Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Apples and oranges

There is an eerie similarity between the agruments about an anti-terror law and the women's reservation bill in parliament.

Everyone agrees that we need to reserve a certain percentage of Lok Sabha seats for women, but someone or the other comes up with another valid argument that women from backward castes should get reservation within reservation. Then everything gets complicated and it's left at that.

Now take a look at the present debate. Should we have a tiugher law as a deterrent to terror? Everyone and their uncles say yes we need one. But then somebody gets up and says what about mob terror? Should we ban Bajrang Dal and VHP? Then someone gets up and says ban conversion? Very valid arguments and very misplaced too. This is where things get complicated and we leave it at that.

Instead of bringing in specific laws to tackle both these threats, we are equating these too equally terrifying but entirely different acts of violence (see the post below).

So for the nth time I would say this: Communal violence targets a community. Terrorists target the state. Communal riots are deplorable (often more dangerous and deserving harsher punishment) because a large mob of one community rapes, kills and ravishes members of another community. We, however, also have history of communities living together. The legacy also forces them to live together again. And there is hope.

Terrorists, on the other hand, don't care who is killed. The kind of terrorism we are faced with today is entirely alien to us. Naxalites also target the state but they target the establishment, not common people. They will blow up a police station or kill a district magistrate but won't plant bombs in dustbins.

It's time we grew up and understood apples and organges as apples and oranges.

And yes I still believe we do not need new laws. We just need the will to strengthen and enforce the existing laws in a bipartisan manner. We don't need a tough law, we just need to be tough.

1 comment:

Ashraf said...

what new point are you making here? Please find a new topic.