Terrorism has always been an emotive issue. But never did it provoke so much indignation and resentment as this week post 7/11, when surfers unhesitatingly declared the verdict that the Indian Government is soft on terror.
A total of 660 people the world over sent in their views in the 40-hour online survey. Their comments reflected indignation at the flourishing growth of terrorism, and resentment against the authorities for being apathetic about it.
Our first question dealt with the crux of the problem: Is India soft on terror?
A whopping 545 people said yes, there was no doubt about it. 58 people said the government was serious about it, while 50 others said they were not sure.
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The second question dealt with something we've all asked time and again: Will the Government EVER curb terrorism?
Not surprisingly, the majority (456) said our Government will never be able to do such a thing. Only 99 people felt it would rise to the occasion, while the fence sitters constituted a meager 98.
Our third question brought in the issue of Pakistan: Are Indo-Pak peace talks futile in the face of continuing terror?
Here again, 515 of our respondents were of the opinion that the talks were meaningless; what is needed is action. Those who disagreed were far behind, with only 51 people saying that the talks should continue. 87 people were unsure about it and said the dialogue process could be made more effective.
Our next question was a personal one: Is there an increasing sense of helplessness post 7/11?
Interestingly, the answer was a yes. Most of our surfers (442 of them) did have a sense of dread that another attack could not be far behind. 142 people did not have any such fear, while 69 people said Indians were always prepared for such a crisis.
Question number five wanted to assess public sentiment: Should we toe the US/Israel line in curbing terror?
Surprisingly, a great many of our respondents (458) agreed that such harsh measures were necessary to root out the problem. Only 67 surfers said aggression was not the answer, while 128 people were not sure what the approach should be.
Our last and final question asked surfers what a lasting solution to the problem would be.
As many as 361 people vouched for a strong intelligence network. While 249 people said an ever-vigilant government could forestall any plans for an attack, only 43 people supported a process of dialogue, albeit productive.
The Big Comments
The comments that came in were incisive and spontaneous, and many of our surfers actually said a 'physical' approach to the problem is an absolute must.
Nitin Mayor from New Delhi, had this to say: "India is far too soft on terrorism, and our intelligence network is also weak. We need to wake up post the Delhi and Mumbai blasts and take a strong stand against terrorism. India really needs to see where it is heading, and if this bureaucracy and corruption continues, I don't see a very bright future for the country. So I urge the government to take a very physical approach and tackle the problem with Pakistan and Kashmir."
Another telling comment came from Joseph Dass of Dubai: "India has to understand that by adopting diplomacy, we are giving the enemies time to plan an attack. We have to learn to treat an enemy like an enemy and not as a friend. Also, make no mistake that if those in power don't act during a crisis like this, then our enemies will take us to be useless. It is also important at this stage to work out a strategy to attack positions at POK terrorist camps and do it the way Israel is doing it."
There were quite a few who outlined effective methods to curb terrorism.
Anurag from Mumbai said >>>