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Homechevron_rightOpinionchevron_rightEditorialchevron_rightDefining terrorism

Defining terrorism

Defining terrorism

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken a dig at the UN while addressing the Indian Diaspora at the SAP Centre in California’s San Jose saying that it had not been able to define terrorism so far, let alone tackle the menace.

Modi’s statements came during his second visit to the United States that has now come to an end with the PM making announcements and signing on high-level agreements. He emphasized on the need to tackle terrorism saying that if the UN took so long to define it, it would be difficult to uproot the global issue. Modi urged the world leaders to stop differentiating between ‘good terrorism and bad terrorism’ and said that it was the global responsibility to recognize it and unite against terrorism. He pointed fingers at the fundamental drawbacks of the anti-terrorism war led by the US on a global level after the attacks on the World Trade Centre on September 11, 2001. After the UN became part of America’s battle against terrorism, almost all the world nations took part in the war. But the menace continues to exist posing grave threats to the nations. New terrorist groups appear, becoming the main issue of concern among the world leaders. Observing the ongoing discourses, decisions and propaganda, it seems as if only the violence and attacks carried out by individuals, groups or outfits in the name of any particular religion or community are seen as terrorism and the genocides carried out by the others are merely seen as law and order problems. State terrorism has been reduced to a mere phrase used only by the human rights organizations and activists. The western powers had so far wanted to oust Bashar al Assad who is responsible for the Syrian civil war that resulted in the massacre of innocent civilians. The forces are at present thinking of ways to let him continue in power. This underlines Assad’s opponents as terrorists and not the despotic ruler. The human rights violations by the governments of Egypt, Myanmar and Bangladesh too wouldn’t come within the boundaries of terrorism. At the same time, the ongoing conflicts across the world have been dubbed as terrorism. The anti-popular governments responsible for taking care of law and order form draconian laws to suppress them. In such a scenario, it’s high time the UN forms a free, unbiased and honest definition.

Prime Minister Modi also stressed on revamping the UN. Given India’s anxiety in not being part of the UN Security Council which it has been trying for long, he announced that India would be contributing an additional battalion of 850 troops for UN peacekeeping operations but said that the troop contributing countries have no role in decision making. Also the world’s largest democratic country with 120 crore people with no membership in the UN Security Council that takes decisions for UN would be interpreted as a grave setback. Even though the countries back a permanent membership for India in the UN Security Council, a combined uniform decision on the matter has not yet reached. The strained ties between India and Pakistan may adversely affect the decision. Despite getting sufficient time for a meeting at the UN Headquarters, Modi and Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif not meeting each other signals the disinterest of both nations to resolve the issues or to maintain peaceful relations. Modi signing an agreement for importing weapons worth 3 billion dollars is also a consequence of the strained ties. Terrorism which continues to pose grave threats to India also stems from the same problem. The advancements in science and technology would do no good to the individuals, communities or nations unless they get rid of doubts, fear and revenge.

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