- Removing or reducing “fodder”. Terrorists are recruited through perceived sense of injustice and convinced that the government has an intent to attack their interests unless stopped by illegal force. In a country with a communal history and a lot of delayed justice, there is a lot of this kind of fodder. It doesn’t matter that our judiciary is independent and largely functional if the more difficult issues simply keep getting put off. Upgrading our justice system will go a long way in restoring credibility to the country’s justice situation. That credibility will go a long way in denying belief to tales of injustice and victimization and mal intent aimed at brainwashing segments of society.
- Quick justice is also a deterrent.
- Making intelligence interfaces really easy to approach and confidential.
- Making visible legal career options that would fit objectives susceptible to terrorist influence. Some such work could be challenging injustice, defending rights of specific communities, dangerous work, etc. Something that provides legal tools for problems perceived. Such opportunities could be as informers, whistle blowers, parts of sting squads, activists, etc.
- Moving away from torture to evidence based investigation – reduces fear of existing terrorists to back out and aid police as well as takes away another kind of story of victimization that is used to inflame people against the state.
- Increasing awareness of preventative and investigative measures like CCTVs, security plans, identity cards, records, etc.
- For police to take a more aware surveillance of their localities including knowing where there are CCTVs and where there aren’t, recommending CCTVs to high risk targets, etc
- The government needs to stop acting like an obese couch potato. Yesterday, the CCTV coverage for the blast site was missing because of the same red tape. There needs to be a priority status for security related requirements – as a matter of process. On the other hand, people making requests should also keep pushing requirements till filled. This whole “chalta hai” attitude needs to be discarded from all aspects of our life, but more urgently from security.
- Security forces need to come together with media and devise a response plan for emergencies with full understanding that in a war where the target is the psyche and the weapon is fear, the counter measures need psychological defenses too. The media can be a resource in a mind game that can be engaged in preventing psychological damage to the country.
- Damage to life and property
- Feelings of insecurity
- Feelings of frustration and anger against the government and/or segments of society
- Government looking powerless and ineffective in the face of an unpredictable and effective power
- Increasingly complex and expensive methods of security.
- Disillusioned and dissatisfied population with lower optimism about its well being.
It’s the waiting that kills you. Which is why we go ballistic when something happens on the news. The rest of our lives are spent waiting.Yesterday, an email from HuJI claiming responsibility for the attack became almost as big news as the attack. In spite of the fact that these have been proved false before. In spite of the fact that the email was unverified. In spite of the fact that our news channels ended up adding to the aura of HuJI as a dangerous organization and threat to the safety for everyone – exactly what any terror organization wants. I am not saying that the media should not report news. However, there can be and there needs to be a conscious attempt to not magnify the impact of terror attacks. This should seriously be seen as an anti-terrorism mechanism, because it is. If the terror from one place can be made to infect the entire country, the media has literally served to expand the scope of terrorists. That simple. This can be prevented by educating media on the psychological impact of crisis/shock on them and that will help them to consciously take a minute to orient themselves so that their body language of panic doesn’t reach every home in the country. Can we tune our responses and focus to deprive terrorists of attention and success? What if, instead of focusing on the stories of death, devastation, government incompetence, police incompetence, apathy, disillusionment, etc. We focus on facts of the incident without melodrama – like a bad plane crash, for example. And choose instead to focus on information, support for emergency services, politicians leading the country, people reaching out to aid injured and dead, and so on. In fact, this practice of politicians providing dramatic reactions to terror attacks should be completely stopped. What is happening is that this process allows a terror attack to discredit the political leadership of our country at will – at the hands of its own people. What can a politician say about an attack that is urgent? Why should they be hauled over coals at the will of terrorists? What is really happening? Very predictable – terror attack, anger, fear, politicians make generic statements, get lampooned. The people become a weapon against the pillars of the country. I am not saying that people shouldn’t be angry, or that they shouldn’t demand answers, etc. But the immediate signature response to the attack should be of a country coming together and ignoring terror to swing into purposeful action. The questioning should happen, but more distanced from attack. Later, or brought up separately from blame games and fear. Difficult to suppress natural reaction, but important to try and not attack pillars of our own country on the trigger of an enemy – no matter who is wrong. We are doing it to some extent, but we seem to have created some kind of an unstated norm of an obligation to watching and feeling outraged to the max – which is not necessary. Described some of this in previous post too. Where does that leave terrorists if their big attack hurt lives in its immediate impact but didn’t harm the country? They don’t know the victims, they have no joy or sorrow in those deaths. They want to disrupt the country, which can be prevented, even after an attack. If the attack holds risk of justice and yields low publicity, it ceases to be viable as a weapon – which is the greatest protection. Just some raw thoughts.
Founder at Aam Janata
Vidyut has a keen interest in mass psychology and using it as a lens to understand contemporary politics, social inequality and other dynamics of power within the country. She is also into Linux and internet applications and servers and has sees technology as an important area India lacks security in.
Latest posts by Vidyut (see all)
- Nationwide Protest by NREGA workers #NREGASangharshMorcha - March 2, 2019
- Repression of Activists cannot stop the second Kisan Long March - February 16, 2019
- Violence at Aligarh Muslim University and the role of Republic TV - February 12, 2019