Terrorism means the policy of striking terror in the minds of the people by violent methods to achieve some ends. It is a law of the jungle to use muscle power and force to get things done. It is a barbarian act. Of late, terrorism has become the order of the day.
People who are disgruntled and who are unable to get their desires fulfilled by normal and accepted methods in society are resorting to terrorism. Some othe4r causes for which terrorism is resorted to may be genuine like a protest from people to come out of bondage or fight for freedom. Even such causes do not support terrorism, when there are other channels and methods to solve the problem.
Terrorism has now become an international phenomenon. There are terrorists in developed and advanced countries as well as developing countries like India. We must find out the reasons for emergence of terrorism. There has been exploitation of the weak and the poor for centuries by the rich and the powerful. All representations and appeals of non-violent nature failed to yield any response. Hence the frustrated and the oppressed resort to violence as there is no other alternative. Such protests are also called terrorist activities. There is another type, that is, where one uses force on the weak to gain his ends; sit may be to serve the cause of a religion, a language or to establish a new pattern of government.
The communist movements which resort to force, and the armed protests which Netaji subhas Chandra Bose led, in the name of eh Indian National Army (I.N.A) cannot be termed as terrorist activities. Protests like Khalistan Movement carried on earlier in Punjab, the armed protest marches of Assam and the L.T.T.E. Movement of Sri Lanka are not justifiable movements. They could always use other forums of a non-violent nature if they have any grievances to be redressed. The hijacking of the Indian Airlines Plane in December 1999 is also another ugly face of terrorism. The worst type of terrorism was that of Idi Amin of Uganda who let loose terrorism in his country to serve his personal ends. Whether terrorism is justified or not, it has of late become the normal method for achieving one’s ends.
Terrorism is not confined to any area or activity. It is finding its place in the elections conducted in our country to elect members to legislatures and parliament. Many a time the candidates are found taking the help of terrorists to win their elections, as violence has its own place in and election campaign. As long as violence pays dividends much more easily and is allowed to go unchecked, the animal in man favors its use instead of peaceful methods.
Governments all over the world are doing their best to put and end to terrorism. There are a few who encourage and support terrorism in other countries to meet their own political ends. The U.N.O. also is unable to completely eliminate this evil, even though it is able to contain it. But use of violence to check violence is not a permanent solution.
The only remedy to this evil appears to be the diagnosis of the root cause for each act of terrorism and if there is a genuine reason behind it, it is better to concede the demand. If terrorism is based on issues which are immoral and not acceptable, the sure and powerful weapon against it appears to be non violent “satyagraha” introduced by Mahatma Gandhi.
Terrorism in India
Synopsis: Terrorism has become worldwide phenomenon with its many faces and manifestations. State-sponsored terrorism presents its worst form. Pol Pot in Cambodia let loose such a terrorism which killed millions of Cambodians In India terrorism has been there in many States. Terrorists do not hesitate in using even the most cruel methods of violence and do not spare even women and children. ln Punjab it has been Pakistan sponsored terrorism it has been in control in Punjab but still not eliminated. Poverty, unemployment, deprivation and illiteracy make a good breeding ground for militancy extremism. ln north-eastern States of lndia the terrorism has been on the rise and nothing effective has been done to check it. The tribal’s of these States have been victims of long neglect, deprivation, economic backwardness and alienation. Similarly PWG has been very active in Andhra Pradesh and has won support, sympathy and participation of the rural public in Telengana. The problem of terrorism need to be tackled on many fronts. lt is a global menace and requires global cooperation between powers of the world to check and eradicate so devastating a phenomenon as terrorism.
Terrorism has many faces, forms and dimensions. lt may be regional, national or global and international in scale’ Then it may be regional, communal, political, state-sponsored or foreign in origin. lt is found worldwide in one form or the other. The development of very fast means of transport, communication and very sophisticated automatic weapons, have given terrorism new dimensions, depth and immensity. With the globalization, economic integration and cooperation of the nations, the terrorism too has become unlimited and can be transported and transplanted to any part of the world easily’ It is a cult of violence, killings, murders, arson and destruction to perpetrate terror, fear and demoralization among the masses. It is in its worst form when it is state-sponsored. Then dictatorial and military rulers resort to violence, killings and shootings of people on suspicion or any other pretext and suppress human rights to make the public obey their unjust, discriminating dictates and administration For Example, Khmer Rouge, led by Pol pot, let loose the reign of terror in Cambodia between 1970 and 1975 and millions of its citizens were killed by its trigger-happy troops in uniform. Similarly, the communist Government in china suppressed and killed people in thousands when they demand political reforms, liberalization and freedom from tyranny in 1989. In Tienanmen square alone outside the Great Hall of the people in Beijing, the main place of students demonstration, about 5,000 young students were shot dead and another 10,000 injured. In Tibet as well, the followers of Dalai Lama and Buddhism are tortured and prosecuted by the government troops and administrators. The people there are being forcibly sterilized and their brains are being systematically washed. Dalai Lama himself fled Tibet and sought refuge in India to escape state-sponsored terrorism, violence and persecution. Now, he has his Government-in-exile at Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh.
Terrorism in India is widespread and there seems no end to it, at least for the present. The way it has been spreading in states like Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Tripura, Nagaland, etc. and spilling-over other states alarmingly, is a matter of great concern. The trigger-happy terrorists and extremists have been using all kinds of violence and automatic weapons and bombs to terrorize people and the administration. Their strategies include killings, murders, bomb-explosions, destruction of houses, looting of banks, disruption of road, and rail transportation and other means of communication, desecration of religious places, hijacking and kidnapping, arson and looting. They rape women and do not even spare innocent children. ln retaliation, sometimes there is more terrorism, blood-shed, violence and destruction. ln the cross-fire between terrorists and the government, the innocent citizens suffer the most because then the opponent forces become totally blind and lose discrimination.
The militancy and terrorism and Punjab have been sponsored by neighbour Pakistan. The Pakistan’s lSI has been supervising and financing the terrorists in the Punjab and adjoining states of Haryana and Rajasthan. lt has misled the many young people in the name of religion and separate and independent state of Khalistan. The extremists are trained and armed in Pakistani camps and then smuggled across the border into India. They explode bombs, loot banks, ransack homes, and hijack trains, buses and planes and kidnap people. The militancy and terrorism in Punjab has been curbed and Controlled to a large extent but is has not been eliminated. The then Chief Minister of Punjab, Mr. Beant Singh, himself was killed in an terrorist attack. In recent days there has been again spurt in terrorist activities in Punjab. In the Bhatinda train blast in July, 1997, the fourth in the series of bomb-explosions, 38 lives were lost. The extremists have been striking at soft targets. According to the intelligence reports. The terrorist groups have again become active and typing to create communal disturbances.
Again, terrorist in Jammu and Kashmir has been Pakistan-sponsored. A number of terrorist outfits have been active there supported, trained, armed and sneaked into the State by Pakistan. The extremists have given a communal color to the violence and militancy and thousands of Kashmir Hindus and Pandits have fled the State. The seeds of communal violence and extremism were really sown during the partition of the sub-continent into India and Pakistan. The terrorists groups in Kashmir mainly consist of some politically frustrated groups, religious fundamentalists and mislead youth of the society, Poverty, unemployment, deprivation and illiteracy have made the region a good breeding ground for militancy. The terrorists indulge in all sorts of anti-social and anti-government activities to achieve their narrow, sectarian, political and unholy aims but they are unlikely to succeed in spite of massive financial and other support from Pakistan.
The rise of terrorism and extremism in our north-eastern States of Assam, Nagaland, Mizoram, Tripura, Manipur etc. is part of our colonial legacy. The long British rule never attempted to bring the tribal’s of these states into the main stream of the nation. Rather a feeling of separation, hatred, alienation and disharmony was created. Unfortunately even after 50 years of independence, our leaders and governments have failed to change the equation for better. Consequently, misled by a false sense of losing their ethnic identity and independence, they have taken to arms and extremism, besides social-political and economic aspects there are also involved such other aspects as psychological, emotional and religious. As a result there has been no participation of the people of these States in the process of democracy and independence. They have been haunted by insecurity, neglect and alienation and want separate and independent states. To achieve their ends they commit heinous crimes like burning, looting and destroying of the homes and houses of other ethnic groups, killing government security personnel and soldiers. They explode Bombs at public and market places and kill innocent people. They also resort to abduction and kidnappings.
The people War Group (PWG) has been quite active for a long time in Andhra Pradesh and now exercises control on a big part of the Telengana region. The povery and unemployment coupled with illiteracy and exploitation of the weak and vulnerable sections of the socirty have made these parts of the State fertile ground for insurrection and terrorism. No effective steps were taken to improve the socio-economic conditions of the people and they were demoralized. In sheer desperation and misery they saw a ray of hope in the PWG movement and if the information is to be believe the militants have been delivering goods. The militant Naxalite outfits have been successful in winning the sympathy, favour and patronage of the down-trodden and long exploited masses who have always at a receiving and at the hands of the corrupt government officials for many generations. Large parts of Telengana are now under effective control and administration of the PWG. Simply banning an extremist group is not enough, the genuine grievances of the public need to be redressed at the same time. They need a healing touch besides social and economical developments and empowerment. Devaluation and decentralization of powers and economic resources at the grassroots levels to the panchayat raj institutions is the need of the hour Militancy and terrorism can be checked and eradicated only with the support and active participation of the people of the area.
The menace of terrorism needs to be tackled on many fronts. The cause of militancy and terrorism should be clearly and precisely identified and remedial steps taken. There should be clear under-standing and cooperation between neighbouring countries on the matter to check terrorism. Moreover, national security and intelligence need be kept quite fit and updated. In the ultimate analysis terrorism achieves nothing, solves nothing, it is sheer madness to take to arms when there are many other democratic and constitutional means available to roves problems in a democratic and constitutional means available to solve problems in a Democratic country like India. Pakistan should also understand that its militant activities and terrorism in India will not succeed. They have already started boomeranging and Pakistan itself is in the worst conflagration of communal violence, frenzy, terrorism and bloodshed. Terrorism and its sponsors commit a crime against humanity at large and must be dealt with accordingly. It is a global danger and can be eliminated only by close cooperation between various communities and nations of the world.
All terrorist groups are criminals including even those who start will good intentions and objectives because sooner or later they degenerate into corrupt, criminal and anti-social groups. They become so blind in their over-ambition and misguided enthusiasm that they soon lose sense of balance and discrimination between good and evil. Most of the militant outfits have their origin in evil and sin. They are ruthless, rapacious and greedy and do not spare even children, women, old and weak people. They do not hesitate even to abduct and kill foreign tourists and visitors. It created an endless vicious circle. Terrorists become indiscriminate in their killings. Shootings and violence. They have no religion, ethics, fellow-feelings and code of conduct. Terrorism drains a country of its valuable resources and enormous funds are spent in facing and checking it. It is aid not in vain that prevention is better than cure. Our political leaders are mainly responsible for the origin and growth of terrorism in India in most of the cases. There is still time that they realize that national interest is above everything else and that unity and integrity of the nation is the hallmark of patriotism. Only patriotic feelings coupled with efforts in reduction of poverty, illiteracy, regional imbalances, and inequality among people can successfully face and fight the menace of terrorism.