God has not bestowed upon us terrorism, it is a ‘man’s creation’. People are not born as terrorists, they are made terrorists.
In today’s globalized world, one of the major challenge before the international comity of nations is to tackle terrorism. While there is no consensus on the definition, there is near-unanimity among nations on the belief that terrorism essentially is an ideological conflict. Traditionally the sociological view which traces the genesis of terrorism to the alienation present in different societies was accepted as being the basis of terroris. It was argued that marginalisation along with deprivation when undertakes the form of aggression or a threat of aggression in order to achieve some ideological goals is what we experience as Terrorism. However, this perspective fails to explain contemporary Terrorism that is terrorim of Al-Qeada and ISIS. Osama bin laden for that matter was an educated youth belonging ro a rich and aristocratic saudi family.
This article analyses the missing links in the global fight against terrorism.
1. Lack of definition
We cannot win a war unless we know who our enemy is. The first and the most basic problem with global efforts against terrorism is the failure to arrive at an International agreement over the definition of terrorism. One man’s terrorist is another man’s national hero and yet another man’s tool of diplomacy. India is a victim and has beem fighting against terrorism for the past 3 decades and thus im scenario it can contribute at the global level by channelizing it’d diplomatic energies at platforms like the UN to seek an early conclusion of the Comprehensive Convention on Intermational Terrorism (CCIT). This is a must today.
2. Need for an effective eyes and ears scheme
Contemporary Terrorism is an example of urban warfare. Be it the ‘lone wolf’ attacks like those that happened at the London bridge or the well coordinated 26/11 or 9/11 these are impossible to stop unless effective citizen’s participation is ensured. In India, no such pan-India scheme exists, only piecemeal measures like announcements in metro rails or at railway stations etc are present. Hence, all the countries must take measures to integrate citizens into this fight since the nature of the fight has necessitated this partnership.
3. Sensitization of people
Another important element of this citizen-state partneship is the domain of educating and sentizing people on how to react during and after a terrorist act. The real success of terrorists is not measured in terms of the casualties they afflict but in terms of the terror they could successfully afflict in the minds of the masses. How we respond after an attack determines the extent of the success of such an attack. Unfortunately, unconsciously people tend to play into the hands of terrorists as we generally respond in exactly the way the terrorists wanted us to at the first place. Social media goes haywire with people accusing and targeting the people of a particular faith. This way social antagonisms widens as the society remains plagued with distrust, finally leading to greater alienation. This is exactly what happened after 9/11 in the US, where the hyper active Bush administration picked up innocent Muslims further exacerbating the divide. Hence, just like today we educate children in the schools on how to mitigate the effects of a natural calamity such as the earthquake, we need to teach our children – how to respond to terrorism.
4. Freezing finances
9/11 attack was funded by an Afghani drug dealer Aftab Ansari. There is an intricate link between terrorism and drug and opium trade. Narco-terrorism as it is called is the backbone of funding to terrorists. Thus an effective fight against terrorism can begin with a fight against drugs. In an interconnected world governments all over the world should come together to effectively dry up the finances for terrorist organizations.
5. Addressing Social grievances
It is observed that the countries where there are no or very less social grievances they are less prone to violence. A classic example is that of the Scandinavian countries like Norway,Sweden etc which despite of their physical proximity to vulnerable regions of Europe like England and France which are continuously facing this menace, have successfully remained isolated from terrorist violence. The main reason behind this is that these nations enjoy a much higher degree of social cohesion and inclusivity.
Thus, to sum up, it is imperative today that terrorism is dealt with from its roots. This menace is a man made creation and has to be seen this way only. An international and coordinated effort towards addressing the root causes must be undertaken. In a nuclear world, it is now or never.
-Contributed by Kunwar Suryansh
Picture Credits: debatingeurope.eu