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Terrorism and fear

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Dec. 8th, 2008 | 08:30 am

Last week saw some serious drop in business across malls, restaurants, hotels, airlines, and other such places. I expected a small drop because of the Bombay terrorist attacks, but in fact it turned out to be about 40%. As I waited for guests, I decided to phone and ask fellow restauranteurs how things were going. The word "dead" was the usual reply. The clubs, already hurt by the clamp on nightlife in Bangalore, got hit more. When I enquired at one well-known club, I found that they had gone to another club to figure out how much business they had, and both were doing very little.

Then a fellow chef friend showed me an SMS he had got. Apparently it was doing the rounds in Bangalore. It warned people not to go to movies, malls, and restaurants till 07 December because of some alleged army intelligence that there was going to be a terrorist attack. And people were relentlessly forwarding it to everyone they knew.

Unfortunately, this is exactly the kind of fear that terrorists try to create. That's their line of business - to disrupt lives of citizens and make them afraid for their lives. And when people forward such messages without having any first hand knowledge, they actually do the terrorists' work for them. Fear propogates, and thanks to technologies like the Internet and SMS, it propagates faster.

I for one refuse to forward such messages. I will not live my life in fear. I will not let the bloody terrorist have the satisfaction of seeing that his work has been successful. And the rest of us should not either. For how long will you keep it up anyway? Statistically, you are more likely to die in a car accident than a terrorist attack. Do we then stop using our vehicles too? And for how long will we let fear haunt us? A week? A month? A year? What happens after that?

So don't be a victim. Go out, watch movies, try restaurants, have a drink at a bar, and go on with my life just as before. It's a sad day when the terrorists physically kill a couple of hundred people, but kill the spirits of hundreds of thousands. Don't be part of that statistic.

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Comments {5}

Kanishka Sinha

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from: kanishka_sinha
date: Dec. 8th, 2008 02:51 pm (UTC)
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Damn right!

Safest time to go out is probably straight after an attack when the terrorists are lying low and security is on full alert. If there hasn't been a blast for a long time... then you need to be more careful.

Kinda like the stock market... get out when it's growing, get in after the crash

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Anita

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from: aneeta_04
date: Dec. 9th, 2008 04:43 am (UTC)
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Very True.
A similar article in Today's Bangalore times 1st page.

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deponti

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from: deponti
date: Dec. 9th, 2008 09:15 am (UTC)
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I *totally* agree with this.

I moderate a family quiz group that meets one Saturday evening every month; finally, under pressure, I had to cancel the quiz, as I could not put even one family at risk...but NOT of being the targets of a terror attack, but of being harassed by the police, who really get on one's case and ask why you want to be out so late, as if it were a crime!

But I actually find that going by ourselves is easier, and we get restaurant tables and tickets :)

Giving in to fear IS to give in to the terrorists' ploy.

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Foo

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from: sriniram
date: Dec. 9th, 2008 02:54 pm (UTC)
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We have a neighbor who has stopped going to the movies and malls ever since the bomb blasts about a year back in Hyderabad. They are quite afraid for us when they see us go about our lives as if nothing happened. I can't really predict an attack, and pretty much every place in India is crowded, so I see no point in hiding at home.

The cops in India have a tough challenge - especially since every Indian city has magnitudes more people than a similar sized western city, no trustworthy system for positive ID and of course lesser training and equipment.

I don't fault them too much then if their methods are a little crude. By limiting the number of people out on an evening, they reduce the number of people they have to suspect. It is understandable that criminals will prefer sneaking around at night than in day light where they may be recognized.

It would be interesting to gather general crime data in the immediate aftermath of a terror attack. I suspect even non-terror related crimes come down.

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deponti

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from: deponti
date: Jan. 20th, 2009 05:12 pm (UTC)
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It's not for nothing that it's called "terror"ism. Fear is an essential part of the armoury; paralysis of normal life is the goal.

We went out, and found an extra benefit....restarauteurs and others appreciated our effort, and we got excellent service everywhere, and a calm uncrowded atmosphere in several places.

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