Duringthe ongoing Lok Sabha elections, a heated debate is on, suggesting that the incumbent party led by PM Modi has made nationalism its main plank to win the elections. In an earlier article, we explained that there is no shift in the narrative in the current election season too. Development remains the core theme as the PM has consistently explained development initiatives in rally after rally. But development is not possible without national security. These are two inter-connected concepts. Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has said,“we will not enjoy development without security, or security without development.’’
In fact, in any national election, concerns related to both national security and development ought to be the part of the election debate. Although it appears a little abnormal to a particular section of people for whom national security has never been of much significance.
The world very recently witnessed one of the most gruesome terror attacks in recent memory in Sri Lanka. Even India has seen many terror attacks on its soil. There were many terror attacks under the UPA regime before they came to be checked by the Modi government.
We are listing down the major terror attacks in India. This will help in understanding why there came a time when Indian people started fearing bomb blasts so much that they began restricting their visits to crowded places. Let’s take a look at the major terror attacks in India followed by an analysis.
Major Terror Attacks in India Since 2004
Note – Data on the attacks above have been sourced from news reports.
- From the year 2000-2001, the world has seen many terror attacks. A reputed German newspaper Welt has published a list of 31,221 Islamist terror attacks committed worldwide since 09/11 attack in USA. India has been no exception.
- After the UPA government came to power in 2004, not only did the frequency of terror attacks increase, but major cities of India started to become targets of the terrorists. There was a pattern established in the attacks that came between 2004 and 2014. Now the terrorists began to plant bombs in crowded markets especially around festive season, in order to maximise the impact.
- The attack in Mumbai on 26/11/2008 is widely remembered. But there had been a series of attacks in multiple cities in the same year 2008. It appeared that terrorists had freer run than the security forces in the country.
- Once the Modi government came to power (NDA II), it mobilised the country’s security machinery and completely stopped the trend of terrorist attacks in the prominent cities of India. If one looks at the table above closely, most of the terror attacks have been restricted to the sensitive areas of J&K or the Red Corridor (Naxal-affected areas).
- Most importantly, a change in India’s policy is visible under NDA – II, unlike earlier, when UPA government didn’t do anything to respond to these terror attacks except for exchanging of dossiers and denouncing them verbally. Modi government has gone on the offensive and unleashed a series of attacks as pre-emptive or retaliatory action. The strikes in Myanmar, Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (Surgical Strike), and Pakistan (Air Strike) were a testimony to that new and determined approach.
- So, it was mostly during 2004-2014 that terror not only had hit India badly but had also gone unpunished. No cost on terrorists or their patrons was being imposed.
Thus, this decade of 2004-2014 had seen a series of terror-related bloodbaths on the Indian soil. During this period, the common man received more personal phone calls from his family about his safety and security than work-related calls from his office or business places. It was truly a decade of horror and the nation has successfully moved away from it. Now is the time to maintain this momentum.