July 6, 2007Security

Criminal neglect, not errorism

The UPAs total failure on national security is proving to be too obvious

This is an archived blog post from The Acorn.

It is good to see Shekar Gupta making the point, even if he lays the failure of the UPA government at the doors of the Left. It is far more important to bring before the public how the pervasive communalisation of security policy under the UPAs rule has done lasting damage to India’s national interest.

It is a cruel question to ask a government which has a record of complete, total, ‘spotless’ failure in cracking any of the major terrorist attacks that have taken place on its watch in three full years. Not in one single case — most significant of which, of course, is the Mumbai train bombings — has this government been able to catch any suspects and charge them. Even by the usually dismal standards of Indian policing, this record is remarkable.

Terror attacks in Malegaon, Jama Masjid in Delhi, Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad, Ayodhya, Samjhauta Express, Sankat Mochan Mandir in Varanasi, the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, Sarojini Nagar in New Delhi have all gone fully unresolved. And these were no minor attacks, these have claimed nearly 300 lives in what is generally considered a phase of India-Pakistan thaw.

The issue here is not of comparisons with its predecessor, who the UPA accuses of communalising the phenomenon of terrorism, of tarring one community and victimising citizens belonging to it. But has the UPA itself been guilty of the same charge, though in reverse? Has it served itself, and India, well by communalising the very approach to the fight against terrorism? Ask the police forces in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Hyderabad, the counter-terror veterans in the intelligence agencies and even the army, and the answer will stare you in the face. After the attacks they faced in the first flush of the Mumbai rail attacks for ‘targeting’ Muslims and the hurry in which they were forced to call off the searches and interrogations have put the fear of God in the minds of securitymen. Politics is much too complicated for them to figure, and fighting this kind of terror is an unconventional and risky business at the best of times. They have simply concluded that this is not the time to take those risks.

This is reverse-communalisation of the fight against terror and the responsibility for this lies not so much with the security machinery, or the Union home ministry which controls it, as it does with this peculiar minority-ist politics the Congress has fallen prey to. So the question to ask the prime minister is, if it is wrong and unfair to profile any community as terrorist, must you always consider a suspect innocent just because he belongs to a community, and if so, is the motive just fair, constitutional secularism, or a misplaced quest for vote banks? [IE]

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