Political Will Needed

Terrorist groups have waged a war against India. We have witnessed a series of blasts in two cities of the country recently. Our honourable home minister, Shivraj Patil took time from his busy schedule and went to see the victims in Ahmedabad. Like his previous speeches, he repeated the following lines when asked about the attack:

i. We condemn the dastardly attack on innocent people.

ii. We are determined to fight these terror groups and will not succumb to their wishes of creating a rift in the society.

iii. We appeal to maintain peace and calm.

iv. The government has announced the ex-gratia of Rs X to deceased and Rs Y to the injured.

I have heard these lines many times, but the fact remains that we haven’t done anything significant to control or put an end to these acts of terrorism. Why have we failed to do so? The reasons lie with our politicians who have adopted a soft approach towards the terrorists. Shivraj Patil states that his government will not be soft on terror and the same man has made the following statement in the Parliament —

“The ones who have been killed are our brothers and ones who are killing are also our brothers.”

What indication does he want to give to the common man who has lost his loved ones in these brutal attacks? The government is buying time in the Afzal Guru case even after the verdict of Supreme Court. Why is it doing so?

What makes the matter worse is that we don’t have any laws to deal with terror. As it is the efficacy of our judicial system is questionable, and with no stringent laws to counter terror, we are trying to fool ourselves. If Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) was misused, then the government could have amended it or introduced a new law. Doing away with the law was not the right thing to do. A few leaders in the government say that despite having POTA, we had attacks in Akshardham temple, Raghunath temple and The Parliament. They are not wrong, but then this logic should be applied everywhere. We have laws against thefts, rape and murder and yet they take place daily. Shouldn’t we do away with these laws and give culprits the freehand to rape, steal and kill?

Terrorists have no religion, therefore to label them as Muslims and dole out concessions under the duress of political equations will keep raising the morale of those walking free and indulging in barbaric acts under a notion that the government has only high sounding phrases. We have a serious problem with infiltration from the porous border shared with Bangladesh; and while much of the illegal migration mainly involves financial reasons — it is now established that those with nefarious intentions can cross over into India just as easily.

There is an urgency to understand that we need to overhaul the agencies that currently monitor the security of our country. India’s police to population ratio is one of the lowest in the world, barring the poorer African countries. There is a high deficit of personnel in intelligence gathering. The IB has barely 3,500 field officers. We need to address these shortcomings. There are over 3,000 posts lying vacant in IB for quite some time and yet we have recruited only 1,200. There is dearth of expertise in our security agencies, forensic department and police forces.

We do not believe in using science to tackle crime and terrorism, which is in fact, the most effective way. Investment in forensics would not just help get crucial leads in terror cases, but help solve other ordinary crimes. The people to police ratio in the country is 1:1000 and then we waste 70 per cent of the police to protect the VIP’s. If these politicians can’t make us secure, then they should give up their Z+ security. The police force for some reason is not getting the priority it deserves.

The policy of appeasement should be done away with. The soft approach is not going to help anyway. People can sympathise with the government if there had been any attempt towards the security of the people. Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened in our country yet. Post 9/11, 7/7, Madrid blasts, there hasn’t been a single instance of a terrorist attack on the countries that were victims of these terror bombings. And here as I look at my country, a proud Indian that I am, I am ashamed to admit that my country can not protect its own citizens in its own land. How long will this continue? We do not have the urgency, we do not have the intent and we do not have concern for our lost countrymen.

The one who entered our territory to kill innocent people should not expect any leniency from the government. Unless we apply the bullet for bullet policy, it is impossible to thwart the terrorists. There should be only death punishment for them. As it is, we are facing a shortage of food in our country, hence, there is no need of keeping these terrorists in prison and feeding them. Identifying them and shooting them down without mercy is the need of the hour. An eye for eye and a tooth for tooth must be the response of the government to those rejoicing in the death and destruction of India. When this policy is applied there will be human rights violation, but we must accept that in the larger interest of the nation.

As a common man, I want some action, and not mere reaction from my government. The government is answerable to us. If not, then it is our duty to revolt and make the government take some action. I just hope these idiotic politicians do some good for the people and country, before the situation becomes worse, and ultimately, out of hand.

Rishabh Srivastava


[Image Source:http://flickr.com/photos/lakshmananand/383913624/]