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Fighting Terror: Soft State or Soft Heads?
|by Dr. Rajinder Puri|
Terror has struck Hyderabad. There was terror in the past. There will be terror in the future. There has been terror in Hyderabad. There will be terror in other cities. India seems to be helpless. Critics say that India is a soft state. India is a soft state because those who rule us have soft heads. After the recent blasts the Home Minister stated that the Union government had given prior warning to all the states. Critics ask why adequate steps were not taken in advance. The state governments are blaming the centre. The centre is blaming the states. This blame game will go on forever. That is why I say our politicians have soft heads. The solution stares them in the face. They refuse to see it.
In parliament yesterday leader of the opposition Mrs. Sushma Swaraj said that unless the nation is united and all the political parties in the nation unite there will be no effective war against terror. Well said. But I ask Mrs. Swaraj: what has the BJP done to further these fine sentiments? Consider the objections raised to the creation of the proposed National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) which never took off and which would have adequately addressed the recent incident without a blame game. To address the legitimate objections to the NCTC proposal there would be required of course systemic reform within the parameters of the Constitution which sadly no political party even cares to consider.
It is the President elected by legislators of both Houses of Parliament and all the state assemblies who has the requisite mandate to eliminate a partisan approach by the centre towards all states. The Prime Minister may or may not have the desired mandate because the office requires only a simple majority in the Lower House of Parliament. There is nothing in the Constitution to suggest that the President as the only and final constitutional authority to preserve and protect the Constitution and law would be exceeding the powers assigned to the office by overseeing the functioning of the proposed NCTC.
Even by the current distorted interpretation of the Constitution by which the President is a mere dummy and the proposed Council would be created solely under advice of the Union Cabinet, it cannot be denied that only the President has the requisite mandate to preside over the functioning of such a Council. Even the blinkered jurists and politicians who have distorted and destroyed the spirit of our written Constitution cannot deny this.
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