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in group of people commit, guided by religion, a promise of freedom or just plai n expression of superiority. But the only people who suffer the brunt of these h einous crimes are people, living beings, who after millions of years of evolutio n have been termed the smartest species on earth, ironically by themselves. But are we really that smart? Is there a difference between a terrorist and a common unsuspecting man? Survival of the fittest has been an important part of the pre sent theory of evolution. Are the terrorists fitter than us? Are they a more evo lved form of human beings? Is the common innocent man going to be extinct some d ay? Are we or our successors deemed to be slaughtered like the graphic depiction s we see or read about? These questions arise only because we know of the harsh ends people come to at t he hands of some religious zealots. And how do we know? We see it on television, read it in an article or hear from someone who has. The generation today is inf luenced immensely by the millions of televised images they are exposed to. We se e the inclination towards guns, bombs and other weapons in most children today. Where does this inclination come from? Are humans in their purest forms just as intrigued by power and dominance over another? Is it right to depict such distur bing images to the child we fondly call ªour futureº? The media started off as a proud testament of our right to free speech and almos t always supporting a political, social, scientific or economical stance. It has been the cause of many a revolution. But today, we see the media as an independ ent entity which shapes the understanding of the common man and hence his percep tion of the world. More recently, the media has become a weapon, carving and sha ping human minds on the whims and fancies of the person brandishing it. Terroris ts are but one of the many, who use the media to spread their agenda. The press media today is just short of being a blatant business, with competitio n for viewer ratings and number of readers, rather than a means of relaying info rmation. And hence we see increasing numbers of ªinside scoopsº and ªundercover journa listsº. People are obviously interested under the pretext of ªgaining knowledgeº and ªkn owing what is going onº. Do we really need to know the intricacies of every piece of news regarding manslaughter, bombing or terrorist attack? Today, most of the terrorist organizations are using the press media to issue th eir statements and voice their causes, if not directly, through ªlive coverageº of t heir acts of murder and destruction. While this causes trepidation among the old er folk, it is fodder for the over-active imagination of the child, sometimes ma king them little rebels in their own might. According to research done by Profes sor L. Rowell Huesmann, fifty years of evidence show "that exposure to media vio lence causes children to behave more aggressively and affects them as adults yea rs later." But as any of us might ask, is it not better that we know about it so that we ma y prevent it happening to us? Well, knowing is never bad, but if it reaches the right people in the right format, so that the information is not misconstrued an d brings a sense of understanding rather than anxiety or aggression. The questio n remains, do we need to control the media to muffle the shouts of terrorists an d hence retard their efforts to inspire fear? Should the government take steps t o prevent the gruesome depiction of a terrorist attack? Should the people blindl y believe everything a reporter says on television? Should we cross the thin vei l between reality and propaganda? Alas, the decision is not ours to make.