TERRORISM - Definition and Causes

By Martha Winslet Published 04/27/2006 | Social Issues

1.  Definition of Terrorism :-

Criminal and violent acts committed by a section of the people against the Society, Humanity  and the Government to get their demands accepted or work done is known as Terrorism   . In other words, terrorism takes place when some section the people adopts violent means to change the democratic set up or to get their demands fulfilled. Generally, this section does not believe negotiation or cannot achieve their aim through it.

Among many faces of the terrorism, following are the few to be named:-  Sabotage, Assassinations, Derailment of trains, Hijacking of planes Kidnappings, Looting of Banks, and Exploding Bombs etc. The purpose is to create terror in the minds of the people and thereby to make their ground strong. Having no respect in the ethnic values and to the government and humanity, they resort to violence to create a panicky in the society. Satisfaction of their demands and taking revenge becomes the main aim thereby the easiest way chosen is the terrorism.

2.  Causes of Terrorism :-

Basic causes of terrorism are ----


a.Dissatisfaction over certain issues:- There may always be some difference of opinion or disagreement between persons, societies, regions, groups, provinces or countries, but some people could not reconcile the same and get frustrated which ultimately resorts to lawlessness, looting, killing, kidnapping and mass violence. Unemployment and poverty which arises due to regional imbalance of economic development in different parts of the world also plays vital role in promoting terrorism. Sometimes terrorism takes birth due to religious and caste conflicts also.


b.Misuse of national and international machinery: - National and International governments often use their might where some other means could have done well, party politics, partiality and biased decisions also responsible for this severe problem. The section which are at the receiving end get depressed and frustrated and forms outfit groups who starts indulging on atrocities and disturbing the normal life trying to draw the attention of the world towards them.

c.Technological Development: - Development in science and technology has given us several destructive and improved arms and ammunitions which has somehow reached in the hand of the outfits and thereby aggravating the problems. Cross country illegal drag and ammunition trafficking also contributes havoc in this parameter.

d.Injustice and Exploitation motive:-  Tendency to exploit others is a natural phenomenon which is still very much present in almost all corners of the world. The poor and less developed are still being exploited by the so called advanced sectors and the former thinks that the system can be set right by means of terrorism and muscle power.


e.Assistance and encouragement from outside:-  Several countries in the world are facing the aggravated terrorism problem, because  of the cross border assistance provided to the anti social elements by means of pecuniary help or arms contribution or some other way and thereby making the things simply unmanageable.


3. Basic features of terrorism:- 

      This is predominantly planned and intentional action performed in a group or by a party in an organized manner for the purpose of conducting preconceived destructive activity.

     Mainly aimed at particular group, administration, law enforcing authority, government or civilians or public property.

     Always undemocratic, unlawful, barbaric and unethical.

     Its an unacceptable measure to create a psychological impact in the minds of society and thereby to pressurize the administration and the government to bow down before   demands of the terrorist.

     Main aim is to get the things done or to take the revenge by hook or by crook.


4.  Why do they resort to terror?

The terrorist do not have any respect for the law and the democracy, they do not beehive in negotiation, but want to get their demand accepted. They know that the government can not tolerate the killing and abduction of innocent citizen, children and women, thus they resort to such activity in order to create pressure to the administration to accept their demand. Some terrorist activities take place just to take revenge for the sake of satisfaction and heroism. There are some groups who indulges on terrorism on the pretext of religion also.

5.  What is the Impact of terrorism: -

It has a great impact in the society, in the economy, in the ethnic values. Being an anti social and destructive activity, it halts the economic and social development of a nation., People behind terrorism are disgruntled, brainless, crazy who tries to create panic in the mind of the people and in the society by killing innocent people either in the name of their abnormal demand or in the name of religions without any regard to ethics and human values to satisfy their perverted interest. Since business and other economic activities flourishes in the peaceful and secured atmosphere, there bound to be hindrance in the development in the economic sector where the terrorist activists are indulged in looting, abduction, kidnapping, and other destruction activities. The provinces or countries which are encouraging this type of violence are spending million of dollars in this regard which could  have been diverted to economic development for the  welfare of the citizens by providing medical facilities, education, and other industries and infrastructural facilities . On the other hand the Government or the country which are resisting the terrorist has also to spend huge resources from the Government exchequers for preventing the outfits by way of training and deployment of forces and purchase of modern and improved equipments and ammunitions.

7.  Ways and means to control the terrorism:-

     First and foremost is to inculcate strong public opinion and a serious attempt should be made to create awareness for problems like this. 

     There should not be any compromise so far as the lawlessness is concerned. More pungent acts should be enacted and implemented to counter this menace. Administration should not hesitate to adopt coercive measures whatever it deserves. Exemplary punishment must be awarded to them. Armed forces and the organizations engaged in preventing this type of activity should be adequately equipped with modern and improved version of weapons.

     In case of cross country terrorism, assistance may be sought from   other countries /nations who extend their   hands for prevention of terrorism. World public opinion should be gathered against those countries that are assisting such barbaric acts; they should be isolated and if necessary, strong pressure to be created by other peace loving    countries by breaking off the relation with them and also by   putting financial barriers against them. 

     Economic and regional imbalances would be minimized   with the constructive assistance of world bodies, whose intervention may play a great role in this regard.

     Citizens should also come forward to stop providing assistance to outfits, instead, extend their full cooperation to the administration to curb the menace.


     Communal harmony is another essential requirement to counter the threat of terrorism.

     In any means the fear from the minds of the people should be removed which the antisocial try to implant. Protection must be provided to the people but at the same time it is to be ensured that excessive and misutilization of power should be avoided at any cost which will have adverse impact in the situation.