– By Ayush Nadimpalli
Who Is Responsible for the Terror Attacks in India ?
Ask this question and you receive a number of “Maybe’s “.
Maybe it is Huji, maybe it is LeT, maybe it is Harkat and ofcourse maybe ISI, maybe it is IM etc.. While it is true that the actual perpetrators of terror are these organisations, the actual responsibility from a long term security point of view for lies with the soft UPA government. The common man can understand if the blasts had happened inspite of the government’s strong measures in handling terror. But, here we have a government that is bent upon giving a “safe haven” to the terrorists. The inability to face and anticipate terror is an intelligence failure and the government is squarely responsible.
As Sun Tzu in his Art of War says,
“The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy’s not coming, but on our own readiness to receive him; not on the chance of his not attacking, but rather on the fact that we have made our own position unassailable.”
This issue is conveniently by-passed by political discourse. Questions raised by the opposition on this is dismissed as “ The people who did the Kandhahar transfer cannot talk about terrorism”. This is ridiculous. The government is answerable to the people not only to the opposition.
A Weak “Nuclear” Power ?
It would do good to remember that the Jaipur blasts took place on the same day on which ten years back, India announced its arrival on the World Nuclear Weapon Scene with the Pokhran tests, viz. May 10th 1998. It is ironic that India is one of the few countries with nuclear capabilities and yet has presented itself as a soft state. Centre for Defense Information, US says “ “India has been the victim of more terrorist attacks, both domestic and international, on its territory than any other country.”
Bharat has fought four high intensity wars and in those wars we have lost more then 6000 people. We have already lost more then 70,000 civilians. In addition, we have lost more then 9,000 security personnel. Almost six lakh people in this country have become homeless as a result of terrorism.
Standard Response : Every terror attack in India is followed by some standard responses from the government :
“We condemn the dastardly act”. “We appeal for peace and Bhai-chaara” ( as if Hindus would break into an assault on Muslims whenever a terrorist attack happens). “India shall show its resilience”, “India shall deal with the attacks with an iron hand” and so on and on. The rhetoric keeps going on with no measures in sight.
“Let Us Not target any particular community”
This is another bogey from the government. By saying this, the government gives itself away! Assuming that the Muslim community is not a party to terror and only a few people are responsible for it, why does the government believe that any attempt to nab the terrorists would lead to opposition from the Muslim community. Is it due to the fact that every attempt made to nab terrorists from the home-grown network has been dealt with strong opposition by the local population? The recent attack on the police station at Saidabad, Hyderabad made by Muslim women when Bilal, a terrorist with links in Bangladesh was arrested is a strong case in point. How does the government wish to handle this difficult situation where the enemy is not being grown outside but from within?
Beware of “The Apologists of Terror”:
Then we have the apologists in media and government, who put up two cases in defence of terrorists : a. The home-grown terror is an output of the Babri demolition in 1992 and gujarth” and b. Terrorism is an output of poverty.
Granting that to them, by the same bizarre logic, children of the Kashmiri Pandits and victims of Muslim atrocities in Malabar, Hyderabad, Bengal and so many parts across the country should have turned themselves into Muslim extermination squads.
Fouad Ajami, arguably one of the most politically influential Arab-American intellectuals of his generation says ”There is another issue that has been brought to the fore by commentaries on the UK bombings: the role of apologists, fellow travelers and grievance peddlers, who exhort us to “understand basic issues” and attend to “root causes”, instead of focusing on the challenge of terrorism. Such advocates now provide the primary justifications of terrorism in the liberal democratic community, and have come to represent the “political traditions of belligerent self-pity”, which fuel terrorism across the world. A focused challenge to this class of ‘intellectuals’ needs to be mounted wherever the threat of terrorism is manifested.”
And to top it, there is no data submitted by these apologists to substantiate their claim. In fact most terrorists world-wide are well educated. PHD’s, employees in software organization etc.. If someone says that bread and butter are the root-cause of terrorism, it would be a very myopic view while turning away from the facts.
Why does the media and government keep harping for sympathy for the terrorists and in a way justify the terrorists? Is there a larger agenda of the media ? Who are they working for?
Lack of information regarding the enemy :
More than 40% of country is terror affected as per the intelligence dept. “As on 2006, at least 231 of the country’s 608 Districts are currently afflicted, at differing intensities.” (http://www.satp.org/satporgtp/countries/india/index.html)
More than 177 terrorist groups are active in India. Yet the common man, who is the most affected, is kept completely in dark regarding the ideology and modus operandi of these terrorist groups. Is it because the government itself runs on the mercy of political parties like the Muslim league and the communists who have time and again shown that their interests lie outside the country? Inspite of overwhelming evidence, the official American, Russian and European sources draw the line is in refusing to name China as the fountainhead in sustaining terrorist networks in both Pakistan and Afghanistan. Why is there reluctance to name China despite official agencies of these governments having presented evidence of China’s complicity in aiding terrorism?
Why doesn’t the government expose the idealogy of the naxals and the Islamic terrorists and show that the inspiration for their dastardly acts lies in their very idealogy?
Open Support for Terrorists by the Congress lead UPA Cabinet :
Senior intelligence officials like Ajay Sinha, Raman, T.V. Rajeswar have pointed out that over 1.5 crores Bangladeshis are overstaying in India.
The question of infiltration is so serious that Sri T.V.Rajeswar , Former intelligence chief and governor of West Bengal, later governor of Uttar Pradesh and now Tamilnadu said ‘‘There is a distinct danger of another Muslim country, speaking predominantly Bengali, emerging in the eastern part of India in the future, at a time when India might find itself weakened politically and militarily.’’ And yet these warnings are ignored.
When the Rajasthan CM, rounded them up the Bangladeshis after the blasts, we had the Home Minister, Sri Shivraj Patil saying that their human rights were violated. What is surprising is that he is not bothered about how these Bangladeshis could come in from the Eastern part of the country till Rajasthan, but he is more bothered about the human rights of infiltrators. ( Shivraj Patil was HM in 2008)
And the grand finale by our Home Minister is the comparison of Afzal Guru and Sarabjit Singh. Afzal Guru is a confirmed terrorist who master-minded the Parliament attack and who has been convicted by the Apex court while Sarabjit Singh is a case of mistaken identity. All these lead us to the bigger question, in whose interest is the government functioning, is it for India or for forces who are inimical to India ?
Where Are the Laws ?
Every major country that has been threatened has a law against terrorism except Bharat. Within the United States, President Bush created the Office of Homeland Security and the National Defense Authorization Act (S. 1438, 8 December 2001). This Act earmarked funds for extending the war on terrorism, which includes countermeasures against potential biological and chemical attacks. Future years promise even greater anti-terrorism measures. President Bush’s proposed budget for 2003 directs $37.7 billion to homeland security (an $18.2 billion increase over 2002). In particular, the budget proposal includes $11 billion for border security, $6 billion to defend against bio-terrorism, $3.5 billion (a 1,000-percent increase) for police, firefighters and Emergency Medical Teams, and $700 million to coordinate the antiterrorism measures of the various branches of government.
In India, we go the other way round. The UPA dismissed acts like POTA that was specially designed to tackle terrorism, and is sitting on the Apex courts decision to remove the IMDT Act. The only act that we have is the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 which has been recently amended.
Consequences of repeal of POTA and re-introduction of Unlawful Activities (prevention) Act,
Among the special provisions dropped are those restricting release on bail and allowing longer periods of police remand for the accused. Now suspected terrorists may roam free under the bail a rule, jail an exception dictum. The police will not get sufficient time to interrogate the accused to investigate the cases, which, by their very nature, are complex. In Pota, as in Tada earlier, confessions made before a police officer of the rank of superintendent were admitted as evidence.Now they need to be presented before a district magistrate within 48 hours of arrest.
Some of the clauses contained in POTA, which will be completely dropped in the amended Unlawful Activities Act, are: the onus on the accused to prove his innocence, compulsory denial of bail to accused and admission as evidence in the court of law the confession made by the accused before the police officer.
In another major departure from POTA, the government has removed all traces of strict liability. Meaning, the burden of proof has shifted from the accused to the police. There is no presumption of guilt under UAPA. Like under any other ordinary criminal law, the police will have to establish that the accused person had a criminal intention for committing the offence in question.
A brief outline of the amended act: The current Act does not define the word terrorist in its definition clause but defines a terrorist act! The word terrorist is to be construed according the definition of the terrorist act. Terrorist act is defined in the Act as – Whoever, with intent to threaten the unity, integrity, security or sovereignty of India or to strike terror in the people or any section of the people in India or in any foreign country, does any act by using bombs, dynamite or other explosive substances or inflammable substances or firearms or other lethal weapons or poisons or noxious gases or other chemicals or by any other substances (whether biological or otherwise) of a hazardous nature, in such a manner as to cause, or likely to cause, death of, or injuries to any person or persons or loss of, or damage to, or destruction of, property or disruption of any supplies or services essential to the life of the community in India or in any foreign country or causes damage or destruction of any property or equipment used or intended to be used for the defence of India or in connection with any other purposes of the Government of India, any State Government or any of their agencies, or detains any person and threatens to kill or injure such person in order to compel the Government in India or the Government of a foreign country or any other person to do or abstain from doing any act, commits a terrorist act (Section 15).The above definition did not exist in the 1967 Act.
Therefore hate filled speeches against India and Hindus , instigation to commit a terrorist act, training to commit terrorist acts is not the work of a terrorist ! because unless he himself is involved physically, he cannot be called a terrorist as per the new act.
It is with this act with which the government expects to handle terrorism !
All the acts above, point to the fact that it is the UPA government which is squarely responsible for this pathetic situation where the common man does not know when he is going to be targeted and when a bomb would explode and when he/ next of kin would succumb to a terror attack. A feeling of insecurity is gripping the country.
The Way Out
Unfortunately in India, political parties understand only vote bank politics. The common man has to think beyond narrow political differences, and organizations working for national causes need to shun political correctness, understand and corner the ideologies which act as germination points for terrorists. If the governments have to be forced to combat terror, combating terrorism and terrorist ideologies needs to be made an election issue by the people. It is only then that something worthwhile would happen.
Update : Feb 2013 :
The above article was written in 2008. Unfortunately, the security situation in the country has not changed a bit since then. The blasts continue. We had serial blasts in Hyderabad, Delhi, Mumbai and other cities. The only actions from the government side that have happened since then are :
1. Rahul Gandhi’s conversations with US Ambassador Timothy J.Roemer leaked through cables of Wikileaks in 2010 showed that he believed that “Hindu extremism is a bigger threat to the country than Muslim militants.” Does he realise that over 90% of terrorism acts in India have Jehad as its central motivator ?
2. Rahul Gandhi’s statement patting his own back after 2011 Mumbai bombings. He said “It is very difficult to stop every single terrorist attack. The idea is that we have to fight terrorism at the local level. We have improved in leaps and bounds. But terrorism is something that it is impossible to stop all the time.”
3. In Feb 2013, The Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde became the darling of the LeT and people like Hafiz Sayeed when he made his own attempt to play the balancing act by announcing Hindu terror. This was inline with the earlier stance taken by Rahul Gandhi, Digvijay Singh and Chidambaram. Do they realise that by this statement, they have as a government damaged the reputation of Hindus worldwide ?