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How to Contain Terrorism | Social Issue Essay, Article, Paragraph for Class 12, Graduation and Competitive Examination.

How to Contain Terrorism

Scheme of the Essay

Exposition: The activities of the terrorists are alarming.

Rising Action: It is going unabated.


(1) Terrorists find India favourable for their activities,

(2) Terrorism breeds corruption,

(3) What did the Europeans do about it,

(4) India should (a) strengthen vigilance (b) take political steps (c) tackle psychological aspects to tackle the problem.

Conclusion: Democracy should overcome terrorism by remaining true to itself.

The activities of the terrorists have assumed alarming proportions. Shooting innocent people just because they belong to a particular community, and looting petrol pumps, banks, and other organisations have come to stay. The prize victims for them were the late Prime Ministers of India, Mr. Indira Gandhi, and Mr. Rajiv Gandhi. The worst terrorist outrage in the country were bomb blasts and, mass killing of bus passengers at many places.

Investigations of some of these crimes have revealed how relatively simple it has been for terrorists, smugglers, and the like to get in and out of the country. In this respect, India has become an unbelievably permissive country. The mariner in which the notorious James Howard, allegedly, operated a huge drug smuggling racket from Cochin harbour for several months and then coolly managed to slip out of the country was breath-taking in its brazenness. The way the killers disappear from India is quite surprising. India’s borders seem to have become incredibly porous. Clearly, graft and massive pay-offs to some of those manning our security and vigilance departments are feared to be involved. Terrorists and drug runners are rarely short of funds to bribe their way around. Thus, terrorism breeds corruption and corruption instigate terrorism.

When organised and large-scale terrorism first struck Western Europe, some time ago, it took long even for those governments to recognise what they were up against. Terrorist groups like Germany’s notorious Boarder-Mein gang, Italy’s Red Brigades and various Palestinian organisations were initially successful and caused great havoc. After the initial surprises and shock, plans were carefully devised to counter the terrorists. These included the setting up of units specially trained to deal with terrorists. Thus, the British have their Special Air Service (SAS) which, in the most spectacular anti-terrorist action stormed the Iranian Embassy in London and rescued 19 hostages killing five of the six Arab terrorists. The West Germans also have an effective unit called GSG-9 which was responsible for equally sensational rescue of eighty-seven hostages on a Lufthansa jet at Mogadishu in 1977. Israeli commandos executed a similar feat at Entebbe in Uganda. The effectiveness of such anti-terrorist squads has partly been responsible for the gradual decline in terrorism at least in Western Europe though the problem has not yet been licked.

There was a time when many Europeans seriously felt that the terrorists threatened the democratic system and the only way to tackle that was to suspend some of the rights at least temporarily. The Council of Europe’s report on the defence of democracy against terrorism says “terrorism aims to overthrow and destroy pluralist parliamentary democracy and half the scope for the political, economic and social development. Terrorism could in certain circumstances prompt states to take legislative, judicial or administrative measures (India has passed the Anti-Terrorist Act) that might pervert the very character of democracy. In the face of this threat, we need to reassert our conviction that democracy must overcome terrorism while remaining true to itself.”

Western Europe’s experience in this respect is relevant to India. An S.A.S type commando action at the Golden Temple much before June 1984-perhaps immediately after the gunning down of the DIG Police Mr. Atwal-might have caused much less loss of lives and avoided the terrible trauma of subsequent events.

Terrorism of the modern kind exhibits many faces and therefore has to be tackled at various levels. Along with the gearing of police and vigilance, the external environments in which the terrorists operate must be set right. At the political level as there is a resumption of the political process and the restoration of popular rule in Punjab Terrorists are alienated.

There is the psychological and emotional aspect of the problem which, in many ways, messes up with the political and economic problems. Psychologically speaking the feeling of alienation has encouraged terrorists. Quite a few Sikhs who may strongly disapprove of the terrorists and their method still have a sneaking admiration for them largely because of this feeling of alienation; there is no leader among the Sikhs who is bold enough to condemn terrorism; they fear losing popularity. The most important thing is that “democracy must overcome terrorism while remaining true to itself.”


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