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Electoral reforms in India

Terrorism is one of the biggest hurdles to the growth of India. Being a democratic country with social and liberal values, India most often deals with the terrorism strictly within the ambit of national and international laws. Unlike, many western countries, India does not go for offensive attacks, incessant killings and irrational attacks to destroy terrorism. Despite indulging in counter terrorism activities at rare occasions, India does not have a fixed counter terrorism policy and has not even framed such doctrines.

History of terrorism in India

Long before India got independence in 1947, many nationalists and patriotic individuals were involved in terrorist activities with the aim to create a fear among the British officials. But later, after Independence, Kashmir, Punjab and North East Frontier part was severely affected by terrorism. But the current scenario the terrorism scope has been increased. In the past, an insurgency led to militant activities in the Indian state of Punjab as well as the national capital Delhi., but was effectively neutralized.

In India, the concern for the terrorism, is the main connect with religious basis which organized by groups or individuals. It includes Islamic, Hindu, Sikh, Christian and Naxalite radical movements. In the current scenario, the domestic and external terror activities are increasing in India. Currently, India has accused Pakistan of harboring terrorists and promoting terror in the region of Kashmir.

Major incidents of terrorist attack in India:

12 March 1993 - Series of 12 bomb explosion killing 257 people (Mumbai)

14 March 2003 - Bomb goes off in a train in Mulund killing 10 (Mumbai)

29 October 2005 – Three explosions kills 62 people (New Delhi)

5 July 2005 - Attack at Ram Janmabhoomi in Ayodhya

7 March 2006 - Series of Bombing killed 29 people in Varanasi

11 July 2006 - Series of seven bombs go off in trains killing 209 people in Mumbai

26 November 2008 to 29 November 2008 - Coordinated series of attacks killing at least 280 (Mumbai)

National laws:

  • Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act, 2004 (amended in 2008) - power to declare “any association that engages in activities that support any secessionist claims” or “disclaims, questions, disrupts” the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India as unlawful.
  • Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act,1958 - This law gives armed forces the power to maintain public order in “disturbed areas”. They have the authority to prohibit a gathering of five or more persons in an area, can use force or even open fire after giving due warning if they feel a person is in contravention of the law. If reasonable suspicion exists, the army can also arrest a person without a warrant; enter or search a premises without a warrant; and ban the possession of firearms. Use any kind of force (including lethal force) deemed necessary against the person who is “acting to disrupt the law and order. This is conditional on a prior warning from the security personnel.
  • Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) – This act was created with the objective of strengthening anti-terrorism operations. The Act was enacted due to several terrorist attacks that were being carried out in India and especially in response to the attack on the Parliament. The Act replaced the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance (POTO) of 2001 and the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) (1985–95), and was supported by the governing National Democratic Alliance. The Act was repealed in 2004 by the United Progressive Alliance coalition. The Act defined what constituted a "terrorist act" and who a "terrorist" was, and granted special powers to the investigating authorities described under the Act. The act was repealed in 2004
  • Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act, 1999 (MCOCA) is a law enacted by Maharashtra state in India in 1999 to combat organised crime and terrorism. The preamble to MCOCA says that "the existing legal framework, i.e. the penal and procedural laws and the adjudicatory system, are found to be rather inadequate to curb or control the menace of organised crime. Government has, therefore, decided to enact a special law with stringent and deterrent provisions including in certain circumstances power to intercept wire, electronic or oral communication to control the menace of organised crime

India and World:

India has long fought and opposed all forms of terrorism and its origins. Since, India does not believe in attacking the entire country and region that sponsors terrorism.

Therefore, the nation focuses and assert more of diplomacy, isolation of countries particularly Pakistan which aids and supports terrorism rather than full blown out war. Indian diplomacy focuses on the vision that explains that terrorism cannot effectively be fought alone, as has been our experience so far. India has completely supports any United Nations actions to counter terrorism.

So India urges and encourages all nations to join hands to combat it. India has made desperate attempts to expose Pakistan sponsored 'proxy' war in Kashmir at various world stages and appeals other nations of the world to apply pressure on Pakistan to fall in line or isolate the country at all levels.

But India has had modest success in its efforts to internationally isolate Pakistan as a state-sponsor of terrorism. Many experts believe that Indian discourse has not vibrated through the world despite numerous effects. India has also been pushing Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) since 1996 in UN. There are many reasons for India support for the CCIT, since it intends to criminalize all kinds of international terrorism and deny terrorists, their fund managers, financiers and supporters access to funds, arms, and safe havens

India believes that the proposed convention was intended to provide umbrella cover for situations not addressed by the existing sectoral conventions on terrorism, concluded under the auspices of the UN. The CCIT is often described as the mother of all conventions related to anti-terrorism.


Despite, several laws and India’s effort to garner large international support terrorism continues to evolve and develop in its own pace. But the government must keep in mind need to bear in mind that much as terrorist keep changing with emerging technology. We must be aware the current phenomena being termed as fourth generation warfare and certainly Indian Intelligence agencies must also need to fine tune and adopt new anti-terror legislation to fight with the changing time. We must be aware that despite as proactive efforts including gathering intelligence and organizing technical and human capital at the right place, we need to empower new generation of people who must be educated an what it means to fight terror in a liberal and democratic system.