Sunday, December 7, 2008

Combatting terror

Terrorism and the resulting unmindful devastation it leaves behind has been a subject of debate from centuries world over. There has been a continuous effort world over to understand what makes a normal man a terrorist and how to curb this growing tribe of terrorists as also finding ways and means to fight terrorism.

After 9/11 the concern and response to terrorism has been immediate and direct. Governments around the world have been quick to implement policies for increasing national security using innovative technologies and tools. It is a general perception that terrorism originates from religious dogma and extreme fundamentalist interpretations of belief. Though this undoubtedly remains one of the causes, a more significant cause may be identified as social despair and a sense of hopelessness resulting from poverty, Politics, indiscrimation, disproportionate wealth distribution, oppression, ignorance, poverty and injustice which may alienate such groups of affected people from the main stream society.It is such conditions which create the environment where fundamentalism grows.

Any policy which deals with a comprehensive approach to the terror environment must develop strategies to combat both. Hence the government approach must be two pronged. To come out with policies to combat terror across borders and more importantly policies for curbing local citizens/oufits from offering logistics and acting as sleeper berths for external terrorist groups. This can be done by proper education and developing mechanism for a close day to day surveillance and monitoring of suspect groups and dissuade disaffected groups from supporting terrorism from within.

The government’s conviction to take hard action on neighboring country is very understandable and desirable but the same hard action on the perpetrators of crime within the country must also be met with steely resolve. While there are hot debates and show of public anger on the recent Mumbai terror act, this kind of mass anger and demand for action from government should include action from government for defusing various small and established terror groups flourishing within the country. We should categorize these groups as terrorist and a separate law should be applicable to bring them to book quickly. A clear message should be sent that terrorism will not be tolerated , not by rhetoric by politicians but by real action on the ground.

Further, it should be made mandatory for all religious bodies to denounce terror and it should be made obligatory on their part to pass on information of any activities of terror outfits which they are aware to the local administration.
Mindless killing of innocent citizens to advance thier own agenda of any terrorist group must be denounced in unequivocal terms.

Combating terror should be a federal agency with its own hierarchy extending from national level to state level, where the state units will function under the national unit. The federal agency for combating terror should be have the latest technology and tools, be fully computerized and automated to acquire useful and sensitive data, store data with utmost security and make informed decision based on intelligence extracted out of the data. This agency should co-ordinate and be able to share information between other friendly countries fighting global terror.

India is one of the country which has been a victim for various terror attacks from various groups and hence by now should have been a treasure house of intelligence on terror groups, their modus operandi and information on thier future strike targets globally. Such an envious position will bring all the countries serious in combating terror to collaborate with India by which we can build allies for fighting terror.
Policies on national security have to be been strengthened through the build up of military capability, increase of modern armaments and armed forces, bringing in latest technology for internal and border security, refinement of intelligence gathering systems and introducing laws with stringent punishment for any breach of national security.
Citizens also have a major role to play in mitigating the threats from terorirsm and it is time the citizens also donned the mantle of responsibility. There has been a certain amount of apathy among citizens who feel that it is not their duty to keep a constant vigil and report to the government administration about anything unnatural or suspected activity seen by them. It is time the citizens also woke form their slumber and become a cog in the wheel of for combating terror. Non reporting by citizens who are suspected to be in the knowledge of planning terror activities should also be held responsible as conniving with terrorists and punishment should be awarded to them also. This will drive them into action.

Concluding this,I feel the government must seize this opportunity to fully revamp the ATS in modern lines taking clue from the most well managed agencies across the world and bring the most sophisticated technology, equipment and training methods to defeat the designs of terrorist world over and make the world a better place to live.

Lastly the citizen’s anger at non performance by the government should never die down and they should now come with greater resolve to bind the politicians to be accountable for their job and every statement they make, ensure transparency and eliminate corruption. The politician’s job is to govern the country ably and not making personal wealth and family gains.
it is time we build ahuge citizen group with one voice " Better india: Yes we can.


1 comment:

Suchin said...

Way to go Balaji. As always your flow of thought on any issue is relentless and intriguing.

I will soon add more comments to this.