The month of May has brought two major tragedies in India'sneighbourhood. First came the cyclone in Myanmar, followed by an earthquake in China. Thousands of people perished. People all over the world have expressed sorrow and sympathy, and extended a helping hand, to their brethren in these two countries. However, these being natural calamities, humanity has no option but to come to terms with them, while continuing its efforts to mitigate their painful consequences.
In contrast, what happened in Jaipur on May 13 was not a tragedy but a well-calculated crime against humanity, barbaric and sinister. The serial bomb blasts at nine different crowded places in quick succession, in which 64 innocent people were killed and many more injured, are the latest instance in terrorism'swar on India. Like all other previous acts of terrorism, this too is aimed at bleeding and weakening India, creating mayhem and tension, and ultimately at undermining our national unity and security.
The enemy in this war must be countered and defeated with the same unity and resolve that India displays when it is faced with external aggression.
I am confident that the government of Rajasthan, led by Chief Minister Smt. Vasundhara Raje, will do its utmost to nab the evil hands and minds behind this crime and bring the culprits to justice. I do hope that the central government will extend full support and all possible assistance in this effort.
However, I would like to emphasise that the fight against terrorism is a national issue, and the role and responsibility of the central government in dealing with this menace is much more than that of any state government. The UPA government, which will shortly complete four years in office, has such a dismal record in discharging this responsibility that it instills no confidence whatsoever.
This failure is not due to inefficiency of the investigative agencies. Rather, it is mainly due to the soft, weak and apathetic approach of a government that is unwilling to summon the requisite political will to mount a comprehensive attack on terrorism for fear of losing its vote-bank. Evidently, terrorist outfits have come to believe that they have nothing to fear so long as the UPA government is in office at the Centre.
Guided by the same vote-bank considerations, the UPA government repealed POTA soon after assuming office in May 2004. What is worse, the Congress party and its allies took perverse pride in having disarmed the law enforcement agencies of the most potent legislative weapon they had in combating terrorist outfits. Their campaign against POTA was most irresponsible, short-sighted and inimical to national interests.