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Essay on terrorism for UPSC

Essay on terrorism for UPSC

Essay on terrorism for UPSC

What is terrorism?

Terrorism in its broadest sense describes the use of intentionally indiscriminate violence as a means to create terror or fear in order to achieve a political-religious or ideological aim, it is used in this regard primarily to refer to violence against innocent civilians or non-combatants 

broad categories of political organizations have been criticized for being involved in terrorism in order to further their objectives including right-wing and left-wing political organizations, nationalist groups, religious groups, revolutionaries, and ruling governments 

the word terrorism has gained popularity since the attacks on the world trade centers new york in September 2001 also referred to as the 911 attacks 

Depending on how broadly the term has defined the roots and practice of terrorism can be traced back at least to the first century AD, sikari zillowetz a radical offshoot of the zealots which was active in the judaya province at the beginning of the 1st century AD was in fact terrorist 

The term terrorism itself was originally used to describe the actions of the Jacobin club during the reign of terror in the french revolution 

in January 1858 Italian patriot felice orsini threw three bombs in an attempt to assassinate french emperor napoleon three, eight bystanders were killed and 142 injured the incident played a crucial role as an inspiration for the development of the early terrorist groups.

The different types of terrorism 

depending on the country the political system and the time in history the types of terrorism are very different generally they are classified as 

  • political terrorism 
  • criminal terrorism 

Political terrorism is further divided into 

  1. sub-state, 
  2. state-sponsored
  3.  regime or state terrorism 

Sub-state terrorism is divided into social revolutionary, nationalist separatist, religious extremist right-wing, and left-wing terrorism.

There are some common reasons behind the emergence and spread of this ideology of terrorism such as social and political injustice.

People choose terrorism when they are trying to write what they perceive to be a social-political or historical wrong when they have been stripped of their land or rights are denied the same, 

the belief that violence or its threat will be effective and bring in change another way of saying this is the belief that violent means justify the ends.

Many terrorists in history said sincerely that they chose violence after long deliberation because they felt they had no choice when the imbalance between opponents relative strength become immense the stronger side having strong well-equipped force overshadows the weaker side forcing them to shift towards terrorism or guerrilla warfare.

In such cases the weak side doesn't have the resources to mount an effective campaign of structural or economic disruption, instead, they try to induce fear in the general population attacking infrastructure and resources.

Hoping that a fearful population will have a political impact that will force the strong opponent to make concessions.

Terrorism is spreading fast in the modern era as more technologies now available to conduct acts of terror and the targets of terrorism are more widespread than ever before.

Sophisticated means of communication such as electronic media, print media, social media, and the internet help terrorists quickly promote their ideology and hate campaign and exploit cyber terrorism.

Another reason is the growing intolerance in society due to increasing population and decreasing resources, increasing globalization of the society has come to transcend national boundaries spreading terrorism.

In the Indian context, the reasons over the past few years have been plenty it is a fact that consolidation as a secular federal and democratic state is still evolving and the diversity of a multi-ethnic and multi-religious society is often exploited by fundamentalist forces.

The absence of sufficient employment and unequal development the resultant poverty and the accompanying frustration has encouraged unemployed youth to take up criminal acts and narcotics.

The inducement of money for instance rupees 3 to 4 lakhs per year in j&k is enough for unemployed youth to take to militancy, the ineffective anti-terrorism legislation and misplaced judicial activism is somehow also responsible for growing terrorism.

There are structural inadequacies in the state apparatus namely 

  • weaknesses in the intelligence structure
  • human as well as technical 
  • inadequate modernization of police paramilitary forces and the armed forces 
  • unimaginative media management and coverage 
  • reactive response and slow government decision making 
  • lack of clear strategy and policy on internal security 
How is India a victim of terror terrorism found in India includes ethno-nationalist, religious left-wing, and narco-terrorism?

Reasons that make India a victim of terrorist activities

The situation between Asia's to principal areas of illicit opium production the golden crescent and the golden triangle leads to a heavy influx of drugs in arms, we are the neighbors of a hostile nuclear Pakistan with a land border of 3400 kilometers who sponsors state terrorism and fundamentalist forces

we have an unresolved border of 5800 kilometers with china a country that has active military and nuclear cooperation with Pakistan India has a long sea border of around 7 700 kilometers prone to pirating and smuggling 

There is a contiguous and porous border with unequal smaller sark nations such as Nepal, Bangladesh Myanmar, and Sri Lanka with accompanying problems such as illegal migration trade and smuggling in the border belt and result in social tensions 

The regions with long-term terrorist activities have been Jammu and Kashmir east-central and south-central India due to nuclearism and the seven sister states of northeast India.

In July 2016 government of India released data on a string of terror strikes in India since 2005 that claimed 707 lives and leftover 3 200 injured, some well-known examples of terrorist activities in India are the Mumbai attacks of 2611, 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts attack Akshardham temple in 2002, Bombay train blast 2006, parliament attacks of 2001, attacks on armed forces camps in patan court URI and many more.

Media reports have alleged and implicated terrorism in India to be sponsored by Pakistan particularly through its inter-services intelligence also known as I.S.I, in 2012

The U.S.A accused Pakistan of enabling and ignoring anti-India terrorist cells working on its soil however, Pakistan always has denied its involvement the south Asian terror portal also known as S.A.T.P has listed 180 terrorist groups that have operated within India over the last 20 years.

Many of them co-listed as transnational terror networks operating in or from neighboring south Asian countries such as Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan of these 38 are on the current list of terrorist organizations banned by India under its first schedule of the unlawful activities prevention act of 1967.

Finally, we try to analyze how can India defeat terrorism India although late has already started progressing on various institutional and legal frameworks to tackle terrorism such as the National investigation agency also known as the (N.I.A) was set up after the 2611 Mumbai attacks to tackle terrorist activities in future.

The national intelligence grid is also known as ( NATGRID) is an integrated intelligence grid that will link the databases of several departments and ministries of the government of India, so as to collect comprehensive patterns of intelligence that can be readily accessed by intelligence agencies 

It is a counter-terrorism measure that collects and collates a host of information from government databases such as tax and bank account details credit card transaction visa and immigration records and itineraries of rail and air travel.

India has a multi-agency center also known as (M.A.C) for counter-terrorism with a mandate of sharing terrorism-related intelligence inputs on a day-to-day basis, various legal framework came up such as the terrorist and disruptive activities act and the prevention of terrorism act of 2002 Along with the unlawful activities prevention act and the (N.I.A) act of 2008. 

Following from the understanding of the nature of international terrorism that faces us today it is clear that a long-term strategy is required to fight against terrorism, it has to be comprehensively addressed on all fronts political economic social, and military the strategy needs to be evolved from our national aims and objectives to protect core values.

These core values are to consolidate as a secular federal democratic state with freedom of speech equality and justice to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity to promote socio-economic growth and development 

we must learn from the experiences of other nations however at the same time we need to realize clearly that our situation is particular to us and there are no direct lessons to learn except a re-evaluation of our own experience.

A strategy must be realistic and cannot be similar to our model of worldwide capability or the Israeli strategy of reliance on massive and immediate retaliation as the respective environment and capabilities are different this brings us to the first strategy which is political and diplomatic.

International terrorism cannot effectively be fought alone as has been our experience so far all nations must join hands to combat it Pakistan-sponsored proxy war must be further exposed and international pressure should be applied we must highlight more aggressively the justness of our cause and the support to terrorism by Pakistan. 

Both through state and non-state players as well as strive to isolate Pakistan in the international community a strong message needs to be conveyed to Pakistan that we mean business demonstrated by deeds and actions all steps to convey this must be implemented such as diplomacy, trade, sports, and military.

India is leveraging its improved ties with the first world countries multinational bodies like U.N, G20, B.R.I.S, and The shanghai corporation organization are being used as platforms to further India's agenda of anti-terrorism.

Internal strategy 

There is a need to adopt proactive policies to confront the terrorists at the roots of the ideology of fundamentalists social levels and sources of terror funding like narcotics and drug trade, India must also strengthen its anti-terrorism laws and legal framework 

there is a need to modernize and enlarge intelligence networks state police and paramilitary forces in training equipment and ethos 

 The economic dimension 

There is a need to spread the fruits of development more evenly throughout the country with greater development effort in the remote weaker sections of the society, economic empowerment of the poor especially in areas like J&K and the nuxel belts would automatically drive out the extremist elements and their ideologies would be abandoned.

The social environment 

India must continue to promote moderate and secular polity by media intelligentsia and religious institutions there is an urgent need to address the outdated education system in rural places especially those of the madrasas by quality modernization and laying down guidelines for a uniform syllabus for all schools.

There is also a need to upgrade our communication systems so that television and telecommunication spread to our remote and border areas which are currently under the constant reach of Pakistani propaganda.

The military strategy 

India should clearly spell out a counter-terrorism strategy or a doctrine this should tackle the causes and not just the symptoms the aim of military operations should be to create a secure and suitable environment so that social economic and political issues can be addressed effectively.

seeking political solutions to accommodate the aspirations without fully eliminating the terrorists the structure and support bases only results in a firefighting situation and actually prolongs terrorism effective surveillance and management of the borders to check infiltration is also necessary this should be achieved through technical means of surveillance backed by highly mobile specialized forces rather than the present system which is manpower intensive.

foreign-based terrorists have to be hit at the bases training camps and centuries to end the surrogate terrorism or the proxy wars, imaginative security of our vital installations nuclear assets and airports are required static posts are not the answer electronic sensors and effective intelligence is the need there should be enough preventive measures against nuclear biological and chemical attacks as well as cyber terrorism.


Terrorism is most common in nations with intermediate political freedom, and it is least common in the most democratic nations. There is a connection between the existence of civil liberties, democratic participation, and terrorism. 

Additionally, while the reality of the threat posed by these terrorists is real and fully justifies action against them, the efforts of our intelligence and security personnel should never adversely affect the civil liberties of the citizens they are protecting. 

Finding the proper balance is a complex challenge and one that requires a national conversation. The effort to maintain the proper balance between physical security and protection of rights should be our paramount concern. 

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Also read: Essay on patriotism and nation building in india

Also read: Should student not take part in the politics

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