Sunday, December 5, 2021

How India deals with domestic terrorism: UAPA is not enough

It’s a two-part piece: One, how India deals with domestic terrorism which would be our everyday life from now on. Two, why it would happen only when India has a Conservative government in the Centre. 

So let’s first agree on whether we have domestic terrorism in India. Anti-CAA/NRC protests and the present farmers’ rally, to cite two instances in the last year, falls in this category. You disagree? Well, consider yourself in a minority since Narendra Modi continues to be overwhelmingly popular in India.

What these protests attempted and succeeded?: (a) disrupt normal life; (b) render Executive and Judiciary impotent; (c) States defiance of Centre in the guise of federal autonomy; (d) blacken India’s image abroad; (e) invoke pressure from the US, UK, EU, UN and Human Rights group on India; (f) sink India in a state of anarchy. 

Who empowered these protests? Visible faces were (a) political parties; (b) media propaganda; (c) Celebrities. Invisible hands were those of (a) Globalist forces; (b) reactionary Islamic, Christian, Sikh and Communists who can’t stomach Hindu’s rise; (c) Western media in cahoots. 

Who benefits from India torn asunder? Naturally who don’t want India to do well and chart its own course. The Globalists who want to control world and its resources. They do it through media, control of economy, technology, embedded NGOs and Human Rights groups. Conservatives are a problem to them. They can’t leave Putins and Trumps and Modis standing. 

If I have been clear to you thus far, and it’s apparent to you that our generation and our children would henceforth live in the midst of anarchy—now that BJP is a stand-alone party—what do you think we and our elected government should do? 

We took the first step and took it decisively. For two successive Lok Sabha polls, we have put Narendra Modi and his nationalist government in power. We all think they have taken some bold steps but we also are confused why they appear soft when faced with such protests.

One, they know nothing is beyond Globalists. They can bring your economy to knees. They control trade, currency, debt etc. Two, they hold Indian media and politicians by the string. You crack whip, give baton charge, make arrests, fire pellets and you are promptly dubbed Fascists and Nazis.

When foreign sanctions kick in, your economy goes into a tailspin. They could crash your stock exchanges in hours. The debt that India has, and which is beholden to your IMFs and World Banks etc, would be asked to be paid. India might not face military intervention since it’s a buffer against China but many countries—Yugoslavia, Ukraine, Libya, Iraq, African countries—are evidence enough. 

You then play the waiting game. Waiting for an excuse to crack the whip. Once in a while A Religious-Flag-Atop-Red-Fort presents you with the opportunity. That’s when you turn on the heat. Lose no time. 

Let’s see what the United States did in the wake of 9/11. On September 11, 2001, the two World Trade Tower buildings fell to terror. By October 26, the US had brought the Patriot Act into operation. It was said to be a temporary measure. But it continues to be in force. 

Why temporary? Because it gave the investigative agencies and police in US extraordinary powers to prevent terrorism, cross-border infiltration, money laundering, drugs etc. With its initial and subsequent amendment, Patriot Act allows the US state to intercept and prevent:

(a) activities that involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the US or of any state; (b) appear to be intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of government by intimidation or coercion; (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and (c) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the US. 

Aren’t some of these reasons the same which cry for an Indian version of Patriot Act? Our civilian population is intimidated and coerced. Our government is pressured the same way. 

Well, you would say we have UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act). But there is a difference. It doesn’t have the sweeping powers of a Patriot Act. The biggest one is to tap the phones of individuals if required. UAPA does extend its domain from terror organizations to individual terrorists. But it doesn’t empower the State to tap phones of individuals. The US Patriot Act does so. 

It is commendable that under UAPA, the NIA (National Investigative Agencies) bypasses a state’s interference. That it could seize property if it considers it to be proceeds of terrorism. That the investigative agencies could take 180 days to file the chargesheet. That normal bail rules do not apply to an accused under 43(d)5 of the UAPA. 

But is it enough? Could the Indian state react in time when foreign funds were being transferred to individuals of Jamia and JNU, as well as the culprits of Delhi Riots of 2020? Couldn’t phone-tapped have avoided mayhem and lives lost?

Sure there would be hue and cry. Personal liberty, data and all kind of nonsensical charges would be hurled at Modi government. But what do you say to people who have lost lives and livelihoods. What do you say to the policemen and policewomen who have only a baton to defend themselves against a violent agenda-driven mob? 

The fact is India can’t deny its policemen the right to life and liberty. If you fling them into fire, you need to give them with fire safety wears. If they are facing bullets, give them armoured personnel carriers (APCs), assault rifles, submachine guns, sniper rifles. Have dedicated forces like US has Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams. 

Domestic terrorism is a reality in India. And the governments are chosen to protect common citizens and allow society to function to its best. To remove those who are obstacles to such cherished goals. If you need to amend Constitutions, do it. If you want to empower your police, do it. If you want to move legislation in Parliament, do it. Bite the bullet. If you can’t do it with such overwhelming majority, you probably would never be able to do it. 

The truth is India needs a Patriot Act in India. Don’t wait till an iconic monument is razed to ground as it happened in 9/11. Trust the citizens who have voted you to power. They might be faceless but are a good insurance against such Globalist/domestic Breaking India forces. You don’t have to look far: Vladimir Putin is a living example. 

(Tomorrow: Why they want Modi out)


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