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A US flag is posted in the rubble of the World Trade Centre in New York on September 13, 2001. On September 11, 2001, during a series of coordinated terror attacks using hijacked airplanes, two airplanes were flown into the World Trade Centre’s twin towers causing the collapse of both towers. Photo: EPA-EFE

Letters | 9/11 anniversary: to prevent terrorism, start with creating opportunities for underprivileged youth

  • The solution to terrorism lies in generating economic opportunities for youngsters across the world and spreading rational education
The 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks on the United States is upon us. The last two decades have been dreadful, with major terrorist attacks in cities including London, Paris and Mumbai and wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria.
Though Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the September 11 attacks, was killed by US Navy Seals in 2011, terrorist activity has continued through the likes of the Taliban, Islamic State, Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan and others. Global security has been tightened and electronic surveillance is a regular feature of our daily lives through phones, laptops and countless cameras. Personal privacy has become a thing of the past.

Airlines do their best to make us comfortable on flights. They provide us with food, films, music and even showers in first class. Yet, some fear always lurks in our minds.

The solution to terrorism lies in generating economic opportunities for youngsters across the world and spreading rational education. Better economic opportunities in developing countries could discourage youngsters from embracing suicidal terrorist missions. Some youngsters are willing to die so their underprivileged families can get lump sums from the organisers of suicide missions. This is heartbreaking.

The planners of these suicide missions do not man them personally. They find innocent, gullible youngsters to undertake them. The lives of others are cheaper than their own.

The creation of more job opportunities has to be accompanied by widespread education across the world that all religions should be respected. There are instances of financially affluent and qualified people also fostering terrorism. They harbour feelings of injustice or believe that people of their faith are oppressed in some country.

Bin Laden was not poor. He hailed from one of the richest families in Saudi Arabia. So, improved dissemination of information, secular education, fostering tolerance and accepting diversity can help teach people of varied creeds to live harmoniously.

As US President John F. Kennedy said in his inaugural speech in 1961, all sides should “explore what problems unite us instead of belabouring those problems which divide us”. Youngsters should read the Bible, the Koran and the Bhagavad Gita with the same respect. Then, we could have a sensible world.

It is time to say enough to violence and terrorism.

Rajendra Aneja, Mumbai