Sunday 16 July 2017

Will Terrorism Become Part of Life?

In last few years, it seems that there has been an increase in terrorist attacks across the world.  Even after decades of hearing about terrorism, feeling some of the pain and fear, and managing life around it - it still seems that such acts shock people. Part of 'win' for terrorism / terrorist attacks is to spread fear, not to let common people do what they do normally. Given this - doesn't an increase in frequency of attacks cause terrorism-led-caualty to become simply unfortunate, than fearful. Will terrorism continue to be shocking, or will it become part of life?

Some three decades ago (in 1980s) - cars were not commonly owned family transportation mode in India. However, a decade later (in 1990s) this scenario changed - and personal car usage has been increasing in India since. With this increase in usage, came the obvious element of accidents and deaths due to these accidents.

Most accidents were caused by human error - drunk driving, not focussed enough, not fresh enough, over-confidence, under-confidence, over-speeding etc. - fact being, accidents that could & should have been avoided had everyone involved was careful. Yet, these accidents happened!

While most accidents can be attributed to some form of human error, there are still some accidents that are simply unavoidable - an animal trying to cross the road in front of a fast moving car, mechanical / electrical failure etc. - fact is, these kind of unavoidable accidents do occur, and do cause death.

In my mind, the concept is rather simple. We have to look at how people in India have adapted to personal cars, have dealt with increasing frequency of accidents and death caused by it (whether that of the driver, or the person hit by the driver). We have to look at the millennials, especially, to learn something important from them. For them, these accidents may have become a part of life. The fact is this generation has grown up seeing cars, and they have accepted the good & the bad of it. Car accidents are no longer shocking - unfortunate, yes!

How does this relate to terrorism? One of the worst terrorist attacks, in recent past, has been the one in Manchester, targeting young children who had gone to attend a concert. The more these attacks happen, and impact children - whether directly, or through media - the more these children will grow up accepting terrorism as part of life...just as children of '80s in India grew up accepting car accidents. The more such acts / attacks become accepted, the more such acts / attacks lose significance. The more insignificant these acts / attacks become, the more people start living fearlessly. Ultimately, ghastly-ness and higher frequency is really going to work against the very purpose of terrorism!


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