Countering Terrorism in India – Five Practical Difficulties
Terrorists strike again in India – this time in the business capital of India, Mumbai, terrorizing the whole of India for more than three days. Now after the terrorists were defeated like the end of every other terrorist attacks, we started asking questions which never get answered fully like “How should India as a nation retaliate?”, “Is Government of India incapable of preventing terrorism?”, “What should we do to prevent terrorism?”, “Should we attack the country/ies that aid terrorists?”. We ask a lot of these questions that never get answered. For a country as vast and diverse as India, lots of practical difficulties exist in preventing terrorist attacks. This is a post that looks into the practical difficulties India faces on her fight against terrorism.
- Over population of India and Lack of Automated Personal Identification:
With over 1.3 billion people, India is the second largest populated country in the world. A majority of the Indians have some form of identification issued by the Indian government like the voter identity card, ration card, PAN number or a driver’s license. But there are millions of Indian citizens who don’t have any identification card issued by Government of India. So it is very easy for such a person to do a crime and go unnoticed. So it is high time the government takes steps to track all the legal residents of India.
Even if the Indians have identity cards like those mentioned above, details stored in it are bare minimum. India should develop a system similar to Social Security Number (SSN) in US to track the entire legal residents of India. So with the click of the mouse the authorities can get the entire information of a person. Yes it may be an expensive affair but if India does that it could be easy for the authority to follow people with history of wrong doings. But is it practical to have a working system with an automated system with extensive data of 1.3 billion people?
- “Trained/Brainwashed” Terrorists from Pakistan crossing over to India:
It seems like Pakistan has become the center stage of all the terrorist training in the world. May be the graduates from these terror camps in Pakistan outnumber the graduates from real colleges in Pakistan. Pakistan has taken over from Afghanistan as the epicenter of most of the terrorist attacks. With India sharing such a long border with Pakistan it is very easy for these terrorist to come to India through its porous border. It is practically impossible to prevent someone from crossing across such a long border. It is something similar to what US is facing in the US-Mexico border. Whatever the steps US takes, illegal Mexicans will find some way to sneak into US. Only difference here is Mexicans come to US to do menial jobs while terrorists sneak into India from Pakistan to fight a proxy war with India.
So is it practical to stop these border crossing of terrorists? Pakistan government has absolutely no control over these terrorists now and the only way India can control that is by attacking there training camps in Pakistan and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK). But if we attack those training camps and if Pakistani government who are always soft on terrorists decide to retaliate by attacking India then the result may be a catastrophic nuclear war.
- Terrorist Looks Like Your Next Door Neighbor:
If you see the photos of the terrorists who attacked Mumbai, they look just like anyone you see in your neighborhood, in the market, in the train or in college or in cinema hall. With most of the Indian cites over crowded, it is almost impossible to differentiate a common man from terrorists. The terrorists can easily mingle with the local population as they look identical, talk the same language and follow the same customs and traditions. This is one advantage the Western countries like United States and Britain have in fighting modern day terrorists. The terrorists trying to attack America come from different countries who look so much different from an American and who can easily be identified. So if a terrorist/group of terrorists comes and takes a room in a busy city in India and plan an attack against India, it is very tough for the intelligence agencies or common man to identify those people as they can easily mix with the other people and behave normally.
- Muslims and Minority Card Politics:
I hate to say this but of late this is the reality. Majority of the terrorist attacks around the world are planned and executed by Muslims. India has the second largest Muslim population in the world. It is a known fact that lot of mosques and Madrasas are used by these terrorists in India to recruit more people to the terror network. If any government tries to control or monitor the functioning of these mosques or madrasas the so called secular media and so called secular politicians make a big hue and cry that is impossible to take action against erring mosques, madrasas or people in charge of them. Any action against terrorists (who happened to be Muslims) will be interpreted as a general fight against the whole of Muslim community by the Hindu majority India. That is a very sensitive topic in “Secular” India and government for this reason has gone so soft on acting against the religious leaders and institutions that support terrorists.
- Ineffective Judicial System:
Does anyone have any count of the number of cases pending in the various courts in India? It may run into millions and this also helps the terrorists who are planning to attack India. We all remember the Mumbai blast of 1993. It has been over 15 years since the blast has occurred in which over 250 people died. Till now Indian courts have not come up with the final verdict. The case is going on in the Supreme Court and God only knows when they are going to give the final verdict. One terrorist was arrested in the recent Mumbai blast. We may be seeing the Indian courts still debating if to punish this terrorist in 2023, 15 years after this attack. For the Indian courts to solve cases fast the overall revamp of the judicial system is necessary and I don’t think it is going to happen in the near future. Another practical difficulty in fighting terrorism – ineffective judicial system that can act as a catalyst to terrorist attacks. When a terrorist sees that people who have committed evil haven’t been punished in 15 years he gets more motivation to do it.
These are just a few of the practical difficulties India faces in her fight against terror and terrorisms. But we as a nation should be able to overcome any difficulties and fight these anti national forces and defeat them if we want to march ahead as a superpower in this 21st century. For that every Indian has a role to play. Every citizen should help government to make strict laws and wholeheartedly support the government in implementing the law to the best possible ways. The citizens should throw out the thoughts of caste, religion, language and unite in the fight against terrorists and terrorism. Let us all stand united and show that neither terrorists nor any disruptive forces can prevent India’s march towards progress.
I bow my head to the heroes/ martyrs who laid down thier life for our motherland during the recent terrorist attack in Mumbai. JAI HIND.
with inputs from my friend Jai Mayilvahanan Sivanantham