If one goes by the structural definition of terrorism, it says, “The calculated use of violence or the threat of violence to inculcate fear; intended to coerce or to intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious, or ideological.” However, can something as disastrous as terrorism be fixated into a four-lined definition?
More or less, terrorism has been included in the fringes of being a Global Threat. A catastrophic threat that can divide the world into pieces. It can incubate cries and deaths in a minute and can destroy lives in the blink of an eye. However, what is this Terrorism? Who are the ones who suffer the most out of this?
A range of consequences springs out of this global threat, ranging from economic losses to personal ones.
Economic Impact of Terrorism
Situations of war and terrorism always have negative connotations on the economy of both countries. With trade and financial markets hitting the lower drain, a country’s economy collapses real worse. Let us look at some of the most challenging circumstances that arise out of economic destruction.
Terrorism not only physically harms the existing buildings, plants, markets, trade centers, but also creates a setback for future development. The blow-offs of existing structures account for re-building. However, no resources are left for the same.
With dread and fear-mongering in people’s minds, it takes a toll on everyone’s traveling plans. The country that has been attacked, itself stops people from visiting them in the wake of suspicion. And, as for the people, they fear stepping out of their houses in the wake of murder and guns.
Investment in other Essentials
In conditions where terrorism strikes, the country has to hugely invest in security and the military. This accounts for backing other sectors of the economy. This gets particularly difficult for poorer countries as they dwell in further losses, suffer, and lags.
This further affects the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country. All of this degrades the economic wealth and resources of a country, or both the countries.
Strike On Human Resource
A country’s progress gets decided by its active and healthy human resources. A steady human resource and its development are necessary for the wholesome development of a country. And, this is exactly where terrorism hits hard.
Terrorist activities aim to bombard the human population of a said country. This human population is the sole contributor to a growing GDP. These include people who generate essential goods and services and vigorously work to defend the country from horrendous attacks. These people are just doing their jobs day and night. However, they are the ones who suffer the most.
To teach a lesson to a whole country or its political leaders, a common man working hard to earn a livelihood has to suffer. They either pay a huge price in the fight that ensues between nations. Or they lose their right to livelihood and life or answer by giving up their lives.
In a war to disturb the human resource balance, humans lose their lives to create a balance of revenge and terrorism ideology.
Women and Children
Although, no life is not affected by terrorist activities. But, women and children are the worst sufferers. Children, at such a tender age, have to witness such violent activities in front of them which creates a deep impact on their minds for a long time. It induces them to have poor mental and physical health in the long run.
Some children breathe their last even before getting to live their lives for a minimum of ten years. Even if they survive the terror attack, all the death and dreary that they get to see, do not let them live longer. They symbolize a living corpse in their later years. Many children become orphans and are left to run life on their own even before they know the meaning of ‘living a life.’
Women, either stump up by giving their lives in a fight they have no role in or become widows and childless after surviving. It further gets difficult for a woman to manage in a situation of death and desolation because of the never-ending roots of patriarchy. After losing their husbands and fathers, they step into the world to earn a living but are denied basic rights and opportunities.
Therefore, women and children are the most dreadful hits of terrorism.
Types of Terrorism
While the typology of terrorism has witnessed criticism and mockery by a lot of people from all over the world, it leads to a better understanding of the word, its consequences, and its workings.
Vigilante Terrorism- Acts of violence done by the citizens of one country against their citizens.
Insurgent Terrorism- Acts of violence by the citizens of a country against their ruling government or entities that go by the term “establishments/rulers”
Transnational Terrorism- Acts of violence by people of one nation towards the citizens or people of another nation
State Terrorism- Acts of violence in which a government engages to hurt its citizens.
Though it will not be right to measure the amount of destruction each one of them can cause and sit to compare, any form of terrorism is cataclysmic. This is because terrorism involves violence, death, destruction, and cries of fear and fright.
It inculcates a fear among citizens to even step out of their houses. Consequently, it damages the well-being of a country as a whole. A country remains happy, healthy, and steady only if its citizens remain so. However, in fear-mongering situations like the above-mentioned ones, how can a person remain happy and healthy?
People continuously lose their loved ones, see their loved ones dying in front of their eyes. Such a scenario can only bring tears and unhappiness out of people. Terrorism not only kills people, but also kills their happiness, peace of mind, and mental sanity.
What is the Fault of an Average Man?
In between all this death and catastrophe, a community of people suffers the most. These are namely the common public. An average person, working hard day to day to earn living has to step into the jaws of death every single day. They have to step a foot out of their house with fear. Go about their place frightened, and do their jobs filled with horror from within.
The main aim of Terrorists and Terrorism is to fill the minds/hearts of people with terror and insecurity. They tend to prove that the political representatives are incapable of protecting their states and countries. It comes out of the deeply entrenched feelings of injustice or revenge.
However, in these fights between regions full of hate and abhor, a common man who does not even know what is happening around them has to lose their life. People who only want to be happy, parents who only want to keep their children content, and children who just want to be around their parents, end up knocking at death’s door.
They have no role to play in countries not accepting a ceasefire. These people do not know the reason behind a group of militants attacking them. They are not responsible for political leaders not accepting to back down in a fight involving citizens and innocent people. It is not their fault that they are born in such a time of war and despise.
A Huge toll on Tourists
Although we did talk about tourist inflow getting affected due to the increase in terrorism in a particular area, it is a topic that needs a broad discussion. With people fearing to step into the affected areas and with governments banning the entry of people from outside, all of this affects the tourism sector alarmingly.
However, the tourism sector getting a toll can still be acceptable in some digestive way or the other. But, tourists losing their lives in a place they came to visit are beyond the definitions of acceptable. This not only points fingers towards the security conditions of a particular nation but also invokes anger and hatred in the minds of people. This leads to worldwide criticism of both, the attackers and victims. The attackers for attacking and the victim nation for having no pieces of equipment to protect themselves.
This is what exactly happened in India during the 26/11 Taj Attack. With more than half of the people dying belonging to the tourist group, it led to the rise of immense anger all over the world. This also took a huge toll on international tourists’ arrival into the country in the coming years.
This leads to a situation where people are locked into the four walls of their rooms, with fear and despise being their sole accompanies.
A Charge on Minorities
Terrorism affects some communities more than others. Since times immemorial one or the other particular religion has faced discrimination over the topic of terrorism. As a global threat, terrorism compels governments to take stringent steps to remain secure. This accounts for companies to keep a check on their staff based on certain criterions-namely religion.
The religions that have to face most of the heat are the Jews and Muslims. These belong to the minority sector of the society and often have to go through marginalization owing to their religion. Whenever a terrorist attack takes place, an individual group or person is not accounted for it. An entire community has to bear the blame for the same.
This gives a place for complacent thoughts in the minds of the public. It makes them believe that the people who belong to the same religion as that of the perpetrators are equally responsible for death and destruction in the wake of increasing terrorism.
A perfect manifestation of how religion blaming on account of terrorism, affects a person’s life negatively, is shown in the 2009 film, ‘Newyork.’ It revolves around the disastrous aftermath of the 9/11 attack.
Reasons that lead to Terrorism
Although, something as sickening and death-invoking as terrorism should not be anybody’s choice to dwell into, but is it a choice? The popular saying goes, nobody is born a criminal, circumstances make one a criminal.
If one digs a little deeper, several causes provide a breeding ground for terrorism. Reasons range from a continuous feeling of being ignored to a constant state of felt injustice. However, these are just the starting factors, reasons can get much more serious and consequential.
Let us peek down at some of them very briefly.
Constant perception of inequality and injustice by a particular community or a religious group. They feel they are not treated equally by the government and this sense of injustice gives rise to incessant violence and terrorism.
A continual state of poverty and hunger leaves people with no other choice than to turn to such activities involving death and devastation. The heads who employ them manipulate them in such a way that they get ready to give up their own lives.
In continuation of the above point, these groups of heads and leaders promise to take care of their families after their deaths. So, in a society filled with unemployment, where else will a person go to fill the hungry mouths of their children?
Terrorists look for opportunities where they tend to get something done or control a resource by threatening people with violence. Consequently, authorities get scared and give in to their demands. Their job is over.
Hegemonic behavior by a particular international system, state, or nation gives rise to transactional terrorism. It happens at a time when people feel they have been wronged and need answers from authoritarian institutions.
Though terrorism as an activity brings about a lot of emotions out of those people who view it from their own eyes, it invokes an insurgent amount of hatred and anger in people. After seeing their loved ones hit the graves in some action they have no place to talk over, they lose all hopes from life. This can have a two-way effect on them.
Either they tend to move on with a trauma haunting them forever in their lives. Or, they choose the way of avenging their evil-doers. This turns an average person into a criminal.
This can also happen the other way around. A person who is put into the bars of prison over suspicion can develop a feeling of hatred and anger towards the system. They endure torture just because of their religious or cultural identity, which can take a massive toll on their thinking capacity. This in turn reduces them to a point where they cannot distinguish between wrong and right. Thus, making them choose the wrong path.
The Israel- Palestine Current Conflict
The conflict that has been making rounds of the cover pages now has its roots hidden 100 years back. It started back in the times of World War I and has been ongoing ever since. The point of contention remains the city of Jerusalem.
The reality remains that there was never a peace agreement between the two forces, and hence a blame game always followed. Both the side blamed the other for the mass destruction. In between all these political-cultural fights, the common man suffered the most.
Children died, women became widows, and an average man had to bear the loss of two raging sides not deciding to back down.
The incensed tension further escalated with Israel putting restrictions on the people of West Bank during the holy month of Ramadan and militant group, Hamas attacking Israel with rockets. The immediate answer that came from Israel came with an airstrike attack on Gaza which hit a lot of residential buildings as well.
The saddest part of this entire scenario is the floating pictures of people dying all over. Common public dying, begging for help from international organizations, and people crying over the streets for losing their beloved ones. The attacks by both sides have surfaced a colossal amount of destruction and deaths visible all around.
Whom to Blame?
With terror knocking on everyone’s doors, who should a common man hold accountable? Shall it be the representatives they elect or the outside world for just sitting back and watching this disastrous show?
People have lost all hope. With them losing the ones they love the most, their livelihoods, their families, their shelter, people are shredding the capacity to even have a thought. They do not know where to turn to for protection and whom to blame for such a terrific condition in front of them.
Will blaming anybody in situations like these bring what they have lost back to them?
Terrorism as a word is as devastating and tragic as it sounds. Terrorism strikes for several reasons, be it religious un-identification or personal traumas, a certain number of situations can push a person towards the jaws of terrorism.
However, at the end of the day, only a common man is at the suffering end. Only they know how it feels to see someone die in front of your eyes and be all helpless. Terrorism strikes outcries of helplessness, fear, and death. For the callousness of somebody in power, people who do not even stay one inch close to power have to suffer. On top of which there is nobody to stand accountable for.
Terrorism accounts for a horrendous state of affairs with people left with nothing but tears of melancholy.