Is terrorism that big a problem?

ajtr

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indians got used to the terror attacks after suffering them for 30 long years.even pakistan got bored of attacking india through its proxies as india dont react to these attacks anymore.if pakistan has millions of terrorist as strategic assets then sure india too has its 1 billion plus cannon fodder and im sure we can tire our neighboring tormentor with our ghandigiri......well i happen to read on particular sentence in blog last year "Is terrorism that big a problem?.".if indians themselves are so insensitive about the loss of lives of fellow indian due to pak terrorism then why should we blame our leaders whom we only choose for not taking any action against any terror?why should we blame pakistan for implementing its 1000 cut proxy war on india when we for us indians fellow indian's life is cheap unless we ourself or someone close to us fell victim to terror.???????? i would like to share following blog to have discussion on the points i ve raised.i dont know what to do with the reasoning of the following blogger .just felt like puking at his blog after reading it and going through the comments......


Is terrorism that big a problem?

I was reading Bruce Schneier ’s comments today on the mumbai attacks. He made an interesting point on how the attacks were so inefficient. His measure was number of deaths caused per terrosist and the result was like 11 dead and 13 wounded per terrorist.
This got me thinking whether the number of people dead is actually a good measure of determining the gravity of an incident. If so then the reaction of the piublic and the media in india does not make much sense to me. People/Actors/My friends are all uproared by terrorist attacks such as this. Everyone has their opinions on how to solve the problem, some more drastic than others – “The government should do this, the government should do that… we”ll take it to the streets.. politicians are completely inept in providing security.. we should build a stronger navy.. we should equip police with better arms” etc etc – all pretty viable, I agree.
I am not trying to propose any solutions of my own, cause frankly I don’t have any idea as to what should be done and I am sure most people including the media and politicians do not either.
What I want to find out is whether we are concerned about the right problem. Does terrorism really demand such a big reaction or there are other more grave problems which are getting neglected? So I decided to take a look at other recurring incidents that cause the maximum number of casualties/suffering/losses in india.
Let me start with terrorism itself
Terrorism
The times of India reported the following on 27 Aug 2007
“All of these vast swathes of the globe lost a total of 3,280 lives in terrorist incidents between January 2004 and March this year. India alone lost 3,674 lives over the same period of three years and three months.”
“Outside of Iraq, 20,781 people were killed in terrorist violence between January 2004 and March 2007, according to data available from the Worldwide Incidents Tracking System (WITS) of the US National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC). Almost half of them, 9,283 to be precise, were killed in South Asia.”
If I calculate based on this then on an average it is like 18 deaths per day world wide, 3 per day in india.
Road Accidents
According to indiandrivingschools 78,911 people were killed and 3, 99,265 injured in india in 2000 alone. Over 80,000 people die in the traffic crashes annually, over 1.2 million are injured seriously and about 300000 disabled permanently.
In 2004 the number of deths due to road accidents in India was 90,000 (highest for any country) – it was 42,636 in the US.
This means that on an average 219 people die everyday due to road accidents alone. This is more than the mumbai attacks too. And note that this is everyday.
This is not just my view bio-medicine quotes that
“The death toll from car crashes in developed countries is almost 400 times greater than the number of deaths caused by international terrorism, reports a study in the latest issue of Injury Prevention.”
Floods
cnn.com reported this on Sep 24 2008
“The death toll from monsoon floods in eastern India rose to more than 2,400 Tuesday as authorities reported that another 32 people had perished in the disaster that has affected millions of people. The latest deaths in Uttar Pradesh state brought the countrywide death toll from the floods to 2,404 since June, according to the federal home ministry’s disaster management unit.”
If you watch the news this seems to repeat every year.
Dowry
In 1995, the National Crime Bureau of the Government of India reported about 6,000 dowry deaths every year according to wsws
Ok so these are old numbers – may be the problem has abated now – I don’t no.
Tuberculosis
The ‘Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’ says here that
“In India today, two deaths occur every three minutes from tuberculosis (TB). But these deaths can be prevented. With proper care and treatment, TB patients can be cured and the battle against TB can be won”.
two every three minutes, thats like 960 every day! I hope thats incorrect.
I wanted to check the numbers for HIV/AIDS as well but I believe these are difficult to find for any research since they are not directly a result of the epidemic. A good argument for this is found here
Suicide
Times of india reported here that there were 122,637 suicides last year (2007) – an average of 336 every day as reported by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). Ok – so suicide is an individual’s own business so I will not take this any further.
So why is Road Safety and Floods not our topmost priority. They don’t get the same reaction from the public. Some may say that floods are just natural calamities, well thats not entirely true, it is an infrastructure problem. The BJP government had plans to resolve it I think but never got anywhere.
Road accidents are an ever better example cause in my view its not just the government that can be blamed for it. Sure the infrastructure is poor, but based on my observations of the driving habits of my fellow citymen & women they can be equally held responsible.
I feel that all of these including terrorism are unavoidable problems, we can only hope to reduce their intensity. If saving peoples lives is what we wanna do then why not start with the most injurious?
 

Yusuf

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He is kidding right? Mumbai attack was an act of war. Pakistan is plain lucky that it got away this time. It will not the next time.

also by what the blogger has written, the US should have also not started the war on terror after 9/11, only 3000 people killed right whereas we have a lot more killed in road accidents. Why don't we just stop wasting money on all anti terror mechanisms and allow the terrorists to do what they want? It will be far lesser than the number of people who die of TB. Idiot forgets that terror tries to hit the very psyche of the citizens. It terrorizes them and tries to stops them from leading a normal life. It has to be defeated.
 

ajtr

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He is kidding right? Mumbai attack was an act of war. Pakistan is plain lucky that it got away this time. It will not the next time.

also by what the blogger has written, the US should have also not started the war on terror after 9/11, only 3000 people killed right whereas we have a lot more killed in road accidents. Why don't we just stop wasting money on all anti terror mechanisms and allow the terrorists to do what they want? It will be far lesser than the number of people who die of TB. Idiot forgets that terror tries to hit the very psyche of the citizens. It terrorizes them and tries to stops them from leading a normal life. It has to be defeated.
I dont know if he has written that blog in sarcasm.but the conclusion is draw by reading that is terrorism is no such a big problem when more people die in road accidents/due to TB etc.I dont know what he wants to convey.all i conclude that he is trying to be insensitive towards the fellow indian.And regarding pakistan its not that pakistan got plain lucy this time, pakistan has very deviously painted itself as victim and has wriggled out of it very beautifull as it has always been after every terror attacks.As for indian govt is clueless how to respond to situation after every terror attack.Take for this report in the hindu for example.

India’s embrace of dialogue remains limited, reluctant

For government, talks agenda is leavened by concerns about terrorism and political fallout
New Delhi: Now that India has pushed for the resumption of dialogue with Pakistan, the government has begun the task of fleshing out the precise agenda that it will bring to the table when the two Foreign Secretaries meet later this month.

But if the first step represented a political challenge for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as he struggled to get all stakeholders on board his new initiative, the second will test the skill of his diplomatic advisers.

Pending Islamabad’s formal response, notes and papers have begun circulating among the principal players in the Ministry of External Affairs — External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna, National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and Joint Secretary for Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran, Yash Sinha — with the entire exercise being quarterbacked by Mr. Menon and other officials in the Prime Minister’s Office.

Having hit a plateau with its strategy of ‘no talks,’ the challenge is to get Pakistan to up the level of its cooperation on terrorism using engagement as a lever. In order for that to happen, however, officials realise India will also have to bring something more to the table than the same finger it has been wagging the past year. In particular, it will have to demonstrate that there are tangible benefits for Islamabad from the meaningful dialogue which would logically follow the restoration of confidence and trust.

Even as they seek to craft a viable agenda for talks, senior officials say the latest initiative is driven by another, more pressing consideration: the need for India to step back from the edge so that it retains some flexibility in its response should another terrorist attack take place. “If you are talking, you can always suspend talks. But if you are not talking, there will be enormous political pressure to react in ways that might be counterproductive. And this government does not want to provide such an incentive to the terrorists,” an official told The Hindu on condition of anonymity.

In line with the open-ended offer made last month and reiterated by the Foreign Secretary in her meeting with Pakistan’s High Commissioner in Delhi, Shahid Malik, India is willing to discuss any issue that Islamabad chooses to raise. This means Kashmir, water-related disputes and allegations of Indian interference in Balochistan could all figure if Pakistan is keen to prioritise them. However, India’s own priority, for the present at least, is to make headway on the limited topic of terrorism.

This narrow goal is a product of frustration that the headway made so far on the composite dialogue process and back-channel diplomacy has not prompted Pakistan to shut down the operation of terrorist groups on its territory. But it also a reflection of the political perception of many in the ruling Congress party that public opinion in India is still not ready to accept a return to ‘business as usual’ with Islamabad.

Even if the Manmohan Singh government has come to realise that the absence of talks does not diminish the threat posed by terrorism, senior officials believe talks without the required level of trust promise, at best, limited gains. “The paradox,” writes Mr. Menon in a forthcoming article for the Harvard International Review, “is that while there is no alternative to dialogue, it is and cannot be the entire answer to India’s dilemma.” The article was written just after Mr. Menon retired as Foreign Secretary and well before he was appointed NSA but provides useful pointers to Delhi’s current approach.

Even without the setback that the November 2008 terrorist attack on Mumbai represented, Indian officials say the existing dialogue tracks were running out of steam. “In four and a half rounds of the composite dialogue process, we had managed to pick most of the low hanging fruit. But something like trade across the Line of Control could only be clinched at the Foreign Secretaries level,” an official speaking on condition of anonymity told The Hindu. Gains could still be made on trade and CBMs, he added, but that would require a step change in the political relationship which does not seem realistic now.

As for Kashmir, officials say the problem is not Indian reluctance to discuss what Pakistan once regarded as the ‘core issue’ but Islamabad’s apparent repudiation of what was achieved on the back-channel between 2004 and 2007.

In the same article, Mr. Menon revealed that “intensive back-channel diplomacy made considerable progress in charting a way forward that would enable the issue to be dealt with in humanitarian and practical terms without affecting the territorial stance of each country … The progress achieved in these discussions was considerable but not conclusive or formalised.”

Two worries about process
Since the Pakistani negotiator in the back-channel, Tariq Aziz, was a close friend of General Pervez Mushharaf “whose relationship with the rest of the Pakistani establishment was nebulous,” Mr. Menon wrote that India had two worries about the process. “One was whether future governments of Pakistan would respect agreements, since Pakistan is a country where orderly transfers of power from one government to the next are the exception rather than the rule. The other was whether the internally omnipotent Pakistan army was on board. The first question was never put to the test and remains unanswered. All too soon the second was answered in the negative.”

Since Mr. Menon’s article was written, the first question, too, seems to have been answered in the negative, at least going by the questions Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s raised recently about the back-channel.

None of this is surprising, say Indian officials, since New Delhi has been working with the assumption that authority in Pakistan is fragmented and that the struggle between the military establishment and the civilian government is ongoing. And today, the pendulum has swung in favour of GHQ. “The dilemma for Indian policy is to craft a credible and workable response to existing threats, including that of more Mumbai-like attacks from Pakistan, while attempting to work for a more normal relationship with Pakistan,” Mr. Menon wrote in his Harvard International Review article. “Faced with a fragmented situation, the logical answer would be to engage those elements in Pakistan, such as the civilian democratic leadership, that may share India’s interest in opposing extremism and terrorism and in promoting a peaceful democratic periphery.” And this would mean using dialogue as a means of pushing for gains on the terrorism front.

Above bolded lines shows govt confusion and one can draw conclusion as:

1) Cancelling talks with Pakistan, after every major terrorist attack, is touted as a huge strategic response by GOI which allows it to continue its inaction until some peacenick chaman ki tamasha kicks in. Then talks with Pakistan can be restarted, claiming gandhigiri and moral high ground, which puts the safety valve in place again until next attack.

2)Getting talks back on track, after the initial Indian official dramabazi after every major attack, is the final step of equal-equal and considered a huge victory which absolves it of all crimes by Pakistan. This is apart from the brownie points earned by playing the victim of derailed piss process.

3)Pretending to maintain an equal distance all the while encouraging to do talks is the 'kaam chalau' plan in the region for unkil. pakistan is kept firmly on the leash and allowed to have occational bites at India. Everything can be managed by appealing for resumption of 'dialogue'.

Everyone involved benefits from this 'talk' thingy. Only jingos on the street, and on the net, are left wondering what the phuck is so important about continuing or not continuing talks with Pakistan since it amounts to zilch,zero,nada results at the end of the day.
 

Yusuf

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The governments offer to talk with the pakistanis has been discussed in another thread. One of the argument put forth is that is a brilliant move by the GoI which will deny pakistan to use india as an excuse to divert its troops from the afpak region and towards india. That would have got the americans started. nothing is going to come out of these talks. Its just time pass as we call it here. Suits india just fine and it doesn't pakistan. that's the reason why soon after india announced its intention to talk, pakistan started doing its best to avoid them.
 

johnee

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He is kidding right? Mumbai attack was an act of war. Pakistan is plain lucky that it got away this time. It will not the next time.
Are you sure? What will be India's response if it is attacked again right now. Lets say there is a 26/11 type attack in Kolkatta, what will India do? Remember, we may not have a strong case like 26/11. We were lucky that Kasab was caught alive. It may not happen the second time. Then the Paks will say that it is locals and not Pakistanis, then what? India will be on more defensive. Also we are just intiating talks, will we break them down, if we do that, then Paks will raise the pitch and create war hysteria. If GOI does nothing then public will spit on it. Even the friendly media cannot save UPA then. Another attack will happen for sure, we all know that. But there seems to be no idea of how to tackle it or respond in its aftermath.
 

Armand2REP

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Frankly, I don't see how South Asians put up with so much $hit. Israel doesn't put up with any of it. Set off a bomb on a bus and they will wipe out an entire city block. Blow up a few buildings in the US and lose your whole country. I think India should do a version of Israel, if GoI knows where a Pakistani or Maoist camp is after an attack, they should bomb it. No more of this fist shaking, time to get to action.
 

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