Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today appealed to all political parties to refrain from indulging in blame game for the terrorist attack on Mumbai but focus on what should and could be done straightway to preserve India as a nation. "If India ceases to be a union of States as enshrined in Article one of the Constitution because of terrorism, we won't be left with any Constitution or fundamental rights."
In a media statement, Dr. JP pointed out that India is next only to Iraq in experiencing the largest number of terrorist strikes in the last three years. And nowhere in the world have so many people fallen victim to terrorism as in India in the last 25 years."
"Contemporary history, therefore, tells us that terrorism will continue to pose a threat to India for many, many years to come since it cannot be exorcised overnight," said Dr. JP and listed five measures that should be taken to tackle it.
First, a federal agency should be constituted to deal with terrorism all over the country by integrating the services of India's internal and external, and national and State intelligence agencies. Rapid action forces, comprising well-trained personnel, should be stationed at all important and vulnerable places for deployment at short notice. Politicians and State Governments of all hues should subsume their narrow political interests in the larger goal of preserving India as a nation.
Second, all politicians should realize that extraordinary situations warrant extraordinary measures. They should support a vigorous and aggressive drive against all forms of terrorism and all perpetrators, without unnecessarily dragging religion into the picture. Terrorism knows no religion. A strong law is needed to reconcile the imperative of the national security with the freedom we enjoy. We cannot weaken security agencies by inadequate laws, slow investigation and unending trials.
Third, all political parties, setting aside their narrow, partisan electoral interests, should facilitate the issue of national identity cards to all Indians. "We have the technology and resources to turn the proposal into a reality in a very, very short time."
Fourth, there should be a broad consensus on ensuring secular and skills-oriented education to every child born in the country. Children from poor and hapless families, who are drawn to 'madarsas,' are denied modern education including science, mathematics and English. Even as they reach their teens, terror outfits recruit some of them to carry out their nefarious designs.
Finally, politicians should pledge that they would not interfere with the functioning of the security agencies. "Our forces have repeatedly demonstrated they can deliver provided their hands are not fettered. But unfortunately, incompetent and corrupt leadership has been demoralizing the security agencies. "We cannot delink India's vulnerability to terror from the failure of political leadership." In the 1993 Bombay blasts, RDX was imported by bribing corrupt customs officials. Weak, incompetent and corrupt leadership is now allowed to rise in the system at the cost of national security and public good. Short term political considerations are playing havoc with national security and public safety. People have contempt for our leadership, and the legitimacy of state is eroded. We can safeguard our nation only when we change the image of government and restore the trust of citizens.
Dr. JP said he was proud that all wings of the armed forces, the State, city and central police and other agencies have risen to the occasion with effective coordination among themselves in handling the Mumbai terror fallout. "By leading from the front and making the supreme sacrifice in the onslaught against terrorists the Mumbai police top brass have excelled both in life and death."
Dr, JP conveyed his grief over the death of innocent people and police personnel and conveyed his condolences to their families.