It was a pleasant surprise to see all the states and union territories responding in a spirit of unity during the Chief Ministers’ conference on internal security on February 7. Even the Chief Ministers of the states ruled by the BJP did not strike a discordant note. In fact, the Union Home Ministry received compliments even from Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan for being swift and positive in its response to requests from states. It was also acknowledged that the Center had considerably reduced the response time to requests made by states. This welcome convergence bet-ween the Center and the states was in sharp contrast to the latter’s criticism of the Center on the issue of price rise. It raises the hopes that more coordinated efforts will be made in the days to come to meet the threats to the country, which are far more serious than law and order problems.
Apparently, realization has dawned on the Center and the states that they have to pull together to defeat the monster. Whether it is left-wing extremism, cross-border terrorism or insurgency, they all require an integrated action plan that can succeed only if all state actors are on the same page. The best example is the Naxalite threat which has been spreading only because states fought it in a piecemeal fashion in the absence of seamless synchronization. Governments have to rise above party labels to tackle what is a serious internal security challenge for the entire nation.
While the Center is there to oversee and coordinate the drive, the states cannot abdicate their responsibility. Certain inputs can only be provided by states’ security forces which are familiar with local terrain and attitudes. Once they and the Center pull in the same direction, dark forces would find it infinitely more difficult to escape the security dragnet. Strong action and meaningful information sharing are the need of the hour and everybody has to chip in.
Courtesy: The Tribune