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Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Politics over national security: It happens only in India

Politics over national security: It happens only in India
Source: News Bharati
                Little did the Congress and its secular co-passengers in Indian politics and media know that they are trivializing and undermining the important aspect of national security when they engaged themselves in a slugfest over Indian Coast Guard action against the Pakistani boat on the last day of 2014.

The Congress while asking the government to come clean on the incident questioned the intention and purport of the Coast Guard action, the BJP rightly accused them of playing the Pakistani fiddle and engaging in petty politics over the serious issue of terrorism.

BJP spokesman Sambhit Patra is well justified when he said that the Congress party was “lending credence to the Pakistani stand”, by raising doubts over the Indian Coast Guard action in this incident.

The debates on television channels were also on the expected lines where the retired security personnel accused the Congress party of siding with the Pakistani terrorists and speaking in their voices. They even went to the extent of drubbing the principle opposition party as ‘traitor’.

Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar justified the Coast Guard action against the Pakistani boat and stated in most clear terms that the occupants of the boat were terrorists and that the boat was laden with arms and ammunition to be used against India. He congratulated the Coast Guard officials and jawans for taking prompt action in thwarting any possible terrorist attack like 26/11.

The whole issue started with a report of Pravin Swamy, a reporter with Indian Express raising doubts over the Indian Coast Guard action against the Pakistani boat trying to intrude in the Indian waters near Porbandar off Gujarat coast. The Indian Express line was followed by some other secular newspapers including The Hindu raising similar doubts and questions on the issue. They singularly held the view that there were no terrorists and they were smugglers and the Coast Guard mistook them to be terrorists and killed them. The Hindu editorial even demanded that the government share more information on the issue to clear the clouds.

It is very unfortunate that politicising national security issues happen only in India. One retired military officer participating in television debate on this issue the other day very rightly raised this question. He wanted to know whether the Congress party that was ruling the country until recently, was prompted to take such ‘anti-national’ stand simply because people have ousted them from the power.

Can a very serious matter of national security be trivialized? Compromised? Used as a pretext to indulge in political criticism? It should not be.

But it happens only in India.

The menace of terrorism is not limited to India only. The latest victim of this anti-humanity activity was Australia. The political parties in that country did not indulge in criticism against their own government. They extended all the cooperation instead. During the 9/11 attack in WTC New York, the American politicians and media did not indulge in any such activity that would endanger the national security. They did not even show the gory pictures of the terrorist attacks.

But what happens in India? I was watching the India TV 9 pm news on Monday. The India TV reporter was reporting live from Indo-Pak border in the midst of shelling from the other side of the border. He was talking to the people, security personnel and the cameraman accompanying him was showing shots of the border area, outposts that were fired at and the rescue vehicles used for evacuating residents to safer places. All said and done, the reporter should be patted for his bravery and risking his life in his endeavour. But whose interests did he serve?

I am reminded of 26/11 attack on Mumbai and the reporting of this by our media. All the television channels in their competition to give maximum live coverage of the action on the spot were showing all the minute movements of our security forces thus giving easy tips to terrorists holed up in strategic locations to decide their further action. This continued till the media people were told to stop live coverage after almost 48 hours!

Once, former Defence Minister George Fernandes narrated an incident while interacting with students of journalism in Nagpur. He was asked by a reporter about Indian plans to repulse Pakistani aggression on the Kargil border. He refused to divulge on the question. Narrating this George Fernandes said this reporter did not know that by seeking answer to his question whose interests he was serving?

A few days ago the intelligence agency sounded a security alert in the wake of hijack threat by a terrorist group. Following this warning the security network at all the major airports was tightened and put on high alert. A very enthusiastic television channel reporter was reporting from New Delhi airport showing all the security arrangements He did not have slightest of inkling that by doing so he would make the mission of terrorists easy.

National security is always the most important issue for any nation. Any attempt to politicise it or trivialize it would tantamount to treason. Anyone indulging in such anti-national actions should be immediately charged and tried for treason. This very unfortunately has become a practice for our politicians and media men.

After the BJP Government took over under Narendra Modi with a clear majority, the secular parties and media hardly miss any chance of indulging in politics over such issue in their attempt to paint Modi government anti-minority or anti-Muslim. The Indian Coast Guard action was seen as yet another opportunity by them to launch a tirade against the Modi government.

Pakistan has been exporting terror to India. It did so more during the Congress rule. The Modi government has instructed all the security agencies to take strict and stern action against the terrorists and along the border also. As a result there has been considerable decline in terror related incidents in the country. Even Pakistan is given the most befitting answer by our security forces.

In such a situation, it would have been wiser on their part to extend all the support to the government in its moves to contain terror and safeguard the lives of the people. But instead of doing so, the Congress and its secular cohorts are indulging in activities that would demoralise the security forces and question the motives of own government.

This is very unfortunate and most unfortunate is that it happens only in India.