Over a million people have been killed in terrorists’ strikes all over the world over the past twenty years. The figure as astounding as it may sound is actually graver that we are imagining. One million people stand for not only themselves but one million families, one million hopes, one million dreams and one million visions. So we can say that in these two decades fanatic terrorists’ attacks have mitigated one million chances for this world to be a better place by killing one million people, they have killed more than the figures could actually tell. I was starting to think as to why killing is the only solution towards achievement of an objective, which probably can be attained by dialogue and discussion. I was pondering over the thought as to what can be the essential objective of terrorism, because if it is only death then one million deaths are more than enough to substantiate the success of a mission. I figured out that it was not death. Killing of people is probably just a by-product that comes into being in a terror-attack.
So what can be the objective of a terror-attack? Money? Power? Control? I think these are things that can be attained more and even by better means by being a part of the system than actually revolting or rebelling against it. I was watching this movie called “The Siege” and I found out that most of the terror-attacks have a common objective, and that is to engrave fear in the mind of people and attack their way of life. Wars are not won by winning territories; wars are actually won when you win over the people. To win over the people there are two ways, one is to win their hearts by being a part of them and second is to engrave fear in their hearts for you so that whether you are present or not your fear always haunts them. Terrorism follows the second dictum.
So have the terrorists won? Million dollar question after a million deaths!To think about it, the answer of this question depends upon the machinery that is working against the terror mechanism. The government, the security forces, the police and the peace loving people. The principle of winning any war is actually to obliterate any counter principle that may exist in the war-zone. The antibody of terror is peace and the first objective of the terrorist is to destroy peace. So the modus operandi is actually to kill the peace-loving people because then and only then can a kingdom of terror be established. This is the first operation that any terrorists’ organization actually does. After this fear is engraved in the minds of the peace-loving people and the first bastil of a democratic administration falls.
After this it is the responsibility of the government elected by the people to actually deal with this crisis situation. Dealing with terrorism requires a counter terrorism approach. Terrorism cannot be dealt with dialogue, because when there is a terror attack it is implicit that the domains of discussions have been stepped upon and the situation has become much more to actually deserve a dialogue. Then it becomes a game of power, and power can only be countered with more power. Many governments, like ours, actually do not believe in this kind of an idea of handling and solving terrorism. Maybe it is the attitude or some internal politics that actually prohibits them to think for the people and more for the so called diplomatic nitty-gritty’s. So what happens due to this? First they come up with a very good condolence statement followed by a series of condemnation (As if the terrorists care!!!!) and then they give a statistics of how many were killed vs. how many were actually alive. This is just to wrap the inefficient security process that it actually had.
As days pass the people are said to adjust with their lives. More checks in nights. Places where, we could have gone without any problems become sort of fortresses which we cannot enter now on the pretext of security. Places where people went for night-walks are actually closed down. Personally speaking, I always loved the idea of a weekend night stroll in the marine drive, but after the 26/11 attacks I also fear to go over there. Why only Mumbai, the situation is same in other cities as well, where inefficiencies of the government machinery has resulted in changing lifestyle of the people. So to say one thing, terrorists have actually been successful in India. They have managed to change peoples’ lifestyle and engrave fear in them. The attack happens only once in a blue moon but the effect continues for a lifetime. The lives are altered, not only for the victims of the gruesome attack but also for the people who are not a victim of the attack. People who are not the victims live in fear that in future they might become one. Slowly the fear enters their daily life and then finally they adjust with it.
Once the terrorists feel that the fear has to be re-enforced they launch another attack on some other vulnerable city in India, maybe with also some help from the existing political machinery. The fear never dies down after any attack. It becomes a part and parcel of our lives as we know that our system can never protect us from the terrorists or avenge our loss from them. And with one more attack this fear becomes stronger and a part of life.
To conclude, I feel that somewhere the terror mechanism has really has its way against the lack-luster government machinery that we have. India’s sleuth politics, lethargic beaurocracy and even morose and banal judiciary system have let the subjects down big time.