A country is considered sovereign when there are no inroads made by any enemy or terrorists. Today’s terrorism is worse than the wars of the yesteryears. Wars, invasions of previous centuries defined the enemy. Today the enemy is elusive and can strike anywhere, anytime, facilitated by modern gadgets, speedy communications and sophisticated firepower. What we require in India is a man of the caliber of J. Edgar Hoover of the FBI in the United States. Hoover’s exploits are immortalized in many detective books in the West.
India is on the way of becoming a superpower with the kind of human resources available, especially the scientific, engineering and IT cadres that have painted the Silicon Valley red. Besides, we have side-stepped the Left and joined the Indo-U.S. Nuclear pact and shortly will be heading towards more productive reforms unhindered by the communists. But we have to take care of the terrorism angle that can destabilize our economy. Foreign investment only flows to countries that have a stable government and there is plenty of security and peace.
In order to have a high level of national security we have to establish a central agency whose head is to report to the Prime Minister. The agency itself must have cadres that are highly qualified and also capable of handling not only sophisticated weapons but supercomputers that have a database of international troubleshooters. These men must not move in uniform but freely mix incognito especially in strategic places like the Atomic Energy, government offices, oil installations and so on. Right now, we have a lot of security agencies but they work independently. The CBI, the police, the ATS (Anti Terrorist Squad) and RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) must all work in unison and compare notes. A proposal is already prepared by IIT, Kanpur and it will be implemented soon.
India has already learnt lessons from the previous terrorist attacks. Now every city will have NSG (National Security Guards). In the recent terrorist attack on the Taj and Oberoi Hotels the NSG, stationed in Delhi, took 10 vital hours to reach Mumbai and go into action. Also when the chain bombing took place on the Western Railway on 9 railway stations within a space of 10 minutes hundreds of people were blown to pieces. Subsequently the Government came to know that these bombs were kept on overhead passenger baggage racks. These baggage racks are now dismantled.
Apart from the above, affluent private and public organizations have CCTV cameras and have recruited security personnel who are instructed to admit people, only when they pass through sophisticated magnetic doors. The government also exhorts the people through the television and other media to be vigilant all the time. Besides the people are alert specially in crowded places as the terrorist always strikes to do the maximum collateral damage and over the last few years the terrorist groups trained and operating from Pakistan, have regularly struck under the name of Indian Mujahideen.
Today, the same terrorist groups, nurtured in Pakistan for ulterior motives, for example the liberation of Kashmir from Indian hands, pose a challenge to the smooth functioning of the Pakistan government. Besides the American government pressurizes Pakistan to drive Taliban away. Actually the Taliban was created by the Saudis and the West to hunt the Soviets out of Afghanistan. But this Frankenstein created by the United States - the Taliban - is posing a great threat to major Pakistani cities because of their commitment and organizational ability. Indirectly the destabilization of Pakistan by Taliban can affect India as the fanatic jihadis do not like the presence of United States and Israel in India, and also abhor the Indo-U.S. nuclear pact.
Though Al-Qaeda is not present in India there are many sleeper cells who are willing to act as Trojan Horses. Young religious radicals of the Muslim community are willing to go to any extent to harm the Indian interests to show their global solidarity against the enemies of Islam. Though the Muslim community in India detests the terrorists, as terrorism is actually anti-Islam, these terrorists are brainwashed to consider India and the U.S. as their enemies.
Besides these Pakistan-based terrorist groups we have to face internal challenges from Naxalite groups who fight government forces tooth and nail. These groups mostly hide in forests and use guerilla tactics to attain their ends. Naxalites hate authoritarian rule and these groups sprout in Adivasi and rural areas. Anyway the Government has kept them in check.
After the global financial meltdown, India is showing signs of fully recovering and the stable government at the centre will usher in reforms, which combined with a good monsoon can bring a lot of prosperity to our country. The rise of the share market index, demand for steel and cement and automobiles are reviving the Indian economy and foreign investment is emboldened to dabble in Indian entrepreneurship.
Recently, we had the IPL cricket matches in South Africa, for security reasons as these prestigious matches coincided with the dates of our General Elections, that were completed peacefully. Our security was excellent and the voting process went smoothly, and the people of India gave a mandate of stability for the next 5 years.
Economics, therefore, as for any other country, is dependent on internal security. The position is more volatile for India as we are considered a soft state and confirmed killers like Afzal and Kasab are still not given the punishment they deserve. Many terrorist groups based in Pakistan are making inroads through the northern borders but our army is vigilant and they are repelled. But, with Pakistan taking a tough line against the Taliban and other terrorist organizations, at the behest of the United States, we can still breathe easy as the world has finally realized that Pakistan is the cradle of terrorism and unless Zardari and Gilani take appropriate steps, the Muslim civilization will go back in time by at least 3 centuries. The Sharia tenets (political Islam taking control of the Muslim world) enforced by Taliban and Al-Qaeda are a testimony.
Rajesh Kalra writing on The Economic Times on 9th January, 1991, said that “India was a tiger caged by its own ideology”. Since then a lot of reforms and development, boost to free enterprise, control of red-tape and bureaucratic abuses, have changed the face of India. Today, Indians are rearing to go in all the fields, and women are racing side by side. The verdict at the elections shows that false rhetoric cannot sway the vote and misguide the Indian youth. The slogan is “Perform or Perish”. Now the tiger that is free is on the prowl. Indians are moving forward with conviction and the will-power to transform dreams into realities. Beware the terrorist - your wings are in the process of getting clipped - with vigilance not only from Government but the Indian masses, at large. Hail India. Jai Ho. Jai Hind.