AA Edit | No shortcuts in a democracy

Home minister Amit Shah last week rightly reminded India's investigation agencies fighting terrorism should be a collaborative effort

Update: 2023-10-08 18:35 GMT
Union Home Minister Amit Shah (ANI)

Democracies form their own mechanisms to address the frictions created by deficiencies in the distribution of resources or administration of justice. Terrorists seek shortcuts on the promise of dispensing them, and hence can claim no space in a democracy.

Home minister Amit Shah last week rightly reminded India’s investigation agencies that the fight against terrorism should be a collaborative effort at the global level and that it needs international coordination. We should think out of the box and take innovative measures to counter the menace. He also stressed the need for inter-agency cooperation. However, his direction to them that they take such a ruthless approach that no new terrorist group is formed in the country is a bit misplaced.  

A home minister would be doing his job when he works towards the elimination of the ecosystem of terrorists but handing over the job to the police and investigation agencies can hardly achieve the target. India has been beset with various forms of terrorism that have sprouted and spread in various states; some still persist. There is no gainsaying that terrorists deserve no leniency. However, getting to the root cause of addressing concerns of people before they take the law in their own hands is the job of the government and the larger society, and not of agencies mandated to perform a limited job.

The processes of democracy are painfully slow but people opt for them because they offer sustainable progress. Deepening the ideals of democracy and strengthening its institutions are the best way to eliminate the ecosystem of violence and terrorism. It is for the political leadership to assess the demands of a growing society and put in place the right mechanisms to address them so that the terror ecosystem is starved of fuel. The politician and the policeman have their jobs cut out in a democracy and those are not interchangeable. 


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