Former Army chief, defence experts, ex-servicemen, retired police officers, intellectuals, educationists and scholars of the country are deeply worried over the security of borders, and important political, economic, social and religious places from growing terrorism. They want the government and the public to wake up and take serious measures before it is too late. The concern was clearly visible at the seminar organised on ?National Security: Challenges and Resolution?, by Shri Guruji Birth Centenary Celebration Committee in New Delhi on December 2.
Gen. (retd.) J.F.R. Jacob, former Army Chief Gen. Vishwanath Sharma, Major Gen. (retd.) Deepankar Bannerjee, Major Gen. (retd.) Gupta, Lt. Gen. (retd.) K.K. Nanda, Lt. Gen. (retd.) Kadiyan, former DGP of BSF Shri Prakash Singh, RSS Sarsanghachalak Shri K.S. Sudarshan, former Governor of Sikkim and Goa Shri Kidarnath Sahani, former Union Ministers Shri Jagmohan and Shri Arun Shourie, editor of The Pioneer Shri Chandan Mitra, MPs and former MPs were among the 300 leading personalities of various fields who attended the seminar.
Addressing such a distinguished gathering, Shri K.S. Sudarshan said the law that America has enacted to materialise the recent nuclear deal with India ties our hands and we have opened our nuclear institutions for the scrutiny of international agencies in a way. ?Without signing the CTBT, we have accepted the conditions of America. Now before doing anything at the nuclear front we will have to seek permission of America and other international agencies. The US has been telling us to segregate the civil and military operations. The fact is that both these operations cannot be segregated, as the plutonium needed for military operations comes from the civil reactor. Even the US has failed to segregate them so far. This is a fact that our scientists conducted the nuclear tests without the help of any country. After this agreement they are disappointed. The deal is not good,? he said.
He further said what we need today is strong leadership, strong society and national character in people. Since their voice is listened by the media, people and the government, the distinguished people need to awake the society in this regard. There is no other way but creating mass awareness. He said the people of PoK, Chatgaon (Bangladesh), Baluchistan, Sindh and North West Frontier Province in Pakistan want India to help them in getting rid of the clutches of their respective rulers. If Pakistan can indulge in hatching conspiracies to divide India, why can'twe foil its game plans in the same language? He said under the international law it is not illegal to destroy the terror camps being operated in our neighbouring countries. He said terrorism failed in Assam and Punjab due to the political will of the then state governments and also due to the cooperation of general public.
About the Naxal threat, the Sarsanghachalak said a simultaneous action is needed in all the states because when a drive is launched in one state they enter the other state where the paramilitary forces can do nothing without the consent of that state government. ?I had advised this to Shri L.K. Advani during the NDA regime and now to the Union Home Minister Shri Shivraj Patil. But our political leadership does not seem to have that will power,? he said. About the developments in Nepal, he said whatever happened in Nepal is unfortunate and the Maoists with the help of Indian communists want to repeat that experiment in India also.
He asked if the governments of Egypt and Tunisia can amend their curriculum to promote harmony in their societies, why couldn'tit happen in India. He said the leaders are compromising with the national security for their political gains. ?We have not equipped our army to face the challenges that have developed with the changing time. We are lagging behind in many vital fields. We are today fighting a defensive battle, which does not succeed. Offensive fights bring success. We got an opportunity during the Kargil war, but we did not take benefit,? he said.
Shri Prakash Singh said the people responsible for looking after security of the country lack the feeling of patriotism and nationality. This is the reason the political leadership and the government hesitate to take any concrete step. He said the policy to fight terrorism is still not clear. ?No government so far has ever tried to define the policy for fighting terrorism, which is nothing but a work of three-four hours. Our instruments in this fight are also weak. The anti-terror law is being softened day-by-day. TADA and POTA have been repealed. But the country today needs more stern law than POTA,? he said describing corruption as a kind of terrorism. He also expressed concern over the infightings among nationalist forces.
Shri Jagmohan said the country has failed to produce credible politicians because we have started ignoring our inner voice. ?Why are criminals elected? Why is a Union Minister convicted? It is because we ignore our inner voice. People have lost the feeling of pride. If we have no pride we shall continue to face the problems as we are facing today,? he said further stressing the need to study Islamic fundamentalism deeply and thoroughly. The media too should publicise the rigid and fundamentalist attitude of Islam. He said the best tribute to Shri Guruji would be to reconstruct the nation on high cultural values.
Shri Arun Shourie said the leadership today does not want to face the truth. ?They don'twant to see terrorism, Naxalism, infiltration and Chinese claim over Arunachal Pradesh. The person who attacks the county is not hanged. There appears to be no administration or government in the country. Terrorist attacks occur almost everyday, but the government remains busy in holding meetings. The politicians freely seek the help of terrorists and armed groups during elections and after wining the election they protect the interest of such groups,? he said and added that what the country needs is a strong political institution consisting of people from public at important offices who do not compromise anywhere at all.
Shri Chandan Mitra said since the country is proceeding towards becoming a super power, we should behave as a mature democracy. ?Our defence strategy must keep in mind the defence preparations of our neighbouring countries,? he said. About infiltration from Bangladesh he said we must now think who is our enemy number one?Pakistan or Bangladesh. The country, which was liberated by India sacrificing the lives of thousands of soldiers, has today become centre of ISI-supported terrorism against India.
Maj. Gen. (retd.) Deepankar Bannerjee stressed the need to develop comprehensive counter-strategy to deal with terrorism and China. He said India has a very bright destiny. In coming years she will play a major role in the world. But we should prepare ourselves for that big role. Lt. Gen. (retd.) K.K. Nanda said if India tackles only one problem of Kashmir effectively, then it would resolve various other problems. However, Lt. Gen. (retd.) Kadiyan disagreed with Shri Nanda on this point. Gen. (retd.) J.F.R. Jacob said the armed forces must not be demoralised, demotivated and pressurised. Describing China as a major thereat, he said the arms and ammunition supply to the army should be enhanced. The audience also suggested inclusion of chapters on national security in school and college curriculum.