Yesterday Indian Socio-Political Circle was shocked to learn that World's Most Famous and Largest Secret Agency has termed India's two outfits as 'Religious Militant Outfits' .Being born in a town which is home to activities of both outfits and due to my Journalistic instinct I some how felt to understand if CIA's linguists are correct in terming both outfits.
1-According to Cambridge Dictionary,Militant means active, determined, and often willing to use force. Even extremists are described in two categories.1 Liberal Extremists 2- Militant Extremists.That means if we add word Militant before any person(remember Militant itself is an Adjective and Noun both) or outfit its not sufficient to understand the nature and work of that organization unless you do not add some additional words to define it(As per Cambridge Dictionary).
The group has taken a militant position on the abortion issue and is refusing to compromise.
It only says that a person or group has aggressive thoughts on any particular issue.
2-According to Oxford Dictionary the adjective of Militant is.
Favouring confrontational or violent methods in support of a political or social cause.
‘the army are in conflict with militant groups’
A militant person.
The Oxford Dictionary describe the term more clearly and if its applied in case of India's Viswa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal it put both outfits in same category as are the Militants in Kashmir or any other part of world. Remember its still a polite word when it is compared with term Terrorist and even the Extremists or Terrorists(Both are again not same word but allow me to put both in same category considering the intensity of problem in Kashmir) BBC does use word Militant(Only Militant and not Terrorist) for people with gun in Kashmir.
Comparing the cases of Militants in Kashmir with that of Viswa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal, I,who was born amidst moderate activities of both outfits(One can not prove VHP and Bajrang Dal behind Babri Demolition) see it as an extreme step of CIA Linguists to use the term for both outfits.
Shakespearean English use Militant for people ‘engaged in warfare’).The old French, or Latin calls it ‘serving as a soldier’, from the verb militare. The current sense dates from the early 20th century which uses Militant word in more violent form.
In this respect I challenge CIA Linguists(Some of them will surely read my article which I am publishing here on Linkedin and sending it to my contacts as they are already on my Linkedin account) that there knowledge of term Militant is limited and they must reconsider removing the term form middle of the phrase they have used for both outfits as 'Religious Militant Outfits'.
Collins Dictionary again have adopted a middle path between Cambridge and Oxford dictionaries and have described the term for the people or outfits who believe in something very strongly and are active in trying to bring about political or social change, often in extreme ways that other people find unacceptable.
In the wake of Viswa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal's social service during natural disasters and other man made and natural calamities I think CIA has adopted less moderate view of both organization while showing little more courtesy for Rashtriya Swayam Sangh by terming it 'Religious Nationalist Organization'.
Many of my CIA friends are on my Linked in account who will read it and I also believe that it will read by many other who will agree or disagree with me but I believe a linguist must know his job while defining the terminologies which is lacking here in case of CIA linguists as I again believe that you can not put Militant in Kashmir,or in Syria and outfits which are hundred times more liberal and moderate in same plate.
Journalist/Acdemic/Writer and NASA Certified Educator