[Event] COUNTER EXPO 2022: India’s counter-terrorism strategy and national security

Counter Expo 2022 in a panel discussion in collaboration with Forum for Integrated National Security(FINS) organised a session, including, Praveen Dixit, Col. Prabir Sengupta, Dr Nanada Kishor, Dr Alvite Ningthoujam and Prof. Rajiv Gupte as esteemed Speakers.

The session was essentially focused on India’s need for a comprehensive, innovative and coordinated counterterrorism strategy. While national security is not just confined only to borders or terrorism, we have been witnessing the everchanging dynamics and nature of terrorism in our country as well as the other parts world. There has been a serious blend of both traditional and non-traditional security challenges, concerns and debates around strategy requirements. It is observed the strategic culture is missing in India and government organisations cannot alone handle terrorism considering the size of our country.

While our society is a multicultural and multiethnic one, it is also a soft target. The very nature of diversity and internal contradictions can be used against the nation. Civil society needs to be educated, strengthened, made part and parcel of any counter-terrorism strategy. There is a lack of documents and approaches from the government talking about globalisation, geopolitics and the transnational nature of terrorism. Looking beyond the number of attacks that happened and were prevented, there is a need to assess and fight against the hidden threats and smokescreens. There should be greater emphasis on convincing parties about state-sponsored cross border terrorism for concrete actions to be imposed. 

As technology advances, it doesn’t differentiate between governments and terrorist organisations, how do we approach and handle social media and the internet is crucial. Social media is used as a tool used far beyond just for entertainment. Whenever governments have tried to assess the situation of misconduct and online radicalisation, it has been seen as an act of descent. Coastal states need special attention towards counterterrorism strategy as the frontline of defence with regard to counterterrorism is our communities that live there. Private sector involvement is important and we look towards the contribution of civil society as they cannot progress whether in economic terms, financial terms, educational terms or culture without a prosperous and secure nation. There needs to be a collaboration of media, tech firms, civil society and nations to counter-terrorism.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Kootneeti Team

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Niomi Choksi

Niomi Choksi is a Researcher at The Kootneeti

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