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This post is prompted by the recent terror attacks in my city of Bangalore- followed by one the very next day in Ahmedabad. The manner in which the serial blasts took place clearly indicates that it is the handiwork of a terrorist group- seeking to create panic in India’s cities. The safety of its citizens is the prime responsibility of the Government. Yet we find that terror attacks continue in India. Reuters lists the major attacks in India since 2003. The recent serial bomb blasts in Bangalore and Ahmedabad bring to light the dangers of allowing terror outfits unfettered freedom to operate in countries like ours. This seems to be largely due to the Government’s mistaken belief that as a democracy – we should shelter everyone including our enemies.

What can you and I, as ordinary citizens do to counter the menace of terror? Here are my thoughts:

  1. Choose your Government with care: Don’t say all political parties are equally bad. Perhaps so -but is there a political party whose stand on these issues strikes a chord within you? Do you feel some parties- more than others- pander to different categories of people only to get vote banks? Do some parties- irrespective of all that they say- actively support anti-national outfits, even if they do this in a round about way mainly to meet their own ends?
  2. Be an active part of your neighborhood/community: In cities especially, there is a high percentage of a floating population. People come and go as job mobility increases year after year. Be active in your community. Support your local police in their attempts to maintain law and order. It was shocking to see hundreds gather at bomb blasts sites merely to see what was going on. Others were occupied jostling for a place where they would feature for a minutes or two on TV screens all over the country. They hinder the police in doing their work and often destroy what could be crucial evidence.
  3. Be responsible when passing news: More often than not panic follows a terror attack fueled largely by rumors. Most of them eventually turn out to be untrue but for the moment are ” hot news”. With mobile telephony , SMS etc, the power of rumors to wreak havoc has increased significantly. Like you wouldn’t blindly pass on a forward you get in your email, exercise restraint in passing on news, in such times.
  4. Co-operate with the Police: Report suspicious activity/people to the police: They have their hands full. If you come across a suspicious looking package which is lying unattended or strangers behaving in a suspicious manner in your neighborhood, inform the police. A false alarm is better than the bomb actually going off-taking lives and property.

As is obvious, there are no easy answers. Terrorism is a very complex subject. I recognize that a “terrorist” for you and me may be seen as being a martyr for somebody else. Yet, if left unchecked – terror attacks can do more damage to our country than anything else.

Be a responsible citizen of India. Do your bit to fight terror.

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This is Post No: 237 of the “A Step A Day” series : To provide perspective and provoke thought to facilitate self-development across a wide spectrum of issues- big and small- crucial for executive success.

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