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Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. Terrorism poses a grave challenge to National security. Suggest some possible steps that need to be taken to tackle this menace. (150 words)

    18 Feb, 2019 GS Paper 3 Internal Security

    Approach

    • Introduce by quoting recent incidents of terror attack in Pulwama.
    • Enumerate the possible steps that can be taken to tackle the menace.
    • Emphasize on the need of strategy to achieve national security from not only terrorist attacks but also other socio-economic.

    Introduction

    • In the wake of recent Pulwama terror attack on CRPF soldiers, rather than the scope for any knee-jerk or emotional response, this tragic incident provides India yet another opportunity for reflection and introspection about our management of crisis situations in general, and of Pakistan’s role in Kashmir, in particular.
    • We remain deficient in intelligence-analysis, inter-agency coordination, and, above all, a national security doctrine. Having created an elaborate national security framework, post Pokhran II, India has strangely shied away from promulgating a doctrine. 
    • Apart from diplomatic and economic steps that are being initiated, the current juncture would be apt for the urgent promulgation of a security-cum-defence doctrine.

    Body

    Terrorism poses a grave challenge to National security by leading to loss of lives, creating panic among People; affecting Tourism Industry; decline in Foreign Investment; Damaged Economy (terrorist attacks lead to a loss of property and businesses); and imperil security of the nation .

    Dealing with the menace of terrorism would require a comprehensive strategy in which different stakeholders – the Government, political parties, security agencies, civil society and media – would have an important role to play. This strategy should amalgamate political, social, economic, administrative, police and other measures. The necessary elements of such a strategy are listed below:

    • Political consensus: Political parties must arrive at a national consensus on the need for the broad contours of a planned strategy for internal security, which ensures proper integration and smooth information sharing between various security and intelligence agencies.
    • Good governance and socioeconomic development: This would necessitate high priority being given to development work and its actual implementation on the ground for which a clean, corruption-free and accountable administration at all levels, to prevent disaffection of population being turned to radicalism/ terrorism.
    • Building capacity: The capacity building exercise should extend to the intelligence gathering machinery, security agencies, civil administration and the society at large. The strategy should encompass preventive, mitigation, relief and rehabilitative measures.
    • Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Terrorist activities in most cases require substantial financial support. The main planks of a strategy would involve Reporting of suspicious financial activity by individuals and institutions; Anti-money laundering measures; Capacity building and coordination mechanisms between financial agencies involved.
    • Global Support: India also needs to bring around a strong global consensus against terrorism to cut down support and supply network of terrorist. India has been pushing for Convention on Countering International Terrorism (CCIT), consensus for arriving at proper definition of terrorism, steps to curb terror funding, efforts at listing Jaish –e-Mohammad, Masood Azhar in UNSC global terrorist list, UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy as a common platform for action etc.
    • Counter-terrorism response: The success of counter-terrorism operations depend to a considerable extent on a speedy response by the right force that is trained, armed and equipped suitably for the job at hand. As the National Security Guard is India’s primary strike force for counter-terrorist operations, it must be given the wherewithal to respond swiftly to terror attacks to minimise casualties and deny the perpetrators the ability to consolidate.
    • Community Involvement: Terrorism is violence aimed at the people watching. Combating terrorism means not only trying to prevent terrorist attacks, but also reducing the terror these create. That can be achieved by actively involving the public and winning their confidence back with regards to safety.
    • The Laws to Deal with Terrorism: The Law Commission in its 173rd Report (2000) examined this issue and highlighted the need for a law to deal firmly and effectively with terrorists.

     Conclusion

    • To tackle the menace of terrorism, a multi-pronged approach is needed. In this context, socio-economic development is a priority so that vulnerable sections of society do not fall prey to the propaganda of terrorists promising them wealth and equity; and the administration, particularly the service delivery mechanisms need to be responsive to the legitimate and long standing grievances of people so that these are redressed promptly and cannot be exploited by terrorist groups.
    • India needs to adopt a Trident Strategy is composed of a strong political will, proactive action and propaganda machinery to fight successfully against terrorism.

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