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Home > Archives (2006 on) > 2007 > September 1, 2007 > Hyderabad and Bhagalpur

Mainstream, VOL XLV, No 37

Hyderabad and Bhagalpur

Editorial

Tuesday 4 September 2007, by SC

While the Left-Congress standoff on the nuclear deal continues, the two sides have lately been able to reach some agreement on the mechanism to be adopted to address the objections to the deal as well as evaluate the implications of the Hyde Act on not just the 123 Agreement but on our foreign policy as well. Once the mechanism is able to go into the issues at stake the principled Left opposition to the nuclear accord would hopefully become all the more transparent.

In the meantime the terror strikes in Hyderabad have once again brought into focus the vulnerability of the Indian state to terrorist depredations. This has given a handle to some sections of the Opposition, notably the BJP, to castigate the government for not restoring such a stringent anti-terror law as POTA conveniently forgetting that the scale of terrorism did not decline even when POTA was in force. Whereas such laws are liable to be misused as they (whether TADA or POTA) have been in the past, what is being missed is the need to reinforce the intelligence apparatus. Because that alone can help develop and strengthen our counter-intelligence capabilities. One dis-concerting feature of the Hyderabad blasts is the lack of concentration on building counter-intelligence since attention is centred on combating Naxalite extremism. This lacuna needs to be removed at the earliest. Both the Centre and the State Government have a special role to play in ensuring security to the public in general. Active steps to revamp, restructure and reorganise the intelligence machinery through coordinated efforts of the Centre and the State do not brook the slightest delay.

The horrific incident at Bhagalpur where a petty thief was meted out inhuman punishment only the other day once again exposes the ugly face of our nation which turns uglier when we see the guardians of law and order taking the leading role in such an exercise. Apart from poverty and destitution such incidents are a grim reminder of the miles we have to traverse before we can claim to become a really civilised society. Bhagalpur had been notorious for its communal riots and its blindings in the past. The latest incident further magnifies its badge of shame. Meting out medieval justice to offen-ders reveals a kind of sadism that is totally at variance with whatever we are aspiring to become in the twentyfirst century.

Such acts on the sixtieth anniversary of our independence are highly disturbing to say the least. At a time of overall decadence these incidents illustrate the growing degeneration of society. Needless to emphasise, it is necessary for every one of us to resist this degeneration with all our strength and a sense of urgency that is unfortunately absent in most of our endeavours.

August 30 S.C.

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