Anti-Terrorism Day: The death anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi is also known as Anti-Terrorism Day which is observed every year all over India on 21 May. The date was selected in order to honor the death anniversary of one of the most well-known Prime Ministers of India, Shri Rajiv Gandhi (20 August 1944 – 21 May 1991).
He had been victimized of this threat and to respect his contributions towards the country. This day is also held in order to make people aware about the on-going terrorist activities as well as the safety measures to be taken by the common people to stop these acts of terrorism.
Terrorism is defined as the use of indiscriminate violence done on purpose in order to create terror among masses of people, or fear to attain a religious or political goal. It is used in this concern mainly to refer to violence for the duration of harmony or in the war against non-combatants.
Definition of Terrorism
The Indian government uses the following working definition of terrorism, the same as one extensively used by Western nations and also the United Nations, which has been proposed by Schmid and Jongman in the year 1988.
“Terrorism is an anxiety-inspiring method of repeated violent action, employed by (semi-) clandestine individual, group or state actors, for idiosyncratic, criminal or political reasons, whereby the direct targets of violence are not the main targets. The immediate human victims of violence are generally chosen randomly (targets of opportunity) or selectively (representative or symbolic targets) from a target population, and serve as message generators. Threat and violence-based communication processes between terrorist organization, victims, and main targets are used to manipulate the main target (audience(s)), turning it into a target of terror, a target of demands, or a target of attention, depending on whether intimidation, coercion, or propaganda is primarily sought.” — Alex Schmid and Albert Jongman
In the year 2004, a Secretary-General of the United Nations report defined terrorism as any act “intended to cause death or serious bodily harm to civilians or non-combatants with the purpose of intimidating a population or compelling a government or an international organization to do or abstain from doing any act.”
Terrorism in India
As per to the Home Ministry, terrorism in India poses a major threat to the people of India. Terrorism found in India comprises of ethno-nationalist terrorism, religious terrorism, left-wing terrorism as well as narco-terrorism.
The major regions in India with long term terrorist activities include Jammu and Kashmir, east-central and south-central India (Naxalism) as well as the Seven Sister States. In August 2008, National Security Advisor M K Narayanan has said in a statement that there are more than 800 terrorist cells that are functioning in the nation. As of 2013, 205 of the nation’s 608 districts were affected by terrorist activity. As of 2012, the Terror attacks have caused 231 civilian deaths in India, associated to 11,098 terror-caused deaths internationally, as per to the State Department of the United States; or around 2% of worldwide terror death toll while it books for 17.5% of the global population.
In all the government offices and public sector Anti-Terrorism or Anti Violence Pledge is taken on this day and it is as follows – “We, the people of India, having abiding faith in our country’s tradition of non-violence and tolerance, hereby solemnly affirm to oppose with our strength, all forms of terrorism and violence. We pledge to uphold and promote peace, social harmony, and understand among all fellow human beings and fight the forces of disruption threatening human lives and values.”
There are many activities which take place on Anti-Terrorism Day, comprising seminars promoting anti-terrorism, the anti-integrity oath is taken and marches are carried out by the Congressmen all around the country. The floral wreath is laid down on the Rajiv Gandhi statue. The main goal of this Day is to reduce the terrorism to the maximum possible amount.