One after the another we see a pair of most incompetent Home Minsters running or ruining the country's internal affairs. If Shivraj Patil was indifferent and inept, Chidambaram has proved himself to be the great stumbling block in reforming intelligence. His theoretical rants and actions are by no means any solution to the threats faced by India.
What are the Institutions supposed to do? Collect intelligence or chase the terrorists or bring them to justice? Are the Institutions the final Authority? Are the Courts the final Authority? Who decides the mercy petitions under Article 72 of the Constitution of India? The Prime Minister, to put it succintly. The Executive fiction may call it the Cabinet or the Council of Ministers or the Home Minister or the President, it all ends up in the blackhole called the prime minister. Can anybody vouch that the PM is capable of taking a single decision against the terrorists? How long does it take him to take the decision? How many "remotes" dictate the order to him? He has failed, or rather shown disinclination to take the final decision on the terrorists waiting to be hanged. It has to be decided whether the government has the political will to take on the terrorists. Terrorism for India shall exist so long as Pakistan remains on the map of the world, because it uses terrorists against India as a weapon of low cost war and its state policy towards India. Ultimately the NCTC will end up chasing spurious terrorists of the politicians' making, who have no qualms of conscience in denigrating the supreme sacrifices of the security personnel in inciting hatred against all other than the muslims. Even Naxals and Maoists may provide budget speech justification for wasting hundreds of crores of tax payers' money on the white elephant of NCTC. The need for NCTC has arisen only because of the complete absence of political will to turn the heat on the terrorists. After all elections are more important to politicians than the country! As a pre-condition of the setting up the NCTC, the government must come out with its strategy paper on terrorism, so that the people know the truth behind its pronouncements and programmes.Abnegation of authority to some subordinate institution is no governance.
The biggest stumbling block in this matter and other issues where close co-operation with states is required is the incompetence combined with arrogance of the ruling combine at the centre.
Superb article by Ajay Sahni.
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