For those of you who might have seen ‘The Deer Hunter’ there is an unforgettable scene in the film where Christopher Walken, willingly takes a firearm, chambers a single bullet in the weapon and plays ‘Russian roulette’ where he and his opponent sitting opposite him, take turns to pull the trigger, till one of them blow their brains out. Opposition chief ministers it seems are playing the same game. But the brains they will scatter will not be their own, but rather of the hapless peoples of their states.
And here’s the reason why. These worthies are hell bent on nixing the proposed draft for the National counter terrorism centre (NCTC) because they fear it will impinge on their rights and provide a backdoor entry for the central intelligence services to establish diktat in their states.
I have a problem with this assumption. No doubt these worthies have won the state elections and are popular leaders. But does that give them carte blanche to destroy the federal framework, which ironically they claim to protect.
Terrorism is too serious a subject to be left for trivial jousting between the centre and states or worse becomes a bone that both sides will pick for the dregs of meat left on it. Lets understand the situation as it is prevailing now. There is relative peace and let me stick my neck out and say that this is a very dangerous time. It is during these prolonged periods of peace that the ‘next big one is being planned.’ Assuming that 26/11 had taken place around this time, would anyone in their right minds be jettisoning the proposal for the NCTC? Remember when 26/11 had taken place each and everyone including these states had clamoured for an effective central agency for future protection.
The real story is that we do not hesitate to sacrifice national interest for parochial politics. And for some strange reason we are condemned to repeat the same mistakes we make in fighting the war against terror. Lets be clear about one thing. The next bomb might not go off or the next attacks take place in Delhi. It could take place in these very states where the chief ministers are opposed to the NCTC. Who will they run to then?
The sad truth is today everything is fair game for the politicians. To score cheap political points they can go to any length – even compromise our security. But gimmickry carries a cost and a price will have to be paid.