Saturday, 10 September 2011

Terrorism - Some are More Equal

One more terrorist attack, some more lives gone and all our politicians, those self called leaders who are actually our servers (not “rulers” as Mr. Chidambaram loves to call himself) have to say is – it will take time, we are used to it. And look at some pathetic statements that have come. Our Prime Minister says “... obviously there are unresolved problems and weaknesses in our system.. “  Did he not feel ashamed of saying so? The BJP Leader L.K.Advani slams the Congress but has nothing to show about what their party has done. Mrs. Sushma Swaraj talks of non-installation of the CCTVs as though this was the single factor which would have eliminated the attack or led to the terrorists. And the less said about some of the others, the better. Let them at least have the courtesy of shutting up when the common man grieves.

Let’s not only have talk of zero-tolerance, let’s have some real action.
Let us have some exemplary punishments – each time there is a successful terror attack let at least the following be dismissed ON THE SPOT without any benefits, and with no right to take any future assignment that draws on public funds.

-          The top man or woman heading the Police in the State, the district, the specific Police Station.

-          The top man or woman in the country in RAW, IB and all other intelligence agencies, and their counterparts at corresponding lower levels.

-          The Member of Parliament, the Member of the Legislative Agency in that area.

-          The Home Minister of the Union and of the concerned State.
Of course there will be several who will say that this is not fair, that before any punishment the concerned should be allowed to exercise their right to defence – but then the victims of the terror attack who are usually ordinary citizens are not given any right to defence, any say in the matter? Why then should rights be given to those who have taken on certain responsibilities but failed to discharge them or to ensure safety? If there is a strong feeling of injustice, the family members of those dismissed can be given Rs. 0.10 lacs to Rs 1 lacs or whatever compensation is immediately announced by the State authorities to those who are injured (NOT those who lost their lives) in the attack. In India today, where the politicians and bureaucracy enjoy the benefits of lax or no accountability, let’s see if terrorism continues unabated even when the concerned functionaries have to put their jobs and their reputation on the line.

 We also had politicians making their standard visits to the hospital which resulted in aggravating the difficulties of the victims and their families. It would perhaps have been more helpful if they had stayed away, had deputed a few capable staff to help on the ground, announced helpline phone numbers and monitored the calls and responses at these numbers, ensuring that the affected persons were not facing any difficulties and getting maximum support at this traumatic time.
We have cases of mercy petitions in respect of those who have been found guilty of acts of terrorism. While not going into the merits of the individual cases, I strongly speak out against those of our politicians who have asked for clemency. If they feel that convicted terrorists need leniency let them first put their money where their mouth is – are they willing to give up their Z – security (or other security) cover? Are they willing to take the same risk to their life and limb that they expect the common man to take. And if not, if they want special rights of protection let them at least not be brass-faced enough to speak out at the cost of the lives of ordinary citizens, while living in fortresses themselves.

I agree that the issue of a timely decision on mercy petitions is well taken, no steps appear to be taken to plug the loopholes in the system and till then those on the death row continue to enjoy high security cover.  As a taxpayer I see no reason why my hard-earned money should be so grossly misused.

Enough of people living in ivory towers and adopting a high-falutin’ attitude.

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