The terrorist attack in Paris on 13 November, 2015 is yet again a lesson to learn for many a nation, especially for our own country. For any wise government to wait and watch could easily be a blunder. Regrettably France evinced an example of being complacent. The butchery in the office of Charlie Hebdo was a notice sufficient for the French government to be comprehensively alert. Just as if after Mumbai 26 November 2008 attack if any more of such violence took place in India, it must be disastrous for the intelligence, the police and the government above all. Between 1993 Zaveri Bazaar and other killings were an alert which should have prevented the attack by Kasaab and his colleagues as a disgrace.
More than France, India needs to be awake and on its toes because as the Kasaab attack shows terrorism in India is not confined to the indigenous but can come equally easily from a neighbouring country. Or, as a wag commented on the morrow of the Paris attack that wherever an Islamist terror occurs, it is a religious phenomenon. The Daily Telegraph of 9 January 2015 had stated, “Islam, you have a very serious problem.” With 40 percent of the sub-continent being Islamic, we would like to add, “India, your most serious problem is knocking at your doors.”
1. A uniform Civil Code, especially to free the women from the chains of their religious laws, needs to be enforced.
2. Many a madrassa need to be closed down.
3. All religious places must be restricted to worship and not stock secular material including weapons.
4. Articles 25 to 30 of the Constitution need to be drastically amended if not abrogated altogether.
In fact, for the Government of India to treat all citizens as absolutely equal and to be seen to be so treating, is the beginning of preventing terrorism in the country.
Action, whether pre-emptive, preventive or reactive, must be prompt. In this context one is reminded of what happened in Peshawar in September 1853 when the Divisional Commissioner, Mackeson, was murdered by a religious fanatic. The killer was tried and sentenced within a week, hanged to death and his body cremated.