With the blessings of big business, it all passes off in the name of legitimate entertainment, but it warps the impressionable minds of the young, and is instrumental in creating the insecure world that we live in today. All said and done, it is this growing sense of insecurity in the minds of people that most of all makes terrorism a modem curse.

There existed a moral principle once that a virtuous life acted as a shield against mishap and misfortune. Modern terrorist acts, especially those committed by non-state actors, have given the lie to such beliefs. Unlike the terrorist of bygone eras, who wished to be thought well by the community he was involved with, the modem terrorist targets innocents with a view to intimidating society. Today one is vulnerable because one is innocent, and there can be nothing more morally, psychologically and spiritually damaging than this fact. Ultimately, it takes its toll on one’s physical well­being as well.

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There are millions of people who have been traumatised by modem terrorism, who can neither eat, sleep, or work in mental peace, and above whose heads a sword of Damocles hangs forever.

Modem terrorism is globalised, techno-savvy, and decentralised in decision-making and operational structure. All these factors make it both more efficient and more difficult to cope with and get rid of. We need new levels of strength and ingenuity to grapple with it successfully. In particular, it poses a challenge to democracies, which will now have to master the art of balancing individual freedom with collective security.