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Thursday, July 07, 2005

terror is an error

Terror is an attitude of the mind more terrible than fear. It is a barbarous assault on unsuspecting, unarmed and innocent civilian population who has no idea of how to protect themselves when confronted with such situations.

All of us know what fear is - we grow up with it. It begins with the fear of stumbling when a child takes its first step, to the fear of the school when it joins the kindergarten, to the fear of studies and teachers as it grows up, to the fear of ragging when it enters the portals of higher studies, to the fear of unemployment and, when employment finally comes, it transforms into the fear of the work environment and of the bosses, colleagues and subordinates. As he matures, he comes to terms with fear, in practically all cases he is able to conquer this complex and he continues to prosper. When he gets married, the fear takes on different dimensions, if the match is an arranged one, each party is always apprehensive of the other, it amounts to a fear of the unknown – two souls are suddenly brought together and made to vow that they will live happily ever afterwards.
Terror is several times more severe. When terror strikes, it leaves the world dumbfounded. Terrors were usually associated with Nature. There used to be the volcanoes - when they erupt, and the lava flows downhill, they swallow everything in their path and leave a trail of destruction behind. People are terrified of volcanoes. Similarly for earthquakes, it is next to impossible to predict when and where it will strike and throw the world into total disorder, how much it will measure on the Richter scale, how much it will swallow into its depths. This is another form of terror. Next are catastrophes like the Tsunami – one more example of how Nature avenges herself. It does not spare any soul; it acts as a great leveler.

Man made Terror is something that defies imagination – when a bomb explodes and splinters fly around with the limbs of the perpetrators of the crime, it is a ghastly sight. Terrors are depicted on the silver screen in the form of Jaws, Anaconda, Godzilla and other such imaginary creatures – they are marvels of Technology, like the dinosaurs of Jurassic Park. We know they are figments of the imagination.

But, terror becomes real and more nearer home when terrorists threaten to blow up aero planes with hundreds of passengers on board or strap bombs to their bodies and attempt to create mayhem. They never succeed, they know they will never succeed but still they keep trying. They are doomed to failure from the word go.

The Japanese Zero bomber planes of WW-II were one of the first instances of human bombs - but, those suicide bombers were of a different genre. They were the fallout of an armed conflict between warring Nations.

Terror today is an error with a capital T – the T stands for Threat.

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