Congress Government's Impotence in Fighting Islamist Terrorism

The Congress Government finds itself exposed in a ridiculous position of impotence in fighting Islamist terrorism when the terrorist group Indian Mujahideen rocked New Delhi with five serial bomb blasts, close on the heels of similar bomb blasts in Jaipur, Bangalore, and Ahmedabad. The Indian Republic is not short in having at its command powerful instruments of State in imposing deterrent actions against Islamist terrorism and thereby pre-empting further loss of innocent lives mostly from the majority community. But sadly for India it has a Government for the last four years which is unwilling to take deterrent action against Islamist terrorism on grounds of political expediency so as not to endanger its captive vote-banks. Political expediency led it to repeal POTA, a law which empowered India's security agencies to impose deterrence on those who sought to undermine India's sovereignty through terrorism activities.

Gujarat's Chief Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has publicly claimed and which has not been contradicted by the Government that ten days back he had met the Prime Minister, the Home Minister and the National Security Adviser and passed on information gleaned from captured Indian Mujahideen operatives involved in the Ahmedabad bomb blasts that the next target of their organization was New Delhi with nine serial bomb blasts planned to be executed.

Regrettably, no swift action seems to have been taken by the Government to pre-empt the Delhi blasts presumably because of the trust-deficit that plagues the Congress Government in its dealings with BJP ruled State Governments. Counter-terrorism initiatives too seem to stand 'politicized' by the Congress Government when one takes into account that Bills to deter terrorism submitted for assent by the President from the BJP- ruled States of Gujarat and Rajasthan stand inordinately delayed by the Congress Government at the Centre and thereby endangering the security of these two border States.

To deflect public criticism of Congress Government's pathetic attitudes in not dealing strongly with the expanding Islamist terrorism and bomb blasts all over India, the Congress Party spokespersons have taken a new line that there is a requirement of a Federal Investigation Agency to deal with terrorism. The Congress Government seems to conveniently forget that what is required is not a central investigative agency but empowering existing central law and order agencies with strong deterrent laws like TADA and POTA with which they can combat the Islamist terrorism threat that now engulfs the whole of India.

The point that is being missed in all public debate in India presently is that the wave of Islamist terrorism in India presently which is increasing in frequency would have been understandable had there been a BJP Government in power in New Delhi. That this rising wave of Islamist terror is taking place when there is a proclaimed 'secular ' Government in New Delhi raises some very fundamental questions both for the Congress Party, other political parties and the people of India.

It is strange to presently witness Congress Party claiming that terrorism issues should not be politicized by other political parties forgetting that the Congress Party itself had fundamentally politicized the issue by de-fanging India's law and order machinery of deterrent powers to deal with terrorism through the repeal of POTA and which it had included in its last election manifesto to garner votes from its vote-banks.

The ridiculous lengths to which such issues are politicized is evident from the public advocacy of not placing a ban on SIMI by two major coalition party leaders of the Congress from the Hindi heartland with pretensions to be future Prime Ministers. They too depend for their political survival on minority vote-banks. Incidentally, the Indian Mujahideen is the front organization of SIMI.

The Indian Mujahideen seem to have rubbed in the message of the Congress Government's impotence in dealing with Islamist terrorism when they declared in their SMS messages to the Indian media that the Delhi bombings are intended to prove to you 'the ability and potential of the Indian Mujahideen to assault any city of India at any time'

Is this not a wake-up call for the Congress Party to develop counter- terrorism strategies based on the bedrock of national security considerations rather than on grounds of political expediency? No longer is the Indian public in a mood to accept fudged-up explanations for the Congress Party's repeal of POTA.


More by :  Dr. Subhash Kapila

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