Discussion on Terrorism
The term 'terror' means to instil fear in a person by force or threat, making the victim abide by the whims of the terroriser, even if reluctant. Although used by the Assassins - a military and religious order in Persia and Syria(11th -13th century) - terrorism as a regular means is a modem manifestation that includes individual acts of terrorism and state-sponsored terror. During World War II, Adolf Hitler's genocide against the Jews in Germany was an act of state terrorism.
Terrorism has many dimensions and has become a worldwide phenomenon afflicting developed and underdeveloped countries. The development of modem means of transport, communication and warfare has given terrorism new dimensions, depth and intensity. It is a vicious circle of violence, killings, arson and destruction to perpetrate fear and demoralise the masses. It is in its most lethal form when state-sponsored, the most gruesome example being the Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, which killed around three million of its citizens from a population of eight million between 1970 to 1975. And much earlier, Josef Stalin murdered around seven million kulaks (land-owning peasants) between 1930-36 in order to terrorise them into submission.
Terrorism in India is widespread and there seems to be no end in sight. The Naxal Movement in Bengal was one of the first acts of terrorism in post-independence India, which was brutally suppressed by the Congress Government at that time. Gradually it spread to Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. However, unlike most terrorist movements, this was for a real cause - to bridge the gap between the haves and have-nots. Similarly, the People's War Group (PWG) has been active for a long time in Andhra Pradesh and now exercises control on a large part of the Telengana region.
On the other hand, terrorism in Punjab was sponsored by Pakistan and some self-styled Khalistani 'leaders'. During this period, youth were misled i? the name of religion and on the promise of a separate and independent Sikh state, Khalistan. Terrorism in Punjab claimed thousands of lives, including that of the Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, and the then Chief Minister of Punjab Beant Singh. Random killings, bomb explosions at public places, disruption of rail and road transport, looting of banks, desecration of religious places, the rape of women and slaughter of innocent children were all part of the terrorists' agenda.
Terrorism in Jammu & Kashmir has also been sponsored by Pakistan. A number of terrorist outfits active there have been supported, trained, armed and smuggled into the State by Pakistan. These terrorists have given a communal colour to the violence and militancy. Thousands of Kashmiri Hindu Pandits have fled the state leaving behind all they lad. Poverty, unemployment, deprivation and illiteracy hare made the region a squalid breeding ground for militancy.
All terrorist groups are criminals including those who supposedly start with good intentions and objectives because sooner or later they degenerate into corrupt anti -social groups. They are ruthless, rapacious and greedy, without a shred of humanity, not sparing even infants, women, the old and the weak.
The most spectacular terrorist strikes in history occurred when lslamic terrorist rammed commercial jetliners into New York's World Trade Centre on September 11, 2001. Within an hour, the Twin Towers had collapsed ill a flaming heap of steel and concrete rubble, killing over 3,000 people. This horrible and despicable act had a silver lining, though. as It helped focus worldwide attention on the scourge d terrorism, driving home the fact that terrorists would spare no 1Illtron in promoting their nefarious agenda. With the United States; taking the battle to the Al-Qaeda and Taliban terrorist, these dements are now on the run or in hiding to save their own lives, despite all their rhetoric of "fighting to the finish".
The menace of terrorism to be tackled on many fronts. The cause of militancy and terrorist should be clearly and precisely identified and remedial steps taken. The Government should come down heavily on terrorist and answer "bullet for bullet" as K.P.S.
Gill did while "pacifying" terrorism in Punjab. To curb terrorist activities, the Government is currently using the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance (POTO), which gives sweeping powers to the police. With Parliament having passed this Bill, it is now referred to as the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POT A). In the ultimate analysis, terrorism achieves nothing arid solves nothing. Terrorists and their sponsors commit a crime against humanity at large and should be dealt with accordingly. Only patriotic feelings coupled with efforts to reduce poverty, illiteracy, regional imbalances and inequality can help successfully fight the menace of terrorism.