human rights and terrorism in india

The Complexities of Human Rights and Terrorism in India

India has been facing the threat of terrorism for a long time.

Our nation has struggled against many militant groups throughout its history.

However, although the Indian government has tried its best to ensure public safety, measures against acts of terrorism often tend to raise concerns about potential human rights violations.

Finding the balance between human rights and terrorism in India has been a long journey.

Online Course: Human Rights Budgeting | ICLD

Let's discuss the basics of both concepts and how the fight against terrorism can be battled without compromising the fundamental human rights of the people.

Defining Human Rights and Terrorism in India

Terrorism in India

As per the FBI, the common definition of terrorism can be divided into 2:

  1. International terrorism: Terrorist activities conducted by individuals and/or groups associated with foreign terrorist organizations.
  2. Domestic terrorism: Terrorist acts conducted by individuals and/or groups to further ideological goals coming from domestic influences.

In today's technologically advanced world, there is easy access to powerful weapons and the ability to mask one's identity perfectly.

These two main factors are the main reason why terrorism has gained much popularity as a means to wage war.

India's struggle against terrorism mainly began after the nation's religion-based partition in 1947, which divided the sub-continent into two countries - India and Pakistan.

After a brief period of stability, Hari Singh - the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir at the time - acceded to India, which was and continues to be rejected by Pakistan.

This dispute has become the core of the long-standing conflict between the two nations, leading to numerous terrorist acts.

Besides the territorial dispute with Pakistan, other drivers of terrorism are usually political or religious reasons, ethnic-subregional nationalism, and socioeconomic conditions.

Moreover, India is highly vulnerable to terrorism and violent extremism by foreign terrorists due to porous borders with neighbouring places.

Terrorism in India is generally divided into three parts:

  1. Cross-border terrorism
  2. Terrorism in the hinterland.
  3. Extreme violence is an integral part of the ongoing insurgencies.

The nation has experienced almost all kinds of terrorist attacks:

  1. Hijacking and destruction of aircraft
  2. Sabotage of railway tracks
  3. Kidnap of citizens for meeting political demands
  4. Communal riots with extreme violence
  5. Terrorist attacks by religious groups
  6. Assassination of Prime Ministers
  7. Attacks on places of worship

Human Rights in India

Despite its reputation as the world's largest democratic society, human rights in India is a complicated issue due to its large size and diverse population.

The Indian constitution provides all its citizens the necessary basic freedoms, which are guaranteed in the form of 6 general categories of fundamental rights, which are:

  1. The right to equality
  2. Right to freedom of speech
  3. Right against exploitation
  4. Right to freedom of religion
  5. Right to the conservation of culture
  6. Right to constitutional remedies

The Complexity of Human Rights and Terrorism in India

As mentioned earlier, India has been fighting against the threat of terrorism and other abhorrent crimes for a long time.

However, there are many complexities of both human rights and terrorism in India.

The Potential of Counter-Terrorism Measures

Counter-terrorism measures like enhanced surveillance are necessary for tackling terrorist threats. However, if not carefully thought out and conducted, it can violate the fundamental human rights of citizens, such as freedom of movement and privacy. Finding the balance between an effective security action plan and the maintenance of individual rights is essential.

The Violation of Human Rights Laws

While the seemingly strategic response to terrorism and other forms of violence may seem like the perfect choice, they can have unintended consequences. We all notice the victims of terrorism; however, counter-terrorist action plans also result in tragic civilian casualties often covered up as 'collateral damage', posing serious questions about the potential violation of the right to life.

The Impact on Minority Communities

The effects of terrorism may sometimes lead to profiling on the basis of religion, ethnicity, and/or ideology. This can negatively impact minority communities, fueling discrimination, alienation, and radicalization.

Effective Strategies for Counter-Terrorism while Ensuring Human Rights

The fight against terrorism is a big struggle for many nations, including India. However, while developing action plans against a threat of violence, it is crucial to uphold all fundamental human rights.

Finding the balance between the relationship between terrorism and the preservation of human rights is tricky, but numerous strategies can be adopted to achieve this.

Judicial Monitoring

Setting up judicial monitoring of security forces and counter-terrorism actions ensures adherence to the rule of law, preventing human rights violations.

Well-defined Guidelines

Clear and well-defined rules, use of force, and detention procedures aim to minimize the risk of arbitrary arrests, excessive force, and profiling.

Socioeconomic Development

Lack of socioeconomic development in specific regions can raise radicalization and extremist ideologies. Investing in social programs and boosting economic development can empower marginalized communities and reduce such risks.

Acknowledging Grievances

Unaddressed issues and unresolved aspirations can lead to terrorism. Encouraging dialogue between diverse groups of people, fostering inclusive political processes, and addressing legitimate grievances can help alleviate tensions and reduce isolation.

Reducing Hate Speech

Hate speech and propaganda, especially through social media, play a huge role in radical perspectives. It is essential to focus on promoting media literacy, encouraging genuine and responsible journalism, and implementing strict regulations against hate speech to reduce violent extremism.

ALSO READ: A Government is Only Respected When It Respects the Human Rights of All


The issue of human rights and terrorism in India is a constant struggle.

While counter-terrorism measures are more than necessary, they often tend to violate fundamental human rights.

The key is to develop a well-considered program of action against threats of violence, such as addressing socioeconomic issues, acknowledging complaints, reducing hate speech, judicial monitoring, and establishing clear protocols.

Moreover, building trust with the nation's population and promoting media literacy is essential to building harmony between security measures and human rights.


What is terrorism and human rights in the Indian context?

Human rights and terrorism in India are both complex issues. The definition of terrorism is the use of violence in order to achieve certain goals. On the other hand, human rights are fundamental rights granted to all humans without discrimination.

What is the relationship between terrorism and human rights?

Human rights and terrorism in India have a complex relationship with each other. This is because, in the face of terrorism, strict security measures have to be employed to ensure the safety of the population. However, these counter-terrorist measures often neglect the preservation of basic human rights.

What are the different types of terrorism?

The four types of terrorism are criminal, psychic, war, and political terrorism.

Huda Fatima

A passionate bookworm, Huda has always dreamt of sculpting a reader's imagination. Driven by an everlasting passion for language, she strives to craft captivating narratives, twisting, and combining the words she holds much love for, taking her readers on cultural journeys around the globe.

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Latest from Brown News