India Bleeds In Absence Of Anti-Terrorism Law

In a sordid display of insensitivity to India's national security arising from Islamic Jihadi terrorism sponsored from across the borders, both West and East, the first significant political act that the Congress Party- led present Government did was to repeal India's Anti-Terrorism Law commonly known as POTA. It was repealed not because terrorist attacks across India had come down. POTA was repealed because in a bid to garner minority votes the Congress Election Manifesto contained a pledge that it would be repealed. Consequently, under the present Government, India has been subjected to major terrorist attacks on the average of at least four in a year and the loss of hundreds of innocent Indian lives every year. Terrorism needs stringent deterrent laws and in the absence of any such law after POTA , India bleeds.

The latest serial blasts last week in Jaipur again highlight the above reality that the Islamic terrorist organizations do not stand deterred to launch their fatal onslaughts on the Indian nation. They are secure in their belief that India's present Government is feeble-footed and soft when it comes to handling terrorist threats as exemplified by not hanging Afzal Guru who was sentenced to death by the Supreme Government. In any other country , terrorists are given instant justice the way they hand out death to unsuspecting and innocent Indian civilians.

After each major terrorist attack on India a familiar and hackneyed routine drill is gone through. The President, the Prime Minister and the Congress Party President issue statements of condemnation. The Home Minister after doing the same issues stern warnings that terrorism would not be tolerated and that the terrorists involved in the latest attacks would be brought to book. The Congress President and the Home Minister then visit the hospitals in the city where the terrorist attack has taken place to show their sympathy

The country is neither mollified by such sympathies or statements of condemnation and nor the aid that is given. They expect that the Government of the day provides the citizens of the country with security and safety as required by the Constitution of India.

But then how does it matter to the political leadership of the day. In a country like India in which its polity lacks moral fibre and where there is a severe deficit of political accountability they can afford to go through these meaningless political drills after each terrorist attack. Loss of hundreds of innocent Indian lives as a result of Islamic terror end up as mere statistics in Government records or in journalistic writings.

Three other repetitive features need also to be highlighted which is an extension of the above political drills. The Home Ministry ends up saying that warnings were provided to the State Government especially if it is an Opposition Party ruled state. These warnings are reported to be vague and more in the nature of meteorological warnings

The Opposition Party would make calls for a re-enactment of POTA to deter terrorism. The Prime Minister or somebody on his behalf will declare that POTA would not be re-enacted and that existing laws will take care of terrorists. It is conveniently forgotten by the Congress Government that even the United Nations has set out a requirement that each nation must enact stringent and deterrent laws to stamp out terrorism.

The third and most disturbing feature is that the Congress Government and the Indian media shirk hopelessly in not naming Pakistan Army's complicity and that of its intelligence agency, the ISI, fearing that it would retard the peace dialogue. Indian political leaders and official spokesmen lay the blame 'on forces which want to retard the India-Pakistan peace process'

No Army or any intelligence agency in the world can act without a clearance from the topmost in the Government and in the case of Pakistan it was and continues to be General Musharraf and now General Kiyani also.

With General Elections due next year it is the time for all upright and right-thinking Indians to demand that all political parties including the Congress Party assert in their Election Manifestoes and their leaders make public declarations that a stringent Anti-Terrorism Law even harsher than POTA would be introduced at the very first sitting of the Parliament to deter terrorist attacks against India and also deal equally harshly with their accomplices in India.

Indian political leaders of all hues must recognize that cross-border terrorist attacks and bombings not only bleed India but also trample on the 'majesty' of the Indian Republic and India's NATIONAL HONOUR stands besmirched. Surely India's NATIONAL HONOUR cannot be allowed to be held to ransom by terrorists and deterrent action against them be allowed to be politicized for narrow electoral gains.


More by :  Dr. Subhash Kapila

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