Do not give terror a colour, fight the evil – The New Indian Express Editorial

published on January 22, 2013

Addressing the AICC session on the final day of the Congress’ Jaipur conclave Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde claimed that investigations have revealed that the BJP and the RSS were conducting training camps to spread terror. While Congress leaders have been raising the bogey of ‘saffron terror’ in the past, such an allegation from the country’s home minister cannot be dismissed lightly. If the home ministry has evidence to back what Shinde alleges, the government must act against whosoever is responsible for supporting terrorist activities without hesitation and prosecute the culprits in accordance with the law. There are enough provisions to act against public organisations involved in anti-national activities and the government must proceed against them.

However, instead of acting the minister seems more interested in playing vote-bank politics by linking terrorism with religion. The cases of those allegedly involved in Samjhauta Express, Mecca Masjid and Malegaon blasts are pending in the courts and the law should take its course, irrespective of the identity of the accused persons. However, branding an entire organisation or a community as terrorist simply because some members of it are implicated is not only wrong but also counter-productive. The Congress and the government must realise that linking terrorism to religion only weakens the fight against terror and such irresponsible statements only encourage Pakistan-sponsored terrorism against India.

Such statements from those in position of power are bound to be used by Islamabad and supporters of terrorist groups elsewhere to deflect attention of the international community from their nefarious plans. Giving a political or religious twist to the fight against terror may prove expedient for the Congress but such tactics are bound to encourage divisive forces within India. Those in government are supposed to act and not indulge in vain rhetoric. The least that the Congress high command must do is to tell Shinde to withdraw his remarks and warn him to be more circumspect in future.

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