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Learning to Respond to Terror Attacks

The immediate reactions to disasters can be bewildering and challenging. However, we must learn to temper our responses with intelligence and sympathy

Policy Pulse
Publish Date: Nov 23 2015 12:32PM | Updated Date: Nov 23 2015 12:52PM

Learning to Respond to Terror Attacks

 While it may be difficult to predict when and where the next terrorist attack may take place, we can all at many levels prepare for how to handle a post-attack scenario. The way Paris handled the situation has been praised around the world, especially for the restraint, support and empathy its media, government and civil society displayed. Something we, in India, can certainly learn from.

Our media, that came under fire for its insensitive and intrusive reporting in Nepal after the earthquake there, should be first in line to train its journalists and support staff on how to cover disasters.

This becomes even more crucial for terrorist-related attacks for the communal and religious slants that such events tend to have.  The need for moderation and control at such times can hardly be over-emphasised.

 Shailaja Bajpai’s article in the Indian Express: http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/telescope-how-to-cover-a-terror-attack/ effectively compared the Indian coverage of such ‘Breaking News’ settings.

In addition, the incredible empathy and large-heartedness extended by sections of society, including those who lost close and loved one in the attacks is also worth noting. The most circulated, ‘You will not have my hatred” by Antoine Leiris who lost his wife of 12-years was truly touching: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/You-will-not-have-my-hatred-husband-of-Paris-victim-tells-ISIS/articleshow/49815198.cms

The need at such times for grief and compassion to not be totally eclipsed by rage, revenge and hysteria is also extremely important.