the major global powers.

The two gunmen, as most of the video footage available showed, who killed in the name of God, shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ (God is great) and ‘we have avenged the Prophet’ further shot dead one policeman who was already injured.

Yes, it was a disturbing attack on freedom of expression, one of our fundamental rights, one of the causes of our ‘being’. But we need to see it in the context that it had been carried out by those who don’t believe in such basic needs of humanity in the free world. And for this very reason, we need to show these butchers that what these ‘basic needs’ stand for – that we cannot allow them to be compromised at any cost – even at the cost of our lives – because the tenets of a free democratic world have been achieved after centuries of struggle.

The spirit needs to endure. Charlie Hebdo or any publication or institution or movement must never be allowed to cow down because some fanatics are out there trying to impose thinking of their barbaric world on us.

And the show of solidarity is building up. Let’s make it overwhelming, as the immediate response to the attack shows. People are coming out, denouncing, standing in solidarity.

The ‘cartoons of defiance’ are prominently visible on the social media platforms and across the news carriers, paying tribute to the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists killed and telling the fanatics that we remain firm at our stand, that we stand with our cause. Yes, there is the need to fight back if the humanity has to be saved, if religions have to remain the spirit of societies, if civilizations have to survive.

For that we need to question religions, we need to criticise their tenets, wherever we feel at odds with.

That doesn’t make us infidels. In fact, that is a better way to being religious – free, liberated and united.

Charlie Hebdo did it in its own way. A claimed Leftist orientation – it’s satire targeted all religions and people from every walk and society of life where its reach reached, sparing none.

Yes, many of us may not always feel at one with what they did or the way they did, but that is their prerogative.

If a God is so weak for His followers to be defamed or brought down by legitimate ways to express differences of opinions, the followers are fundamentally wrong in their concept of ‘their God’.

Charlie Hebdo operates from a democratic country and there are laws of the land to regulate its functioning with independent courts that don’t spare even presidents of France. So, if anyone has any grievance, there are legitimate ways to remedy available.

But the fanatics, be of any religion, don’t believe in the legitimate ways of the free world, because it doesn’t correspond to the thinking of their leaders who want to keep their authority central – the societies where men rule in the name of religion, in the name of God – where few are supreme and the rest are mere followers – living an imposed thinking – be it the terror warlords – or the nation states run by families.

And we need to say them, the fanatic followers, the terrorists who kill in the name of religion, that how wrong they have been, that how nonsensical and ill-conceived their notions have been.

Our way, your way, or the Charlie Hebdo way – and in this hour of crisis, we need to remain united in solidarity – to speak in one voice that we won’t cow down, that we won’t be silenced – Je Suis Charlie – Yes, ‘I am Charlie’ – ‘Yes, we all are Charlie’.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey–https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/