Terrorism is a phenomenon that has been known to mankind for more than two millennia, but over this long period of time, no-one has succeeded in defining terrorism in a manner that is universally acceptable and encompasses all essential elements. Therefore, the frequently utilised word ‘terrorism’ does not refer to a well-defined and clearly identified set of factual events or to a widely accepted legal doctrine.

Even if we put it in simple words, Terrorism is an illegal act, which aims to create fear among the ordinary people. Terrorism is not just a word; it’s the most important threat to humanity. If a person or group of person spreads violence, riots, burglaries, rapes, kidnappings, bombings, all of this is what constitutes terrorism.

The lack of a generic definition cannot invalidate the fact that for several decades, terrorism has been a serious security problem demanding both domestic and international countermeasures. The latter are especially important, as the leading terrorist factions operate internationally in order to gain wider exposure and, as a result, more success, but also to find supporters — namely, states that sympathise with their political objectives. The relevant international countermeasures are naturally associated with the Security Council, to whom the states have conferred primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. The Security Council, a constantly attentive executive organ, has considerable means, of a broad range, at its disposal for that purpose, starting with diplomatic or economic sanctions and ending with military measures.

For the first time in India, terrorism was considered Naxalite. For the first time in India in 1967, some inhabitants of the Bengal region were furious; they came out as Naxalites to make their point of view.

Speaking at the informal BRICS leaders’ meeting in Osaka, Modi said that there is a need to stop all the mediums of support to terrorism and racism. In words of PM Modi “Terrorism is the biggest threat to humanity. It not only kills innocents but also severely affects the economic development and social stability,”

The Criteria for Terrorism

Violent actions are usually categorised according to the perpetrator, the victim, the method, and the purpose. Different definitions emphasise different characteristics, depending on the priorities of the agency involved. 

In our coverage of terrorism, we rely strongly on data from the Global Terrorism Database (GTD), which defines terrorism as “acts of violence by non-state actors, perpetrated against civilian populations, intended to cause fear, in order to achieve a political objective”. Its definition excludes violence initiated by governments (state terrorism) and open combat between opposing armed forces, even if they’re non-state actors. To be considered an act of terrorism, an action must be violent, or threaten violence. As such, political dissent, activism, and nonviolent resistance do not constitute terrorism. 

Main Causes of Terrorism

  • Production of large quantities of weapons, firearms, atomic bombs, hydrogen bombs etc.
  • Rapid population growth
  • Dissatisfied with country’s situation
  • Lack of education
  • Immoral persuasion

Effects of Terrorism

  • Creates fear and insecurity in mind of People
  • Enormous amount of destruction and devastation
  • Gives rise to other Terrorist Organisations
  • Religious and social disparities


Terrorism has been a menace to mankind for two millennia, but in recent decades it has become a pressing domestic and international security problem. The Security Council as a guardian of world order has the authority to take both non-military and military measures in order to maintain or restore international peace and security, provided that it has first determined a threat to peace, a breach of the peace, or an act of aggression to exist. Since 1992, it has gradually acknowledged that different manifestations of terrorism constitute a threat to peace and therefore justify the use of enforcement measures.

A determination that certain manifestations of terrorism constitute a threat to peace is essentially a political decision, even more so because there is no generic definition of terrorism or guidelines for identifying threats to peace. Overly frequent referrals to minor terrorist acts may also downgrade the momentum of major terrorist acts. While it is politically convenient not to assess individually every terrorist act brought to the Security Council’s attention but to instead label all as a threat to peace, such an approach endangers numerous fundamental rules and inter-state relations as well as eventually international peace and security.

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